98: Decoding Hormone Headaches
I don’t know one woman that has not dealt with hormone headaches at some point or other in her life. If that’s you or you’ve felt like the only option is conventional over-the-counter treatments, you’re going to love this episode.
Dr. Jones and I uncover 7 common reasons why women suffer from hormone imbalance headaches. You’ll learn natural hormone headache relief strategies so that you can balance hormones and kick annoying headaches to the curb.
We start by explaining what a hormone headache is. A hormone headache can be anything from a mild headache to a full-blown migraine. They are often experienced during pregnancy, during the menstrual cycle, before your cycle during PMS, in the middle of your period, or even during transitions like perimenopause and menopause.
What causes hormonal headaches? The short answer is fluctuations in hormone levels, but there are more specific causes that lie at the root of those imbalances.
Number one: magnesium deficiency. High estrogen levels can deplete magnesium levels, and unfortunately, with today’s depleted soil, most of us are already deficient in magnesium. 50% of migraine sufferers are deficient in magnesium. Taking a magnesium supplement is highly effective at preventing headaches and migraines. Consuming magnesium-rich foods daily like pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, black beans, spinach, and avocado are all a good idea. We love our Organic Immunity Greens for a healthy dose of magnesium.
Number two: low estrogen. I know, this probably seems contradictory to number one, but hear me out. Estrogen is a vasodilator, so low estrogen can cause vessel constriction, creating headaches and migraines. The key here is to keep estrogen levels balanced. This means if you have too much estrogen, it’s a good idea to remove products that mimic estrogen like conventional cleaning and cosmetics products. When a headache comes on that is a result of vessel constriction, look to essential oils like peppermint (a vasodilator) to increase blood flow. Massage temples to help relieve headaches.
Number 3: Synthetic hormones, especially those found in contraceptives. During the first few months of taking synthetic hormones, hormone headaches are typically worse because your body is adjusting. Natural, bio-identical hormones are a lot less likely to cause headaches, so if you need to supplement with synthetic hormones, look towards natural, bioidentical hormones.
Number 4: PMS, the premenstrual phase of the cycle when there is a decrease in estrogen levels. Seventy percent of female migraine sufferers say it’s worse before or during their period. Oftentimes doctors will recommend birth control pills to help with this, but we always want to look for a natural remedy first. Foods, herbs, and supplements can help with this.
Number 5: Low melatonin. Melatonin supplements are shown to reduce the frequency of menstrual migraines and outperformed conventional medication in at least one clinical trial. Melatonin reduces inflammations, stabilizers neurotransmitters, and GABA. It works best as a preventative so take it at night during your luteal phase.
Number 6: Low iron. While this is not specifically hormone-related, it can result in a brief period of iron deficiency due to blood loss while on your period, which can cause headaches. Supplementing with iron during this time can be helpful.
Number 7: Estrogen dominance. We talked about this a bit in the beginning, but too much estrogen can cause hormonal headaches. It’s important to reduce xenoestrogen exposure. You can do this by buying organic food, pure water, and non-toxic products.
We hope this episode helps you with hormonal headache remedies. Check out more articles below for extra support.
Featured in this episode…
Moody Bitches, Julie Holland, MD
The Hormone Cure by Sarah Gottfried, MD
The Period Repair Manual by Laura Briden, ND