ABOUT MIGRAINE HEADACHE AND THE NATURAL APPROACH TO TREAT THEM
A migraine is a severe form of headache. Usually felt much worse on one side of the head, but it can be spread.
Research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for each million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK. 1
A migraine appears as sudden throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation of headaches.
When experiencing a migraine, several abdominal symptoms may occur at the same time as well, for example:
loss of appetite, dislike of food, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea.
Other symptoms can be extreme sensitivity to light and sound, numbness or tingling or the side of the face, and a warning ‘aura’ before the attack.
It usually strikes sufferers a few times per year in childhood and then progresses to a few times per week in adulthood, particularly in women.
Attacks often begin with warning signs (prodromes) and aura whose origin is thought to involve the hypothalamus, brainstem, and cortex. 2
Migraine with AURA
Migraine with aura is a recurring headache that strikes after or at the same time as sensory disorders called- AURA.
These include flashes of light, blind spots, blurry vision and other vision changes or a tingling feeling in hand or face. 3
The main difficulty with a migraine is finding out the root cause of the problem.
If you suffer from migraines, try to understand what triggers them and where possible, avoid the triggers.
First, it is crucial to identify and avoid the triggers generally stimulated because they have cumulative effects.
Stress, tiredness, and fatigue can be an emotional trigger.
Food intolerance may be linked to migraines; it is recommended to eliminate allergenic foods while trying to identify the trigger to the migraines.
Relaxation techniques can help also.
There are several theories about the cause of migraines.
There are multiple pathways involved in a migraine headache, but a clear understanding of the pathogenesis is not yet clear.
The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but they’re thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. 4
MIGRAINES POTENTIAL TRIGGERS
- Low levels of serotonin
- Food allergy/intolerance: dairy, wheat, chocolate, eggs, oranges, food preservatives, aged cheese, tomatoes and certain food colouring like tartrazine.
- Increased protein intake and decrease amount of carbohydrates the diet
- Alcohol – mainly beer and red wine
- Chemicals – nitrite (preservative) / MSG – Monosodium glutamate (flavour enhancer with an umami taste)
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Emotional changes
- Hormonal changes
- Excess or lack of sleep
- Incorrect posture
- Muscle cramps
- Weather changes
- Diet-related triggers: hypoglycemia, increased sodium intake, lactose intolerance and aspartame intolerance may cause migraines
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS & HERBS:
*Recommendations are individual to health conditions; after consulting with your healthcare practitioner, you can consider the following:
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) is a medicinal plant traditionally used for the treatment of fevers and migraine headaches.
Belonging to the family Asteraceae (daisies) is a daisy-like perennial plant found commonly in gardens and along roadsides.
The name originates from the Latin word febrifugia, “fever reducer.” The first-century Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed feverfew for “all hot inflammations.”
The feverfew herb has a long history of use in traditional and folk medicine.
Feverfew action does not appear to be limited to a single mechanism. Plant extracts affect a wide variety of physiologic pathways, including anti-inflammatory activity (inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis) and a decrease of vascular smooth muscle spasm.5
Riboflavin B2 (within B complex)
Vitamin B2 showing in research decreased ‘attack frequency’ and ‘headache days’.6
5-HTP is the molecular intermediate between tryptophan and serotonin (a chemical in the brain that regulates pain, sleep, and mood).
Serotonin levels become even lower during a migraine or headache attack.
5HTP supplement is readily absorbed when taken orally and easily crosses the Blood-Brain Barrier.
Magnesium deficiency is related to factors that promote headaches. People who experience migraine headaches may have lower levels of serum and tissue magnesium than those who do not.
Fresh ginger root has significant effects in suppressing inflammation and platelet aggregation (symptoms that demonstrated in migraine patients both during and between attacks).