Light was the absolute worst when my migraines kicked in. The more the migraine escalated, the worse light became.
I can stare at fluorescent lights now and be fine because I’ve brought down my brains sensitivity and hyper-vigilance to environmental stimuli.
In this article, we will be talking about fluorescent light, light sensitivity, what it’s doing to our brains and how we can prevent it from causing migraines and headaches.
Can fluorescent lights cause migraines and headaches?
Yes and no.
It has been thought for years that fluorescent light was a trigger that we had to avoid to prevent a migraine but that has changed in recent years.
Yes, it may trigger, but other triggers may cause a migraine that creates the hypersensitivity to light which we then get affected by and end up blaming the light…
When in reality it was another trigger.
But we also have to remember that triggers are different from causes.
Even though we may have a sensitivity to a food that triggers our migraine…
It’s really the gut infection we have that’s causing the sensitivity and setting us up for trigger.
So we want to differentiate the two and make sure we are dealing with causes and not just palliating with trigger removal.
Fluorescent light is highly artificial and because of this, causes strain on the body, brain, and eyes…
Especially if we are under it after morning hours and you’ll learn why later in the article.
How to prevent migraines from fluorescent lights?
Preventing trigger and ideally preventing all exposure to fluorescent light is the name of the game.
We want to reduce our sensitivity to it, reduce our exposure to it and understand why it causes problems so that we can minimize the damage.
These three tips will get into it.
The 3 best tips for fluorescent light sensitivity with migraines and headaches
There are three factors here that will make or break your brain.
1. Blue light
Why does fluorescent light cause us problems?
We know that fluorescent light is artificial and we have never been exposed to this type of light before in a million years of evolution.
But it also creates a huge shift in our brains rhythms.
Fluorescent light contains a large spectrum of light but one that does not actually help us see well.
But our brains have been genetically wired to receive blue light in the morning to wake us up and amber light in the evening to wind us down.
Every cell in our body and brain works on this cycle.
When the blue morning light comes in, it triggers our cortisol(stress hormone) to wake us up, make us focused and give us energy.
When the blue light disappears, an orange light is left in the sky, triggering our brain to drop cortisol, and raise melatonin(sleep hormone) so that we can wind down and have a deep reparative sleep.
But when we are under fluorescent lights, this doesn’t happen.
Our body stays wired and our entire cycle shifts.
We can end up taking our stress hormones right into sleep, and not having our sleep and repair hormones working at all.
This is a recipe for very high trigger levels, very low threshold and bad foundational principles.
It’s one of the reasons night shift work is now classified as a carcinogen.
We want to avoid this.
Ideally, we would completely avoid fluorescents but we can hack it by using things like amber glasses which can be found through this link or switching to other forms of light that don’t contain the blue spectrum.
Remember even our phones and tv screens release blue light and this is why we have apps like fl.ux and twilight as well as night mode on our devices.
Watch this video to understand more about using glasses to block blue light here:
Dr Bradley Katz on Light Sensitivity, Migraine, and Glasses for Migraine | ABC4 Interview
Next, we need to understand electromagnetic fields.
These are fields created by electric devices and anything with a battery.
Our body is electric, it functions on a very small current of electricity. (The earths natural resonance that keeps us alive is under 10hz)
But our devices do not. (They can range from 20hz to 300Ghz+)
They use huge amounts and exposing our body to these can have grave effects.
Every day more and more studies are coming out showing that EMFs can be both neurotoxic and carcinogenic. (Article)
This is for regular people. The sensitive migraine brain is even more fragile to its effects.
We have to reduce the total EMF exposure. Do you know what your daily total is?
When we are exposed to these fields, they stimulate our tiny little cells and make them go haywire.
Electromagnetic fields come from:
Anything with a battery
Smart meters(remove immediately)
Luckily the electromagnetic fields of fluorescent lights drop off fairly quickly so as long as we can keep our distance from the absolutely necessary ones, we are not exposed to as much of its negative effects.
3. Environmental sensitivity
Environmental sensitivity is a huge problem and even though it may trigger us sometimes, it’s not a cause.
For millions of years we have been exposed to all manner of sounds, lightsand smells.
