Migraines

by Teresa
(Sydney, Australia)

Just before I turned 40 and up to now I have been having quite painful migraines which can last for 3 days on the left side of my head and 3 days on my right. They are mainly associated with the last week of my menstrual cycle and the commencement of the next. The migraines started about 6 yrs ago after I experienced extreme trauma, I'm now 45 and have miscarried twice in my 40’s at 57-60 days gestation, I had never miscarried before. I’m a health conscious 5'4', 58kg female with three children aged 19,20 and 23.

Not one doctor or natural health carer can tell me why I have these migraines, I take Sumatriptan and Naproxen after trialing many other drugs for the pain, this frustrates me as it doesn't get rid of my migraines, and I now have elevated cholesterol and blood pressure and have been told I am susceptible to diabetes. I want to get off the sumatriptan, as I feel it is not doing me any favours in the long term but creating other problems.

After feeling suspicious that it may have something to do with my hormones I had some blood tests done, my progesterone level at day 21 was tested and it was 6.1 nmol/L , I'm not sure what it was when I was pregnant recently, but I'm assuming it must have been low enough miscarry. I have purchased Natpro online in the hope it will help me with my debilitating migraines. Which have landed me hospital clenching my head in pain and throwing up.

Before I started getting migraines I always got a headache the day before my period which seemed to be fixed with a paracetamol, but nothing over the counter seems to help the kind of pain I experience now.

I started Natpro day 8 of my usual 21 day cycle and I stopped Natpro day 27 as I still didn’t have a menstrual cycle which I thought I should, or do I wait for it to come continually taking Natpro?

The 4th day in the evening after stopping Natpro I started to get a right sided migraine which continued the following two days with such intensity I had to take sumatriptan, my period has finally come day 33 and the migraine on the right has subsided but I’m now getting one on my left side. Can you please advise me how I should continue with Natpro as I’m thinking it would be best at this stage to take it continually??

I’m hoping you can help me as I feel as though I have exhausted many avenues, and doctors just do seem to be able to help!

Comments for Migraines

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Jun 16, 2011
Dosage
by: Annette Canada

Hi Teresa, it might take Wray a bit to get back to you so I thought I would suggest somethings. Yes I would take the cream continuously for the next few months. I would be taking at least 200 milligrams. Wait and see how your body responds, if symptoms still are bad increase more until you find a livable level. Remember progesterone levels drop every 12 hours so make sure you apply it once in the morning and once at night. You may have to apply some throughout the day as well. Once you are symptom free then slowly start decreasing until symptoms reappear and then you will know that is what your body requires. You will just have to experiment with dosage to see what will work for you. Wray will also suggest adequate amounts of vitamin d. Hope this helps a little.

Jun 18, 2011
Migraines
by: Teresa

Thank you for your suggestion, It's now day 3 of my menstrual cycle and I'm also at the tail end of my left sided migraine, one whole week of pain, :( very frustrating. I will start Natpro today and will take it continuously. I don't know anything about vitamin D and will look forward to hearing from Wray. I truly appreciate your help.

Jun 24, 2011
Migraines
by: Wray

Hi Teresa You have what is known as catamenial migraines, and progesterone does help. In fact it's the sharp drop in progesterone just prior to bleeding which causes them. Stress drops progesterone levels sharply, so it doesn't surprise me they started after the trauma, or that you had miscarriages too. Oestrogen is an inflammatory hormone, it constricts the smooth muscle surrounding blood vessels, and also causes water retention, these can all cause migraines. I do have a few papers you could look at, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Annette is always so helpful, often coming to my rescue! I can't get to the queries as quickly as I'd like to. As she advises, please use the progesterone daily, ignoring your period. It might disrupt it, but it's best to get rid of symptoms first. It's easy enough to get it going again using progesterone, more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. If you should feel a migraine starting, please rub the cream all over your neck, under your ears in particular, over your face too if makeup allows. And use it as often as needed during the day. And please use sufficient, as Annette says I would start on 200mg/day and see how you get on. It's very safe, over 1200mg/day are given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims, see here and here. Incidentally over 70% of TBI victims are men. Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day to her patients with very severe symptoms. She always recommended it to migraine sufferers. I'm running out of space, so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Jun 24, 2011
Migraines
by: Wray

Hi Teresa Annette is also right when it comes to vitamin D. You live in Australia, with their daft policy of covering up when in the sun. Without it we make no vitamin D, even in sunny Queensland people have been found deficient. Please see these papers on migraine and vitamin D here, here here. Please have a test done, for more info see the Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth websites. As you are now 45, you either in Peri-menopause, or the beginning stages. This page explains what occurs and why, plus how to use progesterone. Please also look through our page on Oestrogen Dominance too. This page explains why symptoms can become worse when starting progesterone, and why your symptoms became so much worse when stopping it. Take care Wray

Jun 24, 2011
Dosage
by: Wray

Hi Annette Bless you once again for coming to my rescue! Take care Wray

Jun 27, 2011
Migraines
by: Teresa (Sydney)

Thanks Wray for all of your help, I'm now using the progesterone cream daily, and also taking Magnesium 1000mg and Vit D3 drops 5,000iu p/day; hopefully the combination will keep away any more migraines,I have also run out of Sumatriptan and don't ever want to have to buy it again. I have my fingers crossed for success with my progesterone and vitamin daily program.

