Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Sunday, October 03, 2010 chrissygal, Community Member, asks

Q: Water weight gain, Migraines

I was told that my swelling and water weight gain during my menstrual cycle may be a huge cause to my menstrual migraines.  That is can cause my brain to swell as well, and that I need to be taking a diuretic.  Can this be true, have never heard this before but I do know that for me water retention is a huge problem.  I often go up to almost two sizes carring water weight gain.  Any info would be great.

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Answers (1)
Nancy Harris Bonk, Community Member
10/ 5/10 3:13pm

Hi chrissygal,


I've never heard of this before and a little curious who told you this. Fluid retention in the body and "swelling in the brain" are two very different things. If this came from your doctor, please ask for a complete explanation.


What I do know is that "water weight gain" does not cause menstrually triggered Migraines, rather, Migraine is a genenic neurological disease thought to be caused by overactive neurons in our brains and genetics. We have lots of information on trigger identification and management that is available on this page; Migraine Triggers


Good luck


chrissygal, Community Member
10/ 5/10 4:25pm

A new family doc said this to me.  She asked me if I deal with water retention, as we were also talking about my PCOS and other problems I am dealing with also. I was not really sure all of what she was trying to say, I will be asking more questions but I do know for me that most of my migraines, about 80% are areound my period.  Starting 3 or 4 days before my period, throughout my period and lasting a few days after it.  And all the while I have major water retention going on.  I get legs cramps and joint cramps to go along with it.  My skin will fell very tight, very much like the tight feeling of my migraine I get.  No one in my family has migraines and for me I sometimes have a hard time thinking that it is all related to genenics.  I got my first headache 3 days before my first period, so for me my headaches and migraines have always be a huge part of me simply being a women. I was 9 years old.  I was thinking since my body is so much effected my the water retention that it might make sense that my brain is effected also.   I am not saying that the water retention is a cause of the migraines but that it might be a huge factor. Thanks for replying and talking with me on this.

number four, Community Member
11/ 2/12 1:03pm



Did you ever try out the theory of water retention to help with migraines?  I also had a doctor tell me this and prescribed diuretic for 5 days around my period.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm with you - it kind of makes sense with the swelling, etc. and with it always around my period.  I also heard it could be hormonal, but wondering about the water retention, and if that were true, I would think it would be easier to manage than a hormonal problem that most doctors are not willing to work with.  I feel your pain with chronic migraines and hope you have found something to help.  If so, I would love to hear what it might be.


Thank you.


chrissygal, Community Member
11/ 2/12 2:47pm

Ya, I was told that by a doc, not my migraine doc, one that I was seeing about some back pain.  I did end up telling my migraine doc about it and she said that she has never heard of such a thing, but that the inbalance of fuild in the body with the hormones could add to the extra pain around my cycle.


I did start on a water pill as well, three or four days before my cycle, really as soon as I felt the water gain.  Then started taking Frova two times a day until my pain was gone.  For me that last about a week or so of hell each month.  gggggrrrrrr.   I would drink a lot of water, coconut water and try to eat really clean during that time.  No fast food or junk food.  OK, Man is that hard.  For real!


I have since then lost about 23 pounds and I have noticed that the water weight gain during that time is not as bad as it used to be.  But, my monster still comes for a not so nice long visit.  Its a day by day, learn by learn life.  What works, what does not, what I can do, what I can't do.  Fight and not let the MONSTER win.







In the end fight. 

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By chrissygal, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/02/12, First Published: 10/03/10