Migraines – How to Deal With Them?
By Elizabeth McMillan, MS, CNS
Migraines are a type of headache that can cause throbbing pain that varies in intensity. A migraine can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The most common symptoms that escort a migraine are nausea and sensitivity to light. However, this type of pain can lead to foggy thinking, dizziness, and can be completely debilitating.
By knowing our triggers, we can decrease the occurrence of migraines. Some common triggers include certain foods, dehydration, environmental toxins, genetics, stress, exercise, and hormonal fluctuations. Traditional medicine treats migraines with rest and some pharmaceuticals to relieve pain and open the circulation to the brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no cure for migraines and that is probably true. However, the more important question is why you are getting the migraines in the first place. A Functional Medical approach examines a multitude of reasons why one is experiencing a migraine.
From a cellular perspective, a migraine is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain. Some theories of why this occurs include:
- Changes in brain chemical serotonin
- Vascular constriction in your brain
- Excessive blood flow to the brain
- A neurological disorder
- Nervous System tension
- Disruption in neuronal energies
- Genetic mutations
These theories provide a starting point to solve migraine mystery. Again, we question why one of these theories are causing the migraine. The most notable reason is a vitamin deficiency. Vitamins are crucial for all energetic pathways in the body, because they create catalysts in productivity. Vitamin deficiency can lead to blockages thus resulting in migraines.
Unfortunately, just taking a multi-vitamin will not halt all migraines. It is important to take a comprehensive approach. This includes testing and evaluating for any vitamin and mineral deficiencies and assessing other triggers. Creating a multi-step approach will allow one to become aware of their cellular causes and triggers to decrease the severity and occurrence of migraines.
Until you are able to work with a practitioner to develop a multifaceted approach, here are some tips that can help with migraines.
- Hydration – aim to drink half your body weight in ounces
- Limit certain foods like wheat, dairy, added sugar, processed meats, aspartame, and MSG
- Aim to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep
- Try alternative approaches like acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care
- Try some aroma therapy by using peppermint, sandalwood oil, lavender, or eucalyptus. This can be especially helpful if a trigger is allergy/sinus related.
Do you experience migraines and headaches? Our functional nutritionist specializes in customized meals plans for those suffering with headaches and migraines. Contact us at 571-529-6699 and talk to one of our helpful staff.
Vitamin deficiency causes migraines and headaches