Are you more prone to headaches, dizziness or brain fog during or before Aunt Flo pays a visit? Well, it’s not just an unfortunate coincidence. Periods can actually trigger splitting headaches. Now this PMS symptom may not be as talked about as mood swings, cramps, and fatigue. But according to a study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, 21% of menstruating women experience period-related migraines. And hell! It can make shark week suck even more than it already does.
If this period affliction torments you too, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about period headaches and how to deal with them:
The American Headache Society (AHS), defines menstrual migraine as a throbbing headache that is strictly limited to the premenstrual and menstrual phase. It does not occur at other times of the month. An AHS report points out that it can happen due to the release of prostaglandins, a hormone that helps the uterus contract to shed the uterine lining. In some cases, prostaglandins can increase pain sensitivity and cause flu-like symptoms. Additionally, the rapid change in estrogen and progesterone (female sex hormones) during periods can also cause headaches.
Throbbing pain on one side of your head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound are some of the common symptoms of general migraine. But you know your periods are to be blamed for this condition if it happens during or right before the red-letter week. These signs may also be accompanied by other PMS side effects like acne, fatigue, food cravings, stomach cramps, and breast soreness.
Dealing with a throbbing headache when you’re already down and out by horrid PMS side effects can be quite overwhelming. So here are five effective coping strategies to take the edge off menstrual migraines:
Infused with natural painkillers–eucalyptus oil, camphor, and menthol–this patch can provide instant relief from pain. It has no side-effects and can be stuck on the head easily. It feels like a soothing balm–minus the mess and can eliminate the need to pop a pill.
If your headache is caused by hormonal imbalances, fixing the root cause can reduce their frequency and intensity over time. You can count on Sirona’s PMS Gummies for it. Rich in vitamin B6 and chasteberry, they help balance hormones. Its other natural ingredients like Dong Quai (female ginseng) and lemon balm can make you feel more energetic and improve your mood. Regular consumption of one gummy a day can improve your overall period experience.
Healthy eating is the key to a happy period. So include whole grains like wheat and barley, green leafy veggies, fresh fruits, and dairy products like milk and cheese in your daily diet. While on your period, eat magnesium-rich foods like spinach, banana, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. According to a 2011 study, this micronutrient can drastically reduce pain and make you feel better. Additionally, avoid junk food, alcohol, and caffeine as they can aggravate your headache or even trigger one.
Now, this may seem strange, But a pleasure sesh can actually relieve your headache and period cramps both. According to a research conducted at the University of Münster in Germany, 60% of women suffering from headaches reported instant relief from engaging in sexual activity. The stress-busting effect of an orgasm can be blamed for it but this is defo our favourite coping strategy. What do you think?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like aspirin are easily available but they should be your last resort. If the pain is intense, you can pop one for relief. However, excess consumption of these pills can damage vital organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver. So take them only during an emergency.
Always remember, if your headache is simply unbearable, you must visit a doc. It could be a symptom of a more serious condition and timely diagnosis and treatment can save you a great deal of pain. Here’s hoping for a pain-free period for everyone though. *Fingers crossed*
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