Relieve migraine pain by balancing hormones with a healthy diet and exercise

The relationship between migraines and hormones is one that has led to many women receiving warnings against hormone therapy. Using oral contraceptives has long been believed to increase the risk of stroke among migraine sufferers. Yet according to a recent study from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), that may not be necessarily be the case.

The data of 67,903 WHI participants was carefully analyzed to determine the connection between migraines, stroke, and hormone therapy. Among all the participants, the women who frequently suffered from migraines had a tendency to drink more, exercise less, and took in more vitamin D and calcium than women who weren’t prone to this headache disorder. Additionally, these same women were found to be at low risk of cardiovascular events, the chances of which remained unaffected by hormone therapy.

Of the results, lead author Dr. Jelena Pavlovic has commented: “Since migraines affect one in every four women and women with migraines are often advised to avoid hormone therapy, these findings may have significant public health implications.”

Promising, yes, but let’s not jump the gun here. Hormone therapy, oral contraceptives specifically, may be a convenient method of getting your hormones under control, but cramming your body chock-full of chemical hormones won’t do it any good. Fluctuating weight, unpredictable emotional changes, and the greater possibility of blood clots are just some of the risks you take when you pop that pill. (Related: Birth control pills can raise the risk of depression by up to 80%.)

Another notable one is that you make yourself more susceptible to headaches. Yes, you read right. Since sex hormones play an important role in the development of headaches and migraines, filling up on more of them can increase the frequency or severity of these head pains. Though the symptoms are said to improve as time goes on, are you really willing to wait for that to happen? Especially if migraines are such a regular and unfortunate part of your life?

If you want to balance your hormones with the least amount of risk, the best way is still natural. Aiming for a healthier lifestyle is the surefire way to keep everything in your body running optimally, hormones included. Here’s what you should do to stabilize your hormones and make migraines a thing of the past:

  • Exercise right  Did you know that intense exercise can actually throw your hormones off kilter even more? Extreme cardiovascular activity can put unnecessary strain on your endocrine system, the body system responsible for hormone production. Switching it up between mild cardio and quick bursts of heavy lifting is best since this will encourage the release of beneficial hormones.
  • Eat healthy fats – Trim down the amount of polyunsaturated fats you consume on a day-to-day basis, as these kind of fats can cause your hormones to malfunction. Polyunsaturated fats are abundant in vegetable oils like canola, soybean, and peanut oil, as well as shortening and margarine. Instead of going for these fats, opt for coconut oil instead since it’s an excellent source of healthy saturated fats and can actually assist in the formation of hormones.
  • Sleep more – Skipping sleep stresses out your body and makes it more difficult to balance out your hormone levels. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night as much as possible. If your problem lies in your inability to fall asleep quickly, you can make some changes to your environment to fix this. Removing clutter, keeping your room cool, reducing noise and other stimuli, and surrounding yourself with relaxing scents may just be what you need to get your forty winks.
  • Cut down on caffeine – Having too much caffeine in your body can worsen any endocrine imbalances you may have. Aside from coffee, other caffeine-heavy beverages include energy drinks, soft drinks, green and black tea.

Doing all of these will make you feel amazing in more ways than one. Your hormones will be in harmony with one another, and the chances of you experiencing another migraine are slim. That’s on top of feeling great overall because you’ve done your body plenty of favors.

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