7 Obstacles Tying Your Thyroid And Migraine Headaches Symptoms

7 Obstacles Tying Your Thyroid And Migraine Headaches Symptoms

There are few stronger connections with migraines than thyroid issues. Both high and low patterns of thyroid are a massive stress on the body while also being caused by stress on the body. When we can support our thyroid in normal functioning we are much more apt to tolerate our environment so that our trigger levels stay low and we do not cross our headache thresholds. In this article, I will be covering how thyroid connects to migraines as well as the 7 obstacles to thyroid health that leave your brain in pain. It all begins with how our thyroid responds.

What do we depend on our thyroid for?

Our thyroid is a master gland. This means that it controls the show. We can think of it like a thermostat in our house or gas pedal in our car. If we turn up our thermostat, we get warmer. If we press the gas, our car goes faster. The thyroid does the same as it controls overall metabolic functioning and EVERY cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormones. When our thyroids functioning is increased, we are warmer and faster. When it decreases, we get slower and colder.

When a woman ovulates, her body secretes huge amounts of progesterone which supports the thyroid and increases its functioning. This is one of the reasons why when women ovulate they become warmer.

The thyroid controls metabolic rate and the “speed” of every cell including heart, muscle, digestion, brain and bone.

Symptoms your thyroid is having issues

Here are some key signs and symptoms that your thyroid is not functioning properly:

Hyper(Over active):

  • Hot flushes, sweating

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Frequent/loose stools or diarrhea
  • Anxiety, irritability

  • Constant fatigue

  • Difficulty sleeping and insomnia

  • Changes with menses

  • Low sex drive

  • Bulging eyes

  • Higher heart rate

  • Thick red skin on shins or feet

  • Increased appetite

  • Osteoporosis

  • Hand tremors

  • Muscle weakness

Hypo(Under active):

  • Fatigue

  • Low libido

  • Weight gain

  • Hair loss

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Shortening eyebrows

  • Constipation

  • Heart palpitations

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Nervousness and anxiety

One of the most common connections I find with the thyroid and migraines is it affecting the vestibular system causing dizziness and vertigo.

Does low thyroid cause headaches?

YES!

These symptoms can be going on even if you are on thyroid hormones as taking the hormone does not fix the problem. Even if they initially help, if the problem isn’t addressed the symptoms tend to roll back.

How do migraines and headaches connect to the thyroid?

Issues with our thyroid commonly cause migraines and headaches through either:

1. Lowering the speed and functioning of our metabolism, causing metabolic breakdown and weaknesses.

OR

2. Through the factors that are underlying why our thyroid is having issues functioning properly.

In either case our body will succumb to changes in:

  • Hormones

  • Metabolism and the ability to create energy both systemically and inside of the brain specifically

  • The ability to adapt to changes as well as intolerance to environment or weather changes

  • Weight gain

  • Autoimmunity

Why your thyroid issue doesn’t get found

The 2 most common causes of thyroid issues not being found even though you suffer the symptoms are:

  1. Full thyroid panels are commonly not used as insurance/drug based medicine only tests for what will change their treatment and that is only based on TSH

We cannot simply rely on TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone as well as TT4 or Total T4.

We need to know:

  • TSH and even sTSH for hypo and hyper functioning
  • Both free and total T4 levels with free T4 being the “active” hormone
  • Both free and total T3 levels which is created in the body not the thyroid and free T3 being “active”
  • RT3 or reverse T3 to understand if there is something blocking conversion of T4 to T3
  • TPO as well as TGB antibodies which are markers of autoimmune issues with our thyroid
  • SHBG so that we know how much our hormones are being bound up and deactivated or activated
  1. Laboratories create their reference ranges based on the last year of the population they have been testing. This means that the ranges are based on an already sick population and the reference values are based on general and not optimal.

But as with any properly designed program, none of these values are in isolation. Our thyroid is very very sensitive and constantly responding to the environment around it. Our stress, diet, gut, hormones, inflammation and more will be interpreted by the thyroid and it will respond accordingly. This is why we need to know the obstacles to good strong functioning.

7 Obstacles that tie our brain pain to our thyroid, migraines and headaches

Our thyroid functions in response to our environment and the rest of our body. The same goes for our thyroid hormones ability to function. To heal our thyroid and prevent high trigger levels, we need support the factors that affect how they function, optimally.

Estrogen/HRT

One of the most common factors that will affect the functioning of our thyroid is levels of steroid hormone binding globulin(SHBG).

This molecule holds onto our hormones to keep them inactive, as long as our hormone is held by this, it does not work.

It has become common practise to use hormones like estrogen to support women, especially with menstrual issues or through menopause. But whenever we add something into our systems, our body responds. If our levels of hormones increase, our body can then increase levels of SHBG to bind these hormones and inactivate them. This commonly happens with high levels of hormones and overuse in cases like HRT that is not being tracked and hormonal creams.

You have to make sure hormones like estrogen are not going sky high otherwise SHBG can then bind to other useful hormones like thyroid hormone and inactivate them.

This will cause a strain on the thyroid(and brain) as it has to continue creating more and more thyroid hormone.

Birth control

Birth control is one of the most common factors that I have seen clients begin suffering from thyroid, gut, menstrual and headache symptoms from.

Birth control and the estrogens and progestins found in them are NOT like our natural hormones.

They interrupt normal hormonal functioning and mimic periods.

Using high doses of birth control hormones is a recipe for disaster but luckily most brands have now become lower dosage helping to alleviate this problem. This has not removed the systemic risks and long term effects associated with their use.

Any hormonal therapy should be tracked and tested to make sure you are not developing new symptoms or going outside of optimal ranges for your best functioning.

A best practise is to limit any hormonal therapy and fix the bodies reason for requiring hormones in the first place.

See our article on 3 reasons why your fatigue, restless sleep, cravings, mood swings and PMS are showing you why you have migraines here.

Low progesterone

Low progesterone has become one of the most common signs and symptoms of poor menstrual functioning.

How your cycle works:

Day 1 is the first day of bleeding.

During the first 14 days your estrogen rises to a peak at which point you ovulate.

When you ovulate and this egg is released, the corpus luteum where the egg came from releases large amounts of progesterone completely eclipsing estrogen.

This lasts another 14 days depending on your cycle.

This balances the strong effects of estrogen and provides incredible anti-inflammatory neuroprotective anti-anxiety hormones for the entire body.

It also maintains the lining of the uterus.

At the end of your cycle, these hormones drop off and trigger the shedding of your uterine lining.

Low progesterone is a sign that your body and brain are not in clear communication and this has devastating consequences as you become estrogen dominant, trigger migraines or headaches, remove that protective blanket from your thyroid and just generally feel crummy every cycle.

Correcting gut health, brain function, and cleaning up your body and lifestyle go a long way in helping to restore normal levels. See our article on can menstrual migraines with aura be prevented here.

Insulin

High blood sugar and insulin are predisposing factors to a number of chronic diseases.

When insulin is not working properly we are constantly throttling our thyroids functioning as it tries to control our blood sugar. Remember that blood sugar control is so important that someone like a diabetic, if they are not careful with their blood sugar can be sent into a coma and even die.

When we eat carbohydrates, get stressed, exercise or have infections, we release sugar into our blood in response.Then insulin is released and opens the doors on our cells allowing sugar to get out of the blood and into the cell to be used.

If we are constantly adding sugar into the blood in amounts that are more than our cells can use(usually with diet), the cells start saying NO.

This is insulin resistance and starts to cause high amounts of damage to our body as blood sugar stays elevated and higher levels of insulin are needed.

We want to make sure we are both addressing low blood sugar as well as high blood sugar.

We have to have the nutrients on board to be able to use the sugar in our blood and pull it into the cells.

We also want to make sure we are addressing some of the reasons why our bodies stress, inflammatory or immune responses are dysregulating our blood sugar. See our article on the top 10 super simple blood sugar stabilizing snacks to keep migraines at bay here.

Also see our article on 3 amazing reasons to go keto with the ketogenic diet for migraines here.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone. But it is not just for stress. It wakes us up in the morning, gives us energy throughout the day, releases blood sugar, controls inflammation, cleans up our immune system and in its absence we can secrete the sleep hormones needed to repair.

When this hormone is working well, many other systems are working well.

But when cortisol is too high or low, this affects the thyroid in a major way.

The more our cortisol is malfunctioning, the more our thyroid will go into protect and preserve mode.

It will down-regulate itself to protect metabolism from damaging effects of cortisol or whatever is raising or lowering it.

Remember cortisol is a stress hormone, so whenever our body becomes stressed, whether that be from mental / emotional / physical / environmental or dietary causes, it will respond.

Having proper day/night cycles, avoiding stimulants, correcting dietary patterns, maintaining steady fuel throughout the day, as well as addressing some of the underlying factors for inflammation and immune dysregulation are crucial to making sure our cortisol is supporting our thyroid. See our article on Migraines, DHEA, Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion here.

Nutrient deficiency

We need nutrients. And our culture needs them more than ever before.

The inability to properly utilize our brain and thyroid is affected by nutrition because without we cannot:

  • Create hormones
  • Convert them into active forms
  • Connect them into the places they are used
  • Clear them once they have served their purpose

There is no better way to heal our brain and thyroid than making sure we are taking care of our nutrition. And without nutrition, nothing else we try will work.

What do we need?

The general bases need to be covered well:

  • Full Spectrum Proteins

  • Healthy Fats

  • Complex Carbohydrates

  • Mix of raw and cooked foods

But we also have to eat to feed our microbiomes and make sure we are receiving enough extra nutrients like:

  • All of the B vitamins in active forms

  • Vitamins A and D

  • Minerals especially selenium, zinc and copper

See our article on can a diet solve chronic migraines? here.

If you want an in depth video on the thyroid, migraines and headaches connection see the presentation I have prepared for you below.

Dopamine/serotonin

This is rarely covered but still a contributor to hormonal dysfunction as well as directly related to both migraines and thyroid functioning.

Our brain neurotransmitters lead the show and our pathways like DARPP-32 have a controlling effect on all of the other systems in our body and this makes sense as our brain is what tells everything else how to function. It sets the pace.

When we have become highly burnt out from stress, overwhelm, pregnancies, nutrients deficiencies, high inflammation, blood sugar dysregulation, digestive and immune issues then our neurotransmitters follow suit.

They can create symptoms whether they go high or low most commonly being high at first stress and then low once you are burnt out.

Organic acids testing is a great way to understand what neurotransmitters are doing and how to best support them.

Inflammatory cytokines

We can think of inflammation as a signal for our body that we are in danger. When our thyroid sees or thinks we are in danger, it will compensate by conserving and protecting, lowering its functioning.

We see this in the body as the inability to properly convert T4 and T3 into their active forms.

Inflammation is one of the main ways our body slows us down through affecting the thyroids ability to speed us up.

Some common underlying causes of inflammation other than those related to diet are:

– Acute or chronic viral infections

– Acute or chronic bacterial infections

– Inflammation and activation of our autoimmunity

Each of these needs to be addressed specifically depending on how and why it is happening if we want our thyroid to feel safe enough to ramp up functioning. Check out one of the best anti-inflammatories in our article turmeric curcumin for migraines and headaches here. See a practitioner trained in finding and supporting these issues for more help. Now let’s get into autoimmunity.

Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity to the thyroid is no joke. It can make you feel everything from crazy to depressed.

Autoimmunity is the process by which your immune systems regulation breaks down and it begins inadvertently creating antibodies that attack its own tissues.

In this case the thyroid and specifically with the antibodies TPO and TGB. Generally you will have to specifically ask your doctor for these tests unless there are clear signs and symptoms that tips them off. You want to catch this before that point.

This does not happen out of the blue and this is not a death sentence. Many clients do very well when their immune system is properly taken care of and especially before they have their thyroid either taken out or they are put on massive long term hormones without addressing underlying causes. Because hormones in the body function on a negative feedback loop, if the hormones are being supplied from outside, the gland can actually stop producing adequate amounts and then dependency is inevitable.

See our article on 4 Factors that trigger autoimmunity, migraines and headaches.

There are a few key points to autoimmune issues with the thyroid:

  • Molecular mimicry

  • Haptenaization

Molecular mimicry

Molecular mimicry is the process by which proteins from the foods that we eat have similar amino acid sequences to our own bodies tissues.

If our digestion is not working properly and we have leaky gut then these undigested proteins get into the blood and are targeted by our malfunctioning immune system.

If the proteins our body creates antibodies to look similar to our bodies tissue like in this instance with the thyroid, we can begin an immune attack on our own thyroid and body.

