7 Obstacles Tying Your Thyroid And Migraine Headaches Symptoms

7 Obstacles Tying Your Thyroid And Migraine Headaches Symptoms

There are few stronger connections with migraines than thyroid issues. Both high and low patterns of thyroid are a massive stress on the body while also being caused by stress on the body. When we can support our thyroid in normal functioning we are much more apt to tolerate our environment so that our trigger levels stay low and we do not cross our headache thresholds. In this article, I will be covering how thyroid connects to migraines as well as the 7 obstacles to thyroid health that leave your brain in pain. It all begins with how our thyroid responds.

What do we depend on our thyroid for?

Our thyroid is a master gland. This means that it controls the show. We can think of it like a thermostat in our house or gas pedal in our car. If we turn up our thermostat, we get warmer. If we press the gas, our car goes faster. The thyroid does the same as it controls overall metabolic functioning and EVERY cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormones. When our thyroids functioning is increased, we are warmer and faster. When it decreases, we get slower and colder.

When a woman ovulates, her body secretes huge amounts of progesterone which supports the thyroid and increases its functioning. This is one of the reasons why when women ovulate they become warmer.

The thyroid controls metabolic rate and the “speed” of every cell including heart, muscle, digestion, brain and bone.

Symptoms your thyroid is having issues

Here are some key signs and symptoms that your thyroid is not functioning properly:

Hyper(Over active):

  • Hot flushes, sweating

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Frequent/loose stools or diarrhea
  • Anxiety, irritability

  • Constant fatigue

  • Difficulty sleeping and insomnia

  • Changes with menses

  • Low sex drive

  • Bulging eyes

  • Higher heart rate

  • Thick red skin on shins or feet

  • Increased appetite

  • Osteoporosis

  • Hand tremors

  • Muscle weakness

Hypo(Under active):

  • Fatigue

  • Low libido

  • Weight gain

  • Hair loss

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Shortening eyebrows

  • Constipation

  • Heart palpitations

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Nervousness and anxiety

One of the most common connections I find with the thyroid and migraines is it affecting the vestibular system causing dizziness and vertigo.

Does low thyroid cause headaches?


These symptoms can be going on even if you are on thyroid hormones as taking the hormone does not fix the problem. Even if they initially help, if the problem isn’t addressed the symptoms tend to roll back.

How do migraines and headaches connect to the thyroid?

Issues with our thyroid commonly cause migraines and headaches through either:

1. Lowering the speed and functioning of our metabolism, causing metabolic breakdown and weaknesses.


2. Through the factors that are underlying why our thyroid is having issues functioning properly.

In either case our body will succumb to changes in:

  • Hormones

  • Metabolism and the ability to create energy both systemically and inside of the brain specifically

  • The ability to adapt to changes as well as intolerance to environment or weather changes

  • Weight gain

  • Autoimmunity

Why your thyroid issue doesn’t get found

The 2 most common causes of thyroid issues not being found even though you suffer the symptoms are:

  1. Full thyroid panels are commonly not used as insurance/drug based medicine only tests for what will change their treatment and that is only based on TSH

We cannot simply rely on TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone as well as TT4 or Total T4.

We need to know:

  • TSH and even sTSH for hypo and hyper functioning
  • Both free and total T4 levels with free T4 being the “active” hormone
  • Both free and total T3 levels which is created in the body not the thyroid and free T3 being “active”
  • RT3 or reverse T3 to understand if there is something blocking conversion of T4 to T3
  • TPO as well as TGB antibodies which are markers of autoimmune issues with our thyroid
  • SHBG so that we know how much our hormones are being bound up and deactivated or activated
  1. Laboratories create their reference ranges based on the last year of the population they have been testing. This means that the ranges are based on an already sick population and the reference values are based on general and not optimal.

But as with any properly designed program, none of these values are in isolation. Our thyroid is very very sensitive and constantly responding to the environment around it. Our stress, diet, gut, hormones, inflammation and more will be interpreted by the thyroid and it will respond accordingly. This is why we need to know the obstacles to good strong functioning.

7 Obstacles that tie our brain pain to our thyroid, migraines and headaches

Our thyroid functions in response to our environment and the rest of our body. The same goes for our thyroid hormones ability to function. To heal our thyroid and prevent high trigger levels, we need support the factors that affect how they function, optimally.


One of the most common factors that will affect the functioning of our thyroid is levels of steroid hormone binding globulin(SHBG).

