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Question
Posted by: Tarryn | 2011/02/09

Headache during menstrual cycle

I am on Yaz, on/before the day that I''m due to come on, I have a headache which is dull and feels as if my whole head aches. Nothing I seem to take seems to ease the discomfort. Is this due to hormonal change and if so, is there any meds that could help for this as I have tried panado, gen paine, adco-dol and nothing seems to help.

I have a history as a migraine sufferer and have been told that BCP are not good for such ppl, the Mirena also didn''t work for me.

Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Tarryn,

There is no constant pattern with oral contraceptives – sometimes they help, sometimes they make the problem worse, but most of the time they have no effect on the headaches.

One of the main problems with taking painkillers for headaches is that it often leads to Medication Overuse Headache (MOH). MOH is a problem that occurs in headache sufferers who have to take painkillers on a regular basis - the headaches become more frequent and more severe! Because of this, the patient increases the dosage and takes the drugs more often, and a vicious circle is set up, making the headaches worse and worse.

The answer therefore is not to rely on medication or painkillers! The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the causes of the headache. If the causes are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication.

If you have a regular cycle, then it means that your hormone levels are normal. Headaches related to changes in hormone levels usually indicate that the body is responding in an abnormal way to the normal hormone fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle.

The only way to deal with the problem is to diagnose why your body is reacting abnormally to your normal hormone fluctuations. It is important to remember that the change in hormone levels is only a trigger, not the underlying cause of the pain. To find out why your body reacts in this way, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. This must include an assessment of the tension in the head and neck muscles. There are so many different structures in the head and neck are, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, you need the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables us to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Headache expert | 2011/02/10

Dear Tarryn,

There is no constant pattern with oral contraceptives – sometimes they help, sometimes they make the problem worse, but most of the time they have no effect on the headaches.

One of the main problems with taking painkillers for headaches is that it often leads to Medication Overuse Headache (MOH). MOH is a problem that occurs in headache sufferers who have to take painkillers on a regular basis - the headaches become more frequent and more severe! Because of this, the patient increases the dosage and takes the drugs more often, and a vicious circle is set up, making the headaches worse and worse.

The answer therefore is not to rely on medication or painkillers! The correct way to deal with the problem is to have a proper diagnosis of the causes of the headache. If the causes are treated, the headaches no longer occur, and it is no longer necessary to rely on potentially harmful “rescue” medication.

If you have a regular cycle, then it means that your hormone levels are normal. Headaches related to changes in hormone levels usually indicate that the body is responding in an abnormal way to the normal hormone fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle.

The only way to deal with the problem is to diagnose why your body is reacting abnormally to your normal hormone fluctuations. It is important to remember that the change in hormone levels is only a trigger, not the underlying cause of the pain. To find out why your body reacts in this way, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. This must include an assessment of the tension in the head and neck muscles. There are so many different structures in the head and neck are, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, you need the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables us to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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