This is why those with hashimoto’s thyroiditis do so well removing foods with molecular mimicry to thyroid like:

  • Gluten and other non gluten containing grains

  • Dairy

  • Soy

  • Corn

  • Sesame

  • Rice

But there are many more and diets should be individualized to your case.

Haptenization

A hapten is a molecule that can bind to a protein in the body and then become the source of immune attack.

Generally these are man made chemicals and often toxic ones like mercury, mold, pharmaceutical drugs, BPA and preservatives.

These bind to a protein in the body and then we can develop incredible sensitivities as the combination of exposure and immune break down causing hypersensitivity continues.

Removing the exposure, getting the immune system under control and developing your barrier integrity depending on where the exposure is happening are all essential steps to take towards stabilizing your health.

To finish up this article it is important to understand that:

It is usually not just one of these!!!!

By the time the problem is bad enough, it will usually be multiple systems and mechanisms that are breaking down and need support. This is often why just taking a thyroid medication either only helps in the short term or does not help at all. Using a multi-modal approach is the ideal as this is how the body loves being supported.

The downside to medication for the thyroid, especially with migraines and headaches

Now I have already covered why it is absolutely essential to deal with the underlying causes and mechanisms WHY the thyroid and brain are having issues, but medications present an added variable.

Hormones in the body function on a negative feedback loop. If we take a hormone, especially in high amounts or for extended periods of time, we satisfy the negative feedback loop and the gland or glands producing it stop or slow down in doing so. So as we take a hormone, like thyroid hormone, our brain’s ability to create it may decrease and then if we want to discontinue use, we have a very hard time doing so. This means that we can actually dig a hole for ourselves in terms of wanting to become free of medication. Now obviously there are individuals that have extreme thyroid destruction or other issues that require it, we just want to be aware of dependency.

Our glands act like our muscles, if we don’t use them, we lose them.

Some of the best ways to begin healing our thyroid and brain pain is through adopting:

– A gluten free whole foods diet

– Topping up our vitamin D levels

– Restoring glutathione levels to the cells

– fish oil 

Of course there is also a lot of individuality involved so seeing a holistic health practitioner near you is required.

The more we can address our individuality and these factors that detract from the functioning of our thyroid or its hormones, the more successful we will be in regaining stable and natural health. This helps us get back to what matters most.

If you need specific help feel free to reach out through this link.

3 Profound Discoveries With Fibromyalgia, Migraines and Headaches

3 Profound Discoveries With Fibromyalgia, Migraines and Headaches

Fibromyalgia is one of the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions known to man, right up there with migraine. Luckily, as long as we don’t fall into the commonly held medical view of fibromyalgia we can actually begin to address it through what has been clinically found to work incredibly well. Throughout this article I will explain why fibromyalgia is so poorly dealt with and what we can action-ably do about it through 3 profound discoveries.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia diagnosis is one of the trickier diagnoses because there are no tests or scans that can be done for it. It is based on the patients experiences of pain and symptoms but sometimes a physical exam checking tender pain points will be done.

It is known that patients with fibromyalgia have a total of 18 points all over their body that are tender when pressed, and this is one of the diagnostic criteria as well.

See the picture below for the 18 pain points(9 pairs) that are commonly associated with fibromyalgia.

 

Significantly more patients with chronic migraine headaches were diagnosed with fibromyalgia when compared with those with chronic tension-type headaches (66.9% versus 25.7%, P < .001). 

 

The criteria needed for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia according to the American College of Rheumatology are:

 

1. Pain and symptoms over the past week in the required areas plus severity of these symptoms:

 

– Fatigue

 

– Waking Unrefreshed

 

– Cognitive (memory or thought) problems

 

– Some other general physical symptoms

 

2. Symptoms lasting at least three months at a similar level

 

3. No other health problem that would explain the pain and other symptoms(This is where we run into issues)

 

 

 

There are many issues that come with these criteria the most important of which is that they are so broad and general that a massive number of people can be lumped into this category and started on medication without looking at any other causes which bring me to the next point.

 

In number 3 we are becoming dependant on a doctors ability to assess and diagnose every system in our body and any dysfunction in it with what is regularly just a 7 minute visit.

 

This is nowhere near enough to assess one of the most stressful and connecting factors in fibro as well as migraines which is gut dysfunction and specifically gut infection, intestinal permeability(leaky gut) and dysbiosis(imbalanced gut bacteria) which can present with little to no digestive issues.

 

Common Connections Between Migraines and Fibromyalgia

 

Migraines and fibromyalgia often come together and as much as 100% of fibromyalgia patients will experience a migraine and 50% will have them regularly.

 

In 100 fibromyalgia patients screened, chronic headache was endorsed by 76% of treatment-seeking fibromyalgia patients, with 84% reporting substantial or severe impact from their headaches.

 

But not only are the head pains and general fibro symptoms connected.

 

There is also:

 

– Generalized pain around the body, in joints, muscles and digestion

 

– Fatigue and low energy levels with an inability to maintain quality of life

 

– Sensitivity to all manner of stimuli from simple touch and pain all the way to Environmental Intolerance(EI) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity(MCS)

 

– Depression and anxiety which often come with reduced confidence and self esteem

 

– Sleep Disorders specifically with a disruption in ability to enter deep sleep states

 

– Cognitive issues like brain fog(fibro-fog), loss of memory for names, numbers and activities

 

See the infographic below comparing Fibromyalgia patients that have migraines and that do not have migraines and how often other health conditions came with them.

 

Fibromyalgia and Migraine Headaches

 

3 Profound Discoveries Connecting Fibromyalgia and Migraine Headaches

 

 

1. Central Sensitization

 

When our body is continually having to go through pain pathways it becomes sensitized to them and “travels” them much more easily.

 

As an analogy the more often a route is taken in a forest the more likely that the route will become a path as it will be easier to travel than routes not taken.

 

Practically this can turn stimuli that are not painful into feeling as if they are. Something like a breeze may be perceived as shocking pain.

 

The easiest way to understand how sensitization occurs is through the threshold theory which applies to both migraines and fibromyalgia, can be seen in the video here.

 

Threshold Effect – Our body adds up the stresses that are put on it. As these stressors or triggers get added up we get closer to our threshold. Our threshold is the point at which our body cannot maintain a normal state and can no longer compensate for the stresses/triggers. When our levels of these stresses cross the threshold we are highly susceptible to triggering migraine or fibro pain and we become centrally sensitized. This means that our central nervous system becomes sensitive to all other stimuli and so then any stress or stimulus that gets added on after our threshold becomes exponentially more sensitive/painful/damaging.

 

Originally central sensitization was thought to be only related to the sensing of pain but has now been found to relate to all senses.

 

Some examples of stressors that can contribute to central sensitization are:

 

  • Over training or over sedentary

  • Lack of support network

  • exposure to toxins

  • Somatization of emotion

  • Low quality nutrition

  • Genetic predispositions

  • Immune sensitization(Infections, toxins, chemicals, prescription drugs etc.)

  • Poor ergonomics

  • Pro-inflammatory diet

  • Etcetera

 

As an example we can think of our fibro and migraines as a river. When this river begins overflowing with symptoms and pain we might think we need to damn it up to stop the symptoms and pain…

 

But to effectively take the load off of the fibro/migraine river we need to damn the tributaries which all converge and turn into the river.

 

We need to dam the stressors that are contributing to the sensitization as opposed to the symptoms coming from becoming sensitized as much as we can.

 

The standard held belief is that central sensitization can occur as a primary issue and seemingly “out of nowhere” and all the blame gets put on the body and genetics. This is simply not true as per the above stressors many of which have been found to be the linchpins in this process.

 

2. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and Intestinal Permeability “Leaky Gut”

 

The next most important factor in Fibromyalgia is making sure we understand that there is a massive connection between it and gut issues.

 

The simplest way of understanding it is that when our gut is infected, leaking or overrun we can have a massive amount of toxins from these coming into our body. Wherever they land or end up in the body will end up shooting up signals that there are foreign particles there. This can cause the immune system to activate in those areas and the nervous system to create inflammatory messengers leading to pain signals.

 

This adds to our already centrally sensitized nervous systems or pushes us over the edge/threshold and leads to trigger.

 

Not only this, but if our nervous system is creating inflammation signals so that these particles get dealt with and issues gets resolved, if the particles keep coming and the issue doesn’t get resolved, the inflammatory signals can actually further create sensitization in our nervous system…

 

On top of all of that, if our nervous system around the body is secreting inflammatory messaging molecules these can get passed the Blood Brain Barrier(BBB) and activate the immune system in the brain which will further increase pain sensation and sensitization.

 

30-70% of Fibromyalgia patients are found to have concurrent IBS

 

In this study they found that

 

“Results show that eradication of bacterial overgrowth results in a clinically significant alleviation of Fibromyalgia symptoms.”

 

It is incredibly important we go to knowledgeable practitioners in the realm of gut health, dysbiosis, SIBO and parasites to address these issues by:

 

  • Testing

  • Clearing out the gut

  • Healing the intestinal lining

  • Restoring bacterial balance

 

One of the best products on the market, provided youve been tested and guided is Freedom Cleanse Restore.

 

3. HPTTEAG Axis

 

Originally this was called the HPA axis for Hypothalamic, Pituitary, Adrenal axis.

 

But as medicine and science advances and we finally have the research that backs the clinical experience we have found that the entire glandular system is dependent on all of its parts.

 

HPTTEAG stands for the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid-Thymus-Enteric-Adrenal-Gonadal axis.

 

These are some of the highly important glands that function within the body to maintain homeostasis and balance.

 

When something like our circadian rhythms are thrown off it changes the functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary glands which then trickles down to all of the other glands in this axis.

 

The same goes with if we overstimulate our adrenal glands with stress, stimulants and sugars then the compensation patterns will trickle all the way up and down affecting the other glands and their hormone production.

 

Glands are the master regulators of the body and they control the show so to speak.

 

As more and more of our glands have to compensate for stresses that are going on chronically we experience a mixing of signals from them.

 

This leads to massive confusion in the body and BIG danger signs.

 

The body doesn’t know how to differentiate types of danger and instead adds them up.

 

This leads to overcompensation by our fight, fright, flee mode known as the sympathetic nervous system and undercompensation by our rest, digest and repair nervous system known as our parasympathetic nervous system.

 

Our ability to rest, digest and repair breaks down and we are stuck in fear, burnout and overwhelm.

 

We have to switch this cycle back over and take the burdens off our HPTTEAG axis by:

 

 

But along with these 3 profound discoveries and the amazing wealth of information and actionable items in those links there are also some simple and clinically study tools we can consider with our healthcare providers.

 

What else can we do?

 

You always first and foremost want to make sure your foundations are taken care of and underlying causes are dealt with FIRST.

 

Otherwise you are at risk of only palliating and even though you may feel better your body will still be compromised for years until another system breaks.

 

5 HTP

 

5 hydroxytryptophan(HTP) is a precursor to the neurotransmitter and hormone serotonin.

 

In one study they found that,

 

Our results suggest that a decreased brain serotonin level, as possibly reflected by a decreased transport ratio of plasma tryptophan, may play a pathophysiologic role in fibromyalgia.”

 

And another study found that

 

All the clinical parameters studied were significantly improved by treatment with 5-HTP and only mild and transient side-effects were reported.”

 

See graph from the study below:

 

Fibromyalgia 5 HTP Migraines Study

 

In this study they used 100mg of 5 HTP 3 times daily or placebo. It’s important to talk with your doctor before taking this supplement as you can have reactions with some medications and in some people.

 

Magnesium

 

Magnesium is one of our all stars in the chronic disease world and especially with fibromyalgia because it is so incredibly deficient in the industrialized world.

 

We used to be able to get enough magnesium from our diets but with overfarming of soil there is less magnesium in the plants. That combined with the increase in chronic lifestyle stress and gut dysfunction has set us up for massive magnesium loss.

 

One of the keys to retaining magnesium in the body is maintaining urinary alkalosis which is basically alkaline pee. We can do this by making sure we eat plenty of fruits and vegetables high in potassium and drinking half our body weight (lbs) in ounces of water daily.

 

One study found that,

 

The serum and erythrocyte magnesium levels were significantly lower in patients with fibromyalgia than in the controls…. The number of tender points, tender point index, FIQ and Beck depression scores decreased significantly with the magnesium citrate treatment.”

 

And that

 

Low magnesium levels in the erythrocyte might be an etiologic factor on fibromyalgia symptoms.”

 

Not only that but magnesium is amazing for helping to manage the stresses that affect our HPTTEAG axis and it is a key mineral in making sure our bowels work properly.