If they caused us to become crippled every time they came along, we wouldn’t have survived this far.
So I encourage you to ask and find out if your environmental sensitivity is just a byproduct of a hypervigilant brain.
A brain that cannot deal with the stress it’s under, a brain that has been put on high alert because it thinks it’s dying and a brain under a huge amount of oxidative and inflammatory stress.
It’s very possible.
Studies have actually shown that by only reducing food triggers, migraine sufferers reduced their sensitivity to environmental stimuli like light.
This changes the way we see migraines and headaches and their triggers.
But it’s a better way of looking at things because it changes our focus from one of stopping symptoms and avoiding triggers…
To one of finding the root cause and supporting the bodies ability to cope with it.
But there’s another new trick coming out in studies lately.
BONUS: Green light for migraines
This abstract says that green light does not apply to the photo-phobia or light sensitivity that migraine sufferers commonly experience.
In a study done on 41 migraine patients who were able to complete it, they found that green light was the only light spectrum that didn’t increase pain.
On top of that, they found that patients experienced a 20% reduction in pain as well.
So when making the switch, cut out the blue and use more amber and green.
If you are experiencing really difficult migraines that aren’t responding to treatment read our article on understanding status migrainosus and intractable migraines here.
To understand more about migraines and what to do about them join the community here.
Are you sensitive to fluorescent light?
Are you sensitive to other types of light?
See our video on blue light sensitivity and migraines below:
Let me know in the comments below and remember to share this with someone else that may be sensitive.
Then Stage 2 comes and we still feel great, but our hormones start coming down because just like a car, they can’t maintain full throttle forever.
In this stage, things like a need for coffee and stimulants will come and we get cravings for foods full of sugar.
This is where our triggers start showing up, we start getting a high threshold and lots of tension in our bodies just waiting for something to break us into a migraine.
What you can do about it:
– This is when you need to re-evaluate if destroying your body is worth the stress
-You can use different superfoods known as adaptogens to help balance the body’s stress response
– See your functional medicine practitioner as it may be a good idea to supplement with DHEA which is well known to help migraines as well
– Pick up a practice of meditation and breathing to drop cortisol levels and ease your fiery brain
If we continue burning ourselves up Stage 3 comes along.
Stage 3 is when our body stops creating things that aren’t absolutely necessary like sex hormones.
Instead, it will use the resources for stress hormones and we will start getting a lack of energy, cloudy headed, suppressed immune system and just poor enthusiasm for life.
This is when everything starts falling apart, hormonal migraines are huge, migraines will completely drain you and triggers are just growing.
What you can do about it:
– In this stage, it’s very important to go into what is called a ‘fall’ or ‘winter’ phase of life and bring in a whole host of recuperative and healing foods, exercises, supplements, behaviors and deep healing
– Look for support as making changes yourself can be very hard and seem impossible
Status migrainosus has been associated with an almost 2 times risk for suicide above regular migraines. (Study)
Having a regular migraine by itself is enough of a pain, let alone when it lasts over 3 days and doesn’t respond to any medications.
Throughout the years I’ve successfully helped clients heal their migraines and headaches and in this article, I will be talking about 3 life-saving ways to understand what status migrainosus with intractable migraine is and what you can do about it.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What is a status migrainosus with intractable migraine? / Definition
Causes are the series of stressors that put a load on your body and raise your trigger levels over time.
They can come from:
Mental Stress like work
Physical stress like over exercise or structural imbalances
Emotional stress like relationships or trauma
Nutritional deficiencies or excesses
Environmental stress like sick buildings, EMFs, poor quality air etc.
Lifestyle stress like a lack of movement, sunlight, poor breathing patterns etc.
So causes are: all the factors that add to the trigger levels and triggers are: the pieces that just send our trigger levels over our threshold and cause our body to switch to the protective mechanism we call migraine.
It’s important to differentiate the two as some triggers will not show up until our causes have brought our trigger levels high enough to cause our body to react to and become sensitive to benign things like weather, scents, lights etc.
At which point the trigger sends us into a spiral and catches all the blame.