This molecule holds onto our hormones to keep them inactive, as long as our hormone is held by this, it does not work.

It has become common practise to use hormones like estrogen to support women, especially with menstrual issues or through menopause. But whenever we add something into our systems, our body responds. If our levels of hormones increase, our body can then increase levels of SHBG to bind these hormones and inactivate them. This commonly happens with high levels of hormones and overuse in cases like HRT that is not being tracked and hormonal creams.

You have to make sure hormones like estrogen are not going sky high otherwise SHBG can then bind to other useful hormones like thyroid hormone and inactivate them.

This will cause a strain on the thyroid(and brain) as it has to continue creating more and more thyroid hormone.

Birth control

Birth control is one of the most common factors that I have seen clients begin suffering from thyroid, gut, menstrual and headache symptoms from.

Birth control and the estrogens and progestins found in them are NOT like our natural hormones.

They interrupt normal hormonal functioning and mimic periods.

Using high doses of birth control hormones is a recipe for disaster but luckily most brands have now become lower dosage helping to alleviate this problem. This has not removed the systemic risks and long term effects associated with their use.

Any hormonal therapy should be tracked and tested to make sure you are not developing new symptoms or going outside of optimal ranges for your best functioning.

A best practise is to limit any hormonal therapy and fix the bodies reason for requiring hormones in the first place.

See our article on 3 reasons why your fatigue, restless sleep, cravings, mood swings and PMS are showing you why you have migraines here.

Low progesterone

Low progesterone has become one of the most common signs and symptoms of poor menstrual functioning.

How your cycle works:

Day 1 is the first day of bleeding.

During the first 14 days your estrogen rises to a peak at which point you ovulate.

When you ovulate and this egg is released, the corpus luteum where the egg came from releases large amounts of progesterone completely eclipsing estrogen.

This lasts another 14 days depending on your cycle.

This balances the strong effects of estrogen and provides incredible anti-inflammatory neuroprotective anti-anxiety hormones for the entire body.

It also maintains the lining of the uterus.

At the end of your cycle, these hormones drop off and trigger the shedding of your uterine lining.

Low progesterone is a sign that your body and brain are not in clear communication and this has devastating consequences as you become estrogen dominant, trigger migraines or headaches, remove that protective blanket from your thyroid and just generally feel crummy every cycle.

Correcting gut health, brain function, and cleaning up your body and lifestyle go a long way in helping to restore normal levels. See our article on can menstrual migraines with aura be prevented here.


High blood sugar and insulin are predisposing factors to a number of chronic diseases.

When insulin is not working properly we are constantly throttling our thyroids functioning as it tries to control our blood sugar. Remember that blood sugar control is so important that someone like a diabetic, if they are not careful with their blood sugar can be sent into a coma and even die.

When we eat carbohydrates, get stressed, exercise or have infections, we release sugar into our blood in response.Then insulin is released and opens the doors on our cells allowing sugar to get out of the blood and into the cell to be used.

If we are constantly adding sugar into the blood in amounts that are more than our cells can use(usually with diet), the cells start saying NO.

This is insulin resistance and starts to cause high amounts of damage to our body as blood sugar stays elevated and higher levels of insulin are needed.

We want to make sure we are both addressing low blood sugar as well as high blood sugar.

We have to have the nutrients on board to be able to use the sugar in our blood and pull it into the cells.

We also want to make sure we are addressing some of the reasons why our bodies stress, inflammatory or immune responses are dysregulating our blood sugar. See our article on the top 10 super simple blood sugar stabilizing snacks to keep migraines at bay here.

Also see our article on 3 amazing reasons to go keto with the ketogenic diet for migraines here.


Cortisol is a stress hormone. But it is not just for stress. It wakes us up in the morning, gives us energy throughout the day, releases blood sugar, controls inflammation, cleans up our immune system and in its absence we can secrete the sleep hormones needed to repair.

When this hormone is working well, many other systems are working well.

But when cortisol is too high or low, this affects the thyroid in a major way.

The more our cortisol is malfunctioning, the more our thyroid will go into protect and preserve mode.

It will down-regulate itself to protect metabolism from damaging effects of cortisol or whatever is raising or lowering it.

Remember cortisol is a stress hormone, so whenever our body becomes stressed, whether that be from mental / emotional / physical / environmental or dietary causes, it will respond.