Jun 28, 2011
Migraines
by: Wray

Hi Teresa Do let us all know if it helps you! Take care Wray

Sep 16, 2011
Menstrual Migraines
by: Salt

Hi, thank you so much for your informative site.

I have read this topic with much interest. I have both regular and menstrual (catamenial)migraines but the menstrual ones are the worst. I have been using progesterone cream but everything other than this site says to stop using it on Day 1 of period. Day -1 through +6 are the worst days for the menstrual migraine. I'm concerned about the issue of endometrial thickening if progesterone is used during what should be bleeding days.

Can you advise me at all about that?

I love the benefits of the cream on what was my severe PMS. It helps like magic. But I'd really like to help these migraines too (am unable to take any meds due to chemical sensitivities and these migraines have had me close to suicidal in the past).

I'm feeling so confused as to what is safe. I have been using only 25mg/day of cream but not noticing any estrogen dominance symptoms - just lots of improvement in mood, PMS, sleep, wellbeing and some improvement re migraines.

I have been taking 4000-5000iu/dau of vitamin D3 for many years now. no migraine improvement though it has helped seasonal depression very much.

Thanks for any info or viewpoint you may feel like sharing :)

Sep 21, 2011
Menstrual Migraines
by: Wray

Hi Salt Yes, I do have many contrary things to say about How to use progesterone cream! This has been garnered from my own experience, from reading hundreds of studies and helping thousands of women and men, animals too! Please don't have any worries about using progesterone during bleeding. Oestrogen and only oestrogen can cause the endometrium to thicken, it's a mitogen, causing proliferation of cells. If sufficient progesterone is used it inhibits this action of oestrogen. It's unusual for you not to have had any Oestrogen Dominance on such a low amount of progesterone. Normally that's enough to make women climb the wall. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe, maybe you would consider increasing the amount you use. But if you do, please read that page on oestrogen dominance. When you say you have regular migraines too, when do they occur, and are they related to any food or drink? Or does stress bring them on? You say you've been taking 4000-5000iu's per day of vitamin D, have you ever had a test done? If not please do, it could be your level is still too low. Vitamin D is a potent anti-inflammatory, so is progesterone. But if you are having frequent migraines, the vitamin D will be used up fighting the inflammation, and the level will drop. Finally you might take encouragement from these women who all had to use ultra high amounts of progesterone to come right, see here, here, here and here. For ore info on testing for vitamin D please see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites.
This is an excellent video to watch too, see here. Take care Wray

Sep 27, 2011
Beating the Migraines
by: Teresa (Sydney)

I started using Natpro 17 May 2011, Twice daily.

The upside so far; something remarkable happened, Friday 16 September, Day 1 of my menstrual cycle, still no sign of a migraine, my usual menstrual cycle is consistent with a migraine one to two days out from commencement and can continue for up to 4 days, the migraine never came! It's a miracle, but who knows until the next cycle if this is too good to be true??? It will be the first time in about 5 years that I haven't had a migraine.

My Program is as follows with success so far with the help of Natpro, Wray, a Natropath and lots of research.

Estrogen Metaboliser
Energetic Nutrition - Dimpro Diindolylmethane (DIM): 4 capsules daily
Serving Size: One (1) Capsule
Amount per Serving: Proprietary blend 75mg
DIM is a patented enhanced bioavailability complex that makes this phytonutrient absorbable, which makes it easier for the body to utilise.

BioCeuticals - D3 Forte drops Each 45µL Dose (1 Drop) Contains Cholecalciferol (equiv. to vitamin D3 1000IU): 4-6 drops daily

Lipotropic nutrients for my liver.
BioCeuticals - Lipotropene® 90 tablets: 4 tablets daily

BioCeuticals - Ultra Muscleze® magnesium powder 300g

Anti Imflammatory
Artic Pure Fish Oil Liquid 5ml daily
Per 5ml serving
EPA 740MG
DHA 460MG
Other Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids 200mg

Food intake details: I have change my dairy intake where possible at home I have replaced skim for rice milk and am now using organic cheese & butter. I have increased my vegetable intake where I can and have been snacking on nuts.

Having Estrogen dominance is certainly a balancing act with so much to learn.

Your site is worth more than gold to me.

