Hormones pay a crucial role in our daily lives thus it is important to keep them balanced. But that with rising challenges that people face isn’t that easy and more and more cases occur that estrogen and progesterone levels are too high or too low thus resulting in different health problems like migraines.

Changes in hormones like high estrogen and progesterone level can occur already in the 30s or 40s before menopause. In most typical case there is estrogen dominance which means that estrogen levels care either normal or high but progesterone secretion is decreasing. Symptoms of this process can be “breast swelling and tenderness, abdominal cramping, backaches, bloating, headaches/migraines, irritability, anxiety, depression, food cravings, brain fog, sleep difficulties, and/or lowered sex drive.”[1] Additionally, all this is also linked to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) when the estrogen dominance is almost inescapable as part of the biological process. Migraines might not seem highly serious symptoms, but they can decrease the whole life quality.

Many people might experience headaches time to time for different reasons, but migraines are more severe. They are known as “recurrent, painful headaches often accompanied by nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia.”[2] An example of photophobia can be light sensitivity and for phonophobia – sound sensitivity. These special type of headaches can be regarded as attacks to the head that can happen anytime. This problem occurs in about 23 million adults in the US thus being also one of the most common complaints to neurologists. At the same time, migraines often are underdiagnosed and undertreated.

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There are numerous special migraine treatments available, but often they don’t have big success and even lead to additional side effects. Triggers of a migraine are known to be poor sleep, intense emotional stress, and unbalanced hormone levels.The pain a person experience is pulsating or throbbing pain in the head. This occurrence limits the daily functioning. Sufferers from a migraine often describe that the pain occurs only to one side of the head. The duration varies up to several hours and days. It also includes additional physical and psychosocial changes. This is a special phase of a migraine that is called

The pain a person experience is pulsating or throbbing pain in the head. This occurrence limits the daily functioning. Sufferers from a migraine often describe that the pain occurs only to one side of the head. The duration varies up to several hours and days. It also includes additional physical and psychosocial changes. This is a special phase of a migraine that is called prodome when people can additionally experience “appetite changes, loss of balance, mood changes, tiredness, neck stiffness, and changes in alertness.”2 Additionally, up to 25% of people who are suffering from a migraine might experience a pre-migraine stage called the aura. It includes changes in visual, audio and movement capabilities. After that, it manifests in a migraine headache.

Hormones pay big role when it comes to migraines. It is also proved by the fact that migraines affect mainly women (up to 70% of all patients[3]) and also, the hormonal imbalances occur among women. Menstruation seems to be the most important trigger. Hormonal imbalance might also come from steroid hormones and other medicines thus any person should be careful when taking them.

As a solution for an imbalanced hormonal level is recognized to be hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). These medical drugs are available only on a prescription issued by a licensed practitioner. The doses of it are also individual, but it has proved its capability. The demand for pharmaceutical products have decreased, but compounded ones have raised. There are studies and researches made like by US Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the benefits of this new compound pharmacy method.1 They have proved that the new method helps in a lot of cases, but this is not the only solution to have.

Popular also is the supplement program about which you can learn more in Dr. Susan Lark’s book Hormone Revolution. Her program focuses on a Mediterranean-type diet. The main aim is to break down and eliminate estrogen levels at the same time increasing progesterone levels. It is possible in a natural way using soy, milk, and edamame. They help to prevent from estrogen production from testosterone and androstenedione. Additionally, also, flaxseed oil and flaxseed meal have proved to protect from estrogen production and at the same time enhance ovulation meaning that progesterone production is enhanced.

Another way how to decrease estrogen level is by enhancing its breakdown and elimination. Normally it is done by the liver that metabolizes estrogen that later moves to the small intestine and gets eliminated in bowel movements. It is possible to enhance this process also by some nutrients. According to Lark, the author of Hormone Revolution, these nutrients can be calcium d-glucarate that is known to be working for detoxification of liver from a too high level of estrogen. As also, good labeled is dinnodolymethaone. This compound can be found in Brassica vegetables like cabbages, bok toys (Chinese cabbage), cauliflowers, broccoli, brussels sprouts and others. Research done by Dr. Guy Abraham, MD1, has also proved the use of B6 that can help to change the blood levels of estrogen and progesterone by balancing them.

If the choice is to balance estrogen level by raising the level of progesterone, Chaste tree berry (Vitex) also is a good choice. It increases progesterone levels, ovulations, restores menstruation and also migraines can completely disappear (up to 3-4 months). Some other studies suggest the use of a topical cream be applied on a skin. In many cases, it is proved to help more in a case of a migraine than oral medication. Additional researchers also argue that even more important that the levels of estrogen and progesterone are the imbalance between them. Physiological conditions leading to a migraine appears because “estrogen stimulates neural excitability, progesterone exhibits inhibitory actions in central neurons.” [4] In this case, hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) might be highly effective.

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Imbalance of estrogen and progesterone is a complex condition, but it needs the right treatment can fully solve it. However, it is worth remembering that it takes time thus patience is an important virtue.

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Reference:

[1] Bioidentical Hormones, Estriol, and the FDA. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/April2009/shorts0409.htmrel=”nofollow”

[2] Migraine Headache. Accessed from: http://www.townsendletter.com/FebMarch2015/migrane0215.htmlrel=”nofollow”

[3] Dhillon KS, Singh J, Lyall JS. A new horizon into the pathobiology, etiology, and treatment of migraine. Med Hypotheses. 2011 Jul;77(1):147–151.

[4] Finocchi C, Ferrari M. Female reproductive steroids and neuronal excitability. Neurol Sci. 2011 May;32Suppl1:S31–S35.