Having proper day/night cycles, avoiding stimulants, correcting dietary patterns, maintaining steady fuel throughout the day, as well as addressing some of the underlying factors for inflammation and immune dysregulation are crucial to making sure our cortisol is supporting our thyroid. See our article on Migraines, DHEA, Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion here.

Nutrient deficiency

We need nutrients. And our culture needs them more than ever before.

The inability to properly utilize our brain and thyroid is affected by nutrition because without we cannot:

  • Create hormones
  • Convert them into active forms
  • Connect them into the places they are used
  • Clear them once they have served their purpose

There is no better way to heal our brain and thyroid than making sure we are taking care of our nutrition. And without nutrition, nothing else we try will work.

What do we need?

The general bases need to be covered well:

  • Full Spectrum Proteins

  • Healthy Fats

  • Complex Carbohydrates

  • Mix of raw and cooked foods

But we also have to eat to feed our microbiomes and make sure we are receiving enough extra nutrients like:

  • All of the B vitamins in active forms

  • Vitamins A and D

  • Minerals especially selenium, zinc and copper

See our article on can a diet solve chronic migraines? here.

If you want an in depth video on the thyroid, migraines and headaches connection see the presentation I have prepared for you below.


This is rarely covered but still a contributor to hormonal dysfunction as well as directly related to both migraines and thyroid functioning.

Our brain neurotransmitters lead the show and our pathways like DARPP-32 have a controlling effect on all of the other systems in our body and this makes sense as our brain is what tells everything else how to function. It sets the pace.

When we have become highly burnt out from stress, overwhelm, pregnancies, nutrients deficiencies, high inflammation, blood sugar dysregulation, digestive and immune issues then our neurotransmitters follow suit.

They can create symptoms whether they go high or low most commonly being high at first stress and then low once you are burnt out.

Organic acids testing is a great way to understand what neurotransmitters are doing and how to best support them.

Inflammatory cytokines

We can think of inflammation as a signal for our body that we are in danger. When our thyroid sees or thinks we are in danger, it will compensate by conserving and protecting, lowering its functioning.

We see this in the body as the inability to properly convert T4 and T3 into their active forms.

Inflammation is one of the main ways our body slows us down through affecting the thyroids ability to speed us up.

Some common underlying causes of inflammation other than those related to diet are:

– Acute or chronic viral infections

– Acute or chronic bacterial infections

– Inflammation and activation of our autoimmunity

Each of these needs to be addressed specifically depending on how and why it is happening if we want our thyroid to feel safe enough to ramp up functioning. Check out one of the best anti-inflammatories in our article turmeric curcumin for migraines and headaches here. See a practitioner trained in finding and supporting these issues for more help. Now let’s get into autoimmunity.


Autoimmunity to the thyroid is no joke. It can make you feel everything from crazy to depressed.

Autoimmunity is the process by which your immune systems regulation breaks down and it begins inadvertently creating antibodies that attack its own tissues.

In this case the thyroid and specifically with the antibodies TPO and TGB. Generally you will have to specifically ask your doctor for these tests unless there are clear signs and symptoms that tips them off. You want to catch this before that point.

This does not happen out of the blue and this is not a death sentence. Many clients do very well when their immune system is properly taken care of and especially before they have their thyroid either taken out or they are put on massive long term hormones without addressing underlying causes. Because hormones in the body function on a negative feedback loop, if the hormones are being supplied from outside, the gland can actually stop producing adequate amounts and then dependency is inevitable.

See our article on 4 Factors that trigger autoimmunity, migraines and headaches.

There are a few key points to autoimmune issues with the thyroid:

  • Molecular mimicry

  • Haptenaization

Molecular mimicry

Molecular mimicry is the process by which proteins from the foods that we eat have similar amino acid sequences to our own bodies tissues.

If our digestion is not working properly and we have leaky gut then these undigested proteins get into the blood and are targeted by our malfunctioning immune system.

If the proteins our body creates antibodies to look similar to our bodies tissue like in this instance with the thyroid, we can begin an immune attack on our own thyroid and body.

This is why those with hashimoto’s thyroiditis do so well removing foods with molecular mimicry to thyroid like:

  • Gluten and other non gluten containing grains

  • Dairy

  • Soy

  • Corn

  • Sesame

  • Rice

But there are many more and diets should be individualized to your case.


A hapten is a molecule that can bind to a protein in the body and then become the source of immune attack.

