Endometriosis and Migraines — Is There a Link?

You can feel it coming.

Again.

You can’t quite see straight and that spot behind your right eye is starting to throb like crazy.

You’ve been dealing with these endometriosis headaches for far too long. 

You’re looking for relief and are curious…

Is there a link between my endometriosis and my migraines? 

Is it possible that my endometriosis headache is actually an endometriosis migraine?

Read on, friend. 

In this guide, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about endometriosis-induced migraines, as well as some great ideas to help you find the relief you deserve.

Symptoms of Endometriosis: Are Migraines Common?

Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues experienced by women. 

Its symptoms are all too familiar:

  • Painful periods
  • Pain when you use the bathroom
  • Pain during sex
  • Infertility
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pain in your lower abdomen, back, pelvis, rectum or vagina
  • Chronic fatigue

But have you ever wondered if your migraines might also be a part of that list?

Are migraines a symptom of endometriosis?

Or are those of us with endometriosis just at a higher risk for having migraine headaches?  

A 2018 study showed that 69.3% of adolescent girls diagnosed with endometriosis also experienced endometriosis migraines.

What’s The Difference between A Headache and A Migraine?

According to the International Headache Society, there are at least 150 different types of headaches. 

Whoa.

But what distinguishes a headache from a migraine?

Headache

For starters, the level and type of pain are different.

Most of us are woefully familiar with the mild, dull ache of a typical headache. 

It’s as though your head is in a vise.

And the sensation of something gripping your forehead and scalp can be unrelenting.

These tension-type headaches are the most commonly experienced type of headache. 

Migraine

Migraines, however, are in a category all their own.

This type of headache is significantly more severe and frequently brings with it a whole list of very distinct symptoms:

  • Nausea, which can sometimes be accompanied by vomiting
  • Pulsating pain which typically occurs behind one eye
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Impaired vision
  • Auras, which may include seeing flashing lights or spots

The pain and throbbing of a migraine can be unbelievably intense.

So much so that, at times, all you can do is lie motionless in a silent, darkened

room, while praying desperately for relief.

What’s the Link Between Endometriosis and Migraines?

But what about endometriosis and migraines?  

Is there a correlation between the two? 

Does endometriosis cause migraines?

Could your endometriosis headache actually be an endo induced migraine?

Let’s see what science has to say.

A 2012 study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information tackled these very questions.  

This study, which spanned 8 years, analyzed the prevalence of migraines in 256,987 women. Of these women, 20,220 had been previously diagnosed with endometriosis.  

Their conclusion?

Endometriosis is associated with a higher risk of migraine headaches.

But why the link?

Hormones may play a large part in the link between endometriosis and your migraine headaches.

Both endometriosis and migraine headaches are characterized by higher-than-normal levels of estrogen.  

These high levels of estrogen can frequently lead to a condition known as estrogen dominance. 

And I’ll give you just one guess as to what stands out as a prime symptom of estrogen dominance?

You got it, migraine headaches.  

You may be interested to learn that high levels of estrogen can also be due to exposure to environmental chemicals … a.k.a xenoestrogens.  

A dangerous form of estrogen, xenoestrogens are rampant in plastics, as well as in many personal care products. 

As the largest organ in your body, your skin quickly absorbs anything you use on it and carries it directly into your system. 

This is why I created my all-natural personal lubricant, Chiavaye. The importance of choosing safe personal products can’t be understated.  

In addition, overexposure to plant estrogens, known as phytoestrogens, found in foods like soy, can also be a culprit. 

We’ll talk more about the importance of diet in just a minute.

Endometriosis Migraine Treatment:  5 Ways to Get Relief

So, now we know there is a link between our endometriosis and our migraines.

But, what’s a girl to do?

Don't despair. 

Let’s take a look at some natural ways you can help combat that nasty endometriosis headache.

#1 Diet Changes

It really is true. 

You are what you eat

And when it comes to endometriosis, and finding relief for your migraines, this is particularly true.

In my experience, an effective diet for combating endometriosis, and the endometriosis migraine, includes an eating plan that is:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free (here’s where those phytoestrogens I mentioned above come into play)
  • Sugar-free

But what about caffeine?  

While it’s commonly assumed caffeine can exacerbate the symptoms of a migraine, some research shows that your morning cup of Java just might be an effective remedy

If all of these dietary changes sound daunting, I have great news for you.

Our society's current awareness of dietary challenges has made it much easier to implement the changes you’ll need. 

For an even more in-depth look at what has worked for me in my own personal journey with endometriosis, check out my Endometriosis Diet.

#2 Exercise Regularly

Many women have already established a habit of making regular exercise a natural part of their lifestyle.

But what if you haven’t? 

Well, the truth is that exercise is essential to your healing.

But don’t worry.

You don’t need to start training to run the Boston Marathon. 

Yoga, walking, and swimming can all offer effective relief.

Just keep in mind that moderation and hydration are key.  

And be sure to choose something you enjoy. That’ll make it much easier to stick with it.

#3 Essential Oils

Essential oils have been in the headlines a lot lately.

But can they help ease your endo induced migraine? 

The answer is, quite possibly, yes.

They can be a terrific natural way to help balance your hormones, which can, in turn, potentially keep that endometriosis migraine at bay.  

Research shows that the essential oil clary sage 

  • Supports female hormonal balance
  • Aids indigestion
  • Is an effective stress reliever
  • Increases the blood’s circulation

...all of which help decrease the incidence of endometriosis migraines.   

And that’s great news.  Because essential oils are convenient and easy to use.

You can rub several drops of clary sage right over your uterus to help take away your pain and cramps.  

Add a nice, toasty heating pad and curl up on the couch with your favorite rom-com.

#4 Supplements

Don’t forget to explore the realm of natural supplements in your quest to combat your endometriosis headache. 

  • Magnesium, which seems to be particularly low in some individuals who are experiencing migraines, has shown to be promising.  The American Migraine Foundation recommends trying 400-500 mg of magnesium each day as a way to prevent migraines before they happen. 
  • Coenzyme Q10 is another possibility for relief. A study published in a journal entitled Neurology found that participants who received CoQ10 had at least 50 percent fewer migraine attacks than those who took a placebo.

Vitamins, including Omega-3s, also play an important part in the endometriosis puzzle.

#5 Massage and Acupuncture

Regular acupuncture treatments, as well as massage therapy, have both been shown to help migraine headaches. 

And if you happen to have a bottle of peppermint oil on hand, there’s a 60-second massage routine, created by a neurologist, that you can try on yourself the next time you feel a migraine coming on.

#6 Birth Control

Finally, if you use birth control, there’s an important factor to keep in mind.  

Combined oral contraceptives, which contain both estrogen and progesterone, can push your estrogen levels into estrogen dominance territory.  

It’s a good idea to ask your doctor about lower-dose estrogen formulas or non-estrogen options.

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