Bioidentical Progesterone and Migraines
A migraine is a vascular headache that involves the excessive dilation or contraction of the brain’s blood vessels. Common and classic are the two types of migraines. Slowly, the common migraine produces a throbbing pain that may last for two to seventy-two hours. Often centered at the temple or behind one ear, the pain is severe. Alternatively it can begin at the back of the head and spreads to one entire side of the head (the word “migraine” comes from the Greek hemikrania, which means “half a skull”). Nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and tingling and numbness in the limbs that can last up to eighteen hours usually accompany a migraine. One factor behind higher incidence of migraines in women may be fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen. Around the time of menstruation, when there is hormonal imbalance, women typically get migraines. Any number of things can trigger a migraine in a susceptible individual including allergies, stress, constipation, too much or too little sleep, liver malfunction, emotional changes, sun glare, hormonal changes, flashing lights, lack of exercise, and changes in barometric pressure. Dr. John Lee states that low blood sugar is frequently associated with migraines and studies have shown that blood sugar levels are low during a migraine attack and the lower the blood sugar level, the more severe the headache. Dental problems may also be a factor. Transdermal application of topical progesterone immediately at the onset of a headache, has successfully aborted significant numbers of migraines. A suggested amount is up to 1 teaspoon of progesterone cream. This simple and often effective treatment is worth trying with most female migraine sufferers. Migraine headaches that occur with regularity in women only at premenstrual times are most likely due to estrogen dominance. Estrogen causes dilation of blood vessels, and thus contributes to the cause(s) of migraines. Dr. John Lee states that one of the many virtues of natural progesterone is that it helps restore normal vascular tone, counteracting the blood vessel dilation that causes the headache. He states that once again, progesterone is safe and treats the cause in a normal, physiologic way. The more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs can be reserved for the rare case that does not respond completely to progesterone.