It’s that time of the month again because you’re experiencing headaches, fever, nausea, abdominal pain or even low back pain. Most women, some 60-75% experience headaches related to their menstrual cycle. And unlike a regular headache, menstrual headaches can be severe and don’t respond to regular headache cures. This is because menstrual headaches are usually caused by vascular constriction which is caused by high levels of estrogen in the body.
During stage one of a woman’s cycle, estrogen is increased as the lining of the uterus thickens. Headaches tend to show up in the second and third stages of the cycle and can be worst right at the end of the second stage before the actual bleeding begins. Another cause of menstrual headaches is the reduction of endorphins being release into the brain and lower magnesium levels. In addition the acids that are produced during stages one and two of the cycle can add to menstrual headaches. The way a woman’s body responds to changes during menstruation can factor into her symptoms as well.
Depending upon the stage of your cycle at which your headaches appear can determine which potential cures can help to alleviate your symptoms. Treatment for menstrual headaches include pharmaceuticals, natural or at home remedies, dietary supplements, and naturopathic, complementary and alternative medicine. Some treatments will only alleviate the symptoms of one’s headaches while others can be used to help prevent headaches altogether.
For quick and immediate relief of headaches try pharmaceutical remedies, whether it’s over the counter or prescription medication. There are only a few options to choose from. The best over the counter medications available are analgesics that are made specifically for a woman menstrual cycle symptoms i.e. Pamprin or Midol. In addition there are over the counter analgesics/NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen and others. The prescription medications used are also NSAIDS such as Naprosyn, Orudis, Relefen, Nalfon, Motrin and Advil. Diuretics have also been used alongside other prescription drugs such as Verapamil, Migranal, Depakote, propranolol and cafergot. None of these medications will treat the cause of your menstrual headaches nor can they prevent the headaches from happening. They can only treat the symptoms.
Read on for more ways to treat, cure, alleviate and prevent menstrual headaches.