Looking for Menstrual Headache Remedies

Updated on May 06, 2012
A.P. asks from Hawthorne, CA
46 answers

Hi mamas!
I have been getting migraine headaches during my menstrual cycle. I don't get them everyday but when I do the headache pretty powerful. I was looking for any homeopathic remedies or natural cures for these horrible headaches. I have heard to stay away from chocolate and cheese because it makes the headaches more intense. So, I am also wondering if you know any other foods to stay away from that may make headaches worse. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. It is not so easy to have kids and a headache at the same time! Thank you!

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A.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've taken 250mg of magnesium with my multivitamin every morning for years, and it's helped me control my migrains with Tylenol.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

http://www.migraine-headaches-information.com/

I can't validate this doctor's statements with a first hand account, but I just started using a couple of his recommendations for PMS and although it's hard to say whether it will completely work or not yet (he claims it takes a couple of cycles), I have found my PMS to be slightly better this month... so far... :)

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

evening primrose oil helps with PMS and it may help PMS induced headaches. Caffeine is supposed to be bad for migrains too.

1 mom found this helpful

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have suffered from menstral migraines since high school. some of the non-pharm treatments I use are peppermint/peppermint oil/peppermint tea to help with the nausea that accompanies this life disturbance. Make sure you stay very hydrated. Lots of water babe! Ice packs are my friend :) Lavendar filled eye pillows & a very dark room. If I can catch my migraine in the early stages & can take the time to chill & sleep, this helps with the duration & severity of my headache. My neurologist has had me on increased amounts of Magnesium along with my multi-vitamin. I have also been doing some reading on Butterbur. Some of the health magazines suggest 50 - 75mg of butterbur twice a day along with 400mg of riboflavin & ginger.
good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful
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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have also suffered from migraines and know your pain. There are several non-pharma things you can do. As far as foods, it is recommended to avoid caffeine, although a little hot of coffee when one starts sometimes helps. Go figure. Best to avoid sulfites-alcohol, cured meats. Absolutely avoid sugar free products with aspartame. Here's a excerpt from an article on the dangers of aspartame.

http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html
Aspartame accounts for more than 75 percent of the total adverse reactions to food reported to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. Hundreds of airline pilots have reported symptoms of memory loss and confusion, headaches, seizures, visual disturbances and gastrointestinal reactions as a result of consuming sweeteners.

One of the best things you can do is alternate hot as you can stand, cold as you can stand on your head neck and shoulders back and forth several times everyday at the end of your shower. This stimulates circulation. Do shoulder rolls, stretch your neck by dropping your head, ear to shoulder. Get regular chiropractic adjustments. This has probably helped me
more than anything. Acupuncture can help.

Aromatherapy is helpful. I keep lavendar oil around and will put a couple of drops on my pulse points, wrist and neck. You can find formulas that are great at health food stores and some metaphysical book stores.

Water, water, water. Stay hydrated.

Magnetic necklaces are really helpful. You can find them in many metaphysical bookstores or online. Wear it to bed at night.

If at all possible, at the first sign of a migraine put a bag of ice on your neck.

For hormone driven migraines I recommend Dr Schulze's Female Formula. The Natural Botanical Pharmacy is the Marina. You can order it also online.
https://web2.herbdoc.com/index.php?&c=1
I'm sure you can also find other formulas at Whole Foods or another like store.

You might also try a regimine of Feverfew. It is an herb that you can take in capsule form.
I started out taking one a day for a couple of months when they first started getting bad for
me and then have tapered off. You can pop 3-4 at the onset of a migraine as well.

Finally here's a link that you can find some more info.
http://www.migraine101.com/phyto.htm

1 mom found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from San Diego on

Hi A.,

I kid you not, there is a product that will get rid of your headache or any pain in less than 30 SECONDS. Nontransdermal patches, all organic and safe for all ages. My life has been changed because of these patches. Do yourself a huge favor and go to this website Lifewave.com/kherihealth and watch the Icewave video. If you like what you see, get some!! You'll be so happy you did. K. ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful
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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I use to get killer menstrual migraines! I feel for you I know how disabling they can be. It sounds so simple, and it is, but it worked for me. Take a cold compress and put it behind your head and neck area for twenty minutes then alternate with a hot compress. It may lessen after one cylce, if so repeat. When I read this in a magazine I was in disbelief, but I tried it and it really did help. Good luck to you. ((((((((()))))))))