Most common treatments for status migrainosus with intractable migraine
This video will go into detail about what to do with a migraine that just won’t budge like intractable or status migraines.
Now let’s get into the good stuff.
How to understand status migrainosus
Before we get into the 3 lifesavers that studies have shown may reduce and even abort migraines, we need to understand what is going on and what we are trying to do.
So we understand trigger levels and our threshold along with triggers and causes.
And now we need to understand migraine.
The simplest and most beneficial way to understand migraine is as a protective mechanism created by the brain.
This study done by Dr. Borkum found that migraine is actually used as a way to increase the number of protective nutrients that are in the brain, so that the brain can stop the damage being done to it and help it repair from it.
This study actually talks about how we can use migraines to support neural regeneration which is the regeneration of our brain cells.
This is big and completely changes the way we look at migraines, for the better.
It means that migraines, like other types of chronic pain, are only a symptom of the damage that is going on.
This makes sense because, throughout evolution, our body has used pain as a reflex to protect us from danger like the heat of a fire.
What is causing the damage?
That is the million dollar question.
But there’s a problem with it because it is not that simple.
In the book, Heal Your Headaches, Dr. David Buccholz a neurologist and headache specialist actually says that migraines are a mechanism and that headaches may actually fall under the migraine mechanism.
Of course, a migraine and a headache are regarded as different but a cluster headache can be very similar to a migraine and cluster headaches have been known to turn into status migraines.
This is one of the reasons why diagnosis of all the different headache and migraine conditions can be so difficult…
In reality, as opposed to theory, all the symptoms blur together and there are no neat and clean lines.
The damage comes from a number of factors and these three life-saving ways will outline:
1. What some of the maintaining factors are to brain damage and pain triggers
2. How the brain is usually protecting itself from damage with nutrients and how migraine sufferers with nutrient deficiencies get more migraines
3. What nutrients to use and where to get them for brain health
3 Life-saving ways to understand what status migrainosus with intractable migraine is
Before we start it’s important to understand all of the above pieces.
See my video on status migrainosus and intractable migraines below.
But when we look at a source of pain that is not responding to treatment and lasts more than 72 hours, what are the first thoughts that come to your head?
Something is keeping the pain going
The body is not repairing quickly enough and doesn’t have what it needs to do so completely
And this is exactly what studies have found.
So let’s get into it and learn.
1. Maintaining Factors
First thing is first.
When there is a fire, stop throwing gasoline on it.
This takes some detective work and without proper functional medicine testing may take years to pinpoint but here are the main areas you need to look at.
Muscular and skeletal imbalances will continually pull on your body, shoulders, neck and head and can come from many, issues like posture, ergonomics, vertebrae out of place and seemingly unrelated issues like overloaded organs
We need to learn to tame the over thinking, overworking, over worrying monkey mind. It may have benefited us at some point and that is why we started using it but it is now a detriment to our health and we have to learn to calm the massive amount of strain it puts on our entire body from our breathing to our digestion to our hormones and adrenals.
My favourite ways to do so include:
Emotions only last a few minutes when something happens, but when we hold on to them and cannot let them go, they will stay inside of us, charged for years. If this charge doesn’t get released, it will grow, bubble and boil inside of us, wrecking our bodies ability to cope. We have to find ways to vent and express our emotions, however our body needs it.
Food aggravations are one of the main causes of migraines. If we continue eating a food our body doesn’t tolerate, causes inflammation or is getting through our leaky gut and leaky brain… We can actually end up with food particles in our brain that are being attacked by immune cells and causing severe brain damage. Queue the migraines. But that is just one piece.
Our gut-brain axis controlled through our vagus nerve will send any danger signals from our gut, into our brain and this makes for hair-trigger migraines.
This was such an important topic that I had to write a book about it which you can find here.
Sick building syndrome is the epidemic of the 21st century and is a massive strain on our entire body and every system we have. From recycled air, to mold, to electromagnetic fog to fluorescent lighting to off-gassing of chemicals from construction, furniture and supplies and on and on… The environment you live, work and sleep is either supporting you or draining your resources. See our video on fluorescent light here.