 

As you’ll notice if you take too much magnesium it will give you diarrhea but making sure you take enough magnesium keeps the bowels moving, prevents constipation and keeps the stool hydrated as long as water intake is sufficient.

 

The type and amount of magnesium is dependant on the person and so I would recommend you read our article on magnesium glycinate for menstrual and vestibular migraines here.

You have to see our video on 4 massive triggers of fibromyalgia migraines and headaches here:

 

By combining an incredibly knowledgeable holistic health practitioner along with preventing central sensitization, dealing with any SIBO and supporting your HPTTEAG axis you will be empowering your body to actually heal instead of be stuck without the resources to do so.

 

For more information on supporting your health with migraines many of which applies to fibromyalgia see our article on 7 great tips for complex and complicated migraines.

 

Do you experience migraines with your fibro? Do they flare at the same time? Let me know.

4 Factors That Trigger Autoimmunity, Migraines and Headaches

4 Factors That Trigger Autoimmunity, Migraines, and Headaches

There is an incredibly complex process going on in our bodies, both leading to migraines and headaches as well as to autoimmunity. Luckily, by understanding what causes it, triggers it and “throws gasoline on the fire” we can take steps to avoid falling into this vicious cycle. In this article, I will be covering 4 factors that trigger autoimmunity, migraines and headaches. Let’s start with what autoimmunity is and how we can understand it.

What is autoimmunity?

Autoimmunity is a process by which our adaptive immune system targets substances in our body and attacks them.

Often these substances are made up of proteins which are chains of amino acid sequences.

Our actual immune cells will target sections of these sequences and create millions of antibodies that are targeted to find this specific sequence of amino acids and attack it.

Throughout this process there are millions of immune cells that are brought in so that the combination of each of them finding and attacking that specific sequence can actually make a difference in the grand scheme of our body.

But we can run into problems because these immune cells only know that they need to target the specific sequence of amino acids. They aren’t necessarily keen to the idea that there may be helpful tissues, chemicals and substances that contain these same sequences.

This is where molecular mimicry comes in.

Molecular mimicry is where the same sections of amino acids on substances such as gluten are found on bodily tissues like those of the thyroid.

This can set us up for a problem if we have something like leaky gut which I will get into below.

If our immune cells find that gluten is a problematic food that keeps being found in our blood because of a leaky gut then it can begin targeting them and develop billions of immune cells that will be specifically targeted to attack gluten.

Now, if this system begins making immune cells for the sequences of amino acids found in gluten and one of them happens to be the same sequence as is found in our thyroid….

Then our immune cells can begin attacking our thyroid creating inflammation, destroying our thyroid and subsequently developing metabolic issues and diseases like hashimotos.

But our body is not dumb, there are systems to regulate the immune cells targeting, creation, as well as double check to make sure that they are not destroying friendlies.

This is where we understand how the body goes into dysfunction where the fail-safe systems backfire and the destruction continues.

4 Factors That Trigger Autoimmunity, Migraines and Headaches

There are 4 factors that will predispose us and push our body over the edge to the point that there is more dysfunction in the system than there are fail-safes to keep us protected. The first is our genetic susceptibility.

1. Genetic Susceptibility

This is the hand of cards we’ve been dealt in life. But it’s also the way our parents have lived, how we spent our childhoods and the beliefs we hold.

I’m not one to leave you believing that just because of your genes, you are stuck sick, unhealthy and unwhole for your entire life. It’s simply not true because of epigenetics.

Epigenetics are the controllers of genes and even though our genes might be the blueprint to the tissues made in our body, it is our epigenetics that decides what gets acted out and which genes are activated.

This is why Bruce Liptons work on the power of belief has been so amazing.

The behaviours, attitudes and emotions that you hold are constantly turning on and off genes and their ability to support your functioning.

Genes are not a static thing, they are constantly changing.

On top of understanding that by changing the way we feel about our health and how we show our body we feel about our health we can also change the way our childhoods have programmed us.

Childhood is the period of our lives where we act like a sponge and absorb all of the information necessary for our body to assess how we should function in the world.

If our body and mind gets the idea that we live in a world of scarcity, fear and a massive lack of safety and security it will be programmed differently.

We will literally program into our genes and bodies expression that the world is not safe and that we have to be highly vigilant all of the time incase something bad happens.

But this is not true. We live in the most abundant world to date and have all of our needs taken care of with the push of a button. We are far from the wild natural world full of predators and actual life threatening fears.

We just need to learn it consciously and then take the time to program it into our bodies subconsciously.

Using journaling, mindfulness, meditation, affirmations and gratitude to change the way our body is responding to stress.

Not only is stress a major part of how well we rest, digest and repair our tissues but it’s also a determining factor in how our genes function and which ones are on or off.

If we are on high alert all of the time, so will our immune system be. This will give us a much higher chance of developing the immune antibodies that are destroying just a little too much ending up in the detriment of our own tissues.

But it is up to you to choose and set the course.

2. Environmental Stressors

There are over 100,000 brand new chemicals in our air, food, water and soil with thousands more added every year.

The problem is only a few hundred have been tested for safety in humans and many are being found to be unsafe.

The creation of them is progressing much faster than the regulation and we’ve seen with substances like glyphosate, BPA and lead that we need regulation before it gets into everything we use.

We want to make sure we check over our surroundings and the areas that chemicals are coming in to them.

This includes a few key areas that I will list below but the big troublemakers here have been the petroleum products and synthetics.

Things like iron, cotton and ceramics have been around a long time. It is the newer additions like alloys that contain heavy metals, fibres and their colorings that contain endocrine disruptors.

Not only are these substances aggravating our immune system but they are also clogging up our systems of detoxification like the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin and intestines.

The average woman will put on over 100 chemicals before she goes to work in the morning and this is largely from hygiene products, fragrances and makeup.

Ever heard the term obesogens? Its a term used to describe endocrine disruptors like BPA which are found in many fragrances that deregulated the way your hormones function and literally make you obese.

These chemicals are not without reprecussions and even though we cannot be completely free of them because of the world we live in we have to do our part to reduce our intake especially in the directly absorbable areas.

New products are well known for their offgassing(that new car smell) which is full of tens of thousands of chemicals that have adverse effects on our bodies. We inhale litres of this every breath and during the first year a car is manufactured this is the worst.

The biggest tips here are:

  • Everything you put on your skin needs to be assessed as your skin absorbs 60% of what’s put on it

  • Makeups are massively unregulated and one of the largest contributors to toxicity in women

  • Look at ingredients and understand that things like “fragrances” are industry protected terms that can contain hundreds of different unregulated chemicals

  • It can be incredibly annoying to look at ingredients and have to decipher everything so its much easier to choose trusted and reputable brands that have safe products and high standards

  • Anything you put into your body – Know where your water is sourced from and what is in it, avoid plastics – Only eat pastured and grass fed meats along with as many organic fruits and vegetables as you can find to decrease how much your microbiome is affected by these and avoid things like contributing to leaky gut which we will cover in #3

  • Cleaning products are anything but easy on the body especially because they are specifically there to kill bacteria of which we have 100 trillion of that we need and depend on – Many of the natural and old school cleaners like vinegar and baking soda will do the job well if not better than the new stuff, without clogging you up

  • Reduce ALL EMF exposure and distance yourself whenever and wherever possible

  • See the Environmental Working Group (EWG)

We want to reduce our exposure in our environment to foreign substances which interact with our immune system and add to the burden on our bodies. It is only in the last 50 -100 years that we have completely shifted our entire exposure and now our genes have to scramble to make sense of things.

Our genes expect a certain way of living based on the million years it took to get here, give it as close to what it expects and it will thank you.

3. Leaky gut

Leaky gut is the newer kid on the blog because it has only been in the last 20-30 years that it was discovered and 5 years that it has become more main -stream.

But it is anything but second priority.

Our gut contains 80% of our immune system and 30% of our nervous system. This ranks it very high on the list of priorities of the body to protect because it knows that this is where we interact with the outside world the most.

A substance that we eat is technically not inside of our bodies until it is absorbed. The long tube from our mouth to butt is designed this way to protect us from any pathogens or organisms that should not be in the body while still being able to break down food.

But then we have leaky gut.

This is a mechanism by which the cells that form the tube in our intestines get spaced apart because of a process of disease and because of a substance called zonulin.

When the space between cells opens up, it allows molecules that should not be in the body to get through. Anything from microorganisms to food particles to toxins to genetic material to nutrients.

They can all get through because the space between these cells is unregulated.

When these substances get into our body, they get flagged by our immune system because they are not supposed to be here.

If we are lucky we only get a few immune cells to come in, break them down according to the right sequences in their amino acids and that’s that, problem over.

But especially if we are high strung, if our immune system is on high alert and we are being bombarded with toxins and substances we are not digesting then many particles get into our body.

With foreign particles getting into our body our immune system starts to target them and then develop reserves of antibodies that can target them if they ever come back.

If even one of these substances they begin attacking has the same sequence of amino acids as our bodily tissues, queue the tissue destruction and rampant inflammation.

Or if the particles are landing in our joints and our immune system is attacking them there then we can set ourselves up for massive joint pain and inflammation.

There are many systems that have to go wrong and go through dysfunction and this is why the body needs support through lowering toxic burden, and healing leaky gut.

Healing leaky gut requires that we address what is causing the leaky gut in the first place and this is often:

But we can also go about supporting the healing and recovery of our gut using substances like:

4. Trauma

This is one of the least talked about causes of autoimmunity and migraines but it absolutely needs to be talked about.

Trauma and specifically anything in the category of ACEs or adverse childhood events should be considered when we are dealing with healing and recovery.

These are events which change the way we behave, act or perceive in the world.

They are the basis for making massive epigenetic changes to our systems which can wire us up for our entire lives.

Do you ever find yourself put into a situation where you feel incredibly thankful and happy only to be triggered by thoughts or emotions that make you feel like you should be doing something about perceived problems?

A tell tale sign is finding that you worry about things going wrong when everything is actually okay.

You want to look deeper into this and see a tension, stress and trauma therapist(TRE), see the work of Byron Katie or try some EFT.

It is important to combine these 4 factors in your own life to add to the ability to calm down and regulate the immune system and cool any inflammation that may be going on.

  • Understand that your current perceptions and behaviours are insights into how your body is wound up

  • Reduce the load that the environment, everything on us, in us and around us has on our physiology

  • Look at and address the causes of leaky gut while supporting its repair

  • Release those deep emotional wounds with some help

See our video below on the 4 Factors that trigger autoimmunity, migraines and headaches here:

Click here to join the migraine professional community and learn more about migraines and headaches than you’ve ever known before.

Do you struggle with one of these 4 areas? Which one?

TMJ Migraines Headaches

5 Profound clues for TMJ migraines and headaches

TMJ is bad enough when it only causes mouth issues. The problem is that our body is highly integrated and certain systems take priority over others, causing dysfunction that just needs the right perspective to look into. In this article I will be covering 5 profound clues for TMJ migraines and headaches.

What is TMJ and how can we understand it in context with migraines and headaches?

TMJ or TMJD which stands for Temporo Mandibular Joint Disorder is a disorder where we experience issues with the temporo mandibular joint which is the join where our jaw meets our skull.

See picture:

I love God, my wonderful husband, and my lovely family!

This is right near our brain as well as vestibular and auditory systems so there are many connections in dysfunction between all 4 of these.

This disorder can come from a number of different issues including just tension in the muscles around it that need some massage and release.

But, because of its presence with all of these other complex systems, it’s often a much more complex reason for why we are experiencing this pain and dysfunction, which absolutely requires we understand these 5 profound clues.

5 Profound Clues for TMJ Migraines and Headaches

1. Short middle “third”

So first and foremost we have to understand that in the last 1-200 years there has been massive changes in our facial and dental structures.

Where we used to have strong and wide dental arches we have started to develop shorter and smaller ones. This is one of the largest reasons for jaw issues and as everyone knows its incredibly common to get your wisdom teeth removed.

But this is a much newer occurrence and if it were to happen in native and indigenous peoples they would not be alive today.

So what has caused this shortening and shrinking of our faces?

There is two parts to it.

The first one is functional.

We were never before bottle fed and we never before ate as many soft foods as we do today.

When a baby is sucking on a nipple there is a full-body life-giving contraction happening within the baby to pull the mothers milk out. During this contraction our jaw is going through massive rotations and strain, giving it proper development and building strong musculature that supports a strong and wide jaw.

As soon as we are able to chew, traditionally we would be given roots, tubers and meats that all required a massive amount of jaw strength and effort to break down and digest properly.

