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Lori is a Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified Health Coach & Creation Coach who specializes in getting to the root cause of your symptoms

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Hormone Health

Heart Health

Headaches, especially migraines, can be profoundly influenced by hormonal fluctuations. Two critical aspects of hormonal imbalance that can contribute to headaches are estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency. This blog will delve into how these imbalances cause headaches and provide recommendations to help alleviate the symptoms.
Even if you do not experience hormonal headaches or migraines, I bet you have a girlfriend who does so please read on.

I want to start this week with a story about a dear young friend – I’ll call her Mary. Mary has suffered from headaches, even migraines, since 2019. Often, on a scale from 1-10, 10 being severe, she was living life with pain at an 8, 9, or 10, 2-5 times per week! Yes, her cycle might make them worse, but it seemed unrelenting. Her western, conventionally trained doctors have prescribed a muscle relaxer, an anti-epilepsy medication as a “preventative” an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety medication, and now suggests that she try a Progesterone birth control shot – a synthetic hormone!!

Now, when I began to hear of Mary’s migraine journey, immediately my thoughts went to Estrogen Dominance – hormonal imbalance, as the cause. It was sooo fascinating, and clarifying to note that when Mary became pregnant, with high soaring progesterone levels, that her migraines nearly vanished. She only had a few in 9 months!!

In my humble opinion, Mary has been “dissed” by our dysfunctional medicine system, once again, not getting to the root cause, but instead prescribing a “pill for an ill” that does not work!

Now, many of you know that I write about estrogen dominance, a lot! I even have FREE quiz, filled with answers and protocols to help you overcome it. Let me explain a bit below, as well.

Estrogen Dominance Defined

Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. Now, right out of the gate, let me clarify that I am NOT saying that Estrogen – God-given estrogen is bad for you! Just the contrary – when levels plummet, we see the diseases of aging begin to skyrocket. Estrogen Dominance is typically caused by either a) exposure to fake synthetic estrogens, or b) lowering of progesterone, or c) both. It’s all about the ratio of Progesterone to Estrogen (known as the P:E ratio) that counts!

Mechanisms of Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen plays several roles in the body,
including regulating the menstrual cycle and supporting reproductive functions.
However, when estrogen levels are disproportionately high relative to
progesterone, it can lead to a variety of symptoms, including hormonal
headaches and migraines. Here’s how:

1. Neurotransmitter Interaction: Estrogen influences the production and activity of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which play a role in mood regulation and pain perception. Elevated estrogen levels can increase the excitability of neurons, potentially leading to headaches and migraines

2. Vascular Effects: There are Estrogen receptors on all of our blood vessel and thus changes in our estrogen levels can affect the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the brain, too. High levels of estrogen may cause vasodilation (widening of blood vessels), which can trigger migraine headaches by increasing blood flow and causing inflammation and pain in the cranial blood vessels.

3. Inflammation: Excess estrogen can increase the inflammatory response in the body. This heightened inflammatory state can contribute to the frequency and severity of migraines.

4. Hormonal Fluctuations: Women often experience fluctuations in estrogen levels during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. These fluctuations can exacerbate the symptoms of estrogen dominance, leading to cyclical headaches and migraines, too.

Impact on Hormonal Headaches and Migraines

Migraines associated with hormonal changes, often referred to as menstrual migraines, are particularly influenced by estrogen levels. Here are key points on how estrogen dominance impacts these migraines:

1. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Many women experience headaches as part of PMS, which is closely linked to hormonal fluctuations. Estrogen levels rise during the first half of the menstrual cycle and drop sharply just before menstruation, potentially triggering migraines.

2. Menstrual Migraines: These occur in a predictable pattern around the time of menstruation. They are typically triggered by the rapid decline in estrogen levels. Women with estrogen dominance might be more susceptible to these migraines due to the pronounced hormonal fluctuations. The precise relationship between migraines and the menstrual cycle remains somewhat unclear. However, additional research suggests that estrogen may play a significant role by influencing the production, uptake, and elimination of serotonin. Serotonin functions as both a neurotransmitter, facilitating nerve communication, and a vasoconstrictor, causing blood vessels to constrict. Furthermore, estrogen levels might affect the sensitivity of specific serotonin receptors, which are crucial in regulating mood, emotions, and other behaviors.

3. Perimenopause and Menopause: During perimenopause, estrogen levels can fluctuate wildly, and progesterone levels plummet, leading to a worsening of estrogen dominance. This can result in more frequent and severe migraines. In menopause, the drop in estrogen levels can also trigger migraines until hormone levels stabilize. With all these swings in estrogen and progesterone, it’s imperative that you understand how to navigate and relieve these hormonal headaches or migraines.

Managing Estrogen Dominance to Reduce Headaches

Addressing estrogen dominance can help alleviate hormonal headaches and migraines. Here are some strategies:

1. Diet and Nutrition:

  • Increase Fiber Intake: Dietary fiber helps in the excretion of estrogen. Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber daily from sources like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Consume Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain IC-3’s or Indole-3- Carbinol compounds that support estrogen metabolism.
  • Healthy Fats: Incorporate healthy fats from sources like avocados and flaxseeds. These fats are essential for hormone production and balance.
  • Increase Magnesium foods or supplements– Foods such as nuts and seeds, legumes, avocados, greens, quinoa, and yogurt, are a great source of Magnesium. This is the magnesium supplement that I recommend.

2. Lifestyle Changes:

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can help regulate hormones and reduce stress, which can mitigate headaches.
  • Stress Management: Techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help lower cortisol levels and promote hormonal balance
  • Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support overall hormonal health and reduce headache frequency

3. Medical Interventions:

  • Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT): For some women, BHRT can help balance estrogen and progesterone levels. I start my clients on natural progesterone cream and/or pregnenolone to increase their progesterone levels and begin to offset the incredible estrogen imbalance. To learn more, check out my resources and protocols that come with my Free Quiz. And, remember you may need to consult with your healthcare to determine the right choice for you. If you’d like a Free discovery call with me, go to
  • Back to Mary’s story- after Mary’s little guy was born, and her progesterone levels plummeted her estrogen dominance symptoms, and you guessed it, migraines returned. When I heard that her docs wanted to start her on Synthetic progesterone (that are known to cause breast cancer) I could no longer hold back. I finally had to suggest that she start on Progesterone cream. Fortunately, her migraines began to decrease in a few days!!
  • Testing – I see client, after client whose healthcare providers are testing their blood, but not looking at P:E ratios, not to mention the critical estrogen metabolism picture. Gals, test, do not guess! I use the DUTCH test so that my client knows precisely what’s going on, and this gives us power to get to the root cause!!  You can learn more here-

Understanding the intricate relationship between estrogen dominance and hormonal headaches and migraines can empower you to take proactive steps in managing your symptoms. Again, although you may not be struggling with migraines, please share this with your friend who may be.

My upcoming book- Create The Vitality You Crave: Epigenetics 101 to Unlock Your Healing Power will be coming soon. There you will learn so much more about how you can own YOUR hormonal power and take care of your health! Click the link to be notified of its release date.

This Free Quiz was created to help you gain clarity about some of your most aggravating symptoms and to help you get on your healthy hormone path.

FREE Hormone Symptom Quiz!