Generally these are man made chemicals and often toxic ones like mercury, mold, pharmaceutical drugs, BPA and preservatives.

These bind to a protein in the body and then we can develop incredible sensitivities as the combination of exposure and immune break down causing hypersensitivity continues.

Removing the exposure, getting the immune system under control and developing your barrier integrity depending on where the exposure is happening are all essential steps to take towards stabilizing your health.

To finish up this article it is important to understand that:

It is usually not just one of these!!!!

By the time the problem is bad enough, it will usually be multiple systems and mechanisms that are breaking down and need support. This is often why just taking a thyroid medication either only helps in the short term or does not help at all. Using a multi-modal approach is the ideal as this is how the body loves being supported.

The downside to medication for the thyroid, especially with migraines and headaches

Now I have already covered why it is absolutely essential to deal with the underlying causes and mechanisms WHY the thyroid and brain are having issues, but medications present an added variable.

Hormones in the body function on a negative feedback loop. If we take a hormone, especially in high amounts or for extended periods of time, we satisfy the negative feedback loop and the gland or glands producing it stop or slow down in doing so. So as we take a hormone, like thyroid hormone, our brain’s ability to create it may decrease and then if we want to discontinue use, we have a very hard time doing so. This means that we can actually dig a hole for ourselves in terms of wanting to become free of medication. Now obviously there are individuals that have extreme thyroid destruction or other issues that require it, we just want to be aware of dependency.

Our glands act like our muscles, if we don’t use them, we lose them.

Some of the best ways to begin healing our thyroid and brain pain is through adopting:

– A gluten free whole foods diet

– Topping up our vitamin D levels

– Restoring glutathione levels to the cells

– fish oil 

Of course there is also a lot of individuality involved so seeing a holistic health practitioner near you is required.

The more we can address our individuality and these factors that detract from the functioning of our thyroid or its hormones, the more successful we will be in regaining stable and natural health. This helps us get back to what matters most.

If you need specific help feel free to reach out through this link.

3 Reasons Why your fatigue, restless sleep, cravings, mood swings and PMS are showing you why you have migraines

3 Reasons why your fatigue, restless sleep, cravings, mood swings and PMS are showing you why you have migraines

A study writes,

Fourteen of the migraine patients and none of the controls displayed either consistently high plasma cortisol or an occasional aberrant peak.”

It’s very common for us to have things like fatigue with a dependence on caffeine, restless sleep that is often far shorter than the 8-9 hours needed, cravings for sugary or salty treats, PMS and even mood swings.

But these are not normal.

These are our bodies way of communicating to us that there is a problem, and that the problem is escalating.

Our body is like a web, any one system being pulled on, stressed and strained, is translated into the other systems.

You see, as the process of degeneration goes on in the body, more and more systems are pulled in and affected. This causes more and more symptoms.

Depending on the individual, the area where their brains are affected may be:

  • Close to the beginning in the first few years

  • Somewhere down the middle 5 or 10 years later

  • Or even towards the end 20+ years after the first symptoms of compromise began like is common in menopause

There is so much more to our health and we are nothing like a car. The body doesn’t simply have a part switched out and have chronic disease go away.

Chronic disease like recurrent headaches and migraines are systemic.

When we experience a symptom, it is our bodies way of trying to bring balance back into the equation.

Too many aggressive thoughts and emotions, coupled with exacerbating workouts that go on too long or too hard, coupled with foods that only heat the body and do nothing to cool down the heat already created on all of our other fronts ends with a severely imbalanced equation.

It has to equal out somewhere.

Our body is always running between the 2 polarities that are present in everything, from the heating or cooling foods we eat, to the heating or cooling drinks we drink, to the exhaustive or recuperative exercises we practice, to the restless or rejuvenative nights of sleep, to the quick and hot or slow and soothing breaths we take. Even the aggressive shame based anxiety or calm, cool and connected emotions we feel all go into the equation of our bodies balance. (Excerpt from the 10 steps program)

There are three areas we want to look to and 3 systems we assess in anyone looking for information on connecting what is going on below the surface and what is causing the pain in their head.

1. The stress hormone that kills your bodies ability to repair

When we are looking at our bodies overall functioning and we want to understand one of the most reliable indicators of how much, how little or how well our body is responding to the stressors in our lives then this well known glucocorticosteroid is a no brainer.