But today we don’t have the same. We eat soft and easy to masticate foods that hardly push our jaws to their muscular capacities.

The body doesn’t waste resources, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

It’s critical to have at least one meal of a maximum stimulation and near exhaustion of your jaw muscles so that it gets enough nutrients to grow and develop properly.

The second one is nutritional.

In Weston A Prices book on Nutrition and Physical Degeneration he clearly showed how the changes in indigenous peoples diets from their traditional ones, to those of westerners caused massive changes to their facial and jaw structures ending in crowding and a poor “fit” of the jaw.

Not only was many indigenous peoples food unaltered but it was void of the white flour, white sugar, pasteurized foods and table salt that lack any nutrition.

On top of that, traditional diets are higher in vitamins and minerals that support dental and bone growth like Vitamins A, D, E and K as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

The combination of these two massive factors has lead to the crowding of our middle “third.” This middle third is found if we cut our face into horizontal sections. The bottom third is the jaw and mouth, top third is the brow ridge and forehead and the middle third is the nose and cheek bones.

This middle third has become much smaller and with it we’ve developed a smaller arch and smaller more crowded jaw.

When the jaw doesn’t fit together well we cannot complete our muscular chain.

We have a band of muscles that goes from the toes, up the front of the body to the bottom jaw.

As well as a band of muscles that goes from the heels, up the back of the body, over the head and to the top jaw.

Our jaw is what “completes the circuit” and when it doesn’t function properly, the tension gets put on the jaws musculature and ligaments.

Queue the dysfunction.

So what can we do about it? We have to work with what we’ve got, strengthen our jaw and make sure we have a strong nutritional profile.

There are techniques we can used to widen our arch even in adulthood.

Towards the bottom of the article I will present advanced practitioners you can see if you want specific help in this area.

2. Parasitic and inflammatory tension

When we look at the jaw we need to understand there is a deep connection here with the rest of the body.

Especially with the brainstem and the vagus nerve.

Whenever our brainstem is experiencing an overload of afferent messaging through the nerves(whenever too many messages are coming back into the brainstem) then it can release this extra tension onto the trigeminal nerve.

Not only can this cause migraines and headaches but it can also be a massive contributor to temporo mandibular dysfunction.

One of the main afferent(towards the brain) sources of energy and information is through the vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve has a 9:1 (sending to brain:Brain sending to body) ratio and the vagus nerve connects directly into our organs of digestion and detoxification.

This means that if we are experiencing an overload of toxicity and inflammation in the gut, or liver or organ in this area then it will all be communicated to the brainstem through the vagus nerve.

This vagus nerve will pump energy trying to communicate its problems to the brainstem and if the brainstem is overloaded it will simply dump this extra tension and energy into the trigeminal nerve and muscles of mastication(TMJ).

This is a big recipe for non stop tension and problems even with therapies like massage and pain killers.

It will keep coming back until the issues being communicated through the vagus is resolved.

What does this mean?

Fix your gut. Health begins in it and even if we palliate the ways it tries to communicate to us that there is a problem, we will still continue to suffer the slowly progressing chronic disease of that problem.

Whether that be a parasitic or fungal organism, gut dysbiosis, food sensitivities, over burdened liver, problems with digestion etc etc.

It needs to be addressed because the body does not function in isolated systems.

Something like a comprehensive stool test from genova diagnostics or a GI map may be a good idea but…

It begins with the food you eat, even if you kill the harmful organisms, they are usually there for a reason.

Why is the gut weak? Why is the microbiome allowing this organism to live here?

Sometimes it may even need it to deal with an excess of calories it cannot process and use itself.

Follow these simple steps for good gut health:

  • Eat whole foods and balance your macro nutrients(proteins/fats/carbs/fibre) based on your bodies moment to moment needs

  • Make sure you eat enough fermentable fibers to feed the microbiome

  • Add bone broth, collagen and gelatin to form a strong gut lining

  • Supplement with deficient gut nutrients like glutamine, zinc, magnesium, glycine and proline

  • Get the parasites out!

3. Trigemino-cervical reflex

Along with the vagus nerve we also have to take into account that our body is always trying to keep us level.

Specifically, its always trying to keep your head and eyes level.

This takes priority over many other systems.

The problem here is that we have a delicate team of cervical vertebrae called the atlas and axis that function together at the top of our spine to keep us and our bodies level.

But they are also very prone to be shifted out of place during accidents, in estrogen dominance or as a byproduct of higher systems needing them to compensate to keep the head level.

If this complex(atlas/axis) is out of place, we can develop a massive amount of stress here because it sits on all of our other vertebrae.

This means it can shift the entire body, cause a shoulder to be higher than the other, hip to be lower etc.

And where can this tension go?

That’s right, into the trigeminal nerve and create TMJ dysfunction.

It’s a very tight knit system.

This is why we want highly qualified professionals assessing our entire body, not just our jaw.

If the problem keeps coming back, make sure to see a CHEK practitioner level 3 or higher.

For specific atlas and axis issues it would be important to see a NUCCA chiropractor.

4. The jaw will add stability for other systems that lack it

The next and one of the most important aspects especially for migraine and headache sufferers is how the body compensates for stability or a lack of it.

When our core function is off, the entire body scrambles.

Our core is primarily the transverse abdominus(the muscle inside of our abdominals that supports our spine)

When our core is not functioning properly and in tune with our breathing and especially if its being shut off by inflamed organs like above then we run into other systems of the body that will try to do its job.

Some of the most common systems that will tense to compensate for this include the neck(think neck tension with your migraines) or the jaw(think TMJD).

This is the bodies natural desire to remain stable but while compensating for deeper issues.

But it can simply be that our breathing mechanics and core were shut off during a period of stress or illness or pregnancy and were never synced back up again.

Ideally you would see a therapist trained in core and breathing rehab but you can also use this technique.

Lie on the floor on your back and breath through your nose the entire time.

Flatten your back so that you cannot fit your hand under your lower back between it and the floor, this makes sure that your core is engaging.

Then put one hand on your abdomen and one of your chest.

Through a slow breath of 4 seconds in 2 seconds held and 4 seconds out…

Expand your abdomen for the first 2/3 of the breath and your chest for the last 1/3

Focus on making sure that your abdomen is expanding but your back is remaining flat on the floor.

Repeat this for 5-10 minutes for 3-4 weeks to retrain your brain.

To advance the exercise, with flat back engage the core a little more by almost lifting your butt off the floor.

Continue nose breathing, 2/3:1/3 ratio with 4 seconds in 2 seconds held and 4 seconds out with a flat back.

5. Limbic/Emotional Tension

The final and actually one of the higher priority systems is our limbic and emotional one.

The limbic system is described as,

Part of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses, especially when it comes to behaviours we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses.”

Because of its deep connection to our emotions and levels of safety, security and stress, the limbic system is deeply connected to our entire bodies physiology and especially its level of tension.

When we go through experiences that charge us emotionally without a release, this can cause years and decades of changes physiological responses to stresses.

We can be sent into states of overreaction so easily and over things that we do not necessarily register consciously because of the patterns and behaviours that have been wired into us.

In essence we can be living in a state of sympathetic response to everything that happens, we can be living in fight, flight or fright mode.

Our normal and natural nervous system functioning will be predominantly parasympathetic where we rest, digest and repair. It is only in times of great stress or tension that we fully switch over to the sympathetic side that burns resources and prepares us for battle.

But if we go through traumatic experiences, if our childhood is full of stress and we learn that the world is not safe at a young age then we will be much more inclined to live in a sympathetic state.

This will ruin the quality of and delay the resting, digesting and repairing mechanism that we need to live normal and healthy lives.

Often all of this extra stress can end up in our jaw because of its close relation to our brainstem and connection with the trigeminal nerve.

This has to be cooled, we have to find a way to develop safety and security and feed whatever feeling gives us the sense of being at home and at ease.

This is easier said than done but simple techniques like mindfulness, meditation, restorative yoga, breathing practices, journalling, visualization and affirmations can help us flip the switch.

When we need more help than we can do for ourselves as our own selfhealers we need to look into these great TMJ practitioners:

– TMJ specialist dentists

Neuromuscular Dentists

Cranio-Sacral Therapists

Osteopaths

Neurosomatic therapists

CHEK practitioners level 3 or higher

By addressing our:

– Middle Third

– Inflammatory Stress

– Trigemino-Cervical Reflex

– Dysfunction with stability

– Limbic/Emotional Tension

We can look deeper into and actually address some of the root causes of TMJ and how they contribute to migraines and headaches.

To learn more about migraines and headaches see our article on 7 crucial questions for tension headaches here.

If you are looking for more information on migraines and headaches get the inside scoop by joining the community here.

Do you experience TMJ migraines or headaches? How do they affect each other and how do they trigger each other? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Massive Tips to stop rebound migraines and headaches

5 Massive tips to stop rebound migraines and headaches

Migraines and headaches are bad enough without rebounds. Once rebounds have started they can be very tricky to deal with as the body is trying to bounce back from the suppressing effect of some medications, luckily there’s a lot we can do. In this article I will be covering 5 massive tips to stop rebound migraines and headaches.

Definition of a rebound migraine or headache

A rebound migraine or headache is one that is created from the use of symptom-relieving medicinal substances.

This is most often caused by strong pain-killers like opiates but because of their widespread use can also be caused by the common migraine medication family the triptans.

What we want to understand here is that it is often the masking of symptoms that causes the body to bounce back with another head pain in response.

In some areas we could simplify it to say that our blood vessels are dilating during a migraine so then when a triptan that causes blood vessel constriction wears off there is a rebound of dilation again.

But it does not appear to be so simple as many migraine medications which either constrict or dilate blood vessels can cause the rebound which is why we will talk about primary and secondary symptoms of a medication below.

This is why rebound headaches or migraines have been reclassified as medication overuse headaches.

Medication overuse is one of the hardest headaches to deal with and get rid of partly because more medication will only make it worse. If you are experiencing headaches over 15 days a month then this may be an important area to investigate further.

Let us dive in.

Rebound migraines and headaches

The 5 Massive Tips to stop rebound migraines and headaches

1. Get an expert opinion first

There is a lot you may not take into account because of a lack of knowledge of medications and conditions so it’s incredibly important to first ask your doctor the questions below.

There are many different medications that may be used for both migraines and headaches, some of which will rebound easier than others. This is where your primary healthcare provider is the most important source and it may be as easy as changing a medication, frequency, dosage etc.

Prevention always works better than having to deal with the snowball already rolling.

When we can distinguish between primary and secondary symptoms we can understand our migraines, headaches and medications much better.

A primary symptom is one caused by the effect of a drug whereas a secondary symptom is caused by the reaction of our body to that drug… The rebounding of our body to the effects of the drug.

For example; if we take a laxative and experience diarrhea, after the effects of the laxative have worn off we will experience constipation until our body balances out.

When consulting with your doctor make sure to ask:

  1. What is the exact dosage and frequency I should be taking of the medication I am on?
  2. What is the maximum frequency and dosage I can take before rebounds are expected?
  3. Are there other medications that I can use which may not create a rebound but still help me with my situation?
  4. How do I go about preventing or stopping a rebounding headache?

We need to educate ourselves and our doctors about our situation so that we can make the most informed choice possible while still continually looking outside of the mainstream as many solutions will not be found through medication.

2. Deficiencies may cause as many headaches as excesses

There are two states here that need to be taken care of; the migraines or headaches you’ve been medicating for and the headaches that have resulted as a byproduct of the medication.

If you only deal with the medication you may be leaving pieces out of the puzzle but there are also two types of deficiencies that need to be taken into account.

  1. The kind that comes from lacking diets and excess stress, methylation issues, parasites etc… (See Food Triggers guide)
  2. The kind that comes from medications

It’s incredibly important these are supported during our time on a medication. The problem is they are almost never looked after and this puts a huge strain on our system, compounded by the increasingly low food quality available to us.

You can use this website to search your medications and supplements to see if there are interactions or nutrient depletions caused by them.

See our posts on medication deficiencies and medication interactions here.

3. If you had to wean up, make sure you wean off

Your doctor is the pro in this area and they should be the ones consulted for any medication changes.

Even though it is very common to feel like you should stop a medication immediately because it’s hurting you, it may cause even more damage if you stop abruptly and this is the last thing you want.

Topamax or topiramate is notoriously well known for causing massive side effects from its use on migraines and headaches which is exactly why it needs to be carefully managed by your doc.

Slow and steady with the guidance of your doctor you can ensure that your body adjusts to a medication and then readjusts to its reduction.

