Migraines that Vary with the Cycle
If the migraine headache varies consistently with the menstrual cycle, then there is a hormonal component to the migraine headache. Typically, the migraine headache occurs just before the period. However, the migraine headache can also continue during the period.
So if the migraine headache has a hormonal component then therapy must be in part hormonal. Most physicians do not recognize that the migraine may require hormonal therapy.
So if the migraine headache in question has a hormonal component then using natural progesterone can help.
However, if the migraine headache in question does NOT vary with your cycle, then progesterone cream will NOT help.
Typically, natural progesterone cream taken just before the migraine headache is supposed to appear in the cycle, may or may not help with the migraine headache. These patients are typically very very appreciative.
You may apply the progesterone cream topically. It may be rubbed on the temples or the forehead. Progesterone oil may also be taken under the tongue. Sublingual progesterone may also be used. Again, the potency of topical progesterone is 10 times that of oral progesterone. This is because the liver metabolizes 90% of the progesterone taken orally. However, topical progesterone goes directly into the body. So, sublingual progesterone potency is somewhere in between topical and oral application.
Some patients increase the progesterone every day until she reaches a crescendo right when the migraine is supposed to appear. This seems to work well for them.
For patients that have migraines that continue through the period, progesterone may be taken through the period. The progesterone may stop the period if the progesterone dose taken is high enough. Do not be alarmed by period differences caused by progesterone.
However, if you take natural progesterone cream simultaneously with potent xenoestrogens then the migraine headache can actually get much worse. In some cases, women didn't have any headaches and when they took progesterone started to have migraine headaches. Why is that?
It is because everything you put on the skin including laundry detergent, soap, cosmetics, toiletries, lotions, and deodorant is potentially a drug. Many of the chemicals can act like estrogen. There are also natural herbs rosemary and lavender as well as others that can actually act as like estrogen as well.
Chronic estrogen exposure causes down regulation in the estrogen receptor. The estrogen receptor becomes "sleepy." Thus, chronic estrogen exposure makes you less sensitive to estrogen. It is like going to a noisy rock concert. Initially, the rock concert seems very loud. Then, after half an hour the rock concert doesn't seem so loud anymore. The noise level has not changed. However, your sensitivity to the noise has gone down. Your ears have down regulated.
Taking progesterone wakes up the estrogen receptors. And now after taking progesterone, it seems like you are getting more estrogen even though you're not. (The rock concert is loud again.) Thus, the estrogen seems much stronger now and the migraine headache becomes much worse.
So taking progesterone cream simultaneously with strong xenoestrogens will make your migraine headache worse. Or another thing I see is that the progesterone works at first for one or two months to lessen the severity of the migraine headache or even eliminate the headache, and then the progesterone doesn't work.
So I get a call from the patient complaining that the progesterone cream that I gave her is defective and does not have enough progesterone in it. So under the patient's insistence, I would send out another bottle progesterone oil. However, the patient would complain that the second bottle is also defective and doesn't work. However, the reality is that the patient's own sensitivity to estrogen has changed. She has regained her original sensitivity to estrogen. Thus, "the progesterone doesn't work anymore."
The solution to this problem is to eliminate xenoestrogens for one to three months. You need one to three months for the xenoestrogens to wash out of the body. Then, you may take progesterone again.
1. You take progesterone cream simultaneously with many strong xenoestrogens. Your headache will get much worse.
2. You take progesterone cream simultaneously with few weak xenoestrogens. Your migraine headache will get much better or disappear completely.
3. You completely eliminate all xenoestrogens. You don't need progesterone cream. Your migraine headaches disappear or improve greatly.
4. You take progesterone with xenoestrogens. The progesterone “Works” for the first 2 months. Then, the progesterone does “Not Work” after the first 2 months.
5. You take progesterone with herbs that cause miscarriage. Herbs that cause miscarriage like mint and aloe will block progesterone at the receptor level. Progesterone will not have any effect. When mint is taken with progesterone, it seems like there is “nothing” in the bottle. Progesterone has NO EFFECT.
Again, if the migraine headache DOES NOT vary with the cycle then progesterone therapy and avoiding xenoestrogens will NOT help.
Xenoestrogens are chemicals or plants that mimic estrogen." Xeno" means foreign. So xenoestrogens means foreign estrogens. These foreign estrogens have estrogen like effects but are not really estrogen. They may stimulate breast cancer to grow. They may decrease sperm counts in men. They may cause behavioral changes in children.
For instance, in April 2008, Walmart announced that it was immediately halting the sales of baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, food containers, and water bottles made with BPA in its Canadian stores. The US national toxicology program highlighted that BPA, used to make plastic, could cause behavioral changes in infants and children and trigger the early-onset of puberty in girls. However, BPA is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other chemicals that have hormone disruptive effects. And these chemicals can cause worsening of your migraine headache when acting in synergy with your own endogenous hormones.
