It’s not news to us as migraine sufferers that migraines are a big problem. This doesn’t just affect us personally, but migraines also affect millions of people and can cost billions of dollars in healthcare costs. They are one of the most common reasons people end up the emergency room.
Finding relief for your migraines comes down to one question: What’s causing the migraines? It not just about treating the migraines, but also discovering the underlying triggers and causes. When we delve into the cause and not just the symptoms, people sometimes find the root cause of their migraines may be from some other factors. What’s intriguing is the fact that 10 people with the exact same symptoms might have very different underlying causes. In my migraine program, we try to find your underlying causes and your triggers so you can find a permanent solution to your migraine pain.
Here are some of the causes of migraines:
Sensitivity to foods such as peanuts, dairy or eggs. You can test this yourself by eliminating one specific food from your diet and see if your migraines go away. Then re-introduce that food and see if the migraines came back.
Gluten allergy. This is a food allergy that creates a lot of inflammation. Many people find themselves sensitive to gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt). Again, you can try eliminating gluten and see the interaction with your migraines.
Hormonal imbalances. Many women get premenstrual migraines, which is often caused by imbalances in estrogen and progesterone—too much estrogen, not enough progesterone. These types of migraines can also be caused by factors such as stress, sugar, flour, starches, and even by consuming too much alcohol. These can also be caused by not getting enough exercise or sleep.
Magnesium deficiency. We have talked about this one quite often in the past. Magnesium is the “relaxation mineral,” so if you have a deficiency, you are more prone to headaches and migraines. You can ask your physician to check your magnesium levels, or you can choose to put yourself on magnesium to see how your migraines react to this additional mineral.
Vitamin B deficiency. Some people who don’t get enough riboflavin get migraines. Of course, you can easily put foods into your diet with plenty of vitamin B to boost a possible deficiency. Again, you can ask your physician to check your vitamin B levels.
Imbalances in melatonin. There have been some newer studies done recently which have shown that this may be related to sleep cycles, which can be improved with melatonin. Sleep, as you know is a more common trigger for migraines, and you should “guard your sleep” to make sure you are getting enough nightly rest.
Of course, migraines are not always the same, but much easier to control if you find the underlying cause. Here are some simple ways to identify and eliminate what might be causing your migraines:
- Try an elimination diet. Get rid of the common food allergens. If you want more help in this area, just send me an email and ask me about my elimination diet.
- Balance your hormones to stop premenstrual migraines by exercising; eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Also, eat a diet rich in plant foods (especially the broccoli family, flax seeds and other vegetables, and fruits).
- Melatonin has been shown to help relieve migraines, so try or 2 milligrams at night.
- Magnesium – try 300 to 600 milligrams twice a day in the form of magnesium glycinate or citrate.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – try 400 milligrams a day to see if it will help. (Note: Nothing to worry about, but this will turn your urine a dark yellow.)
These are just a few simple things you can do at home to help with your migraines. I have lots more suggestions in addition to these, so, I encourage you to read my blogs on migraines and take advantage of the information on my website.