See the list of the most commonly rebounding medications below:

 

4. Up-regulate your bodies ability to stop headaches

Your body is always trying to maintain homeostasis which is its natural, normal and healthy state.

The more stress we put on it through:

  • Chemical

  • Physical

  • Mental

  • Emotional

  • Electromagnetic

The farther outside of homeostasis it will be able to maintain itself.

Not only are nutrients superb at dealing with headaches but they are absolutely necessary to keep headaches at bay. As I said above we are simply not getting the required nutrition out of our diets and especially not if we are eating processed, packaged and fried foods.

The closer we can get the food to its natural state in nature the more intact the nutrients in it will be and the easier for our body to absorb and use them.

For example:

A fortified food is not a food at all and the mere idea of having to fortify a food to make it nutritious should alarm you to how empty of nutrition it really is. Most fortified nutrients do not get utilized and instead have to be processed through the liver and detoxified.

Keeping away headaches is a combination of reducing inflammation, oxidation and stress, especially structural stress.

This means you need to:

  • Eat more anti-inflammatory foods than you do inflammatory ones(Whole food)

  • Eat plenty of antioxidants and sulfur-containing vegetables

  • Cut out any sensitive foods you may have developed from gut issues, overeating, eating too often etc (See the Food Triggers Guide to understand it all)

  • Fix the tension in your musculature and fascia which can be done with a well trained physical therapist like a CHEK practitioner

These steps are the crucial foundation to making sure your brain is not overloaded but if you still have problems after these areas are addressed then a skilled holistic health practitioner is necessary and will be able to guide you through the dozen+ areas that headaches may be coming from.

5. Fix your risk factors for rebounds

The risk factors I will list below are not only a risk for rebounds but also a massive sign that you are already sick and progressing into chronic disease. These have to be addressed holistically if you want to have the health and resilience to keep head pains at bay and have control over your life.

They include but are not limited to:

  • An increasing frequency of headaches

  • Overweight or a stomach measurement over 80% of your hips

  • Smoking and other poisonous drug abuse

  • Comorbid conditions or pain disorders

  • Mental instability such as anxiety or depression

  • Sleep difficulty

  • A sedentary lifestyle

It is also more common to get rebounds if you use multiple abortive medications called polypharmacy or combine abortives with excedrin. See our article comparing excedrin migraine vs CBD

It’s important we address our brain from multiple areas of health because disease is not one-sided. All of our systems are interconnected and things like digestive disorders are some of the most common sources of headaches.

It is multifactorial and our body depends on our threshold to keep migraines at bay.

If we can keep the level of stress from our triggers lower than the threshold which is our bodies tolerance to stress then we will have a much easier time staying trigger free.

See the video below to learn threshold theory and how the body uses 3 key factors to determine if we will trigger or not.

When we want to steer clear of rebounds we have to:

  • Make sure we consult with our doctor to see what else we can do with our medications and how much is too much

  • Fix deficiencies from medications and lifestyle

  • Wean to avoid damage from stress

  • Increase the most powerful tool we have which is our bodies ability to heal itself

  • Correct our risk factors for rebound

By keeping these in check we will be much better off and healthier overall in our journey toward being pain-free.

If you are struggling with head pains and migraines that medications are not working on and last forever make sure you read our article on understanding status migrainosus and intractable migraines here.

If you would like to learn more about migraines than you ever have before join our community and get the free E-guide The 5 mistakes of hormonal migraines here.

Have you ever experienced a rebound or almost started rebounding? Let me know in the comments below and share this with someone struggling with headaches.

Is psilocybin a good idea for chronic migraines and cluster headaches?

Chronic pain sufferers will do anything to get relief, even illicit drugs. But they can’t be blamed, the system that’s supposed to serve them has failed to bring them ease. In this article, I will be exploring some of the oldest, but now becoming more mainstream approaches that chronic pain sufferers are using to remedy their situations.

Of course, before the article I just want to make it clear that Migraine Professional does not endorse the use of any illegal drugs.

What are chronic pain sufferers that have not found relief using to self medicate?

The largest buzz, especially in the migraine community has become cannabis and CBD. Cannabis’ far reaching affects can improve appetite, sleep, treat endocannabinoid deficiency and has even been found to relieve migraines…(1)

CBD is cannabis’ non psychoactive and much more “culturally appropriate” cousin. It is one of the many proteins inside cannabis that has medicinal effects but can be extracted from hemp into a concentration that makes it safe and easy to use. You can see one of our articles on CBD and migraines here.

The main substance I will be covering in this article because of its specific anecdotal use in migraines and cluster headaches is psilocybin which is a single drug isolated from the commonly known magic mushrooms.

Some other substances that are often used as last resorts like psilocybin are lysergic acid diethylamide(LSD) lysergic acid amide(LSA) and the class of psychedelic tryptamines like DMT or dimethyltryptamine.

These substances are similar to the common migraine medications like triptans because they are indole alkaloids except triptans are only used for aborting migraines whereas some reports have found psychedelic tryptamines useful for not only aborting but also preventing and reducing in pain levels.

One survey done on cluster headache patients found that,

The indoleamine hallucinogens, psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide, and lysergic acid amide, were comparable to or more efficacious than most conventional medications.”

It also found that,

These agents were also perceived to shorten/abort a cluster period and bring chronic cluster headache into remission more so than conventional medications.”

This is huge, but a survey is very low quality compared to an actual clinical study.

The problem is the legality of psilocybin which, in the US, places it under schedule 1 meaning its use is illegal and all research on it is highly restricted.

How safe are psilocybin and other tryptamines?

Their massive and sweeping illegalization has restricted some of the most necessary research on them, primarily for us to know how safe or unsafe they are.

Magic mushroom use may date back thousands of years and throughout many different cultures use of it for its medicinal and psychedelic effects.(2)

But just because something has been used for a long time does not necessarily make it safe.

A 2007 global drug survey found that out of 10,000 people who used the main source of psilocybin(magic mushrooms) only 0.2% required emergency medical treatment.

Even still, psilocybin is classed in the same category as heroine and crack cocaine. This does not mean it is completely safe and this article is not encouraging or promoting its use.

An article in the guardian writes,

Psilocybin mushrooms have been found to have minimal harmful effects and could potentially benefit those with depression.

One population study found that,

We failed to find evidence that psychedelic use is an independent risk factor for mental health problems. Psychedelics are not known to harm the brain or other body organs or to cause addiction or compulsive use; serious adverse events involving psychedelics are extremely rare.”

But there are many different types of mushrooms, even other psychedelic mushrooms that are poisonous and taking the wrong kind can result in injury or death.

This makes it especially difficult for those who have run out of options and are looking for a source. Eventually they will find one, but will it be safe?

According to an article in popular science you should look for a mycologist who can properly educate you on species and safety.

What are the benefits of Psilocybin?

With all of the above said it’s also important to understand that psilocybin does seem to come with other benefits as well such as:

In one study they found that,

a single dose of psilocybin significantly helped cancer patients with the anxiety and depression accompanying their life-threatening diagnoses.”

There also seem to be pain relieving effects from taking doses that are below actual psychoactive or psychedelic effect levels which makes it much easier to do if you’re not willing to dive into your mind.

A study that used a psychoactive dose of psilocybin mushrooms combined with a therapy session found that benefits lasted over 6 months and even 15 years down the line patients reported, “I remember that experience for the rest of my life as a touchstone experience,” and which they, “remember and continue to draw upon.”

See the video below to get a stronger understanding of how severe cluster headaches are and why cluster headache and migraine sufferers are turning to them.

 

So is psilocybin effective for migraines and cluster headaches?

Anecdotally it seems like there are multiple benefits and some even experience reduction in frequency, intensity and severity of both migraines and cluster headaches.

There are also reported positive changes in behaviour, epiphanies, anti anxiety and depressive properties all of which can help us turn the tide in our battle against neuro-inflammation that causes so many of the pains we experience.

With this said, it doesn’t make it any easier to acquire or use safely.

The laws prohibiting its use are world wide other than a few select countries and being caught with them may even come with jail time make this a highly risky route to take.

How is psilocybin used for migraines and cluster headaches?

This is another early area because we really don’t know how to take the best advantage of its medicinal properties but there are a few main ways that have been experimented with, none of which are recommended as it is illegal in most countries.

The first is simply taking a psychoactive dose which is north of 3 dried grams of the mushroom.

Then we have the most commonly reported method for migraines and clusters which is by taking what are called micro-doses. These are doses that are under 0.5 grams of the dried mushroom and done every day. Taking it daily prevents the actual psychedelic effects after a few days because your body builds up a tolerance.

Microdosing magic shrooms is now the next big thing among professionals who need to gain a competitive edge in the world of innovation, creation, and problem-solving. You may not be familiar with the concept of microdosing. This is the process of consuming very small amounts of psilocybin from magic mushrooms. This dose is sub-perceptual.

There is also the option of finding a way to isolate psilocybin and take it orally as a powder which is incredibly difficult to do, time consuming and highly illegal.

The right way(if there was a right way) would be to find the dose that works best for you as it will affect everyone differently just as medications, foods, supplements and other therapies do.

The important note here is that the body up-regulates enzymes to break it down faster which make it impossible to develop a habit/addiction because the same dose that would give you a high on your first day would do nothing on the second.

Reportedly some may only need one dose to reap the benefits for months or even years but some may require it micro-dosed every day which means knowing your own body is the best bet.

Will psilocybin ever be a legal medicine?

It’s very possible. Many will travel out of the country to destinations where it’s legal so that they can understand if this is something that will get them out of the hole that migraines and cluster headaches can feel like.

Right now there is legislation all over the world pushing for the legalization of cannabis and the movement for legalization of magic mushrooms is also growing.

Colorado and Oregon are giving a hard push for its legalization or at least rescheduling to something that is more in line with how safe and beneficial it may actually be.

It is completely within the foreseeable future that we will have more clinical studies run to understand its effects and safety.

It is also a large possibility that it may one day become an approved medical treatment for these conditions given how safe it is and how the anecdotal reports are presenting it.

But until then we have to use the methods that work best even when medications may fail and that is addressing the root causes of dysfunction in the body. If our brain is pushed to the edge by stress, deficiencies and trauma then it will not be able to function like it should, continually triggering pain.

But if we can lower our trigger levels and increase the speed at which our body is removing waste from brain cells while providing the necessary nutrients to develop strong and resilient brain cells with more connections, there is no reason we should have these “power outtages” in the brain.

To understand the threshold theory behind migraines see our video here.

If you are experiencing head pain that is not ending and medication is not working for then see our article on the 3 secrets of understanding status migrainousus and intractable migraines here.

Have you experienced or tried any psychoactive compound and found relief from your pain? Let me know in the comments below.

Share this article with someone who is running out of hope by using the buttons below.

Breaking taboos How CBD and cannabis defeats migraines and headaches dosage marijuana

Breaking taboos: How CBD and cannabis defeat migraines and headaches

Cannabis advocates are typically quick to tout the plant as a medical marvel, which can provide unprecedented relief from all kinds of conditions, including migraines, which affect more than 36 million people in America alone.

But how much do we really know about the herb which has been ever-present throughout recorded human history, but kept prohibited for much of the past century?

The short answer: more than ever.

Now for the long answer.

Before diving deeper into the medicinal potential of cannabis products for migraines, it’s important to have a base knowledge of the cannabinoids in the plant, and an understanding of how these interact with the body – specifically, with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), as many cannabis researchers believe that dysfunction in this network could be the root cause of migraines.

An introduction to CBD and THC, the most important cannabinoids in cannabis

There are no fewer than 113 cannabinoids in cannabis, most of which we still know very little about. This alone suggests that it will be decades before we understand the full implications that cannabis has on the body, and how it can best be used to treat illness.

However, scientists have explored the plant’s two most-abundant cannabinoids – cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – in some depth. The key difference between them is that THC is psychoactive while CBD is not, but both have distinct medicinal qualities which may aid the treatment of migraines.

THC is a partial agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The former is found mostly in the central nervous system, and are implicated in multiple variables, including pain perception, appetite and mood. The latter is predominantly in the peripheral nervous system, and mostly influences immune system response. THC is the cannabis plant’s version of anandamide, an important endocannabinoid and neurotransmitter which helps to maintain the ECS. Therefore, taking THC can help to compensate a deficiency of anandamide.

THC = nutrient for our endocannabinoid receptors

“Currently, however, statistically significant differences in cerebrospinal fluid anandamide levels have been documented in migraineurs.”