Xenoestrogens can also be natural and organic herbs. These herbs can be found in common household products and toiletries. For instance, pediatric endocrinologist, Boch, MD had three young boys with gynecomastia otherwise known as man boobs. He found that their parents were giving them tea tree oil and lavender oil. He suspected that these essential oils were causing the man boobs. So he instructed the parents to stop giving them lavender and tea tree oil. And in three months, the man boobs disappeared. He tested the boys own hormones, and found them to be normal. Furthermore, he took lavender and tea tee oil separately and tested them for estrogen action. He put the oil separately in breast cancer cells in a test tube that were sensitive to estrogen. And he found that both lavender and tea tree oil separately caused the breast cancer cells sensitive to estrogen to proliferate. Thus, lavender and tea tree oil mimic or act like estrogen. He also put the oils in a line of breast cancer cells that were sensitive to testosterone. He found that the lavender and tea tree oil blocked the action of testosterone on the breast cancer cells sensitive to testosterone. Thus, these three boys are getting the one-two punch. Lavender and tea tree oil both mimic estrogen and block testosterone. These two essential oils were turning the boys into girls.
Similarly, in my experience with thousands of migraine headache patients, I found that lavender and tea tree oil makes my migraine headache patients much worse.
I had one patient that went on our list of avoidance and her migraine headaches were much reduced for several years. And then she called and complained that her migraine headaches are getting much worse. So I reviewed all the things that were touching her skin. I found that she was using a lavender soap that coincided with her migraines getting worse. So she stop using the lavender soap, and her migraine headaches improved.
Typically, it takes one to three months for anything put on the skin to wash out of the body. But after going on a program of strict avoidance of xenoestrogens you should see some improvement after about a week. There may be as many as 20 compounds that are estrogenic that you're putting on the skin. However if you only get rid of 19 of those 20 compounds that are creating migraine, then you may NOT see any effect. That one compound that you did not get rid of will prevent you from seeing improvement in your migraine headache. That one chemical or herb will torpedo your whole effort of reducing your migraine headache severity.
Thus, it is extremely important to be very detailed in avoiding chemicals and herbs that act like estrogen on the skin. Even going to the grocery store and washing your hands with the soap in the washroom can sabotage your whole effort to decrease your migraine severity.
Since 1999 to 2014, I have been compiling a comprehensive list of xenoestrogens to avoid and if you buy a product from our company you'll get this list, as well as a safe list of products to use. When you first start out please be sure to be extremely strict and only use products from the safe product list. Deviation from this product list will result in the whole therapy not working. This approach is not for everyone.
Magnesium is the number one supplement choice for migraines. Typically, xenoestrogens cause a magnesium deficiency. Whenever you have a magnesium deficiency all the muscles tense up. This means there is an increase in uterine cramping. This is because the uterus is just a muscular bag and that muscular bag tenses up with a magnesium deficiency. The intestines are just a tubular muscle. A magnesium deficiency will cause constipation. Leg muscles can also tense up causing a "Charlie Horse" from a magnesium deficiency. Similarly, the arteries have a muscular sheath. With a magnesium deficiency, the muscular sheath tenses up and decreases the diameter of the artery resulting in cold hands and feet. A magnesium deficiency causes the arteries to spasm more strongly and will worsen a migraine headache.
Thus, xenoestrogens cause a magnesium deficiency. A magnesium deficiency allows the arteries to constrict more strongly and make your migraine headache worse.
The solution is to avoid xenoestrogens. When xenoestrogens are avoided the magnesium deficiency goes away. However, for the first three or four months, when the xenoestrogens are still washing out of the body you may temporarily take magnesium to replace the magnesium deficiency. This will make your migraine headaches better.
I usually give 400 to 600 mg per day of Magnesium Glycinate to my patients. The absorption rate of magnesium Glycinate is about 40%. Do not use magnesium oxide. The absorption rate of magnesium oxide is only about 4%. If you take too much magnesium, this will relax the intestines and you'll get diarrhea. So just, increase the magnesium until you have loose stools and then back off on the dose.
In some cases, the magnesium deficiency is severe. In this case, topical "Magnesium Oil" may be used on the skin. "Magnesium Oil" is not really an oil, but in some cases is simply magnesium chloride dissolved in water.
Xenoestrogens will also cause a vitamin B deficiency. Sometimes this vitamin B deficiency gives rise to a neuropathy (nerve disease). This neuropathy from a vitamin B deficiency may feel like you need to move your legs at night. They may also feel like a creepy crawling sensation on your legs, or may feel like a burning sensation on your legs. You may or may not have these sensations. The severity of the sensations may also vary on a scale from 1 to 10. It will depend upon how potent the xenoestrogens are, how many xenoestrogens you are taking, as well as the severity of the vitamin B deficiency that you have. If you have malabsorption or are a vegetarian, the vitamin B deficiency will be worse.
The solution is to take a vitamin B 100 in the morning. If you take the vitamin B 100 in the evening then this will result in vivid dreams and poor sleeping. So take the vitamin B 100 in the morning. Vitamin B is water-soluble. And any excess vitamin B will simply wash out in the urine. Vitamin B6, however, may be slightly neurotoxic at levels of 200 mg or more, but this is a rare occurrence. A vitamin B 100 only contains 50 mg of vitamin B6.
So vitamin B 100 is fairly non-toxic.
