Here are some interesting statistics that I have researched on migraines that could possibly us find out how to end migraines….
MORE THAN 10 MILLION Americans have migraines – that’s a huge number of people. Dr. Mark Hyman says, “…creating a burden of mostly unnecessary suffering. These severe, nearly disabling headaches can occur anywhere from once a year to three to four times a week. They can last from hours to days. They are often associated with an aura, light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and severe throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Migraines are even associated with stroke-like symptoms or paralysis in some cases …”
As you can image, the costs involved are enormous. Migraines add between $13 billion and $17 billion to our healthcare costs in the United States each year. These costs include medications, emergency room visits, hospitalization, physician services, labs and diagnostics, and managing the side effects of treatment. In addition to this, migraines have indirect costs as well. A headache/migraine is the most frequent pain-related complaint among workers. According to one study that was conducted that specifically focused on migraines, they found that the annual cost to employers exceeded $14.5 billion, of which $7.9 billion was due to absenteeism and $5.4 billion was due to diminished productivity.
I am giving the statistics here because people tend to feel isolated with migraine problems — but in reality, millions of Americans are in the same boat. This is a huge problem in the U.S. and around the world.
Then take into consideration that migraines are hard to treat and very difficult to prevent with conventional approaches. There are so many preventive drugs — calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and more – which work poorly, if at all — not to mention these drugs are accompanied by frequent side effects. Many are now using Botox to paralyze neck muscles in the hopes of easing migraines.
At this point, I have to share that in my worst pain cycles and migraine days — which were almost daily — no preventative was ever effective for me, and even when I got off my narcotics and was tried on Botox, that never worked for me either. The most effective thing for me has been incorporating natural remedies into my lifestyle and also becoming more knowledgeable about migraine triggers and root causes.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, the problem with migraines is the same one we see so often in medicine: doctors treat the symptoms, not the cause. According to Dr. Mark Hyman:
“Migraines are no different from any other disease.
It’s simply the name we call a set of symptoms
that are common in groups of people.”
I have done some additional research relating to similar types of symptoms and causes, and then I’ve checked out some of solutions that can help you. These symptoms can be root causes of migraines. So you should always check with your physician before trying anything new or if you want some testing conducted.
Bowel and Gut Imbalances/Food Allergy
Symptoms: Fatigue, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, brain fog, joint or muscle pain, postnasal drip, sinus congestion, and more. For this type of issue, ask your doctor to check an IgG food allergy panel and also check a celiac panel. Why? Because wheat and gluten are among the biggest causes of both headaches and migraines.
Treatment: An elimination diet — getting rid of gluten, dairy, eggs, and yeast — is a good way to start. Corn can also be a common problem. Getting the digestive system healthy with enzymes, probiotics, and omega-3 fats is also important.
Causes: If you are eating a highly processed-food diet including aspartame, nitrates (in deli meats), sulfites (found in wine and dried fruit), MSG (monosodium glutamate), and food from salad bars then this can definitely be the cause. Tyramine-containing foods like chocolate and cheese are also triggers.
Treatment: This one, to me, is a much easier fix — get rid of additives, sweeteners, sulfites, and processed food. Instead, eat a diet rich in whole foods and phytonutrients.
Causes: Premenstrual syndrome with bloating, fluid retention, cravings, irritability, menstrual cramps and breast tenderness; oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy; or even just being pre-menopausal, which leads to too much estrogen and not enough progesterone because of changes in ovulation.
Testing: Blood or saliva hormone testing looks for menopausal changes or too much estrogen. This takes all of the guess work out of it for you.
Treatment: My recommendation is that you eat a whole-foods, low-glycemic load, high-phytonutrient diet that includes flax and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. You can also try herbs such as Vitex, along with magnesium and B6. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Exercise and stress reduction techniques also help.
Symptoms: Anything that feels tight or crampy like headaches, constipation, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, muscle cramps or twitching, and palpitations.
Testing: Check red blood cell magnesium levels. Even this can be normal in the face of total body deficiency, so treatment with magnesium based on the symptoms is the first choice.
Note: Please be sure to consult with your physician in the event you have any type of kidney.
Symptoms: Fatigue, muscle aches, and brain fog. (Note: sometimes the only symptom may be migraines.)
Testing: Checking urinary organic acids can be helpful to assess the function of the mitochondria and energy production.
With all of these things listed above, sometimes a combination of treatments may be helpful; these could include herbal therapies — like feverfew and butterbur — acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, and chiropractic.
If this information resonates with you and you would like more help and support, I encourage you to go over to my Facebook Migraine Support Community >>CLICK HERE<<
We’ve talked about a lot today, but now I’d love to hear from you…
Do you suffer from migraines?
Have you found a connection between the causes I’ve mentioned and your headaches?
What treatments have you tried and how are they working?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
DISCLAIMER: Neither Holistic Health & Wellness, LLC nor Lynne Wadsworth are acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietician-nutritionist, psychologist or other licensed or registered professional. Any advice given by Holistic Health & Wellness, LLC or Lynne Wadsworth is not meant to take the place of advice by these professionals. If you are under the care of a health care professional or currently use prescription medications, you should discuss any dietary changes or use of dietary supplements with your doctor, and should not discontinue any prescription medications without first consulting your doctor.