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N.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I get migraines now from menopause and I have found that Excedrine Tension Headache works wonders. It works even better than the Excedrine Migraine. And for me, a strong cup of espresso or dark dark chocolate helps. I know everyone else says to stay away from coffee, but for me it is the opposite. I try to avoid prescription medicines, so I'm glad this works for me. And don't forget to keep well hydrated! Lots of water (no sodas or sugery drinks) The loss of blood from your cycle will cause you to get dehydrated too. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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H.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
I suffer from chronic migraines, even if it's not that time of the month for me. My grandmother does as well, and we have both noticed that strawberries almost always immediately trigger a horrible migraine. What seems to help a little for me is to stand in a hot shower, as hot as you can take it with the bathroom light off and let the water just beat on the back of your neck, it's very relaxing. I also just lay completely still with a warm washcloth over my eyes, I know this is hard to do with little ones- I'm a single mom, so it's never quite =) lol... I also go to a chiropractor at least once a month to help mine- it was the best alternative to giving myself a shot everytime I felt a slight headache. Also, my grandmother and I have tried icey-hot, we rub it on our necks right at the hairline and it helps relax your neck muscles taking some pressure off your head. I hope this helps- I know the pain are you in.
Take care,
H.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

I used to get migraines about once a month in conjunction with my period as well until I found the following book which made it very clear what changes I needed to make (including some dietary restrictions such as cutting out aged cheese as you mentioned, red wine, cured meats, etc.): Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain by David Buchholz. (It's only $4.10 and up on Amazon for a new or used one.) I know a lot of people suggested caffeine or Excedrin Migraine, both of which work wonderfully short term, but perpetuate the cycle of migraines in the long run. The book explains the medical reason behind this concept. I have not had a single migraine since following the suggestions in the book--I HIGHLY recommend it! Best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sepia 30 c is a great homeopathic remedy for PMS and migraines.
D. Merlin
Mother/author
www.victoryoveradhd.com

1 mom found this helpful
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Z.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

After close to 30 years of migraines, I finally found relieve in a category of meds called "triptans." Imitrex is one, Zomig is the one I take. One dose halt the hammering in my head within maybe 30 minutes. This discovery came after a trip to the ER with a migraine that shots of narcotic painkillers had no impact. The Doctor said, "OK now that we know it isn't a HEADACHE, it is a MIGRAINE, you need a migraine aborter." One dose Imitrex and it stopped. total miracle to me.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,

Acupuncture cured all my PMS symptoms... Maybe try it - it also helps you with stress, allergies, etc.

Good luck!

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K.H.

answers from San Diego on

I feel for you! I have suffered from menstrual migraines for years. I've found that fast food or processed foods have triggered my headaches so I've completely cut out those foods from my diet. I pretty much don't eat anything with MSG in it (which I've read has all sorts of other chemicals in the same family which are in foods) so I'm learning the alternative names for MSG and trying to avoid them as well. I do recommend staying hydrated and eating fruit. When I do get a headache though, I do take Excedrin Tension which helps take the pain away and just gets me to a dull ache. Nothing really helps take away the headache except sleep, a dark room and time. Hang in there!!

R.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A. - The one thing that you HAVE to do, whether you try any thing else, is make sure you drink enough WATER - Remember you are losing quite a bit of fluid during your period, already! Anytime you get dehydrated, stress and HEADACHE are one of the first signs of it. Here are some good links to more info on how much water you should drink, etc:
http://www.watercure.com/faq.html#howmuch
and
http://www.watercure.com/wondersofwater.html

When you, as a mama are so busy helping everyone else, it is hard to think of yourself - but remember to go grab that glass of water - you will have SOooo much more energy!
I used to get bad ones, but I have never had a headache again since I found out they were from dehydration!
Hope you feel better!
R.

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W.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Stay away from caffeine at all times of the month because it does wreak havoc when your cycle comes around. You can go to a health food store and get Royal Maca, it is amazing and you will see the benefits of it within 30 days.

My biggest suggestion though is to find a great Chiropractor and get checked. My husband is a DC and I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes to have an adjustment each week to prevent that headache, if you need help finding a DC in your area, please contact me!

Good luck,
W.

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V.C.

answers from San Diego on

Netti Pot. So simple, but it really works. I've only had 2 migraines in the almost year since I started using it consististly in the shower every day. I got mine at Henry's, but I noticed one at Wal-Mart recently, they are getting more common. Good Luck!!