CBD Blog | Industry News & Updates | Pure CBD Vapors

In contrast, CBD is an antagonist of these receptors, and therefore has a much different therapeutic effect. Rather than binding to receptors and working as an endocannabinoid substitute, CBD affects the ECS so that concentrations of anandamide and 2-AG, another endocannabinoid, are increased. Anandamide is degraded by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), a catabolic enzyme, but CBD can interfere with this process. CBD = potency increaser of endocannabinoid substitutes How it manages this remains somewhat unclear: a study on mice showed CBD to be an FAAH inhibitor, although research published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Biological Chemistry in 2015 found a different effect in humans. This study found that CBD “inhibits the cellular uptake and catabolism of anandamide” by binding with fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs), which are responsible for transporting anandamide to FAAH enzymes. In the coming years, medical scientists will surely find out much more about the subtle interactions of cannabinoids, but it is increasingly apparent that cannabinoids play a vital role in regulating the ECS, and that they can also treat imbalance in the system.

Why migraines aren’t just headaches

Migraines and headaches are often mistaken for being one and the same, but there are some key differences to be aware of. Headaches are a broad range of pains in the head region of which migraine is a subset of. Headaches are shorter and generally less painful but there are exceptions for clusters, thunderclaps etc. Migraines, however, cause intense pain at the front or side of the head, which can persist for days. Other symptoms, which migraineurs refer to as an “aura”, are often a pre-warning of when a migraine is about to strike. These are the result of neurological changes, and could be any of the following:

  • Physiological symptoms: fainting, tingling, spinning sensation, weakness
  • Auditory symptoms: increased sound sensitivity, speech and hearing disturbances
  • Psychological symptoms: mood and appetite changes, memory issues, loss of control
  • Visual symptoms: flashing lights, stars, wavy lines and general increased light sensitivity

The psychological symptoms, in particular, are an indication that migraines have an adverse effect on the ECS.

Migraine patients need new solutions

The encouraging research behind cannabis for migraines is not just welcome, but as a necessity. Many patients find that current drugs, both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription, either do not provide sufficient relief, or cause side effects. Triptans, such as Axert and Flova, are meant to reduce symptoms by influencing serotonin receptors – serotonin is a hormone associated with happiness and general wellbeing. But some patients have reported chest and throat tightness, sleepiness and tingling when taking these drugs. A study recently conducted in Italy compared the effectiveness of a cannabinoid treatment comprised of CBD and THC with amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant drug used to treat migraines, in addition to depression and anxiety. The first phase of the research involved just the cannabinoid concoction, which was given to 48 participants who suffered from chronic migraines.

The treatment was given in an oral dose of 200mg and was found to reduce acute pain symptoms by 55 percent.

This is likely the effect of the cannabinoids on the CB1 receptor, which can be influenced to reduce the body’s sensitivity to pain. The second part of the study pitted the CBD and THC treatment against the amitriptyline – 79 patients were administered either 200mg of the former or 25mg of the latter over three months. Meanwhile, a further 48 patients with cluster headaches were treated with the same THC-CBD dose, or 480mg of verapamil, a calcium channel blocker. The results found medical cannabis to be slightly more effective than the amitriptyline, and that the only notable side effects were reduced concentration and drowsiness, while reducing pain intensity by 43.5 percent. Fascinatingly, while the CBD-THC mix only abetted some of the cluster headaches, the treatment was particularly successful at managing pain in those who had suffered from migraines since an early age. Ideally, a follow-up study would look more closely at why cannabis worked for those patients but did not treat acute symptoms in those with no long-term history of migraines. Leader of the research, Dr Maria Nicolodi, said of the study, “We were able to demonstrate that cannabinoids are an alternative to established treatments in migraine prevention.” Prior to cannabis prohibition, the herb was a very popular treatment for migraines in both Europe and North America between 1842 and 1942, according to Western pharmacopoeias. While this may seem surprising given today’s perception of cannabis, given its proliferation as a medicine for migraines and other illnesses in the ancient civilizations of China, Egypt, Greece and elsewhere, we perhaps shouldn’t be shocked. See the graph below for the favourite aspects of CBD products reported by users in 2017 Favourite aspects of CBD products 2017 migraine headaches

What is Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency?

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) is a medical concept which may explain why cannabinoids are an effective medicine for various conditions– the bulk of research on this theory concerns irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia and migraines. CECD was first proposed by neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher, Dr Ethan Russo, in December 2003. Follow-up papers have expanded on the concept, although legal barriers to the study of medicinal cannabis has inevitably stifled progress. However, those studying CECD have made a series of intriguing discoveries on the relationship between migraines and the endocannabinoid and serotonin systems. Anandamide has been shown to potentiate the 5-HT1A receptor and inhibit the 5-HT2A receptor. Research has revealed that the heightened light and sound sensitivity experienced by migraine patients is perhaps due to an overactive sensory hyperalgesia, which the ECS may correct via interactions within the central nervous system. Many scientists have linked migraines to the trigeminovascular system. Interestingly, studies have shown that endocannabinoids have an effect on this system, further supporting the idea that the ECS is key for the treatment of migraines. Research on trigeminovascular neuronal responses indicates that migraines and cluster headaches may be relieved with a CB1 receptor agonist, although the study’s authors expressed doubt over the use of psychoactive substances such as THC. An Italian study found that rates of anandamide hydrolysis, or breakdown, were higher in the platelets of migraine sufferers – it’s possible that the reduced serum anandamide levels mean that these patients have a lower pain threshold and are therefore more vulnerable to intense migraines. Another study investigating CECD looked at anandamide concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of migraineurs. The researchers determined that the reduced anandamide levels in chronic migraine patients supported the concept of ECS failure being at the root of the condition. This could be due to anandamide not fulfilling its role as a modulator of the trigeminovascular system.

“A study presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Amsterdam confirmed that cannabinoids are just as suitable as a prophylaxis for migraine attacks as other pharmaceutical treatments.”

There is a lack of focused trials on the usage of THC and other cannabinoids in the treatment of migraines – most currently available information relates to surveys and case reports of medicinal marijuana use. However, a recently released Colorado study of migraineurs (more than two-thirds of whom had a history of cannabis consumption) showed cannabis to reduce headache frequency by more than half, from 10.4 to 4.6 attacks per month. Unfortunately, the exact cannabinoid profile of the strains used is unknown but were likely to be high in THC.

 

Giving migraine sufferers their power back by addressing the root causes in a holistic way to heal the brain through neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.

CBD as a standalone treatment for migraines

Many migraineurs are keen to know whether CBD can work as a standalone treatment, or if a whole-plant treatment, which features psychoactive THC, is also necessary. Frustratingly, despite having immense therapeutic value, THC can be disabling in the short-erm both cognitively and physically. Moreover, THC induces euphoria or paranoia, depending on the user’s mental state, and can cause a surge in appetite – these are all a result of the cannabinoid’s potent effect on the CB1 receptor. CBD, however, does not negatively affect cognition, and is only a sedative effect in very large doses. Therefore, CBD is far less controversial as a medicine, and could feasibly be taken at work, when looking after children or doing any important task without impairing judgment. Furthermore, patients predisposed to psychosis or schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are not at risk by taking CBD, whereas psychoactive drugs can be a trigger. The potential benefits of CBD for migraines are based more than anecdotes than scientific research. In 2012, a study showed that CBD could relieve pain in rodents without causing analgesic tolerance, but there was no specific mention of migraines. The Irish Times published a story in 2016 about a woman who has suffered from migraines since childhood but found unprecedented relief from taking three doses of CBD oil per day. While she wonders whether a treatment with THC would increase the pain relief, it appears that CBD alone offers marked benefits. From the existing research, it is logical that CBD has medicinal value for migraineurs, simply because it indirectly boosts levels of the CB1 receptor agonist anandamide.

See our video on CBD and migraines below:

Which products may offer relief from migraines?

The cannabis industry has evolved, and both medicinal and recreational users have a variety of products to choose from, all of which provide unique forms of relief. In the past, cannabis was typically used either by smoking it or by eating a cannabis-infused edible. There are plenty of health risks from smoking, but the fast onset of effect of cannabinoids when inhaled can be very useful at treating acute pain symptoms. This rapid relief explains why vaporizing has become such a popular method of consumption. CBD vape oil and e-liquid is sold in multiple flavors and potencies. Understandably, taking medicine by smoking or vaping it is not for everybody. Even though a 2015 report from Public Health England determined vaping to be 95 percent safer than smoking, the risk to the lungs is not totally negligible – for smokers trying to quit, vaping is a great choice, but for non-smokers, perhaps not so much. In this case, CBD oil is the next best option for quickly blunting migraine pain. This is administered under the tongue with a pipette or dropper, and held for two to three minutes, while the CBD is sublingually absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissues in the bottom of the mouth. For a migraine that has persisted for several hours or even days, CBD edibles, capsules and any CBD product that is ingested may be effective. These can be advantageous over sublingual oils and e-liquids, in that the CBD remains active in the ECS for up to six to eight hours, meaning the patient doesn’t have to top up their medication as often. The downside is that edibles do not work as quickly – the cannabinoids only become active after being absorbed through the stomach, which can take an hour or more. Therefore, CBD edibles are not recommended for acute pain relief. CBD topical products are mostly used for improving skin conditions by reducing inflammation or for cosmetic purposes, such as anti-aging. However, CBD massage gels and creams are also popular for relieving localized pain. Since the pain from migraines is concentrated at the front and side of the head, CBD topicals may have a therapeutic effect, perhaps by interacting with the vanilloid (TRPV-1) receptor, which is expressed in the skin. Conditions CBD users relieve with cannabis migraines The hemp-based CBD industry is also split into two types of products: isolated CBD and full-spectrum CBD. CBD is the only cannabis constituent in CBD-isolate products, while full-spectrum products are made with a full hemp extract. The presence of other non-psychoactive cannabinoids – and there are more than 100 of these, only a few of which have been properly researched – looks to boost the therapeutic value of the CBD. This reaction between the cannabinoids and terpenes in a full-extract is synergistic and known as the “entourage effect”. Generally you want to avoid starting with too high of a dose as it can make some people drowsy. What most people do to test their tolerance is start with 5mg of a cbd oil taken under the tongue per day and increasing by 5mg every week. Acutely you would want a faster method of administration like vaping.

The legal prospects for cannabis-based medication

All this talk about the medicinal possibilities of cannabis for migraines is great, but without legislation that widens access to these products, migraineurs will be left stranded. Thankfully, hemp-derived CBD products are legal pretty much everywhere and have become widespread in the United States and throughout Europe, as consumers sample the cannabis that “doesn’t get you high.” The second decade of the 21st century has been a very positive one for cannabis. As of 2018, cannabis is recreationally legal in nine US states, and permitted medically in more than 30. Whether migraine patients in medicinal states can access worthwhile cannabis treatment depends on if migraines are a qualifying condition (chronic pain may count), and the maximum THC concentration allowed. Encouragingly, the scientific evidence in favor of cannabis is mounting and with relaxed barriers to research, will continue to do so. In 2018, Canada became the first nation in the G7 to legalize recreational cannabis, and the United Kingdom has also now introduced medical cannabis legislation, after public pressure following stories of the herb’s ability to treat children with epilepsy. However, there are concerns that patients may not be given medical cannabis because doctors are not confident enough to prescribe it. The ECS was not discovered until the 1990s and is therefore rarely included in medical school programs. Some patients have been forced to travel out-of-state to legally access cannabis medicine. Therefore, while the future looks bright for medical cannabis, which promises to be very beneficial for migraineurs, there are still obstacles to overcome before cannabinoid-based treatments are prescribed as readily as other pharmaceutical drugs.

What does this all mean?

The research available presents a clear link between migraines and irregularities in the endocannabinoid system – this indicates that cannabis can treat this peculiar illness, and that it may do so more effectively and without the side effects of existing medication. The anecdotes, surveys and case reports of migraineurs experiencing a reduction or even elimination of pain, nausea and aura symptoms further supports this. One study found that,

“Migraine headache frequency decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month with the use of medical marijuana”

At present, it seems as if CBD products are effective at treating migraines – and these also provide several other benefits to physical and mental health through regulation of the ECS. However, the full potential of cannabis for migraines may not be unlocked unless THC is also part of the medication. For patients unable to access THC treatment, the best solution looks to be full-spectrum CBD. As these products are made with a whole-plant extract, the patient can receive some benefits of the “entourage effect”. Furthermore, a full-spectrum product in the United States can contain up to 0.3 percent THC, which will give an additional, yet non-intoxicating therapeutic effect. CBD is often compared with medications like excedrin migraine. See our article on excedrin migraine vs CBD to get more information about CBD. This post was written by our friends at CBDGenesis and you can find one of their high quality cbd oils through our affiliate link here. Join our Facebook conversation on CBD here.   Have you ever tried CBD for your migraines, headaches or other chronic pain? Share this article with someone struggling with pain who needs answers.

