"What time of the day do your migraines start?" is one of the questions we ask someone who gets migraines. It is one of the most important questions in helping to determine what is happening inside the body to invoke a migraine.
A very common answer is "during the night;" however, when we ask for the exact time, most reply, "Around 4 AM." The other two most frequent replies as to when a person gets a migraine are "Shortly after getting up in the morning" (full-blown by noon) and "Sometime in the late afternoon."
These time patterns actually coincide with hormone changes in the body. When we look at which hormones fluctuate around these times, we find the hormone melatonin, from the pineal gland, and the hormone cortisol, from the adrenal gland.
The body begins producing melatonin (the hormone that helps us sleep) generally around 4 PM and it stops producing around 4 AM. Even though we see that this corresponds to times of migraines, we cannot jump to the conclusion that this hormone is a cause of migraines; rather, we must look at the actions of this hormone to see their effect on migraines.
The level of melatonin in the body affects how other hormones function, namely the two hormones that we are most interested in when researching the cause of migraines: Lutenizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) (in both male and female bodies). These are hormones that have receptors on the cells that contain the known gene for migraines. Since we already know that fluctuations in the level of these hormones can invoke monthly menstrual migraines in women, we can reason that we are dealing with similar reactions as the cause of these other migraine occurrences.
Now that you know what is happening, you may be asking what can be done to help? The first thing is to make certain you are taking Tuliv Migraine Defense to prevent migraines. For anyone who may have break-though 4 AM type migraines while on Migraine Defense, adding Tuliv time-released melatonin at bedtime works synergistically to keep these headaches from happening.
What about a migraine that begins after we get up in the morning? Well, just as melatonin helps us sleep, the hormone cortisol helps us wake up and start the day. Cortisol is a powerful hormone used by the body to make us more alert, especially while under stress. Our research has shown that cortisol may be the underlying cause of stress headaches.
When we trace how cortisol works in the body, we see that it also has an effect on the LH and FSH hormones receptors on the "migraine gene" cells and so we again feel we are dealing with the same set of principles that are at the center of the cause of migraines.
We have mentioned three different times of the day when migraines are most likely to start, and yet we have named only two different hormones. That is because melatonin also appears to be involved in the occurrence of afternoon headaches.
Have you ever noticed how you begin to feel tired or let down in the late afternoon? That is when melatonin starts to enter the body. Melatonin is produced from serotonin, that is to say the pineal gland converts serotonin to melatonin. We have already mentioned above how melatonin affects the "migraine gene" cells. Although some migraine researchers see the lack of serotonin as the problem, what may actually be occurring is the reaction of melatonin after it has been converted from serotonin.
For the most part, Tuliv Migraine Defense prevents migraines no matter what time of the day; however, when it fails to completely do the job, we may recommend adding the supplement 5-HTP. 5-HTP is used to help increase serotonin or at least stabilize the depletion of it.
The time when migraines occur reveals a great deal of information about what is happening in the body and points to the cause of migraines. By understanding and using this information, we can find natural ways to help prevent migraines. At Tuliv, we are dedicated to helping you find your best solution for a migraine-free life.
What time of the day do most of your migraines start? If you are unsure of any pattern, then please print a copy of our Migraine Diary and track your migraines for the next month and see what you find. We will be happy to review the results with you.
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