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What should you know about estrogen, statins and baby aspirin? Plenty! Read on to learn how to get the heart-healthy benefits of each—without raising your risk of debilitating migraines.

Are there migraine risks and “remedies” you’d like us to explore in upcoming newsletters? We appreciate how engaged our readers are and we value your inputs. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Tina Sanders


Linpharma Customer Education

 

 

Hormones and Migraines: A Delicate Balance

Women may account for 70% of the millions of Americans who suffer from migraines. This is because migraines are often triggered by fluctuations in levels of estrogen and progestin. Adjusting the levels of these hormones can prove beneficial, but sometimes the resulting migraine relief comes with significant risks:

  • Birth control pills. Many women who suffer menstrual migraines find relief by taking birth control pills which steady the hormonal balance. Some extended-cycle pill regimens can stop menstrual bleeding (and cramping, headaches and other symptoms) for up to a year. There are, however, potential health concerns with oral contraceptives, including blood clots and stroke—particularly after age 35 and especially if you smoke.

  • Estrogens and oral contraceptives are also associated with liver damage. In research presented on the NIH site, Livertox.nih.gov, the risk is more common with higher doses of estrogen but have also been reported with use of more modern, lower-estrogen birth control pills and low-dose estrogen hormonal replacement therapy.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Women who experience menstrual migraines during perimenopause or menopause may seek by using a low-dose estrogen on days surrounding their period as a preventive measure. Again, this can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots and stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, using HRT for more than a few years increases the risk of breast cancer. And, as sited above, liver damage has been reported with even low-dose HRT.

  • Topiramate. You probably know that topiramate (brand name Topamax®) is an anti-epilepsy drug often prescribed to help prevent migraines. But did you know that it can also increase the metabolism of estrogen and progestin? While this may contribute to the drug’s ability to reduce migraines, it can also significantly reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Plus, taking topiramate while pregnant can increase the risks of birth defects.
If your primary reason for taking hormones is to reduce migraines, consider more natural alternatives. For instance, herbal preventives such as butterbur root extract (with harmful PAs removed) and the MIG-99® parthenolide extract from feverfew have been shown as effective as topiramate at reducing the frequency of migraines. Consider boosting your intake of B vitamins, calcium and magnesium—nutrients shown to help reduce menstrual migraines.

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RISK ALERT: Statins reduce more than cholesterol

Statins are excellent at lowering cholesterol, which is good for heart health. What isn’t good is the way statins also block synthesis of Co-enzyme CoQ10.

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is vital for biochemical reactions that help every cell in our body produce energy and use oxygen efficiently. When statins block the body’s ability to synthesize CoQ10, it can disrupt our cells’ ability to metabolize energy, which we know can lead to migraine attacks.

 

If you take statins and suffer migraines, talk with your doctor about using a CoQ10 supplement. A supplement that also contains Vitamin B2 and magnesium (such as Dolovent™) can help avoid all three nutrient deficiencies often implicated in triggering migraines.

Learn more about the importance of CoQ10 (PDF)

 
Migraine Prevention: Baby Aspirin PLUS

Doctors often prescribe a daily baby aspirin for patients to reduce cardiovascular risks. Now, many doctors are offering similar advice to patients that suffer migraines. Why? Because low-dose aspirin may also reduce the frequency of migraines.

In the Physician’s Health Study involving 22,000 male physicians, taking low-dose aspirin did more than reduce the risk of heart attack: migraine sufferers in the study who took baby aspirin reported 20% fewer attacks compared to those taking the placebo.

While baby aspirin is no match for the pain of a full-blown migraine, researchers speculate that a daily baby aspirin may be an excellent “plus” to add to a prevention regimen that also includes non-drug options such as nutritional or herbal supplements (remember that aspirin itself was once classified as an herbal remedy—willow bark extract). As with any change to your prevention plan, talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.

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Dolovent™
nutritional supplement

All-in-one, clinical strength supplement for correcting Magnesium, B2 and CoQ10 deficiencies associated with neurological discomfort.

Dolovent.com
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Petadolex®
herbal supplement

Petasites butterbur extract manufactured in Germany and PA-free.

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