There is such a thing as a Menstrual Migraine

Dr. Vishnu Priya, Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aster Women and Children Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore

There is such a thing as a Menstrual Migraine

New Delhi: Periods can be a painful experience for many individuals, often accompanied by cramps and discomfort. These symptoms can worsen for some women, leading to the onset of menstrual headaches. During menstruation, hormonal changes can trigger migraines in susceptible individuals, adding to the overall discomfort of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual migraines are severe headaches that occur concerning a woman's menstrual cycle.

They typically happen before, during, or right after menstruation. Menstrual migraines can be more intense and last longer than regular migraines. These headaches are frequently linked with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They are thought to be triggered by hormonal changes that happen during the menstrual cycle. Menstrual migraines can significantly impact a woman's quality of life and may require specific treatment approaches tailored to managing hormonal fluctuations.

Certain hormones that are released during the menstrual cycle can cause migraines to develop. It is believed that the primary hormonal trigger for these types of headaches is a decrease in estrogen levels just before menses which affects neurotransmitters and blood vessels within the brain resulting in migraine onset. Moreover, when estrogen drops so does our tolerance towards other triggers for instance stress or certain foods thus making us more likely to get affected by them if they come into contact with sleep patterns among others. In general terms all these points out at different times throughout any given month when women might suffer from intense pains situated around their belly buttons called menstrual cramps but it’s worth noting here also how much intensity varies among individuals depending on factors such as age and overall health.

Fluxes of hormones, mainly those of estrogen, are what bring about migraines during menstruation. Other contributing factors may include tension, lack of sleep, dehydration safe, and certain types of food. These can include caffeine, alcohol as well as processed foods among others. Therefore, monitoring a headache diary could help to establish this. After that they should be evaded at all costs like skipping meals because it leads to dehydration which in turn causes headaches; one should also try relaxation techniques for managing them.

Common symptoms include pulsing pain on one side of the head, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Sensitivity to light and noise may also occur, along with visual disturbances known as aura. They last much longer than typical migraines do – up to three days usually so – making them stand out from other headache types; this longer duration often corresponds with different phases within the menstrual cycle. Recording symptoms, including frequency and triggers, can help doctors diagnose whether you have menstrual migraine disorder or another type of headache condition.

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Typically, menstrual migraines are diagnosed depending on a complete medical history which entails an explanation of the symptoms of headache and how they relate to the menstrual cycle. Diagnostic tests like imaging or any other procedures may be carried out so that any possible causes can be eliminated.

The diagnostic standards for menstrual migraines include the timing of headaches during menstruation, the presence of additional migraine symptoms, and the exclusion of other headache disorders. Imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans may be used to rule out different underlying conditions. Warning signs that might indicate further assessment include sudden start with severe headaches; confusion and weakness accompanying headache attacks; or progressive worsening over time.

Lifestyle adjustments for managing menstrual migraines could involve sticking to a regular sleep pattern; being well hydrated; avoiding triggering factors; and practising relaxation exercises e.g., yoga or meditation. Additionally, complementary therapies like biofeedback or acupuncture may have some benefits too.

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To identify and prevent triggers for menstrual migraines, it is important to keep a headache diary which records symptoms and causes; abstain from stress, some meals, and dehydration as well as the practice of stress-relieving techniques can help too. In some people lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and enough sleep every night together with good stress management skills may decrease how often they get these headaches or how severe they become.

If you have severe or frequent headache episodes that are getting worse over time; additionally, those accompanied by confusion, weakness, vision disturbances among other neurological signs then it’s necessary for an individual to go see a doctor immediately. The medical evaluation should be done urgently if there is a sudden onset of very strong head pain with high-temperature stiffness in the neck, no response to treatment or loss of consciousness.

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