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Menstrual Migraines is a hormone related headaches happened in the before, during or immediately after the period, or during ovulation as a result of the levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuations in the menstrual cycle.
The Prevention: The Do's and Do not's list
The Do's and Do not's list, if you are experience menstrual migraine headache because of foods, food additives, chemical compounds, alcohol, smoking, stress, life style, etc.
1. Food elimination diet
Certain foods which trigger the over production of IgG antibodies if eliminated from the diet can result in the decreased number of migraine like headaches over 4weeks, some studies suggested that using the ELISA test with subsequent diet elimination advice significantly reduce the number of migraine like headaches at 4 weeks.(1)
2. Diet restriction
Diet restriction based on IgG antibodies is an effective strategy in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. In the study conducted by Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Istanbul, Turkey in a 6-week baseline, IgG antibodies against 266 food antigens were detected by ELISA(2)
3. Foods and chemical compounds trigger migraine headache
a. Certain foods can trigger the migraine headache attack through an allergic reaction. Citrus fruits, tea, coffee, pork, chocolate, milk, nuts, vegetables and cola drinks have been cited as possible allergens associated with migraine. If you are experience the attack after taking some of those, the best way is to avoid them. Researchers also suggested that substances are tyramine, phenylalanine, phenolic flavonoids, alcohol, food additives (sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate, aspartame) and caffeine may be the cause of modifications in vascular tone and bring migraine on(3).
As we all known that a small dose of alcohol increase the protective effect on cardiovascular disease, but excessive drinking can increase the frequency of migraine headache as alcoholic drinks are a migraine trigger in about one third of patients with migraine in retrospective studies on trigger factors(4).
There is evidence that migraine was associated with several lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, In the investigation conducted by University of Copenhagen with a questionnaire containing validated questions to diagnosemigraine and questions on lifestyle and socioeconomic factors was sent to 46,418 twin individuals residing in Denmark. 31,865 twin individuals aged 20-71 and most associations such as low education and employment status were probably due to the negative effects of having migraine while others such as smoking were risk factors for migraine.(5)
6. Others may trigger headache migraine attacks to certain people, such as
a. Too much work (Stress)
b. Too little sleep (Sleep related)
c. Passive smoking (Smoking)
d. Perfume (Chemical compound)
7. Moderate exercise
In a study of Forty women with general migraine attending the Neurology Department of the Faculty of Medicine Faculty of Dokuz Eylül University, regular long-term aerobic exercise is found in reduced migraine pain severity, frequency and duration possibly due to increased nitric oxide production.(7)
8. Management of migraine
Hygiene and behaviour measures capable of ensuring the best possible well-being (regular meals and balanced diet, restriction of alcohol and smoking, regular sleeping pattern, moderate physical exercise and relaxation) have found to reduce the frequent migraine attack(8)
9. Avoid medication overuse headache (MOH)
There are report that overuse of migraine medication can result of increased frequency to daily or near-daily as a rebound effect comes into play(9)
10. Balance intake of Omega 3 fatty acid instead of trans and saturated fat
Omega 3 fatty acid supports healthy estrogen metabolism and are a vegetarian great source of omega-3 fatty acids, while trans and saturated fat enhance the production of bad estrogen of which may contribute to hormone imbalance and the risk of menstrual migraines
In the study of the ten women who completed the study the average number of days with migraine during the baseline period decreased significantly after 3 months of therapy (P < 0.005). There were no major side-effects. Therapy did not affect cerebral blood flow velocities(10)
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