When we wake up it should shoot up within minutes of us opening our eyes, before we go to sleep it should be at an all time low and allow our more feminine regenerative hormones to shoot up and give us the restful recuperative sleep we need.

The test I use is called an HPA stress profile and this shows me how my cortisol is fluctuating throughout the day, is it shooting up in the morning, are we getting a steady drop throughout the day and are we at an all time low and ready for bed in the evening?

This test tells it all to us and gives me an idea of how well your body is adapting to stress, if your blood sugar is staying balanced, how well your hormones are doing, if your immune system is getting the reset it needs every day, if your moods have the resources they need to remain level and if you are able to take advantage of your sleeping time.

You see, cortisol is a very stimulating hormone, known as a stress hormone but it is responsible for almost everything in our body because it is a controlling hormone. It will dictate how all of the other systems in our body function.

If we have an imbalance here, it can cripple our bodies ability to heal. Whether that be from:

  • Poor circadian rhythms

  • Blood sugar imbalances

  • Mental/emotional stress

  • Trauma

  • Infections

  • Nutrient Deficiencies

This is a great way for us to know how stressed we really are, to get an objective view and understand how long this stress has really been going on. But it also gives us an idea of how long it will take to start feeling better.

When your cortisol is balanced, your inflammation is too and this provides a massive relief to the pain and symptoms that we experience.

See the graph below from a study. The white dots are controls and black dots are chronic migraine sufferers. The chronic migraine sufferers have significantly increased cortisol levels.

HPA, cortisol and migraine

2. The blood sugar balancer

There is always a balance in the body. Where there is a hot and aggressive hormone, there is another hormone on the opposite side of the spectrum that helps us build and cool and calm.

In terms of cortisol, which in the body brings blood sugar UP

We have insulin, which brings blood sugar DOWN

Where cortisol is well known to release sugar into the blood in the case of situations where we are in danger, threatened or enter into “fight or flight mode” also known as fight/flight/flee/freeze and befriend mode. When our body senses danger, it makes resources available to us through cortisols raising of our energy levels and release of blood sugar.

But if this is happening all of the time, if we are constantly missing sleep, caffeine dependant and living in stress mode, then this puts a massive strain on our bodies.

With high cortisol comes high insulin.

Insulin can be thought of as the key to a door on our cells. The insulin unlocks these doors and allows the sugar in the blood to flood into the cell to be used for fuel so that the blood sugar doesn’t cause us any damage in the blood.

Remember that a diabetic who has no insulin can be put into a coma with enough of a blood sugar imbalance.

When insulin is balanced, blood sugar is balanced. But when insulin has to be raised because of chronic overexposure to calories or chronic stresses like the ones listed above, then insulin becomes too common place in the blood.

Eventually, if our cells are not processing the sugars into energy and have no reason to use up their energy stores, they will begin taking away the doors on the cell. These doors are known as receptor sites.

As insulin goes UP, receptor sites go DOWN.

This is known as insulin resistance.

And, this poses a large problem because we will need more and more insulin, to maintain the same balance.

More and more insulin, leading to more and more resistance by the cells.

So what do we do?

We cannot simply add more insulin like is often done in diabetic management because this does not address the ROOT of the cause.

There are two sides to this equation if we do not include the complex energetics inside of the cell.

There is the increased blood sugar on one side of the cell and the decreased need for utilization of energy on the other side.

So we want to resolve all of the above issues to bring our cortisol and blood sugar back into balance.


We want to Increase our bodies ability to utilize blood sugar and give it something it needs to use it for, like exercise!

But this is just the beginning of the vicious cycle because everything we do to our aggressive or “yang” hormones, we are also doing to our regenerative or “yin” hormones.

3. Hormones – The depletion that gives us symptoms which will not go away

In the HPA stress profile there is half of the equation which is cortisol and its rhythm but then there is another half which is DHEA-S.

DHEA is one of our “mother” hormones and it helps produce a number of other hormones. When in balance, it also helps balance out the effects of cortisol.

But we are not balanced. If we already have symptoms and systems breaking down, we have lost homeostasis here.

As cortisol rises to meet the demands of whatever stress whether acute or chronic is going on, so will DHEA to balance it out.

The cool part about DHEA is that it forms hormones like our estrogens and testosterone.

But the rise of these hormones to help balance out cortisol is problematic.

It drains our bodies resources very quickly.

Our acute response inflammatory hormones are extremely resource intensive and demand a lot from us.