Amazing features that define a migrainous stroke infarction

17 Amazing features that define a migrainous stroke infarction

One of the scariest risk factors with migraine is the increasing chance of a stroke.

This was one of my moms biggest worries with her migraines but thankfully she doesn’t have to worry about them any more.

In this article, we will discuss what a migrainous infarction/stroke is and the features that define it as well as what risks increase its chance and what we need to understand to lower danger.

Define a migrainous infarction / stroke

An infarction or stroke is when a part of the brain stops receiving adequate blood flow and essentially starves for oxygen, causing tissue damage and death.

A migrainous infarction or stroke is simply one that occurs during a migraine with aura or presenting with symptoms of a migraine with aura.

The international headache society defines a migrainous stroke or infarction as:

  • Occurring in a patient that has migraine with aura and has an attack typical of others but with aura symptoms longer than 60 minutes
  • Neuroimaging showing lack of blood flow in the relevant areas
  • No better diagnosis

Migrainous infarctions can present with only small changes and this is what makes it problematic since migraines have such a large range of symptom variation.

A hemiplegic migraine is almost the same as a stroke in how its symptoms present and a migraine with aura only has to last longer than usual to become suspect.

The important understanding here is that a neuroimaging test like CT or MRI is needed to tell if the brain has a block of blood flow.

If you are experiencing migraine symptoms different than usual or an aura lasting longer than usual it is important to see your doctor immediately to prevent further damage.

See this infographic to understand more about strokes:

Features of a migrainous stroke/ infarction

Like we talked about above, a migrainous infarction can present in a few different ways.

It can range from almost the same as a regular migraine with aura, to all the way down the spectrum of a serious hemiplegic migraine with one sided paralysis.

The side of the brain that is affected will usually show the opposite side symptoms.

So if the left half of the brain is affected, right sided symptoms may show throughout your body and vice versa.

Its important that we do rehabilitation for the affected side:

– We should do more creative artistic and visual exercises to create more connections on the right side

– We should do more logical, analytical exercises to foster connections on the left side

For a migrainous stroke, we have to get both the symptoms of a migraine with aura as well as the symptoms of a stroke, together.

Features of a migraine aura include:

  • Becoming pale
  • Yawning
  • Blurred vision
  • Flashes of light
  • Fatigue or increased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Neck stiffness
  • Increased sensitivity to lights and sounds
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tingling sensation
  • Phantom smells, sounds and visions

Features of a stroke include:

  • Symptoms generally appear quickly
  • Numbness weakness of the face, arm or leg especially one sided
  • Confusion
  • Trouble speaking, seeing or walking
  • Dizziness or loss of balance and coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

This can happen a few different ways, sometimes the aura will begin and then stroke like symptoms will start very suddenly or they may come together or even start with stroke like symptoms and then have the aura symptoms come on.

It is important to note that a suddenness and change from any normal presentation of your migraine with aura is cause for concern and should be investigated.

By the time we have a stroke, we need emergency help. But long before we do, we can take steps that cut our risks into a fraction of what they were.

Some of the best things we can do for our fears is focus on prevention

For both men and women, as many as 9 out of 10 strokes are preventable by minimizing risk factors, according to a July 2016 study of 26,000 people by McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.” (Link)

Stroke is highly dependent on risk factors.

If we can avoid our risk factors and the causes, we will not only ease our fears and prevent unneeded stroke but we will also be much healthier, happier and live more fulfilled lives.

And we may even be able to prevent our migraines.

Amazing features that define a migrainous stroke infarction

Amazing features that define a migrainous stroke infarction

There are a few major factors that increase our risk.

They are:

Oral contraceptive use

– Instead read the book “The Pill: Are You Sure It’s for You?” by Alexandra Pope and Jane Bennett

Smoking

– Switch to vaporizing and using organic non processed products along with a protocol for overcoming addiction

Being sedentary

– Just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day 3+ times a week can improve all of your health markers and give you a lean body that will feel and function much better. It has also been shown to reduce migraines and lower central sensitization which happens in chronic pain conditions.

Having high blood pressure

– High BP means you are dehydrated and eating the wrong foods for your type. These will cause many issues with your heart and blood and something as simple as adding coconut water to your daily diet has been shown to decrease hypertension.

Diabetes

– Diabetes is a killer and means we are eating foods that are activating our immune system leading to the destruction of our blood sugar regulating system as well as eating a bad balance of proteins/fats/carbohydrates in each of our meals. Consider asking us about how we use metabolic typing to find the ideal ratios for our clients and balance blood sugar naturally. If blood sugar is out of balance, so is our brain, hormones and gut. Consider including more fiber rich vegetables and pastured/wild meats to your diet.

High cholesterol and cholesterol medications

– There was a large myth perpetuated by the medical community for years that dietary cholesterol meant blood cholesterol but this has since been debunked(Link). Actually, it is important for us to eat dietary cholesterol as cholesterol is what makes up our cells, tissues, hormones and brains. Statins which are common cholesterol medications may provide extra risk factors since they deplete CoQ10 in the body which may actually be one of the most essential and protective nutrients for the heart.

Migraine medications

– The prevailing theory with migraines for the past few decades is that a constriction and expansion of blood vessels lead to the nerve pain that created migraines. Because of this, medications that constricted blood vessels were used but this does come with the side effect of an increased risk of stroke for medications like triptans if you are predisposed.

According to Drs. Richard Lipton and Stuart Tepper, two leading physicians in the world of migraine research, “triptans should not be used by people with cardiovascular disease or hypertension. Triptans can cause stroke or arrhythmia in predisposed individuals. Women over 55 and men over 40 should take with caution.”(Link)

See this short video on factors you can use to reduce risk.

Now we need to understand what is going on with strokes, migraines and our brains.

It is very common for the migraine brain to experience energy generation problems and connected problems with oxidation and inflammation.

In fact, oxidation is the one common factor that connects every migraine trigger.

Inside each of our cells we have mitochondria.

These are the energy generation stations of our cells and especially our brain cells like neurons.

When our mitochondria are happy and healthy, they can create loads of energy and minimize oxidation and inflammation.

But when they become ill because of things like nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, stress, infections etc…

They cause the collapse of the cell and can lead to our brains going through fatigue.

This may also be one of the reasons responsible for cortical spreading depression which has been implicated in many different types of migraines and especially migraines with aura.

Cortical spreading depression is a process where the brain goes through a wave of energy surge followed by a blackout.

The neurons in the brain become excitable and fragile, then when an event happens that causes more stress on the system than usual, the neurons fire but this creates a wave throughout the brain causing other neurons to fire involuntarily.

Because the neurons are fragile from previous days, months and years of not having proper energy generation or other factors, this spike in their activity is followed by severe fatigue, triggering the blackout.

The idea is that when this “blackout” happens in the occiput which handles visual information, we can experience the migraine aura.

Mitochondria are highly implicated here because they provide the energy that the cell needs to survive and thrive, creating impulses to transfer thoughts to other cells throughout the brain.

We need to support the mitochondria, give them the building blocks they need for fuel and get out of their way so they can do their job of supporting us.

It is important to remember that mitochondria were once separate organisms from our cells and through evolution we absorbed them and developed a symbiotic relationship with them.

They are essentially bacteria that live within our cells and so things like antibiotics can damage them but things like supporting our microbiome can help them. They even have their own DNA.

Watch this video by Dr Terry Wahls where she talks about how she overcame her progressive neurodegenerative disease with good nutrition and mitochondrial support.

 

What are some of the best ways to support your mitochondria?

Intermittent fasting

This is a tough one especially for migraine sufferers and for good reason. Often those with migraine cannot miss meals because it will trigger a migraine but this is actually showing us the problem. The body is having a hard time creating energy and dealing with blood sugar balancing. This should be handled first and foremost with a skilled nutritionist. Missing a meal should not be triggering a migraine.

Exercise

Exercise has been shown to be amazing for both migraines and mitochondria. Just make sure to work up to it and read our article on how exercise can trigger and help migraines here.

Cold exposure

Cryotherapy has become increasingly popular for executives, athletes and other top performers. But it doesn’t have to be something expensive or out of your way. Simple daily cold showers are a great way to build resilience. As an added bonus they also improve the vagus nerve which has been implicated in migraine and one of the reasons that the gammacore migraine device works.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an amazing root used for thousands of years by indigenous cultures. They knew something we are just starting to learn. Turmeric is amazing for so many different things and mitochondrial function is one of them. See our article on turmeric curcumin for migraines here.

When we can begin at the cellular level we can support everything those cells create.

Healthy brain cells mean a healthy, functional brain.

We need to know what is going on, get a proper assessment and reduce our risk factors. Then we can begin the healing work with things like mitochondrial support.

Click here to read our article and learn the 7 essential skills for how to stop a migraine aura.

Have you ever experienced a migraine with aura that came with a seizure or seizure like episode? Comment below and let me know.

Do you know someone else who has? Share this article with them.

allodynia symptom checklist and migraines

3 Root-cause connections for allodynia symptom checklist and migraines

As we get deeper into the chronic pain hole, our entire body beings to reprogram itself to be even more sensitive to pain.

This creates a vicious cycle we need to break as soon as possible.

Luckily, the body has a few switches that when turned off, the need for pain gets turned off as well.

In this article, we will be talking about allodynia and how the chronic sensitization of pain is assessed with the allodynia symptom checklist and how migraine plays a role.

What is allodynia? / Definition

The international headache society defines allodynia as:

Sensation of discomfort or pain arising from a stimulus that would not normally be sufficient to have this effect.”

This is different from hyperalgesia which is a sensation of pain or discomfort from a stimulus that is expected to be painful.

In essence what we are talking about here is where the body has become hyper sensitive.

It has crossed over into what we call “trigger mode” in the migraine community.

The body is always lingering on a high level of neuron activity that easily crosses the threshold with any little stimulus such as:

  • Combing or pulling back hair
  • Shaving face
  • Wearing glasses, contact lenses, a necklace or tight clothing
  • Taking a shower
  • Resting your face or head on a pillow
  • Exposure to heat or cold

Because our neurons are always at a high level of activity and trigger so easily, this creates a vicious cycle that further depletes them of energy and causes fatigue and more hair trigger sensations.

We will go into the mechanism below.

The allodynia symptom checklist

The allodynia symptom checklist is a standard measurement used to rate how severe your level of allodynia is.

This scale goes from no allodynia at 0-2 to severe allodynia at 9+.

allodynia symptom checklist

In migraine sufferers, allodynia type sensations are fairly common and connections have been found between the mechanism that causes migraines and the mechanism that causes allodynia.

In one study,

The prevalence of allodynia among migraineurs was 63.2%. Severe cutaneous allodynia occurred in 20.4% of migraineurs.”

 allodynia symptoms checklist and migraines

3 Root cause connections

When we want to understand allodynia, what is going on with our body and what we can do about it we need to understand how neurons work, how the body creates patterns and how it processes information.

The three key pieces here are:

  • Neuron excitation/threshold
  • Nociception
  • Central sensitization

Lets start with how neurons start functioning when they become unhealthy and cannot produce enough energy.

1. Neuron excitation/threshold

Our neurons always have a baseline of activity and stimulation. They are always a little bit stimulated but this doesn’t cause the neuron to “fire.”

When a neuron fires, a thought, idea, action is performed. For example, when we think of a memory, our brain will fire the pathway that last recorded our memory and we will remember it.

But for the neuron to fire, its level of activity and stimulation has to cross its threshold.

When our neurons are healthy, our baseline activity is low and it takes a good stimulus to cross the threshold and cause the neuron to fire.

But when our neurons have trouble creating energy because of inflammation, oxidation or a lack of nutrients to build the blocks of energy, our baseline activity actually goes up.

This makes it so that there is less of a stimulus needed to cause the neuron to fire. This is bad because then when we have very small things happening like a change of temperature or wearing tight clothing, our neurons in our pain receptors can involuntarily fire, giving us pain sensations.

See the pin below to get an idea of how the level of activity has to cross the threshold to cause firing of the neuron.

Synaptic Transmission (The Neuron) Part 1

We want to make sure we can keep inflammation low and provide specific nerve nutrients so that our neurons can produce the energy they need and can maintain a lower level of activity.

When these involuntary triggers are always happening, it drains the neurons of energy even further, leading to a vicious cycle.

This adds to the sensation that our nervous system uses called nociception.