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know it's hard but when you do get one have you tried a cool wet washcolth on your forehead. Both my mother and suffer from migrains. That seems to help. As soon as i feel one coming on i take medicine and drink a mountain dew. When i can i lay down in a dark quite room with my washcloth. Also if your guy is around have him read a book on reflexology on your feet. Trust me it helps if done right. Good luck. Oh ya dont forget migrains are differnt so it does depend on what actually causes them.

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G.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

i suffered with this for 4 years until i did something about it.

for me it turned out to be that i was peri-menopausal in my early 40s. not sure of your age but ... my doctor finally prescribed relpax and it worked!!!! take one as soon as you feel it coming on! and then it was gone! and didn't come back during my whole cycle.

later i found out if i took just ONE excedrin or something with caffeine it also worked and much less $. i'm VERY sensitive to caffeine so that's why only one.

and now that i am post-menopausal at the ripe old age of 46, no more headaches and no more period!

fyi i have a 7 and 9 year old so i went through this all during preschool, kindergarten etc so i know it's tough!!!!!!!

NOTE:(also get off the pill if you're on it - you may actually be menopausal but pill hides symptoms by making you still have your period)

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D.L.

answers from Reno on

Hi, A.. Food triggers are very individualized, so keep a food journal and see what your triggers are. It may take a while, but if you have triggers, you'll start seeing a pattern. Hot pads (not cold) tend to be better for migraines. I also bought smelling beads (got them at Ulta) which smell like mint and eucalyptis and that helps a bit. My migraines are too frequent to take migraine meds, but my neurologist prescribed blood pressure meds (mine is naturally low, so it has to be monitored). That doesn't completely eliminate them, but helps alot. Also, I have been given a list of vitamins that I have been told give complete relief, but I haven't tried it long enough. Those are: potassium, b50 complex, magnesium, calcium with D. Good luck - I hope this helps.

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L.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Besides taking Topamax (a seizure medication), I take Migrelief, a vitamin that has magnesium and riboflavin in it. The combination has helped prevent the migraines. When I do get a migraine, I take Relpax (prescribed by my doctor) for the pain, and within two hours, the pain is gone--it's amazing. I'm in a bit of a fog afterwards, but I'll take a fog over the pain any day. Best of luck. I know the pain of a migraine really is miserable!! Especially when you have to take care of kids!!

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J.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have the same thing and have tried dietary restrictions, changing the "pill" I was on, vitamin supplements and nothing worked. I had such a bad one the other day that I had to go to the Urgent Care center. They gave me a dose of Imitrex and within 15 minutes, the migraine that had me in tears was gone. I had an slight allergic reaction to it - very rare, but I'm allergic to many things. They gave me a script for Relpax for next time I have an attack. I suffered (and so did my kids) for years, I hope you find something that works for you. Just to note, homeopathic medications are still drugs and foreign to the body, just not tested to the extent of prescription drugs.

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B.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Moon Cycle tea is good. Lemon Balm is great for releiving stress in the body as well. I also have found great relief with regular yoga! Hope you find something that works well for you.

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J.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I've written a short book about Getting Rid of a headache without any pills. See my Youtube channel on GetRidHeadche to see if any of my ideas can help you. Cheers J.

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H.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
I'm sorry you're in such pain. My acupuncturist is great and she went over dietary changes with me as well. She's in Burbank and I know that is a distance from you but perhaps she can suggest someone closer to you. Her name is Susan Minich and her number is ###-###-####. Hope you feel better soon.

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D.G.

answers from San Diego on

Mine just got worse and worse. They run in my family. They started the week before my period, during and a few days after.
what my Gyn had me do is take birth control pills non stop. So i never have that week to not take them. You're periods and are very infrequent which is nice and you don't get the big drop of not taking your pills. They helped me. I still get them but not as bad or as often. Not all pills help so you have to try diff ones. I'm on Yasmin now, it works for me.Ortho Novum 1/35 also worked for me. D. G.

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I get menstrual migraines too. Dairy also gives me headaches which can lead to migraines (except butter for some reason.) I see an acupuncturist which helps some, but Imitrex is a miracle I believe for migraines, like another mom wrote here. Give it a try. It is very expensive so hopefully you have great insurance.
Good luck.
M.

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I get those too! I've had them for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until I was 24 that I started to go to the chiropractor. Whenever I feel one coming on I go in and get adjusted and it's a WHOLE lot milder in about 30 minutes, more tolerable. I know how it is, I have two very active boys too...and they don't seem to understand when I ask them to be quiet because I have a migraine! LOL! Check your insurance and see if it's covered (mine is, but even when it wasn't it was sooo worth the $200 a month I was spending on it.)