The way we can think of it is a plane taking off.

When a plane is building up speed on the run way to take off, you will have to give the power full throttle to give it enough juice to get there. If you don’t, the plane wont be able to lift off before the runway runs out.

But full throttle is not sustainable and it will burn out the engine if it continues indefinitely. It should only be used acutely for short periods of time to help resolve the situation, help us fight the tiger, deal with the infection, get over a relationship or get us into the air.

Our hormones are very costly molecules and after a few days/weeks/months even years, they will not be able to maintain a high degree of stress without rest and recuperation.

This cripples our hormonal system.

Soon enough we are not able to:

  • Reap the benefits of exercise

  • Regulate female hormones involved in the menstrual cycle to avoid PMS

  • Our blood sugar is hanging on by a thread and any sweets that we now have cravings for send us into aggravations and drive up our trigger levels

  • Maintain steady levels of hormones to give us energy as our body starts yelling at us and forcing us to “slow down” with fatigue and all manner of irritable moods

And here begins the cycle.

At the beginning it may have just been simple symptoms like some PMS which everyone tells you is “normal,” or some fatigue which is almost always medicated with caffeine.

But over time as system after system becomes affected by these imbalances we develop more symptoms.

The headaches may have come with the loss of hormonal balance, the loss of immune integrity because of imbalanced cortisol or maybe it took all the way to the point where an infection took up housing in our gut because of the loss of immunity and lack of digestive capacity from the stress.

There are so many areas we break down when this system is compromised and without knowing how compromised we are, we just wait until another system starts showing symptoms.

Have you ever had your cortisol rhythm tested? I invite you to join me on this teaching journey by sending me a message here.

Can Menstrual Migraines With Aura Be Prevented_

Can Menstrual Migraines With Aura Be Prevented?

One of the most common and regular triggers out there is the first day of a woman’s cycle, her period. Luckily these are largely caused by hormones which regulate themselves quite well when supported. In this article I will be answering the question, can menstrual migraines with aura be prevented?

What is a menstrual migraine and why can auras come with them?

A menstrual migraine is one that comes with the menses.

Menses are the first few days of your period when you bleed.

The reason this time of the month is usually such a problem is because estrogen and progesterone are at an all time low.

The menstrual cycle begins with day 1 being the first day of bleeding. Days 1-14 are when estrogen generally rises the highest with day 14 being around the time of ovulation and the best time to conceive. Days 14-28 there is a small spike in estrogen but a large increase in progesterone followed by a drop in both progesterone and estrogen by day 28. This is followed by the period once again.

The large fluctuations during this time can be enough to push us over our threshold and cause our brain to shut down.

If the weak link in our brain is our visual centers then we can experience a visual aura when this shut down occurs.

If it is in our auditory brain centers then we may experience an auditory aura etc.

To see our full presentation on the 3 Linchpins That Destroy Hormones and Leave Your Brain in Pain click here.

4 Huge factors that impact our menstrual migraines during our cycle and their auras

The first factor we need to consider is our progesterone.


Progesterone is one of the most important and protective hormones that women have. It not only balances the effects of estrogen but it can also become estrogen or testosterone based on the bodies needs.

But progesterone is fragile because of its reaction to stress and its need for a safe environment to work properly.

The body has a hierarchy of priorities.

It always chooses Survival over Sex.

It’s actually a feedback mechanism it uses to keep you from becoming pregnant when there is famine or war or too much scarcity around you.

The body makes survival and sex hormones out of the same resources.

But it will always choose survival.

This means that whenever we are in chronic stress or even if we may not necessarily think we are but our body feels like we are through the feedback of all of its systems and how well they are functioning…

Then it will divert all of its resources into creating survival and stress hormones leaving sex hormones dry.

Progesterone is especially susceptible to this which means we want to make sure that we are relieving stress on a few different levels:

  • Mental and emotional stress in the form of fears and safety issues

  • Physical stress in the form of musculoskeletal imbalances, tightness or overtraining

  • Dietary stress in the form of too many sensitive and inflammatory foods

  • Chemical stress in the form of off gassing products and polluted air space

  • Electromagnetic stress causes by electronic pollution

The 5 most common mistakes guide goes into more depth for addressing these stressors and how they affect the nervous system which you can get free here.


