By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Maria suffered with headaches since her early 20s, and she was 38 when she came to see me at the clinic. Sometimes she woke with a headache and sometimes one developed during the course of the day. They were a big source of stress in her life. They made it difficult to do her job, and she was impatient and snappy with her children when she had a headache.
Maria had been unable to take the oral contraceptive pill, as it had made her headaches much worse. Over the years she had used considerable quantities of pain relieving medication, which placed a strain on her liver. Her blood test revealed Maria had a fatty liver and she was carrying excess weight around her abdomen too.
The headaches Maria suffered with tended to be more intense in the week leading up to menstruation, and the first couple of days of bleeding. She knew to increase her water intake at the first sign of a headache, and that often reduced the intensity of the pain. Maria wasn’t a fantastic sleeper, and sleep deprivation was guaranteed to bring on a headache.
The only abnormality in her blood test results was elevated liver enzymes. Maria had been vitamin D deficient in the past, but this was corrected with supplementation. There were no abnormalities in the MRI of her brain.
Along with headaches before menstruation, Maria had problematic menses. She experienced heavy bleeding and painful menstrual cramps. She also experienced quite significant mood changes and sugar cravings. Maria said she could follow a healthy diet, lose a few pounds and undo all of that in the week she suffered PMS by binging on chocolate and cookies.