Women's Health Practice when you have migraines and your wellness regimens need to be adjusted. This post gives you ten very important considerations when treating your migraines
Nutritional management is critical to migraine management. This is pointed out by the American Nutritional Society. The levels of inflammation, the levels of nutrients, the presence of gut health will all affect whether you have migraines.. At various times of your life you will need changes to your nutrition. You need different vitamin levels if you are planning a pregnancy, starting hormonal medications, have PCOS, or have become prediabetic. All of these nutrient levels can affect headache frequency and intensity. More normal weight women are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in spite of being normal weight and not seeming to have the traditional risk factors for diabetes. Perhaps they have a poor body fat composition. This can be tested by DXA analysis at Women's Health Practice. In an article about this condition in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings they looked at the factors that cause the condition they now call the 'metabolically obese normal weight' individual and found that diet was the most important reason individuals find themselves in this condition, and for overall health we feel this diagnosis is critical. The key points in the article were that it is possible to be obese, and have too much body fact and be normal weight, we have to use alternative definitions for metabolic obesity to identify these patients and help them resolve their condition, because they are at risk for cardiovascular disease, but we know it increases risks of many other conditions including migraines. For those women who have not been tested for this condition, we encourage them to have a consultation at Women's Health Practice.
When it comes to supplements, there is no one size fits all. At WHP we rely on your health history, your lifestyle, your nutrition and your testing to really help answer the questions regarding supplement use. And what is most important is to watch the research as it is rapidly evolving. One quick guideline is to definitely normalize your magnesium, and for some migraine sufferers that means getting pharmacologic, not physiologic dosages. At WHP, would like them to try the newest sleep combos as normalizing sleep often helps migraine treatment improve as well: melatonin (5 mg), zinc (11.25 mg), and magnesium (225 mg).
Migraines, your overall nutrition, your pregnancy hormone levels, and the types of medications you can use will all affect your risk of migraine worsening in pregnancy. Migraines in pregnancy can also be a risk factor for stroke, and unfortunately young women with obesity are having strokes during pregnancy in a rising number of cases. We have thought of this strokes as a disease of the elderly, there are two types but essentially the issue is lack of blood to part of the brain. Strokes are also very deadly. Women with high blood pressure are at risk, and so are diabetics,and those with high cholesterol, other factors lead to clogged blood vessels can predispose a woman to stroke. There are conditions called thrombophilias that are essentially genetic conditions that alter clotting factors and increase risks like DVTs, heart disease, and stroke. This is how your gyno can help you prioritize when you are going to get pregnancy, and help you prevent pregnancy if you are working on your health first! Migraine management is an important part of this formula as you could also be at risk for other conditions that may be affected by migraines including thec onditions of preeclampsia, eclampsia, congenital heart disease, sickle cell anemia and migraines that can drive stroke risk as well Fertility and sex drive are both lower with high cholesterol, so risk of stroke and prevention of migraines is not the only reason to get your cholesterol in check as part of your wellness care, gyno before pregnancy can test you for them to see if you have one of these conditions. It is important to learn the signs of a stroke, and to realize that calling 911 is the best strategy if a woman thinks she is having a stroke. Pregnancy planning visits are the best way to prevent many adverse outcomes, including migraines. There are many new guidelines regarding diabetes control, blood pressure control, medication prevention of preeclampsia, as well as overall dietary management and blood factor screening that can help you have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Normal menopause is after the age of 40, and premature menopause, or very late menopause will affect your contraceptive risks according to your age. If you were safely using your pill, and now you have your 35th birthday, you may be surprised to know your gyno may view your risks in a whole different category. For most all women on oral contraception the risks are low, and it is acceptable to use your pills until menopause, and even into early menopause for some. If you smoke, if you become ill with a medical condition that is a contraindication to pill use, or have special considerations from your gynecologist, you may indeed have to be taken off the pill prior to the time of menopause, whether you have migraines or do not have migraines. Women in their late 30s and 40s can most likely stay on a contraceptive pill that is working for them. Smokers should not be on the pill after the age of 35. The CDC talks about contraceptives and their risks in benefits in their publications, the last being in 2013. If you have migraines you may also need to come off your combination oral contraceptive pills if you are over the age of 35. It is not known what is the average age of loss of fertility and ACOG and NAMS recommend women continue contraception until menopause or until the age of 50-55. Natural fertility, on average, wanes after age 41, but pregnancies are still possible much older, up to, about age51. Furthermore oral contraception pills can control the irregular cycles of perimenopasue and other menopausal symptoms, and prevent women from having some of those wild hormonal fluctuations that can contribute to migraines.. Studies of breast cancer and birth control pills have been conflicting In general there are only weak links if linked at all. It appears that women over 40 or over 45 (depending on which research studies) have increased risks of breast cancer if they stay on the birth control pill. The important factor is to get on the contraceptive that works best for you and your lifestyle, and to do that the best, as we always say you should gab with your gyno yearly!
In general exercise is going to be an important part of your gyno's recommendation for controlling migraines, but there are patients who suffer from exercise induced migraines. This may be related to other factors, and other aspects of your nutrition. For instance Vitamin C management can show strong improvement in many aspects of your health including your overall levels of inflammation, your headaches, and your exercise performance. Consider how this could help. You might be a candidate for Myer's Cocktails.
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