2. Nociception

Nociception which is also called nociperception is the nervous systems’ response to harmful and potentially harmful stimuli.

It is like a sense except it gets added up and totalled.

If the amount of harm our nociceptive system is perceiving is high, our body will think we are in danger.

Sensing danger is great in the short term because it activates our bodies resources, gives us energy and makes us focus so that we can get out of danger.

But when this system is sensing danger chronically, our body burns up resources and we get things like chronic fatigue, anxiety, racing heart beat, poor sleep, brain fog and so much more.

We need to keep the total level of nociceptive stress low, but nociception is present throughout our whole nervous system and it gets totaled up.

Our nervous system literally is us and every part of us.

This means every harmful stimulus in and around our bodies, even mental and emotional ones, add to this perception of stress.

We need to reduce stress in every area of our lives that we can.

This means taking out poisons like:

  • Plastics
  • Petroleum products
  • Non natural hygiene products
  • Poor quality makeup
  • Cookware that leeches
  • Mercury amalgams
  • Non organic clothing
  • Conventionally raised produce
  • Non pastured or wild meats
  • Plastic containers, bottles
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
  • Mental over work
  • Emotional trauma, stress and worry
  • Over exercise and under exercise
  • Poor breathing patterns
  • Excessive blue light
  • Electro-magnetic field exposure
  • Poor quality water

These all play a part in adding to the burden of our liver or kidneys or hormones or brain or lungs or heart etc etc etc.

The nervous system controls them all and adds up stress on any one of them as a total for the body. If it is too high, the body will constantly be in danger mode, more commonly called fight flight or fright mode.

When we are in this mode, our body is not in rest, digest and repair mode which is the one we need to be in the majority of the time to keep our baseline of activity low and stay out of trigger mode.

If we don’t, our body begins strengthening the pain pathways that leads to central sensitization.

3. Central sensitization

Central sensitization is defined as when the nervous system goes through a pattern of “winding-up” and becomes persistently stuck in a state of high reactivity.

When we are in high pain all of the time and especially in conditions like migraine where our metabolic processes aren’t creating proper energy to support low baseline levels of neuron activity, then the body actually gets stuck like this.

It gets conditioned to stay in this state of high reactivity.

Our body is scared. It thinks we are in danger and it can’t properly compensate for stress by raising its stress level and then lowering it to a healthy normal function.

It stays high and it keeps us in fight, flight and fright mode.

Our brain and nervous system functions like a muscle in that,

What gets used, gets reinforced.”

So staying in this state of high tension, high stress and high pain makes our pain pathways get reinforced.

Our body always wants to become efficient in whatever its doing, even if that is counter productive to our own functioning.

So it builds these pain pathways, makes them stronger and it becomes harder and harder to switch out of them.

The vicious cycle continues.

This is one of the reasons things like regular cold showers, infrared saunas and exercise may actually be beneficial.

When we are put into these states of stress that are even higher than our baseline, but with positive health benefits, our body can gets very stressed and then rebound into rest, digest and repair mode.

So during the cold shower we may cringe and shake, even raising pain, but after that, our body will know the stress is over and return to a normal baseline.

Instead of the usual, chronic, non stop sensitization that occurs with many cases of migraine, headache and other types of chronic pain.

Often one of the first things we start to do when pain or dis-ease sets in is hide, stay still and stop doing things.

But this may actually be more detrimental than helpful.

We need to address the root cause first and remove any excessive stresses like over exercise, relationship issues etc.

But after that, as long as we are supported, we need to get out of our pain pathways.

We need to move, learn new things, see new things and bring novelty into our lives so that our brain can grow and build new pathways.

Without stimulus, it just won’t. It will continue to decay.

I would encourage you to do the opposite of what you are good at, to bring the weaker areas of your brain up to par.

If you are very logical and systems based then you should do more creative and artsy things.

If you are very colorful and creative then take the time and do more linear things like math, calculations and analytical thoughts.

 

This will bring up weak areas of the brain and create more interconnection in the brain so that neuroplasticity can compensate for any damage that has been done.

As you build your brain back up and reduce any neurodegeneration that has happened, pain will be reduced and happiness and healthiness will come back into your life.

But it has to be approached holistically so that you find the cause and eliminate that first before starting the rebuild otherwise anything you are doing is only palliative.

To understand more about the factors that go into creating pain and migraine, see our article on status migrainosus and intractable migraines which are the migraines that last over 72 hours and don’t respond to treatment.

To learn more about migraines than you’ve ever know before, join the community here.

Do you experience allodynia?

Do you have a disease that it is associated with?

Let me know in the comments below and share this with someone else who has allodynia.

Gammacore vs Cefaly vs Eneura migraine devices / costs / reviews

Gammacore vs Cefaly vs Eneura migraine devices / costs / reviews

We all want a cure for migraines.

But because migraines come from so many different areas of health…

And because migraine is a natural mechanism by the brain…

It’s not as simple as 1 2 3(sometimes it is).

So we need every win we can get while we narrow down the root cause.

This is where migraine devices come in and they can be great for both acute attack relief as well as for prevention.

In this article I will be talking about the Gammacore, Eneura and Cefaly devices and how they compare.

What are they?

These migraine devices are patented technologies that use electrical or magnetic stimulation to prevent the pain associated with migraines.

Throughout the descriptions of each we will cover the cost, how it is supposed to work, possible side effects, if they have clinical studies, where to get them and what you need to know about them from a holistic health perspective.

Lets start with Gammacore.

Gammacore

Cost: $600 per month

How it’s supposed to work:

Gammacore uses n-VNS which stands for non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation.

The vagus nerve is a large nerve that controls the parasympathetic side of the nervous system’s control of the heart, lungs and digestive tract.

What Is The Vagus Nerve? | The Art Of Living

The parasympathetic can generally be thought of like the rest and digest side of the nervous system.

Opposite to it is the sympathetic side which is the fight or flight side.

The vagus nerve has a 9:1 ratio of information going to the brain as opposed to coming from the brain.

By stimulating the vagus nerve you may be disrupting a large amount of energy that is going back to the brain from the gut, heart, and lungs which is coming from issues they are having.

It is commonly seen that migraine sufferers experience food sensitivities which contribute to their pain and they commonly have dysfunctional guts.

This may be why the vagal nerve stimulation works so well.

Other methods of vagal stimulation are:

  • Cold showers
  • Singing/chanting
  • Massage
  • Deep breathing exercises

Gammacore was found to be effective in one study where:

12.7% of patients were pain-free at 30 minutes, 21% at 60 minutes and 30.4% at 120 minutes. This is an improvement over sham but not by much as sham had 4.2% at 30 minutes, 10% at 60 minutes and 19.7% at 120 minutes.”

Gammacore is FDA approved but requires a prescription which may be done through phone consultation. Insurance coverage does exist but does not usually fully cover costs.

Here is a video on how to use Gammacore: 

How to use gammaCore push button

Side effects:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness or change in voice during treatment
  • Muscle twitching
  • Discomfort or pain during stimulation

Reviews:

Reviews were actually very hard to find but it did seem to be effective in some cases.

What you need to know:

The application of a vagal stimulator to affect the input and output between the brain and the lungs, heart and digestive tract isn’t very far fetched.

We know there is a strong connection between the gut and brain, especially in migraines and headaches.

But it is still up to question if the vagal nerve stimulation is helping by speeding up the problem that the energy going through the vagal nerve is trying to fix or if it is simply scrambling the signal between the gut and brain so that pain is not transmitted as well.

Either way, there are many natural options for vagus nerve stimulation that are safe and come with a plethora of benefits.

Eneura

Cost: (Regularly priced at $750 for the first 3 months) But there is a $300 discount available

The nicest view I’ve ever had while using my @eNeuraTMS spring mini!! #chronicmigraine #migraine #eneura

How it’s supposed to work:

Eneura works by using single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation or s-TMS. It uses magnetic therapy to change how the brain and the nerves on our head react to pain stimulation.

A clinical study was conducted where 164 patients used it for at least one migraine attack with Eneura or a sham. 39% of the Eneura group was pain-free after 2h as opposed to only 22% of the sham group being pain-free after 2h.

They do have some case studies on the website here which go into detail about individuals experiences with the Eneura device.

The Eneura sTMS device is FDA approved for both acute and preventive treatment of migraines.

There are two ways to go about this therapy, one in which you get regular TMS at a clinic that has the machine which can run into $1000s worth of treatments…

OR

Using the sTMS Eneura device where you pay a monthly fee while using the device at home.

Both may be covered under insurance depending on your plan.

There is a great review of info published by the mayo clinic on TMS devices here.

Side effects: There are some side effects like increased headaches, rare seizures, and mood disturbances.

Reviews: It was actually difficult finding reviews for this device as the website is the only seller of it. But there are some reviews on this post inside the comments.

Where to purchase:

Has to be bought from their website. Www.eneura.com

What you need to know:

If you have exhausted all options then this may be worth a try.

That said, 100% of the people that say they have tried everything have not so don’t make it so easy for yourself to say it.

There are many amazing therapies that I’ve seen do away with all pain but they are not consistent.

Why?

Because migraine is not one thing.

Migraine is many different issues that end up in a few common symptoms we call migraine and this is one of the reasons it’s so important to understand the migraine mechanism and how trigger levels and threshold levels play a part.

Always look for the cause and get testing to look at the other systems of the body that may be bringing the brain down with them.

Cefaly

Cost: Base cost for the device is $295 plus $29 for shipping. A three-pack of electrodes is $25 with an additional $5 for shipping.

How it’s supposed to work:

The cefaly uses what is called electric transcranial neurostimulation or e-TNS and directs a mild frequency directly into the end of the trigeminal nerve which has been implicated in migraine.

Cefaly does have a fair amount of clinical studies done on its effectiveness in a number of disorders and use for both acute attacks as well as prevention of migraines.

In one study on migraine patients,

Average pain intensity was significantly reduced by 57.1% after the one-hour e-TNS treatment and by 52.8% at two hours. No patients took rescue medication within the two-hour observation phase. Within the 24-hour follow-up, 34.6% of patients used a rescue medication.

The idea is similar to both Gammacore and Eneura in that stimulation of the nerves around the head that are implicated in migraine create a lessening of the pain sensation they are causing and also release endorphins which are feel-good hormones that act as painkillers.

The Cefaly is FDA approved but does require a prescription to acquire in the US so some ship it in from outside of the country.

Side effects:

  • Buzzing sensation or pain
  • Tension type headache
  • Insomnia
  • Sleepiness during use
  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reaction

Where to purchase:

Cefaly devices are available on Amazon and at Costco in Canada but you may need to order off their website in other areas. Www.cefaly.com

What you need to know:

Cefaly does seem to be very popular and work as a method of relief for many people. That said it is important to understand that simply stimulating the nerve that is creating pain doesn’t mean we are stopping what is causing the pain to have to be expressed through that nerve.

The body protects itself with pain so it may actually be counterproductive in the long term to use something that only stop the superficial pain without addressing the underlying cause of it.

It can be likened to when the engine light comes on in your car. If you simply pull the bulb out of the light then you won’t know somethings wrong, but something will still be malfunctioning.

That said, if you are still actively searching for and waiting to get functional medicine testing back then this may be a useful approach to get through the day.

Reviews:

Which one is best?

In my opinion, there is not a best one as they all seem to be superficial therapies that prove to be fairly expensive with monthly and maintenance costs.

It would be better investing in advanced lab testing that will tell you where you hormones are, if you have food sensitivities, if you have gut bugs, if you have nutrients deficiencies etc.

But if I had to choose one, it would be the gammacore as stimulating the vagus nerve seems to be the deepest approach.

In terms of popularity, the Cefaly wins by a mile.

They all seem to be fairly safe and effective in some cases.

But as a holistic health practitioner, knowing the implications that the entire body has in creating your health or feeding your disease, it’s simply not right to continue with a palliative therapy if you can be fixing a deeper issue that will provide long-term health,

See our article on status migrainosus and intractable migraines here if you are still experiencing difficult migraines that just won’t budge.

To understand how seeing your body holistically can give you the quantum leap in your health that medications won’t join the community here.

Have you ever tried a migraine device? Have you tried multiple or a device not talked about here?

Let me know in the comments below and share this with someone looking for other options.

The FREE 5 Most Common Mistakes Of Hormonal Migraines E-Guide teaches you:

– Why hormones are the most important focus around why your migraines and headaches keep triggering

– How PMS is common but NOT normal and why it needs to be addressed to be pain free in the long term

– The 5 most common mistakes why hormones stay broken, why so many women become migraine free with pregnancy and why birth control is not a solution