About 37 million people in the US (about one out of every eight of us) suffer from migraine attacks.
Ninety-one percent of them can't work or function normally during an attack and as many as one out of four end up in the emergency room!
Note that migraine is no longer referred to as "migraine headaches"--it's now considered a neurological condition because of the different phases and variety of symptoms that people experience in addition to the classic pounding head.
If you suffer from migraine attacks, here are several possible reasons why, plus 10 safe, natural ways to get relief!
Many theories but which one is right? (Answer: All of them)
Migraine is puzzling because there has not been one tried and true explanation for all cases.
One theory involves dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head as being the primary source of the pain.
Hormones are suspect too, since many women get attacks during menstruation or menopause--times when their hormones may be fluctuating.
Another theory looks at nerve pathways and brain chemicals as the culprit behind the throbbing. Many migraine sufferers incur a drop in serotonin just before an attack.
Additionally, both aspartame and MSG are known for causing headaches and triggering migraine in many people. Aspartame can also trigger other migraine-associated neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances and tingling in the extremities.
Migraines are also commonly seen alongside food allergies and sensitivities. Common guilty foods include wheat, gluten, yeast, corn, grains, sugar and eggs.
Plus they have been linked to heavy metal toxicity, especially mercury.
The current 3-step approach for treatment
Since migraine is now seen as a multi-phase neurological condition, the popular treatment for it involves a three-step approach--acute, preventive and complementary.
Acute treatment uses pain drugs for the headaches when they occur, and preventive treatment involves drugs taken daily to ward off attacks.
But unfortunately pain drugs used over time become less and less effective, plus there are significant potential side effects that you may be facing.
Complementary treatment includes alternative therapies like biofeedback, relaxation, acupuncture, physical therapy and exercise to help prevent attacks.
Even more answers!
Here are ten safe, natural answers that have been shown to be extremely helpful in counteracting migraine attacks:
1) Avoid aspartame and MSG
Read food labels carefully, and request no MSG in restaurants.
If you want a calorie-free sweetener option, use stevia. It's been around for centuries and is a much safer way to sweeten your food and beverages without adding calories.
2) Make dietary changes
Concentrate on whole foods and remove sugars, excess salt, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and caffeine from your diet as much as possible.
Also avoid getting too hungry between meals, since low blood sugar levels can trigger migraine attacks. Have protein snacks such as nuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs or a piece of meat or fish handy.
3) Consider supplementing with CoQ10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an impressive antioxidant that can help decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.
Recommended doses are 90 -120 mg. per day.
Recent studies have shown that lavender essential oil can be very helpful with migraine.
Just make sure you're getting true essential oils and not just fragrances.
5) Consider supplementing with Omega-3 EFAs
A source of inflammation in the body that can trigger pain of all kinds is a deficiency in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
But you can help make sure you have enough of these natural anti-inflammatories with an Omega-3 EFA supplement like VitalMega-3. VitalMega-3 is a top-quality fish oil formula that delivers 1,200 mg. of inflammation-curbing Omega-3 EFAs in every daily 2-capsule serving, including the all-important EPA and DHA.
Numerous studies show fish oil's effectiveness to naturally reduce pain and inflammation. Many doctors are recommending fish oil more often to their patients with chronic pain and seeing terrific results.
6) Consider supplementing with magnesium
Magnesium has shown to help prevent migraine in many studies.
Researchers have noted that after magnesium supplementation, migraine sufferers had increased blood flow to the brain...and decreased frequency and severity of migraine attacks!
The typical recommended dose is 400 mg. daily.
7) Investigate possible food allergies or sensitivities
If you have known or suspected food allergies or sensitivities, it’s essential to get tested and try to zero in on what food(s) may be offending you and eliminate them from your diet.
8) Consider probiotic supplementation
Most people don’t realize this, but the beneficial bacteria in your gut produces 80 percent of your body's serotonin.
If low serotonin is a factor behind your migraines, your gut health is of utmost importance—and if the harmful bacteria outnumber the good that could be affecting your number of attacks.
Repopulating your gut’s beneficial bacteria with probiotics can help you achieve a healthier flora balance. Having enough friendly flora “on the job” can help support your body’s proper production of serotonin, which in turn may help curb your migraines.
(FYI: This is also why probiotics have been shown to help with depression too.)
And Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula is as good as it gets.
Super Shield contains 13 strains of well-studied probiotic bacteria that are potent, strong and ready to line your intestinal walls with their health-supporting protection.
9) Look for sources of heavy metals
You may not know this, but amalgam fillings are a significant source of mercury in the human body. Many migraine sufferers have reported dramatic improvements after having their amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composites.
Also, most flu shots contain mercury and sometimes aluminum (a heavy metal linked to Alzheimer’s), so keep that in mind when making your healthcare decisions.
You can ask your doctor to test your urine for heavy metals. If your levels are high, chelation therapy can help clear them from your body.
10) Consider bio-identical hormone replacement therapy
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has been a godsend for many perimenopausal and fully menopausal women…and if hormonal changes are a factor behind your migraines, it may make a tremendous difference.
If you or someone you love is plagued by migraine attacks, see how much better you can feel when you safely and naturally help fight all of the possible underlying factors behind this debilitating condition.