Parasites are thought of as a third world problem but estimates are that around 90% of first world people have an active parasitic or fungal infection. These pests create lots of waste and by-products, many of which are neurotoxic like the ones from candida. They need to be screened for and the body needs to be supported enough to get rid of them. Itchy-foot, itchy scalp, itchy groin, they’re all likely infections.
The massive influx of poor dietary choices with empty carbohydrate and tans fast heavy foods, along with xeno-estrogens like BPA and heavy metals like those found in makeup products create huge hormonal imbalances. PMS is a relatively new problem and is connected to all of the rubbers and plastics we use in everyday life that are full of endocrine disruptors that send our hormones through loops. They need to be detoxified properly and the good hormones need to be fed right.
I screen all my clients and help them find fixes for common issues like breathing imbalances that cause or are created by bad posture, leading to neck breathing and often chronic headaches nobody else can fix. There is a huge number of lifestyle factors that need to be taken into account like water quality, circadian rhythms, quality light, movement patterns, ergonomics, hygiene and more.
It’s recommend to:
Get a full set of tests from a functional medicine practitioner or naturopath
Get a physical assessment from a NUCCA chiropractor, CHEK practitioner or osteopath
Have therapy and trauma release therapy if mental or emotional stress is involved
When we have stopped aggravating, then we can start supporting the areas of our reparative systems that are deficient.
If you need help, feel free to reach out to me here
Migraines have been found to be relieved and avoided through a huge number of nutritional methods.
One of the most effective ways to abort a migraine attack with 90%+ efficacy is IV magnesium.
Magnesium is just a simple mineral but is actually recommended in this study to be used in all migraine patients because half of all migraine sufferers may have a magnesium deficiency.
This is true for many different nutrients, but the amazing thing is that nutrient supplementation is so incredibly safe. Far safer than many migraine medications and this makes it a great way to go about healing stubborn migraines.
If our body is receiving the nutrients it needs to repair damage and prevent it from happening, it will be far less likely to have to trigger a migraine and go into protection mode.
Again, testing here is important and making sure your diet excels will give you much more benefit than just supplementing can.
So what are the most commonly deficient nutrients in migraine sufferers that may play a part in how they develop?
Vitamin D is incredibly important because of the large deficiency of it in our culture. It is actually not a vitamin and should be renamed because it is a steroid hormone and affects every cell in our bodies.
Some of the best ways to get vitamin D are through:
Vitamin D3 supplementation
Direct, timed sunlight onto the skin
Foods such as (Fatty fish, liver, high quality eggs, pastured pork and some sun bathed mushrooms)
The B vitamins are water soluble and any excess that gets eaten in that moment is urinated out. This means we need to get it regularly through our food or supplementation to meet our body’s needs but luckily they are available in many foods.
The supplements are generally known as a B complex but individual doses of higher amounts such as with riboflavin(B2) may be necessary.
Some migraine sufferers have genetic methylation issues so the B vitamins that are supplemented with need to be methylated like methyl-hydroxycobalamin(B12) and methyl-folate(B9).
Carnitine is an amino acid used in some migraine studies and is a by product of our body breaking down proteins.
It’s incredibly safe and easy to get through foods like:
Grass fed/finished Beef
Insect fed Chicken
Alpha lipoic acid
Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant and helps prevent damage that can happen in the brain. Many foods have ALA but in low amounts so supplementation may be more effective.
When we are choosing nutritional supplements we have to remember that in nature everything comes in a nutrient complex.
Every nutrient comes with hundreds of other nutrients, bound together which all support the absorption and utilization by our bodies.
Every vitamin comes with minerals, enzymes, proteins, fats, carbohydrates co-factors etc.
So we want to make sure our diet is optimal and then supplement over and above an already solid diet.
Of course, what is most important, because of the varying causes for migraines is that the person’s total picture is taken in, testing is done across a few different areas and their specific issues are found because, in the body, everything reacts and supports everything else.
This is the basis for integrative medicine and the reason why so many therapies like nutrition, exercise, circadian rhythm synchronization, meditation and lifestyle therapy work so well for migraines.
And then there is using the science of nutrition to heal disease.
In this study, through changing the diet of 60 migraine patients, 85% became migraine free and 100% improved.