Iodine seems to reduce my patients' sensitivity to xenoestrogens. They seem to be able to tolerate more xenoestrogens if they are sufficient in iodine. Brownstein M.D., a family practitioner in the Midwest, claimed that over 90% of Americans are deficient in iodine. You can determine deficiency in iodine by giving 50 mg of iodine orally. Then you collect a 24-hour urine. If you get 80% of the iodine back, then you are sufficient in iodine. However, most people do not excrete 80 percent of the iodine in 24-hour period in the urine. This means that their body wants the iodine.
Jonathan Wright, MD of the Tahoma Clinic has observed in several hundred patients that iodine helps the body convert strong estradiol and weak estrone to weak estriol. This conversion of both types of estrogen that naturally occurs in the body to estriol is thought to help decrease xenoestrogen sensitivity. It is the synergistic action of estradiol and xenoestrogens that causes estrogen dominance and increased migraine headaches. Conversion of estradiol to the “weak” estriol decreases the synergistic action of the estradiol and xenoestrogens. Estradiol is the strong estrogen that signals the body to produce breasts and hips. Estriol is the weak estrogen that competes for the estrogen receptor with estradiol. Estriol goes up 100 times during pregnancy. So if your headaches got better during pregnancy, estriol is likely the reason why the migraines improved.
It is important to take either Lugol's iodine or Iodoral. This is because both of these forms of supplementation for iodine containing ionic iodine and atomic iodine. If you just take kelp, you only get one kind of iodine, and so kelp is not preferred way to supplement. In addition, Gaia herbs believes that it is very difficult to find uncontaminated kelp.
You can start out at 3 mg a day of iodine, and then every two weeks ramp up by 10 mg all the way to 50 mg per day. Maintain 50 mg a day for 3 to 4 months, and then maintain at 10 mg a day.
Unfortunately, most Americans are poisoned with bromine. Bromine enters our body from sodas, sports drinks, asthma inhalers, sleep aids, commercial bakery products, and swimming pools that are brominated instead of chlorinated. When iodine is taken toxic bromine is forced out of the tissue and into the body. So the bad side effects of iodine are not caused by iodine but the side effects are caused by toxic bromine being forced out of the tissues. Blame toxic bromine. Don’t blame iodine.
Bromine coming out of the tissues looks like a frontal sinus headache, acne, hair falling out, heart palpitations, vivid dreams, confusion, and in one out of 400 patients a sore thyroid. The sore thyroid may be from thyrocytes breaking up (thyrocytes are cells in the thryoid). Then your body can develop antibodies against the thyrocyte innards. This can lead to a Hashimoto's thyroiditis. So if you get a sore thyroid taking iodine, stop the iodine immediately, or else you can develop a Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
If the side effects from bromine are too much, stop the iodine or cut back on the iodine. If the side effects from bromine are too much, then you can detox from bromine by taking one quarter to one half teaspoon of sea salt lick from palm of your hand per day along with 2 L of purified water. Do this for about 2 to 3 months. The chloride ion the sea salt will force out the bromine more gently. Then, try to take the iodine again but start very slowly.
To see the list of top Natural Supplements used for Migraines that do NOT vary with the menstrual cycle, go to www.nomigraineheadache.com.
The most popular drug used for migraines is Imitrex. Imitrex works by blocking histamine and enhancing seratonin. Migraine headache sufferers have increased histamine and decreased serotonin. Imitrex works by blocking histamine and increasing serotonin to make you normal and NOT have a migraine headache. What emotions lead to increased histamine? Fear/stress/anxiety leads to increased histamine. What emotions lead to decreased serotonin? Guilt leads to decreased serotonin. Thus, fear and guilt are two emotions that produce migraine headaches.
Fear and increased histamine leads to dilation of the arteries. Guilt and decreased serotonin leads to constriction of the arteries.
If you get rid of fear and guilt, the migraines will also stop. For instance, you may have an argument with you husband about money. The argument with your husband causes fear. The fear leads to increased histamine. Then, after the argument, you want to be nice, so you feel guilty about the argument. This leads to decreased serotonin. Then, you get a migraine headache.
Get rid of the fear and gult and the migraine headache will disappear. The best place to learn how to do that is to do the one week seminar at Pleasant Valley Church at www.beinhealth.com.
1. Get rid of Xenoestrogens especially on the skin. Buy any product from us and get a tried and true NO-NO list of xenoestrogens to avoid. Also get a list of recommended products free of xenoestrogens. We have had an avoidance list since 1999. I looked through 500 shampoos and could only find 3 shampoos that were acceptable. Get the List, Really.
2. Take Progesterone. Progesterone balances out weak xenoestrogens, but makes strong xenoestrogens worse because your sensitivity to the xenoestrogens is changing from the progesterone. We sell Progestelle.
3. Take Magnesium Glycinate 400-600 mg/day. Xenoestrogens cause a Magnesium Deficiency. Magnesium relaxes muscles and Magnesium relaxes arterioles. Constricted arterioles cause migraine headaches.
4. Take Vitamin B in the morning. Xenoestrogens cause a Vitamin B deficiency with neuropathy.
5. Take Iodine to reduce xenostrogen sensitivity. Watch out for Bromine toxicity.