Note: The purpose of this post is my personal testimonial about what helped me avoid menstrual migraines. This is not to be used or taken as medical advice. Always talk to your healthcare professional before beginning any treatment, supplement, or medication. My remedies may not work for you; it’s important to discuss any changes or new medications/remedies with your healthcare professional.
Alright, y’all. If you follow me on Instagram, you have likely noticed that every month — like clockwork — I post a photo of myself with copious amounts of caffeine and dark sunglasses. I wish I was cool enough to do that just because I felt like it but the reasoning behind the ensemble is that I suffer from menstrual migraines. I can tell you exactly which day it will begin: Saturday! And I usually have to take Imitrex™ (followed shortly by Zofran) 3-4 times during that five day cycle.
Except this past Saturday (and the five day duration of my cycle), I didn’t get a migraine at all. Heck – I didn’t even get a headache! I’m not sure what worked the best or if a few things work in conjunction, but here are the steps I took to avoid the terrible, debilitating migraines.
Magnesium supplements. When I emailed my OB/GYN about migraines, she suggested I take a magnesium supplement first. I declined this and thought it was a little wacky; plus, I was so sick of dealing with debilitating migraines that I wanted a remedy like Imitrex™. Well, it turns out that the magnesium claim isn’t wacky at all. In articles published throughout the medical community, including the American Migraine Foundation, magnesium can be taken by mouth or intravenously for migraines. There’s a good chance this was one of remedies that worked to ward off of my migraine.
Electrolytes. We all know I am a fan of NUUN Hydration, but the NUUN Endurance really kicks things up a lot. I use NUUN when I run both indoors and outdoors, and I also use it to give my body a boost. An article published by the Cleveland Clinic states that there are many benefits to electrolytes including better hydration. Fun fact: NUUN is what I used to get some magnesium in me (see above). Click here to load up with NUUN Endurance and see for yourself! Pssst: Mixed berry flavor is the bomb-dot-com.
Alternating OTC pain relievers before the pain sets it. I’m all about preventative medicine. About 18 hours before the flood gates opened (sorry not sorry), I started alternating ibuprofen (Advil™) and acetaminophen (Tylenol™) every four hours. Not only did this help my cramps, but it could have easily stopped a migraine before it started. My doctor suggested I try the ibuprofen because it can help to elevate heavy periods, and it helped with that, too. While there isn’t a whole lot of easily accessible clinical research on that, an article published by the Cleveland Clinic states that it may be a good option after a discussion with your doctor.
Probiotics. When I started taking doxycycline for a sinus infection shortly after Christmas, I grabbed a bottle of probiotic gummies to go along with it. Several verifiable studies, including this one published in the National Library of Medicine, suggests that probiotics may help prevent antibiotic induced GI symptoms (specifically, diarrhea). So, why not give it a try? There’s more to probiotics than that, though. Another article, also published in the National Library of Medicine, states that “An improvement in gut microbiota and reduction of inflammation can have positive effects on strengthening gut and brain function. Moreover, it can be inferred that probiotics may have a beneficial effect on the frequency and severity of migraine headache attacks.” Healthy gut, healthy life. Change my mind.
Analgesic balms. I rubbed a hot/cold balm all over the back of my neck, and I swear it helped my muscles relax and not get so tense and hurt so much. The smell and the relaxation truly seemed to make a difference! I prefer the KT Tape brand™, but others include IcyHot™ and Tiger Balm™.
Have any of these remedies worked for you? Let me know in the comments!
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