Oct 05, 2011
Beating the Migraines
by: Wray

Hi Teresa Well you have brought tears to my eyes! I'm so so delighted, I can't tell you. And a miracle, well you know my thoughts about progesterone, it's miracle stuff. You might like to see this comment on a friends Facebook page, she had burning tongue, see here. You are taking a huge amount of supplements, and I'm delighted you're taking so much vitamin D, it can do nothing but good. I'm sure that has a lot to do with helping the migraines, and using it with progesterone couldn't be better. It's very difficult to find, but organic milk is better than rice milk, which has a high amount of sugar in it, see here. Please keep in touch when your next cycle comes round. And don't forget, if you feel the slightest twinge of pain, increase the progesterone. Bless you for the kind words! Take care Wray


Nov 04, 2011
migraines, hormones, vitamin D
by: Salt

hi Wray, thank you very much for your detailed reply! Some crazy life stuff has been happening so I am replying very belatedly :)

The worst of my migraines are triggered by hormones. (other triggers are low blood sugar, intense chemicals - all things I can control to a great degree) they come anywhere from day -3 (3 days before day 1 of period) to day 14 or so. the worst ones are usually between day 1-6. Iin the last year my cycles have been less regular - sometimes beginning on day 21, 25 etc rather than day 28-32 as had been my normal for my whole life. The migraines are worse too.

I have had some improvement since using the progesterone cream but the migraine would come when I took a break. So, since reading your reply, I haven't taken a break! I still get my period (and still migraines). When I feel a migraine coming on, I use more progesterone every 15 minutes for the first few hours but so far that has not made a difference. I haven't had my vitamin D levels tested but will do so the next time I see the doctor. Unfortunately, when I take more than 5000iu/day, I get intense anxiety. that's what has kept my dose this low - not my thinking higher doses are unsafe :)

I'm kind of just rambling here - sharing the info in case it's useful to anyone. I know you are very busy with new posts and replies so please don't feel you need to reply to this one unless you feel drawn to. :) I won't be upset!

Nov 08, 2011
migraines, hormones, vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Salt Don't worry about your ramblings, I'm sure they will help someone in the same boat. But it does appear your worst times are when oestrogen is high, progesterone low. From day -3 to day 14, covers the few days before your period, when progesterone is dropping, to round about ovulation. This is of course the phase when oestrogen is high. I'm delighted you're using the progesterone as and when needed, I only hope it eventually begins to work. As you're probably aware, it can take time, especially if oestrogen is higher than normal. I can't believe I've just read that vitamin D gives you intense anxiety if you increase it. As I've just answered another woman who said exactly the same thing! See here. I can see I'm going to have to do more research on vitamin D, particularly it's relationship with progesterone. As I've had others who've written in recently saying too much vitamin D gives them a hot flush. No where in the literature is there any mention of this, or anxiety. If you do have a test done, it would help me greatly to learn what the level is. In the meantime I'm going to look into it. Take care Wray

Nov 08, 2011
Migraines & Vit D
by: Teresa (Sydney Aust)

Hi Wray & Salt, I just thought I'd let you both know I have just had my Vi D blood test done and It was 158 nmol/L and AUS Vit D status is defined as this: 25-50 nmol/L Mild Defciency, 12.5-25 nmol/L moderate Defciency , less than 12.5 severe deficiency, I have now pulled back on my intake of 6000iu p/day as my bodies Vit D seem fine, I did not have any side effects while taking D.

Dec 30, 2011
Organic milk helps!
by: Anonymous

I've suffered from hormonal migraines for years, and about six months ago decided I would try an experiment as an alternative to popping hundreds of Advil pills. I switched to organic milk. While it has only been a half year, my migraines have improved dramatically! IF I even get a headache around my cycle now, it is very light pain and lasts for a day rather than the previous three days. (Many months while drinking OM I have not even had a headache at all!)The.pain is comparable at worst to the "end bruise" of my previous migraine pain and worst case I take a single Advil at onset and no more. Previously, I took 2 Advils every 6-8 hours for 3 days!!! I know that it's too early to draw a conclusion, but I highly recommend any migraine sufferer try this. i hope this will hold true over the next several months and wish I could find more research on organic milk as a dietary option to eliminate or reduce migraines. So far, it's helped me A LOT!!!

Jan 03, 2012
Organic milk helps!
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for the input. Organic milk does cure a number of allergies, and interestingly the very same allergies that pasteurised and homogenised milk causes! See here and here for the pasteurised version. I'm delighted it's helped the migraines, but it doesn't surprise me. Although I've not heard of it doing this, it's good to know. Take care Wray

Jan 03, 2012
Migraines & Vit D
by: Wray

Hi Teresa I'm delighted your vitamin D is 158nmol/L, but I suggest you only pull back to 5000iu's per day. Cautious vitamin D experts say we should have a minimum blood level of 125nmol/L, others 175-250nmol/L. My last test was in March and was 197nmol/L, I like to have them done every 6 months, but was away from home for a few months last year. I'm aiming to get it to 200-250nmol/L. We only start storing vitamin D when levels get to 100nmol/L, thereafter it can begin to help us. Take care Wray

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