You feel the headache coming on and you know that it’s time for your period. An overwhelming majority of women get menstrual headaches before, during and after their period/cycle. Menstrual headaches can be debilitating and because of the necessary changes and hormone fluctuations within a woman’s body during that time of the month it’s almost impossible to prevent these types of headaches. While over the counter (OTC) and prescription medications can alleviate the symptoms, they do nothing for treating the cause of menstrual headaches or prevention of the symptoms.
Because menstrual headaches are caused by changes that occur during a woman’s cycle and the effects they have within the body prevention has to start here. Therefore naturopathic and alternative medicine is the best option for treating, relieving and preventing menstrual headaches in the future.
Natural remedies include herbs, dietary supplements, relaxation techniques and alternative exercise activities. There are a few specific herbs that will help to prevent and treat menstrual headaches. Evening primrose oil is a natural pain killer because it has natural anti-inflammatory effects. White willow bark reduces fever, pain and swelling. Flax seed oil produces essential fatty acids that balance omega 3 & 6 to help alleviate headaches. Feverfew is the most effective herb for preventing and treating menstrual headaches because it has anti-inflammatory and vascular dilator properties. Ginger has many anti-inflammatory properties and calms the stomach. To reduce headaches ginger is best consumed in tea. Butterbur helps reduce inflammation therefore reducing menstrual headaches.
Dietary supplements can help treat and prevent menstrual headaches because they restore balance to uneven vitamin and mineral levels within the body that cause headaches. During ones cycle the nerves that control blood pressure, sleep rhythms, hormone production, and temperature become agitated. Magnesium reduces this reaction of nerves, but very quickly becomes depleted, causing low levels of magnesium in the body. Without enough magnesium the nerves become agitated and cause headaches. Therefore by adding in magnesium supplements you may be able to cure/prevent menstrual headaches. Vitamin B and B complex maybe the most effective supplement for treating menstrual headaches. Vitamin B2 especially since it restores energy to nerve cells without exciting them. This prevents headaches while controlling blood pressure, since vascular constriction is a main cause of menstrual headaches.
Adding fresh fruits and vegetables in high quantities one week before and throughout your cycle can help to prevent menstrual headaches. The increased phytonutrients from fresh produce has shown to lessen the probability and intensity of menstrual headaches.
Although you may not feel like exercising when you’re experiencing a menstrual headache, exercise is vitally important since there is a reduction of endorphins released into the brain during this time. An alternative form would be yoga, which combines meditation, relaxation and exercise. This eliminates stress, while producing endorphins to relieve headaches. Relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, guided meditation, affirmations, visualization, and deep breathing have helped to alleviate menstrual headaches. Acupuncture is another alternative medicine used by many women to help relieve menstrual headaches.
Increasing the number of hours you sleep during ones cycle has shown to reduce menstrual headaches. Especially during the first few days of one’s cycle. Tack on some additional hours of beauty rest to reduce the number of hours with a headache.