Headaches may seem like all you need is to take the occasional painkiller to keep it at bay, but when you have a monthly headache in correlation to your menstrual cycle, you may want to consider a less ‘band aid’ treatment in response to the underlying causes of a menstrual headache.
Like any headache, menstrual headaches can range in severity. From a minor dull ache to debilitating pain. Having them every time you have a period though can make women dread even the dull aches just for the sheer frequency.
With that said, there are preventive measures women can take to help ease and even prevent menstrual headaches. If you suffer from monthly migraines due to your period, or period pain in general, try these all natural and holistic lifestyle tips to help ease the pain or prevent them all together.
Time your turmeric
As we all know, headaches are caused by inflammation. Where menstrual headaches are concerned, this inflammation can be triggered by a drop or surge in hormones, depending on where in your cycle you tend to get your headaches. Usually, menstrual headaches come before, during or shortly after a period.
To help combat inflammation from sudden drops in hormones, take turmeric. As we all know, turmeric one of nature’s most potent anti-inflammatories. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits and overall nutrient-dense profile make this golden root an ideal all-natural remedy to ease and even alleviate pain from hormonal imbalances.
Where headaches are concerned, taking 1 dose of turmeric is likely to not be enough when alleviating pain. The idea is to take turmeric frequently and consistently leading up to the days you usually have your headache to prevent the inflammation that causes it.
For example, if you usually get a headache during your period, try taking 2 tablespoons or 1000 mg of turmeric 5 days before your period and throughout the duration of your period. This should help ease and even prevent menstrual headaches and other various pains caused by inflammation such as cramps and depressive moods.
Magnesium is a wonderful mineral to help ease the pain of menstrual headaches and can even prevent the headache from progressing in severity. Playing a key role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, think energy production, protein synthesis, neurotransmitter regulation as well as helping to calm the nervous system, magnesium can be especially beneficial in reducing the severity of headaches and even preventing the altogether.
Like with turmeric, take magnesium at least 3 days before you usually have a headache and continue to do so until your period ends to help relax your body and support that many vital biochemical functions that require this mineral. Check in with your healthcare provider for a dosage best for you.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
If you’re on a calorie restriction diet, practice intermittent fasting, forget to eat when you’re hungry and suffer from menstrual migraines, these all could be linked. Forcing a calorie restriction diet or intermittent fasting in the face of being hungry could be the reason behind your menstrual migraines. Subjecting yourself to hunger, your body’s most primal signal that it needs nutrition, can leave you at a calorie deficit and making your body suffer from blood sugar imbalances as well as a nutrient deficit subjecting your body to a lack of vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally, and yes that includes hormone balance.
Prioritize your body’s nutritional needs over following a diet. This isn’t a free-pass to gorge on whatever you want, but to reassess your eating habits. If you’re hungry, which usually comes with monthly cravings, give your body a healthy option and listen to what it needs. The idea is to give your body the extra nutrition it needs for a healthy cycle and to keep your blood sugar levels steady, which as we all know when they aren’t, headaches are likely to follow.
Speaking of food and cravings, make sure that healthy snacks are at the ready for you, especially during the time when you know your cravings will crop up. Make a big batch of hummus, steam vegetables, wash fresh salad greens, stock up on fruits, grill lean meats. Focus on eating fresh whole foods so you can have them whenever you want as opposed to ordering fast food or grabbing the closest packet of instant ramen or bag of chips.
The idea behind eating clean, especially where menstrual headaches are concerned is to simply prevent more inflammation from unhealthy eating choices and opting instead for healthy and nutrient dense alternatives which will help your body cope with all the hormonal changes.