S.I.

answers from San Diego on

Hi A.,

Menstrual migraines/headaches are usually a sign that other hormonal imbalances are going on. As one of the other moms said, acupuncture is a great method for stopping this vicious cycle. If you let me know the community you live in AND some of the surrounding communities, I will put out a request for a referral to a practitioner with experience with hormonal headaches and get back to you as soon as I get a good response.

Homeopathy also helps, but when it's a chronic condition, it's unlikely that a low-potency, over-the-counter remedy will be "the one" for you. If you want to try constitutional homeopathy (having your case taken thoroughly to get the most resonant remedy for the unique person that is you), I have a recommendation to a colleague who has offices in both Santa Monica and the H-Hills area. Let me know!

Best regards,

S. I., L.Ac.
Lotus Wellspring Healthcare
456 E. Mission Road, Suite 100
San Marcos, CA 92069
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com
www.lotuswellspring.com

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P.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

suffered for many years and then I went to a mircle worker and haven't had a migraine for 15 years. Please call Master Zhou @ ###-###-#### and tell Julia that Penny told you to call. It's a little expensive but well worth it!!!

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E.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi A.,
I know of a great natural product, called zeolite, that helps with headaches and migraines. I have used it as well as my husband, mother and clients of mine. One in particular get's horrible migraines and the zeolite keeps them at bay and she has also cut her daily mirgain medication in more than half (and that was within the first month)! Let me know if you would like more information and I can talk with you about it. You can also check out my website and look under supplements. The zeolite is called natural cellular defense. It does more than just get rid of headaches, its amazing! Hope you find something that works and feel free to contact me.
~E.
[email protected]____.com
www.healthyeatinghealthylife.com

S.H.

answers from San Diego on

Hi A.,

I haven't read the other posts so I'm probably being repetitive here, but I've suffered from menstrual migraines for many years as has my Mom. The thing that seems to help them the most is caffeine - a strong shot of espresso often will make the pain subside. It's why Excedrin Migraine probably works - lots of caffeine in it. It's all hormonal, so if you're looking for something homeopathic, I would suggest going into Jimbo's (or even a homeopathic doctor) and asking for something that will help even out your hormone fluctuations. Are you on the pill? You may be able to change the pill to something a little milder which may help as well.

Good luck! Nothing worse than being in pain and having to take care of your little one(s).

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B.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

A., Yoga helped me get rid of those headaches. Do not have them anymore. B. B

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K.P.

answers from San Diego on

I have also been told the same along with caffeine however the migraines did not subside so I had to go to a continuous bcp like seasonique or seasonale. I tried Mirena but it didnt work. So now I only get the menstrual migraines once every 3 months and that is id I don't just skip that last week and move onto next pack. I just couldn't handle being in bed for a week being the single mom of a young child. Of course, you should ask you dr about this.

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M.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! I have found that the root to my headaches is a decrease in blood volume, usually due to dehydration. Caffeine (I usually use Excederin Migraine) can also help by constricting the blood vessels allowing your body to function with a lower volume of blood.

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L.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

I suffered from headaches for years and finally discovered that if I eat raw or partially cooked onions it triggers it. To relieve the migrane that has gone full tilt my doctor prescribed FROVA which works fantastic for me, doesn't make me sleepy and I can pretty much get through my day. I hope this helps.

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K.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had to throw "homeopathic" out the window when I had kids. 600 mgs. of Motrin works for me. Not everyone has to take that many mgs., but it's the only thing that keeps me from having to take prescription meds and furthermore, out of the ER.

Good Luck to you as I know first hand how hard it is to be a good mom to kids when you are in that kind of PAIN!

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L.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have really bad menstrual migraines too. A few months ago, I had a really bad one and my Imitrex, vicoden, and motrin (not at the same time, but over 3 days) weren't working at all. I took some of my son's cod liver oil in desperation because I heard it was an anti-inflamitory. My headache was gone in about an hour. I did some research and found that for some peole, it is proven to work. And don't worry, it is available in capsule form if the thought of actual cod liver oil grosses you out. It also worked for one of my friends, but my other friend said it did make her less queasy, but didn't help the pain.

Good luck
L.

