Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to wake up without the fear of developing a migraine?
Of course, it would be.
I personally dealt with migraine headaches for a couple of years until I was able to figure out what the problem was, of course with some help.
My migraines started off with a strange stiff neck, pain on one side or back of the head, sensitivity to noise/light and with an upset stomach. I’d also notice how I’d turn pale as the migrane progressed.
They used to get so bad, that the only way I felt better was after allowing my stomach to speak its mind– in the worse possible way. Not pretty!
Just the thought makes me uncomfortable. I know that feeling all too well, but I am here to help.
The first thing you need to do is create a Journal–Yes boring and who has time, but you’ll thank me later. The journal will help you idenfify potential food or activity triggers.
Now If your migraine medications aren’t working, its time to put the inspector gadget hat on, and take charge of your health.
Second, pay attention to what foods you ate the day before, and the day of. Also, pay attention to emotions. Were you stressed, tense? Emotions count too. Document it!
Third, relax and know that when you listen to your body, you will help it do its job in healing. I got to the bottom of this, and you can too.
If you are there, I feel your pain–so let’s get to this. Here is what I’ve found:
What Is A Migraine
Migraines have been linked with triggers as simple as food allergies to mineral deficiencies. Recent research has discovered that magnesium the second most abundant intracellular cation is essential in many intracellular processes, and appears to play an important role in migraine pathogenesis.
Migraine sufferers may develop magnesium deficiency due to genetic inability to absorb magnesium, inherited renal magnesium wasting, excretion of excessive amounts of magnesium due to stress, low nutritional intake, and several other reasons.
There is strong evidence that magnesium deficiency is much more prevalent in migraine sufferers than in healthy controls. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have produced mixed results, most likely because both magnesium deficient and non-deficient patients were included in these trials.
This is akin to giving cyanocobalamine in a blinded fashion to a group of people with peripheral neuropathy without regard to their cyanocobalamine levels. Both oral and intravenous magnesium are widely available, extremely safe, very inexpensive and for patients who are magnesium deficient can be highly effective.
Check out this infographic to learn about the four states of a Migraine:
See the full Infographic here (Courtesy of wholesomeone.com)
A Migraine is a medical condition in which you experience a serious headache that tends to occur again and again. You may experience severe pain on one side of your head and you may become very sensitive and irritable to high noises and even bright lights. You may even feel irritated if somebody moves around nearby, making your migraine worse [raise your hand if you agree] been there done that. When you are having a migraine, you may feel nauseated or experience visual disturbances too.
A chronic disorder, migraine is characterized by a moderate to severe headache. It may occur with pain on the side of your head or even the lower area in the back of your head, vomiting, nausea that will subside once you empty your stomach.
Before the actual headache begins, you may experience aura – a group of symptoms that warns you of an imminent headache attack. Warning signs of the classic migraine before the headache starts include thirst, craving for sweets, light and sound sensitivity, depression, and drowsiness.
Other Hypothesis On Migraines
Past research showed that migraines may be the result of an electrical or chemical imbalance in some parts of the brain. It was believed that the main reason behind “some migraine headaches” was because of the change of blood flow in the brain. At first, blood vessels become narrow or constrict, cutting down the flow of blood and causing weakness, visual disturbances, numbness, difficulty speaking or tingling sensation in one area of the body. Slowly, the blood vessels enlarge or dilate, resulting in a severe headache and increased blood flow.
Other studies have proven that migraine headaches can also happen due to food allergies, chemicals such as MSG, genetic reasons or even gluten. However, new research has found discrepancies on that hypothesis, as researchers were able to figure out that migraines are not lead by constriction and decrease in blood flow. Instead, it increases by nearly 300 percent. Circulation then seems to be normal, or even somewhat reduced, once the attack progresses. Furthermore, it has been argued that a migraine can be triggered as a result of a disorder of migraine sufferers nervous system, apparently in the brain stem.
Migraines may be triggered or made worse by:
- Monthly periods, fluctuations in hormones, estrogen therapy or birth control pills
- Nutritional deficiencies, especially mineral (magnesium as mentioned above)
- Disturbed sleep – too little, too much sleep
- Excessive work or activity
- Anger, major losses, time pressure, physical and emotional stress
- Light glare, humidity, fumes, smells, tobacco smoke
- Change in weather conditions
- Fasting, skipping meals
- Alcoholic beverage
- Not drinking enough water to keep hydrated
Certain foods, such as cheese containing tyramine, meats with nitrate preservatives, smoked meats, yogurt, cream, buttermilk (mainly from feed-lot) animal.
Foods containing flavor enhancing monosodium glutamate (MSG), nuts, and for some people, fermented foods can also trigger a Migraine.
Lastly, recent studies have even linked gluten intolerance to migraine headaches. You may want to eliminate gluten and dairy for a period of time, by following an elimination diet and document how you feel before and after.
Do Routine Blood Test Work?
Routine blood tests do not reflect true body magnesium stores since <2% is in the measurable, extracellular space, 67% is in the bone and 31% is located intracellular. Lack of magnesium may promote cortical spreading depression, hyper aggregation of platelets, affect serotonin receptor function, and influence synthesis and release of a variety of neurotransmitters.
Treatment and Prevention of Migraine
Considering these features of magnesium, the fact that magnesium deficiency may be present in up to half of migraine patients, and that routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.
Additionally, you can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks Through natural remedies, proper diet, supplementation, stress management and enough sleep which do not pose any kind of side effects.
How are you doing in the vitamins and minerals department? Have you had your minerals and vitamin levels checked lately? I recommend a combo which you can find in
Have you had your minerals and vitamin levels checked lately? I recommend a combo which you can find in Liquid Gold by Source of Life. As the name implies, it is in liquid form [one less pill to take. Yay]. Another plus is that its bulk of vitamins and minerals come from fruits and vegetables. As far as magnesium I prefer the magnesium lotion ULTRA instead of the regular caps but that is a matter of preference. There is another great supplement that I love and always get for my parents is the MegaFood Calcium, Magnesium & Potassium tablets. This last one is great for my vegan and vegetarian friends.
A good source of Omega-3 supplement would be a great additions for its anti-inflammatory properties. I like Barlean’s Organic Oils Total Omega which is a truly superior and complete omega 3, 6, 9 nutrition source. Furthermore, fish oil prevents the constriction of blood vessel, preventing the actions in the brain that lead to a migraine.
Are you a vegan or don’t like the fish oil taste or smell? then a plant-based Omega 3 supplement will fit the bill. My all time favorite is Barlean’s Flax See Oil. which also serves as an anti-inflammatory.
Although, the above-mentioned causes, stress, and muscle tension account for the majority of headaches, dehydration is often times the culprit. Some people report that drinking plenty of fresh filtered Water almost instantly gets rid of their headaches. So it is important to rule out dehydration.
- Get tested to see if there may be a mineral, vitamin deficiency or food allergy that could be causing your migraines.
- Ask your doctor for a hormonal pannel, in case there is a hormonal imbalance which can also cause migraines (Most Holistic Nutritionists do this).
- Finally, make sure you keep a very strict food log of the foods you ate before and after the Migraine in order to identify food triggers– if there are any.
Finally make sure you keep a very strict food log of the foods you ate before and after the migraine in order to identify food triggers– if there are any.
What do you think about the new findings linking a magnesium deficiency and migraine headaches? I’d love to hear your experiences with migraines in the comments below.References