Menstruation-Related Headaches

What Causes Headaches During Period?

Headaches during period can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose headaches during period, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "headaches during period" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Food Allergies
  • Low Female Testosterone
  • Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects
  • Stress
  • Allergic Tension
  • Low Estrogens
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences
  • Sarcoidosis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
meal-related bloating
bowel movement changes
having trouble concentrating
regular rashes
spacey/unreal feelings
regular episodes of diarrhea
severe emotional instability
unsound sleep
stiff neck
long-term hoarse voice
frequent odd skin sensations
paying great attention to detail
... and more than 150 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of headaches during period:
Cause Probability Status
Low Estrogens 91% Confirm
Low Female Testosterone 25% Unlikely
Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects 22% Unlikely
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 5% Ruled out
Stress 2% Ruled out
Food Allergies 1% Ruled out
Allergic Tension 0% Ruled out
Sarcoidosis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate chronic headaches, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you regularly have headaches that occur in association with your menstrual cycle?
Possible responses:
→ Not Applicable / don't know
→ No
→ Only before menstruation begins
→ Only during menstruation
→ Both before and during menstruation
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no menstruation-related headaches, premenstrual headaches or menstrual headaches, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Migraine/Tension Headaches

Up to 25% of women have migraine during their reproductive years, with an average prevalence of 16% (11% without aura and 5% with aura).  In 60-70% of cases in women, the headaches are related to the menstrual cycle.  Attacks that occur exclusively with menses, called "true menstrual migraine", affect about 14% of sufferers.  Some researchers have suggested that migraines occurring on a regular basis between days -2 and +3 of the menstrual cycle be considered menstrual migraines; premenstrual migraines occurring between days -7 to -3.

Environmental Illness / MCS

Central nervous system dysfunction is common, resulting in headaches, chronic fatigue, poor short term memory, hyperactivity, and increased appetite leading to food cravings and overeating.

Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement

A 'sluggish liver' often contributes to headaches.

Low Female Testosterone Level

Migraines are more common among women who have very low testosterone levels.

Low Melatonin Level

Migraines sufferers often are found to have reduced blood levels of melatonin.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Vascular or migraine headaches occur in 10% of lupus patients.

Magnesium Requirement

Migraines sufferers often are found to have reduced blood levels of magnesium.

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