It’s the time of the month and you’re suffering with a splitting headache. Does this sound familiar?
Hormonal headaches are a common occurrence for many women during their cycle; in fact, according to researchers, some 5 million women suffer with some form of hormonal headache every month.
The body's hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, which play significant roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain. Stable oestrogen levels may improve headaches, while oestrogen levels that lower or change can make headaches worse.
Hormonal headaches can appear at different times throughout your cycle, for some at the time of ovulation, others before, during or after their period.
Periods aren’t the only trigger of hormonal headaches. Other causes can include:
• The contraceptive pill. Some women report more frequent headaches when on the pill, especially in the pill-free week when oestrogen levels drop.
• Menopause. Headaches usually worsen as you approach the menopause, partly because periods come more often and partly because the normal hormonal cycle is disrupted.
• Pregnancy. Headaches can get worse in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but they usually improve or stop completely during the final six months.
Hormonal headaches can start as early as 11 days before the menstrual cycle and occur alongside other premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as acne outbreak, anxiety, emotional sensitivity, constipation, food cravings and fatigue.
During this time, the hormonal headaches can be quite unbearable, making it difficult to function with day to day life. Since, the symptoms are similar to those of migraine with agonizing pain on one side of the head, vomiting and sensitivity to bright light and noise, hormonal headaches are often mistaken for migraine headaches. The different symptoms of these headaches however differ from one person to the next.
Though fluctuating hormone levels can influence headache patterns, you don’t have to be completely at the mercy of your hormones.
I have worked with many clients who have suffered with hormonal headaches and have often endured them for many years. After finding the right remedy for them, their headaches dissipate and their cycles become regular, more balanced, and their energy returns.
Our bodies are meant to work in a balanced and harmonious way, we are not meant to suffer.