This is no small thing.
Diet is a huge factor in both aggravating the brain and body, but also in healing it.
And it may actually play one of the largest roles in migraines, right up there with emotional stress.
So what are the best ways to use nutritional intervention for the migraines that just won’t end?
The hard answer is that we have to find all of the foods that are aggravating our bodies. This is often many processed, packaged, sugar-laden, additive-filled and over consumed foods.
Our bodies require lots of variety and whole foods… It evolved with them.
But luckily, the same whole foods that can help us steer clear of the bad ones, can give us the nutrients to heal our gut, brain, and pain.
The fastest way to do this is by starting a full elimination diet, going down to 2 or 3 definitely safe foods and then slowly working our way up and reintroducing/testing new foods every 2-3 days, eliminating those that cause aggravations anywhere in our body and keeping those that support us.
But this isn’t always doable for many people as its extremely strict so I’ve provided the resources below.
Some diets that work well for migraines depending on the cause are keto-genic, elimination, histamine and oligo-antigenic.
Our body has many signs that a food was wrong like brain fog, low energy, cravings, wired and tired feelings, burping, bloating, gas, loose stools, bad breath, mood swings etc.
Give our body the nutrients it’s missing that are starting the fires and preventing healing
Use nutrition to intervene
We can find ourselves much more successful in our healing approach and avoid long-term pain.
I have prepared a special webinar presentation which covers the WHY and WHAT to do about this constant brain pain and inflammation entitled The 3 Linchpin Areas That Destroy Hormones And Leave Your Brain In Pain. In this webinar I cover everything from why this is happening to what you can do about it as well as why these issues are rarely resolved properly.
I know when I was suffering from migraines that as soon as the pain ended, I wanted to get back to living and catch up on what I missed while I was down.
I know when I was suffering from migraines that as soon as the pain ended, I wanted to get back to living and catch up on what I missed while I was down.
But it doesn’t end with the pain, it ends with the hangover and this can sometimes take hours to days to end.
Luckily we can use what we know about migraines and our bodies to help our bodies overcome this postdrome hangover faster.
In this article, I’m going to talk about what a migraine postdrome is, how we can understand it and 7 hacks to get rid of the symptoms.
What is the definition of a migraine postdrome?
A migraine postdrome is a relatively newer term and much less known than the migraine aura or migraine attack phases.
The postdrome is actually its own complete phase that happens after the attack, headache and pain phase.
The international headache society defines it as:
“Postdrome: A symptomatic phase, lasting up to 48 hours, following the resolution of pain in migraine attacks with or without aura. Among the common postdromal symptoms are fatigue, elated or depressed mood and cognitive difficulties.”
But this doesn’t do it much justice.
Really what it feels like is a hangover and it’s often called the migraine hangover.
How long does a migraine postdrome last?
The migraine postdrome according to the definition lasts up to 48 hours but can range from anywhere between a few hours to a few days depending on the symptoms.
The most common report to me is that it will last about 1 day so that it takes an extra sleep cycle to really shake off the effects.
This means if you have a migraine attack from 10am to 8pm on a tuesday, you may wake up on wednesday with hangover type symptoms and then need one more sleep on wednesday night before you feel normal again on thursday.
But everyone is different and individual sensitivities and symptoms apply here.
Common symptoms of a migraine postdrome
There are many varying symptoms of the postdrome and in one study they found that 81% of migraine sufferer participants experienced at least one non headache symptoms after their migraine.
Luckily these symptoms resolved within 24 hours.
The chart below shows the symptoms experienced:
Often it’s the cognitive symptoms that are the worst because they prevent us from being able to take on a workload.
See the Migraine Professional facebook communities response to migraine postdromes here.
How do we understand the migraine postdrome?
Let’s get into the good stuff.
When we want to understand a migraine and the postdrome that comes with it we have to understand that migraines are linked to higher levels of:
These are all damaging to the brain.
But it’s not the actual migraine causing them.
It’s the brain itself that is experiencing these sources of stress on it.
And then if we understand that pain is a reflex by the body used to protect itself…
For example, if we put our hand on a hot stove, we get pain and our reflex immediately pulls it back before we even have a chance to think.