Estrogen is a critical part of women’s health but it also has its negative effects. It is responsible for releasing nitric oxide into the blood which triggers vasodilation and may aggravate sensitive blood vessels in the brain because of it.

The key with estrogen is not having too much or too little.

In terms of too much estrogen we want to make sure that our body is not creating too much of it and that we are not taking in too much environmental estrogen.

Estrogen is wide spread in our environment because of our reliance of rubbers, plastics, oils and other synthetics which is causing many changes in the wildlife around us as well as in ourselves.

Some of the largest sources are:

  • High estrogen foods

  • Makeups and other hygiene products

  • Plastic containers and synthetic fibers(BPA)

  • Cleaning products and fragrances(Obesogens)

But we also want to make sure our estrogen isn’t falling too low and this is where our doc may suggest taking the birth control pill to supplement a little bit of estrogen every day and avoid harsh drops.

This needs to be carefully monitored and you should make sure that before you start taking any estrogen that you get tested at different times in your cycle.

See this pin on how your estrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout your cycle.


Testosterone has been shown to be a massive success in helping with migraine headaches.

One study found that 92% of patients improved on subcutaneous testosterone and 74% had a 0 severity headache score in 3 months time.

Testosterone is not just a male hormone as women create it as well but just much less than a man.

Both men and women can benefit from testosterone but again this is a hormone and affects every system in our bodies so it needs to be regulated through testing as there may be side effects.

The fourth and final factor that changes with these hormonal up and down swings is glutamate.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter in the brain and is completely normal for brain function. It helps carry thoughts between neurons in the brain.

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and excites nerve cells in the brain.

But there are also glutamate scavengerd and glutamate transporters which make sure any excess glutamate is picked up and being taken to where it needs to be used instead of exciting cells where it shouldn’t be.

During the menstrual cycle glutamate will fluctuate and reach its highest points around the end and beginning of the cycle.

The problem is that women have far less glutamate scavengers and transporters than men and this leaves it out causing it to excite cells.

If we have neurons that are already having issues producing energy, if they aren’t able to maintain normal concentrations of minerals and process oxygen and glucose properly then this excitation becomes too much.

It may actually lead to the over excitation and death of nerve cells called excito-toxicity but once this starts it can spread to surrounding nerve cells creating a wave of over-excitation followed by a blackout.

This is known as cortical spreading depression or CSD and implicated in the creation of migraine auras which you can read more about in our article on 7 essential skills for how to stop a migraine aura.

So what can we do about it?

Glutamate is most well known as MSG or mono-sodium glutamate.

But glutamate is found in almost every food at least in small amounts so what makes MSG so bad?

MSG is a form of free glutamic acid which means it’s not bound up to other nutrients like amino acids and fibre.

This makes it get absorbed and enter the blood stream very quickly and gives it the chance to enter the brain. We are especially susceptible if we have leaky brain like I describe in this video.

Some of the most common sources of free glutamic acid are the same ones that have high histamine and tyramine levels which are also migraine triggers in some people.

These foods include:

  • Matured, cured, preserved foods

  • Fish sauce

  • Soy sauce and protein

  • Bone broths and meats cooked for long periods of time

  • Malted barley used in breads and beer

  • Dairy casein

  • Wheat gluten

The best way to go about removing free glutamate would be to first remove processed and packaged foods as they can contain numerous forms of hidden glutamate such as the ones in the pin below.

Then if that’s not enough you can go ahead and remove some of the natural sources of it like those above and once symptoms have settled start introducing them one by one into your diet until you find specific triggers.

It’s important to note that glutamate may only be a problem if there is also chronic inflammation going on so this needs to be addressed as well with something like turmeric or ginger.

By supporting your progesterone’s natural protective effect and making sure your estrogen and testosterone are balanced with glutamate you can make amazing strides with your menstrual or hormonal migraines and auras.

See our video on why do menstrual or hormonal migraines happen and what to do below.

Make sure to read our article on 7 essential skills for how to stop a migraine aura here.

Do you experience menstrual or hormonal migraines?

Let me know in the comments below and make sure to share this with someone who needs the information.

The FREE 5 Most Common Mistakes Of Hormonal Migraines E-Guide teaches you:

– Why hormones are the most important focus around why your migraines and headaches keep triggering

– How PMS is common but NOT normal and why it needs to be addressed to be pain free in the long term

– The 5 most common mistakes why hormones stay broken, why so many women become migraine free with pregnancy and why birth control is not a solution