There are many different types of headaches; most being painful but harmless, others indicating an underlying condition of a more serious nature. One of the more harmless of headaches is what some refer to as a hormonal headache or menstrual migraine. On average, 70% of people who suffer from migraines are female and of those, 60% to 70% report that their migraines occur during their menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels are related to migraine occurrences and those levels drop significantly before a menstrual cycle begins. Because estrogen levels are elevated during pregnancy, women report a significant absence in migraine symptoms while pregnant. Headaches are also influenced by the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and beta-endorphin as well. Since the menstrual migraine is related to the hormone estrogen, post-menopause hormone levels, hormone replacement therapy and some birth control pills can also trigger hormonal headaches in women. Birth control pills that contain high doses of estrogen pose more of a risk compared to birth control pills that contain only progesterone. Migraines that occur throughout the month as well as during a menstrual cycle are referred to as a menstrual related migraine. Migraines that occur only during the menstrual cycle are referred to as pure migraines. The symptoms of menstrual migraines include intense pain and a throbbing sensation possibly accompanied by nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise and an aura may or may be present immediately before the migraine.
Long-term Pharmaceutical Use
There have been studies done to examine the relationship between headaches and conservative treatment options such as chiropractic care and acupuncture. Several studies have shown that there were positive results from these forms of treatment. The severity, duration and frequency of the migraines were reduced after two months of treatment as well as a decreased need for medication. Half of the participants noted a reduction in the severity of their migraines and one out of five reported overall improvement in symptoms. Long-term pharmaceutical use has shown that over time the drugs become less effective at controlling the symptoms of migraines because of resistance that develops. At times, drug dependency also forms when prescribed long-term. And in some cases, the medications are not successful in reducing the pain. Because of this, taking anti-inflammatory drugs as a permanent solution to migraine management is not the best option for many people. It is important to speak with your chiropractic physician and discuss the benefits of chiropractic care and acupuncture for the treatment of menstrual migraines. Depending on whether the migraines are menstrual related or pure, a treatment plan will be specialized to address each individual patient and their needs.
References Cited in this Article
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