We know that our periods are the culprit when it comes to those miserable monthly cramps and mood swings — but those aren’t the only sources of discomfort when we are experiencing ~that time of the month~.
Now, the results of a new study indicate that menstruation can also be responsible for migraines amongst women who are prone to headaches — so, if you were looking for another reason to resent Aunt Flo, it has arrived.
Why oh why must our bodies do this to us? Based on their research, neurologists believe it’s due the body’s drop in iron levels, which is caused by the blood loss experienced during menstruation. This explains why women report that their migraines tend to occur towards the end of their cycles.
Researchers examined the medical records of 115 women who had sought medical attention due to a menstrual-related migraine. Out of the 85 participants who were diagnosed with migraines, 35% were also diagnosed with “end-menstrual migraines.” Amongst the study’s participants, the migraines lasted for an average of two and half days — with one day of severe pain.
The researchers concluded that end-menstrual migraines are likely the result of anemia, not drops in the hormone estradiol as it was previously believed. However, other neurologists say we shouldn’t rule out the hormonal aspect entirely and there’s probably more than one straightforward cause.
Although hormones may be at play when it comes to end-menstrual migraines, there are still ways to alleviate the pain.
Those who suffer from these painful headaches often see improvements when they begin taking iron supplements. Changes to the diet can also be beneficial, so be sure to eat high-iron foods such as dark leafy greens and whole grains while you’re on your period.
Menstruation is the gift that keeps on giving, amirite?
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