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About Author: Satoru Ozawa, DOM, L.Ac, ATC – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist. With his ten years of experience in Oriental Medicine, he will recommend the best natural Remedies, including Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and health tips to relieve your suffering.
Many women suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome Headache (PMS)
According to statista.com, about 31 million in the United States reported PMS in 2020.
We want to discuss how to treat Headache from Premenstrual Syndrome in this blog.
Why? It’s because women’s hormones go up and down
When you have PMS, you might get one or more symptoms, mental and physical.
Loss of appetite
Lower abdominal pain
Lower back pain
What is the cause of Premenstrual Syndrome Headache?
There are two women’s hormones, “Estrogen” and “Progesterone,” and the amount of these hormones secreted up or down in about one month, causing menstruation. Even though we don’t know the cause of PMS, fluctuating these women’s hormones seem like they highly affect the PMS symptoms.
Firstly, women secrete more estrogen and progesterone during ovulation to menstruation (luteal phase).
And, before the period, headaches can be happened by a rapid downward in estrogen and progesterone in the latter half of the luteal phase.
Thus, when women’s hormone secretion decreases rapidly, you lose your balance of happy hormones. They are called serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptides (CGRP) in the brain. When you have reduced these hormones, it causes inflammation of the nerves. Dilation of blood vessels happens and leads to headaches.
How to treat Premenstrual Syndrome Headache?
When blood sugar levels drop, the appetite may increase, and frustrating symptoms may worsen if the blood sugar level rises and falls rapidly, causing PMS symptoms.
Avoid eating sugar
Avoid drinking caffeine beverages (coffee, green tea, energy drinks)
Eat more food from the glycemic index chart.
Eat more Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium-rich food like nuts, seaweeds, fish, etc.
Eat more food like tofu, soy milk. These are isoflavones-rich food, which acts like women hormones, also known as estrogens.
Eat more vitamin E-rich food like broccoli, almonds, etc.
What is the glycemic index chart?
Jenkins and colleagues two first developed the glycemic index (GI)) and the Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) you can digest and absorb more slowly. And it involves a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. Therefore, usually, insulin levels, according to the Glycemic index of foods and the American diabetes association.
During PMS, you tend to feel depressed or anxious and don’t want to exercise. However, light exercise can be an unexpected change of mood, promote metabolism, and reduce PMS. For those of you who aren’t very energetic, here are some easy exercises you can do.
If you are frustrated or depressed, you will often get some pressure on your body. It will further exacerbate PMS symptoms such as shoulder stiffness and back pain, leading to a vicious cycle. Let’s loosen the body slowly so that we can release from the bad loop.
Some yoga courses help improve PMS symptoms, such as balancing hormones and using aromas to calm the mind. It would be even more uplifting if you get advice from a professional yoga instructor.
Going out and walking is a good chance of mood with a moderate visual stimulus. If you like shopping, it’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and walk around or take a walk with your dog.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective
Premenstrual Syndrome Headache from a Chinese medicine perspective
In Traditional Chinese medicine, there are blood abnormalities (blood stasis and blood deficiency) due to changes in blood circulation in the endometrium and pelvis.
In addition, water retention (water poisoning) in the body changes the number of hormones from about two weeks before menstruation. Also, Qi (energy) and Blood stagnation in the meridians cause distention and pain.
The Liver organ is affected and emotionally dominated like irritability and depression or anxiety. And, stress often damages the digestion system.
Thus, you need to soothe Liver stagnation and eliminate Qi and Blood stagnation from your meridian.
Acupuncture helps regulate Qi and Blood in the meridians to release pain like headaches, menstrual cramping, breast distension. And it is soothing the liver energy to relax the emotional and physical stresses like being irritated, anxious, etc.
I would suggest going to an acupuncturist near you and get a more thorough consultation.
Chinese Herbs for Premenstrual Syndrome Headache
Xiao Yao Wan
This formula is an excellent formula for premenstrual disorders, including Headaches. It nourishes blood and yin, spreads Liver Qi, and harmonizes liver and spleen energies.
Tao Hong Si Wu Tang
It is the modification of the classic formula for nourishing and moving blood. It opens the collaterals to eliminate blood stasis and facilitates the complete discharge of the uterus lining so that the new endometrial lining can grow on a smooth, clean base.
In conclusion, the fluctuation of women’s hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can lead to headaches from premenstrual syndrome.
Firstly, please understand the causes of PMS headaches.
Secondly, please try these remedies at home to see if your headaches go away.
Finally, I hope it helps those who are suffering from these annoying symptoms.