Migraines, Headaches, the menstrual cycle and hormone changes


By Dr. Scott Graves, Natural Blaze

Why is it that some women get migraines or tension headaches with more frequency with their menstrual cycle or during menopause?

The simple answer is that during menstruation a woman’s body requires 80 percent of her body’s energy reserves and immune system functionality.  A more detailed answer involves understanding on a deeper level what is going on.  In order to understand this it is critical to know what the main underlying factors are that act as triggers that fuel a migraine or tension headaches during menstruation.

Author William Anthony mentions that three causes sit behind exacerbating symptoms of this.  

These coincide with ancient Chinese medicine and its wisdom as well.  

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Here are the causes:

  1. Epstein Barr Virus:  Medical literature points out that women in the past very infrequently experienced the symptoms that they do today surrounding menstruation and menopause. Beyond 60 years ago, PMS was rarely experienced and most women made a very seamless transition into the later stages of life.   The Epstein Barr virus can actually attack the central nervous system, and if it affects the vagus nerve, the inflammation can trigger a migraine. Therefore, it is imperative to take herbs and supplements to effectively deal with this virus.  I use very specific herbs and herbal formulas to help the body deal with this virus
  2. Radiation Exposure: One of the biggest culprits was the fluoroscope, used in the shoe fitting industry. This one is particular to older women, but radiation exposure is increasingly affecting more and more people due to x-rays, dental x-rays, flying and being exposed to radiation scans, and even higher levels of radiation from things such as nuclear reactors pouring radioactive substances into the environment.
  3. DDT exposure and pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals, and chemicals end up affecting our chemical or hormonal system.  If you don’t eat organic, you are constantly ingesting tons of these chemicals into your system.  Often times, due to such poor health of people today, the body is not able to filter them and they end up accumulating in the body and making things worse over time.  
  4. Birth control and bio-identical hormones.  These are essentially steroids and are inflammatory to the body.  Again, the immune system is dedicating itself to the process of menstruation and hormones are present, it is like adding fuel to the fire, only making the problem worse.  

Therefore, it is critical to do a Heavy Metal and Chemical Detoxification, take out the EBV virus and remove inflammatory things from one’s life, which also includes common inflammatory substances such as all refined sugar, wheat, dairy, soy and eggs. Additionally, if the body is fending off other triggers such as stress, food allergies, or dehydration, then when menstruation happens, you can end up with a migraine. It is a system overload due to deficient resources.  Much of the Chinese patterns behind migraines or tension headaches involve the liver and a liver blood deficiency.  

What this means is that the liver is overloaded with toxins and the blood doesn’t have sufficient resources to deal with the body’s demands.  Whether it is understood from a Chinese medical perspective or from a more modern perspective, the treatment protocol is much the same – cleanse and strengthen the body.

When this is done, a migraine or tension headache due to hormonal changes can lessen and even disappear over time.  

Photo credit: SodanieChea via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Photo credit: SodanieChea via Visual Hunt / CC BY, modified by NB

This is part 12 of a series on headaches and migraines – read more from Dr. Scott Graves

Previous parts:

  1. 10 Keys To Healing Tension Headaches And Migraines Naturally
  2. 8 Triggers To Migraine And Tension Headaches
  3. Juicing And Electrolytes For Headaches And Migraines
  4. Shield Yourself From EMF And Electromagnetic Pollution Headaches And Migraines
  5. The Emotions and Consciousness Behind Headaches and Migraines
  6. Chinese Medicine, Headaches And Migraines
  7. Chiropractic for Migraines and Headaches
  8. Organic Whole Food Supplementation For Headaches And Migraines
  9. 7 Ways To Rehydrate To Reverse Headaches And Migraines
  10. 4 Essential Oils for Tension Headaches or Migraines
  11. Acupuncture For Migraines And Headaches

Dr. Scott Graves ND, MA is a Florida-based Naturopath and Intuitive who specializes in Nutrition Response Testing, NAET, EFT, and Psychokinesiology. He offers free 15 minute phone consultations and is available for radio and TV interviews. Read his Blog here. Like him on Facebook.

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