By Jenny Bodenham, Dip ION, MBANT
Q - After suffering from really bad headaches for quite a while, including disturbed vision, my GP has diagnosed that I have migraines. They often happen around the same time each month so they seem to be hormonally driven but is there anything I can do to help? Also, is there something I can take, as I would prefer to try to help myself naturally?
A - A migraine is a severe headache that can be triggered by a number of factors, including hormone fluctuations. As a result, more than half of migraines in women occur around the time of their period. Eating foods rich in phytoestrogens such as fermented soya, chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils may be useful as they can help to balance hormone levels in the body. Essential fatty acids found in oily fish, nuts and seeds are also essential for hormonal health. Fibre helps the excretion of unwanted hormones so it’s also important to ensure that you are eating foods, which are naturally high in fibre, such as beans, oats, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoli are particularly important as they contain substances called glucosinolates, which help support liver detoxification. You may also find it beneficial to take the herb Feverfew. Also known as Tanacetum parthenium, Feverfew has a traditional use for the treatment of migraines and research has shown that it may help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. For best results Feverfew should be taken continuously for three months.
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