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.
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:
|Iron Deficiency Anemia||3%||Ruled out|
|Adrenal Fatigue||0%||Ruled out|
|Multiple Chemical Sensitivity||0%||Ruled out|
|Vitamin A Toxicity||0%||Ruled out|
|Low Female Testosterone||0%||Ruled out|
Do you regularly have headaches that occur in association with your menstrual cycle?
Possible responses:→ Not Applicable / don't know
→ Only before menstruation begins
→ Only during menstruation
→ Both before and during menstruation
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.
Double-blind studies have demonstrated that aspartame causes headaches. [Headache 1988:28(1) pp.10-14, Biological Psychiatry 1993:34(1) pp.13-17, Neurology 1994:44 pp.1787-93.]
Dehydration is an important trigger of migraines and tension headaches. The mechanisms are not entirely clear, but there appear to be several. Dehydration leads to:
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.
Women must first be exposed to elevated estrogen levels before low estrogen levels will trigger headache activity. Constant low levels of estrogen, as in menopause, are less likely to be associated with increased headache pattern.
A 'sluggish liver' often contributes to headaches.
Migraines are more common among women who have very low testosterone levels.
Migraines sufferers often are found to have reduced blood levels of melatonin.
Vascular or migraine headaches occur in 10% of lupus patients.
Migraines sufferers often are found to have reduced blood levels of magnesium.