Migraines: A Painful Experience2016-10-26T10:50:38+00:00

Migraines

Migraines

Migraines are a debilitating and painful experience, as those who suffer from them are well aware. It is estimated that approximately 15% of the global population is affected by migraines at some point in life.[1] Classified as a neurovascular disorder, they affect 3 times more women than men and are believed to have varying triggers and causes, ranging from genetic to environmental.

What causes them?

Although it is not known exactly what causes migraines or why they occur, there a number of theories. The most likely is that faulty wiring in the brain is the cause.  The head pain associated with migraine is caused by enlargement of blood vessels in the brain and the release of chemicals from surrounding nerve fibres resulting in the characteristic pain and inflammation associated with migraines. A strong genetic link and low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, are thought to be characteristic in migraine sufferers.

There are often various associated symptoms that accompany a migraine. Some suffer from pulsating headaches, whilst others experience nausea, increased sensitivity to sound and light or other visual disturbances. Up to one-third of people with migraine headaches perceive an aura: a transient visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbance which signals that the headache will soon occur. [2]

Migraine Triggers

Triggers for migraines are often highly personalized, ranging from hormonal changes, viral or bacterial infections, to certain foods or perfumes. Late nights and sleep deprivation, stress, caffeine, poor eating habits and changes in blood sugar levels are all implicated in the occurrence of migraines. Foods such as chocolate, alcohol and cheese cause vasoconstriction and this can exacerbate or bring on a migraine…

Natural treatment options…

There are several treatment options, both medical and natural. Research into natural remedies is being pursued heavily, due to the lack of side effects and toxicity that is often a problem with conventional pharmaceuticals. In a recent study, patients who took 400mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2) daily, experienced significantly less migraines after a period of 3 months.[3] Other natural treatments include the herbal remedy, Feverfew. In one study, Feverfew was found to reduce the incidence of migraines from 4.76 per month to 2.86 per month, a 40% reduction. [4]

In recent research, the hormone melatonin has been found to be significantly more effective than amitriptyline (an antidepressant drug used to prevent migraines)at reducing the incidence of migraines[5]. Magnesium, fish oils and CoQ10 have been used to treat migraines with success. Research continues to be undertaken to determine effective treatments to help migraine sufferers…

It is estimated that in United States alone, the costs of medical expenses and lost productivity as a result of migraines is upwards of $17 billion dollars per year.[6]

To help prevent migraines occurring, lifestyle changes are often beneficial, as stress and tension is usually a contributing factor to the onset of symptoms. Reducing stress by doing yoga or meditation is a great idea. Getting enough sleep, having a balanced diet and eating regular meals is not only good practice for preventing migraines, but is a good lifestyle.

What natural treatments are available?

To help prevent migraines occurring, lifestyle changes are often beneficial, as stress and tension is usually a contributing factor to the onset of symptoms. Reducing stress by doing yoga or meditation is a great idea. Getting enough sleep, having a balanced diet and eating regular meals is not only good practice for preventing migraines, but is a good lifestyle choice in general. Massage, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and aromatherapy may also be considered as options to reduce tension….

For the treatment of migraines in the clinic, Vitanox is used to reduce inflammation and promote vascular well-being. Tissue Regenex with its active ingredients of Gingko and Gotu Kola, is used to promote healthy blood vessels and high quality B multi vitamin is essential. Rehmannia Complex contains Feverfew which has been proven through recent studies to produce significant reductions in migraines, when used regularly. Valerian Complex is also an excellent option to invigorate and maintain a healthy nervous system, which is essential for the prevention of migraines. Melatonin levels can be upwardly influenced by the usage of Chaste Tree –  Vitex Agnus Castus…

Migraines are a debilitating condition, however with a combination of natural medicine and lifestyle changes, they are manageable. Proactively taking care of your health and diet can make a significant difference in the frequency of migraine attacks…

If you have any questions about migraines or would like any further information, please talk to us at your next consultation…


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