All of y’all who have ever had a migraine or who have chronic migraines please raise your hand. *seemingly everyone raises a hand*
Well, like that favorite animated children’s movie goes, “you’ve got a friend in me,” because I’ve got migraines too.
Like many of you I’ve desperately tried the medication, the doctors visits, the neurologist visits, the MRI / CAT scans, the crazy prescribed diet to figure out triggers, staying a mile away from said “triggers”, chiropractic, acupuncture, essential oils, reflexology, sleep tracking, and the list could go on and on. With very little (and I mean microscopic) to no success, I just about reconciled that maybe I’d have to suffer with migraines through the rest of my life.
Until I came across a connection I had never seen, heard, or read about in my many, MANY hours of reading and searching. “What?” you might ask. Well read on my friend, read on.
Now before we move on, I’ve got to make the spiel. You know the one. *breathes in deeply* Here we go!
I’m not a doctor, I can’t give medical diagnoses or provide medical advice. I’m advising you as a reader, to do your own research and make decisions based upon what is best for you while working with a medical professional or health care provider. In addition, any information you find on my blog isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
In essence, I just want to share with you my story and what I have learned through my own experiences, hoping that at least you can find consolation in the fact that there are others that feel the same way you do.
*Phew!* Now we can move on to the good stuff!
Now, if you are like me I’ve read a lot of bogus articles declaring that such-and-such will cure your migraines forever! *ahem fads* While meanwhile you’re sitting there with that look on your face (you know you get it) when people tell you about their latest cure-all whatever nonsense. And you just sit there and smile and say, “thanks, I’ll definitely have to think about that.”
Again, it’s my hope that I’m not coming off that way. I’m just giving you my story of what’s helped me.
Now let’s hop to it!
First, a little back story. I’ve had migraines since I was probably 11 or 12, right about when I started my menstrual cycle. On average I would range from about one every two weeks to four or five a week. I’m now 21, so that means I’m at about 10-ish years of migraine experience.
Like I said in the opening paragraph I’ve tried it all over the years, because in many cases my migraines were debilitating. I was looking for something, anything that would make a lasting difference.
To note: throughout my life I’ve also struggled with other health issues, many of which I’ll address more about later in my blog.
Long story short (maybe someday I’ll write the long story), I’d seen a lot of doctors since I was at a point of extreme dysfunction in my life. My Mom, with her all so powerful motherly instinct decided we should try a hormone specialist. I was a bit reluctant and quite skeptical, but I was also pretty desperate, so I said yes.
After discussing our concerns and symptoms with the doctor, he suggested we run a full sweep of tests to see what we could back up with blood work. So after being seemingly sucked dry (okay it was only like three or four vials) all we could do was wait for the results.
When the results came in he gave me a call, and we went over all my levels. Among many other things, turns out I was extremely low on progesterone, and although my estrogen was still low, I was considered estrogen dominant in relation to my low progesterone.
Well turns out according to some medical professionals, low progesterone can cause a variety of symptoms including, you guessed it, migraines.
Now you may be saying, “whoa, stop right there, are we back to the whole ‘it’s all just with your menstrual cycle’ thing?” Well, not quite.
For years doctors have asked me, “do your migraines correspond to your periods?”, and shockingly enough my answer was always no. While for the most part my periods were regular, there was no data that I could keep track of over all those years that showed that my migraines had anything to do with my cycle. My migraines came randomly, both singularly and in great spurts.
A likely reason was because while I usually had my cycle, I was probably so low and at times less low on progesterone that I experienced random bouts of migraines. My body couldn’t regulate any of the hormones or produce enough to keep me at healthy levels.
Before I started progesterone supplements, I was at 34 attack days and 29 attack free days out of a 63 day period.
After starting on the progesterone, for the next 63 days I went to 14 attack days and 49 attack free days. It nearly cut my migraines in half.
Since then I’ve been working with my doctor for finding the correct dosage, to bring my progesterone to healthy levels. And improvement has been made, which is a huge step for me!
Upon my improvement I decided to do some research to see if there was some sort of link between the world of migraine sufferers and those who have low progesterone levels. Here’s a very brief summary of what I found.
-A magnesium supplement is often suggested for migraine sufferers. Magnesium actually works in the body to help create steroid hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
-Foods high in Zinc, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C are recommended for migraine sufferers AND are also recommended for people with low progesterone levels.
-Women are three times more likely to be affected by migraines then men.
This last statement, in a way makes sense, with the whole progesterone thing anyway. Since progesterone, although found in men, is a more prevalent hormone in women.
After the realization that many things recommended to those with migraines are also things recommended to those with low progesterone, it made me wonder why on earth didn’t more people see the connection between migraines and progesterone? Who’s to say that perhaps some “triggers” could cause some sort of hormonal reaction that sets off a migraine? Things I’ll continue to think about for sure.
While I understand that everyone is different, and probably many people’s migraines are caused by things other than a hormone imbalance, it was good to finally find something that worked for me.
I hope you found this insightful, and perhaps helpful in some way. Again, I’m not a doctor, just a fellow migraine-e. I’ve found relief by being diagnosed by a medical professional, and prescribed progesterone. While progesterone probably isn’t a cure-all, I wish someone would have helped me make the connection years ago so I could see if it worked for me.
All my love and support,