As many of you already know, I get menstrual migraines. Some occur in the few days right before my period starts. Some strike soon after it begins.
If you get menstrual migraines, too, then there’s something you should know: A new study in the journal Headache pinpoints another common time in your menstrual cycle when migraines can hit–the end of your period as bleeding is ending or shortly after it ends.
Dubbing it the “end-menstrual migraine” (EMM) because it occurs at the end of your period, the researchers examined the headache patterns of 85 menstrual migraine sufferers and found that 35.3% regularly experienced EMMs.
Here’s where things get really interesting though: Of those women who get EMMs, an overwhelming 93.3% of them also had low ferretin, an indicator of insufficient iron stored in the body. A dip in iron is a common problem at this point in your cycle because iron is shed as you bleed during menstruation.
What the researchers took from this was that these EMMs aren’t due to low estrogen like migraines that hit shortly before or shortly after menstruation begins. They argue that by the time your period ends, estrogen will have already risen to a level that shouldn’t cause these head-pounders. Instead, these EMMs must be due to low iron, which is known to also be a migraine trigger.
And, since low iron is the cause, it can also be the remedy.
If you tend to get migraines at the end of your period or shortly after, talk with your healthcare provider about it and find out if you can supplement with iron to help prevent them.
Looking for other natural migraine remedies? The ones I currently use–magnesium, coenzyme-Q10 and B vitamins–have significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of my migraines. But, you may find another natural treatment or combination of treatments that works for you. I’ve written about over a dozen here.
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[Photo: Tara Hunt]