Migraines affect around 20 percent of the population and women are most vulnerable – the good news is that is is possible to manage migraines effectively with natural medicine and to reduce attack frequency and severity.
Migraine or Headache?
Symptoms of a Migraine
All the symptoms below are associated with the instability, dilation, and constriction of blood vessels seen in migraine, (as opposed to a headache caused by muscular tension, for example.)
- severe throbbing pain in forehead or one side of head
- nausea or vomiting
- visual disturbances – flashing lights, blurred vision, blind spots, known as an aura
- feeling too hot or too cold
- tingling and numbness in the limbs
- loss of appetite
- sensitivity to light, noise or odours
- seeking a darkened and/or quiet place
- attack lasts for several hours or up to a day or more
What’s important to note is that migraines are unique to each individual, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, because everyone has different triggers.
Such triggers may include:
- stress and emotional changes
- Poor sleep and tiredness
- flashing lights (including computer/TV screens)
- environmental triggers like geopathic stress, electrosmog, flashing lights or glare, noise, humidity, sudden changes in barometric pressure
- poor posture, structural imbalances and muscle tension
- too little or too much exercise
- blood sugar fluctuations
- food intolerances and allergies, especially to dairy, wheat, the additive MSG, dietary amines (cheese, red wine, beer, orange juice, chocolate) , caffeine, processed or aged meat (especially if it contains nitrates), artificial sweeteners, salicylates and high-fat foods
- platelet disorders that cause ‘sticky blood’
- low serotonin levels, which can lead to a lower pain threshold
- nerve disorders, where a person’s nerve cells release ‘substance P’, causing blood vessels to dilate and white blood cells to release histamine
- sinus problems
- Bacteria and/or viral infections
- Gut issues – dysbiosis/purification/fermentation
- Heavy metals and/or chemical sensitivities
- Liver and kidney impaired detoxification
- Nutritional deficiencies
- the oral contraceptive pill
- Hormonal changes – women can experience migraines pre-menstrually due to the rapid decrease in oestrogen coupled with sagging progesterone at that time.
- Genetic component – migraines can run in families
For most people it is not just one trigger, but a combination of several aggravating factors that cause an attack.
Manage Migraines Effectively
A holistic approach is ideal to effectively assist to manage migraines, minimising and potentially banishing such attacks for good!