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Migraines during menstruation: Hormones unlock the secrets of pain

Migraines during menstruation: Hormones unlock the secrets of pain

Migraine, a debilitating form of headache, affects millions of people every day. Alarming data from the World Health Organization suggests that migraine is the second largest cause of global disability, affecting more than a billion people. Interestingly, this torment is more common among women, affecting 20% ​​to 30% of them, while it affects 6% to 15% of men.

According to Dr. Jacqueline Barbosa, hormonal fluctuations appear as one of the main events behind the higher incidence of migraines in women.

“Hormonal fluctuations are one of the main factors influencing the higher incidence of migraines in female patients. Changes in estrogen levels, which occur during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause, can trigger migraines. Dr. Jacqueline explains that many of women suffer from premenstrual headaches or headaches during menstruation, when estrogen levels rise.

Furthermore, continued use of hormonal birth control pills can affect a woman’s hormone levels, in some cases leading to an increased frequency of migraine attacks. This is due to the hormonal composition of these pills, which can affect the balance of neurotransmitters and pain sensitivity.

The so-called menstrual headache appears during the menstrual cycle, as it appears in the days preceding menstruation, and in some cases, it continues in the first days of the cycle. Symptoms are generally similar to migraines, and may include headaches that are unilateral, pulsating in nature, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, as well as possible visual disturbances known as aura.

“During the menstrual cycle, hormonal changes, especially in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, can trigger or influence the occurrence of migraines in women who are susceptible to migraines. Days before menstruation, estrogen levels decrease significantly, and this decrease can lead to attacks.” Migraines. Progesterone has an increased action, and increased levels. The doctor explains that this change can also affect pain sensitivity, inflammation and the function of neurotransmitters.

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How can CBD and THC help relieve migraines?

According to gynecologist Mariana Prado, painkillers and anti-inflammatories, as well as medications prescribed for anxiety, depression or insomnia, only work to contain the symptoms, but not the causes.

She explains that gynecology, on many occasions, “focuses heavily on allopathy, and specifies hormonal contraceptives for axis blockage, that is, obstruction of the menstrual cycle with the aim of interrupting menstruation, and thus menstrual migraine.” When hormonal therapy is used correctly, it is understood that there are contraindications to combined methods with estrogen, with preference given to methods containing progesterone alone (estrogen aggravates a migraine attack).

However, medical guidelines on the use of these drugs are symptomatic, but they can produce important side effects, especially in the specific use of anti-inflammatories or in the risks and benefits of stabilizing hormonal therapy over natural methods.

“Menstrual migraines can be treated with cannabis specifically due to the potential analgesics, anti-inflammatories and tranquilizers. As well as improving menstrual-dependent mood disorders (which tend to worsen headaches), he concludes, working directly on the regulation of the Endocannabinoid System, there is another advantage: Little to no side effects for those who use it, with no risk of addiction.

Phytochemical benefits of hemp

Migraines, which are often associated with anxiety and are common during menstrual periods, have sparked interest in medical research. Pharmacist Adriana Rosowski highlights the benefits of cannabis in relieving pain.

“Migraines often arise from anxiety, generally common in menstrual periods. Cannabis has an effect against migraines due to the presence of certain phytochemicals in its composition, which are analgesic (nociceptive) and anti-inflammatory: the use of CBD has been evaluated in chronic and crisis migraines For some time, with pre-clinical studies and as a treatment. They are already easily accessible by the medical field, and some cannabis terpenes also have this potential, such as pinene, beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, limolene, and linalool. Other plants rich in various phytochemicals are already in use. “Against headaches, like chamomile (Matricaria). THC can help, but it depends a lot on its dosage.”

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Adriana Rosowski highlights that CBD (cannabidiol), a component of cannabis, has been the subject of pre-clinical studies to evaluate its effectiveness in treating migraines, both in acute attacks and in less severe cases.

Medical Cannabis Fair (MCF) – It is the largest and main B2B scientific and professional exhibition in Brazil and Latin America on the medical and industrial use of cannabis. MCF targets health professionals, public agents, investors and entrepreneurs. The exhibition is held in parallel with the Brazilian Medical Cannabis Congress in São Paulo.