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S.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you tried acupuncture? I have migraines as well. Right now I'm under the care of a neurologist and am using Western medication. However, long ago I tried acupuncture and it did work. I am a believer in acupuncture. I am currently not using acupuncture because I haven't found an acupuncturists near me that I like and my schedule does not allow me to visit an acupuncurists regularly. Good luck!

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G.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have any natural remedies to suggest. I will tell you that after I turned 40 (as well as my sister), I started getting those bad headaches around my menstrual cycle. I can get them now (I'm on the pill) the last week of my cycle when I'm off the pill for 4 days. I try to make sure I eat when I'm hungry and make sure I get enough sleep (no less than 8 hours). I usually have to take Exedrine Migraine first thing in the morning after eating something a couple of days.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

A.,

My sympathy goes out to you...I have suffered from migranes since I started getting a period!! So, I know it isn't a fun time, and with little one's it can be even tougher!

Are you taking birth control at all? I had to go through three different kinds before I found out that it was making them worse, and had to go on low hormone. Also, I love MigraStick that can be found at WholeFoods...I was on meds for it for a minute and hated the upset stomach that came with them, but the stick it great! I keep one in my purse, office and home for just in case.

But, if you know that it's happening at the same time every period, I would suggest talking to your OB or family doctor...

Good luck!

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K.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi A.. I have a friend who has this problem and for her it is completely hormonal. She started taking birth control for it...the kind where you keep taking the pills so you dont have a period and its been much better for her. Perhaps you should talk to your OB about that.

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

A cold pack on the back of your neck or running your hair/head under cold water should help if it is a migraine... Also, as always, make sure you get plenty of water and rest...

Cheese and chocolate can bring on migraine as well as red wine and some other things... But, if you are getting them with your menstral cycle, they are probably hormone induced, so you are probably not triggering them with food... As contradictory as it sounds, sometimes chocolate can help reduce a headache as well, lol... If you are a coffee or coke drinker, these can help sometimes as well... it's because of the caffeine... There's a perscription pill called cafferdat that they give for migraine sometimes that is basically nothing but a huge shot of caffeine. SO, a caffeinated soda can sometimes help! :D

Huggles!!
~S.~

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

A., I too suffer from these. I tried the homeopathic way but nothing worked, I tried everything from Chiropractic to NAET to diet to Niacin, etc. After a trip to the ER with a maraton 3-day headache and vomitting I decided I needed real Meds. My Doc recommended I take Naproxen a few days before my period starts and Axert at the onset of a headache, this usually does the job. For me foods don't make my headaches worse, I find that skipping a meal, stress and having my neck out from sleeping or heat from a hot day can trigger or worsen migrains. I really wish you the best on your search....

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear A.,
As you can see from your responses migraines are very individual afflictions. My advice is to try all of the nonprescription things offered here. You may be one of the lucky ones who can find relief from compresses or find a food trigger. I have had menstrual migraines regularly for about 14 years now. I have found things that make them worse but nothing that causes me to completely avoid them. My migraines are caused from a fluctuation of hormones and are not triggered by other sources accept when I am having hormone fluctuation. Some things that make them worse or sets me off during that time are: caffeine before I have migraine (but not during, there is caffeine in my medication) balsamic vinegar, exercise, heat, sunlight, sitting for long periods, sleeping, not sleeping, bright lamps at night, going to a movie during the day and coming out into bright sunlight, looking at anything to intensely like reading or sewing, and last but not at all least noise. If you cannot find a trigger (ie. Something you can just avoid) then you will need to find treatment. Try over the counter stuff like Excedrin tension (it has a lot of caffeine) or Motrin and the antihistamines in motion sickness meds combined will help some. I would recommend a good acupuncturist over a neurologist having tried both. I wasn’t a good candidate for western medicine because I was very susceptible to the side effects of a variety prescribed of medications. I had the misfortune of having tried many. These are pretty powerful drugs. With acupuncture I am able to take a weaker drug, fiorial. I hope you find the help you need, taking care of kids when you have a migraine is very hard.

H.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

A.,
Ugh how awful for you! I don't personally get migraines but my husband does, so I know your pain. For him, it a huge list of things that trigger his (ONIONS are worst, nuts, chocolate, alcohol, dark carbonated soda, many herbs, shallots...). He can usually have a SMALL amount of any trigger food, but not any multiples in combination. Unfortunately, the only way to figure it out is to eliminate EVERYTHING from your diet and slowly (one a week) re-introduce them to your diet to see what foods do it. I recently heard that often migraines are triggered by sleep problems. Wish I had easier answers for you!

Good luck!
H.

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