So if our brain is under attack, stress or being damaged, then this pain reflex we call migraine may actually be a protective mechanism to prevent further damage to the brain.
Dr. Borkum explains that “Thus, it seems likely that migraine attacks are not simply triggered by oxidative stress, they actively protect and repair the brain from it.”
This is huge.
It completely changes the paradigm of the way we’ve been treating migraines by “getting rid” of the pain.
And there are many studies coming out now that back the idea that nutrients our brains need and that migraine sufferers are deficient in may actually work better than some medications.
So if we take the idea that our brain is under stress/being damaged and that migraines are a protective mechanism that is actually helping to release protective chemicals, then we need to learn to support this.
To support this we need to give it the nutrients it needs to repair, prevent what’s causing the damage as much as we can and give more attention to our body’s systems that are trying to heal us.
7 Hacks on how to get rid of migraine postdrome symptoms
Our #1 healing mechanism that our brains absolutely must have is sleep.
Sleep is a time when the brain shrinks by 20% and squeezes out or detoxifies all the waste products that get created throughout the day from living life.
This means we need to develop a sleep regimen that we know can give us amazing sleep every time we need it.
But sleep is something we actually work up to and a few pieces go into making a good sleep.
– Learn to wind down
This means you take your body and the higher energy during the day and you start to bring it down. Feel it out, it’s your body. Stop doing anything that requires mental or physical effort and anything that gets your heart rate up. Kill any blue light coming from screens like phones, tvs and computers and use an app like twilight to help.
Remember that no matter where you are, your body is adapting to the levels of light in your environment. When the sun is rising, there is a bluish glow to the sky, when the sun is setting there is a orange glow to the sky. These triggers tell our body is time to wind up or wind down and the more we can sync ourselves up with them, the better our repair cycle during sleep will be.
– Stabilize blood sugar
Eat a meal containing logs not twigs. This means you want to give your body plenty of healthy fats and proteins with a decent amount of carbohydrates so that your food digests slower and gets released into your blood over a long period of time. This will keep blood sugar stable because if your blood sugar drops during sleep, you’ll wake up.
– List it out
One of the most common things that prevents good restful sleep is monkey mind. This is where your mind just keeps running and racing and thinking of new things. What you want to do before you start your wind down routine is make a list on paper of everything you need to do or remember. This will take the burden off you and allow you to let go easier. The easier your body lets go, the easier you’ll enter REM sleep and get much needed repair.
– Get some magnesium in you
Magnesium is the relaxation mineral and many migraine sufferers are deficient in it. Luckily it’s very safe and can be taken in through a topical spray, a supplement or through a bath with epsom salt. It’s an easy way to help your brain and muscles relax and it also cools any damage going on in the brain.
2. Anti inflammatory foods
It’s crucial to remove foods that are causing the migraine yes. This means all inflammatory, sensitive and allergic foods.
But we need nutrition and calories to feed our brain and help us repair the damage while cooling down any inflammation going on.
The lymphatic system is huge and we actually have more lymphatic fluid than we do blood in our bodies.
The blood takes nutrients to our brains and the lymph takes waste away from them. They are like the garbage men or sewer system.
The problem is they don’t have their own pump like the blood does with the heart.
They rely on our organs, breathing and muscular contractions to drain lymph into our detoxification organs like feces and urine.
So we need to support our detoxification organs.
This means drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after the migraine. Making sure the fluids we have contain plenty of minerals with a sprinkle of sea salt.
And we need to have bowel movements regularly, ideally 30 minutes after every meal but at least once a day of a big fluffy and satisfying poop.
But we also need to breath deep, deep down so that our lungs push our diaphragm down and it massages our digestive organs to pump lymph.
Muscular contractions like the ones from stretching and flexing help move lymph as well.
This is why exercise, even light exercise like yoga, walking, cycling and swimming is amazing for detoxification.
You can also try a lymphatic massage such as the one in the video below:
6. Oxygen and 7. Relaxation
Our brains energy generation relies on a good flow of blood and oxygen as well as low stress.
We can combine these by using simple breathing techniques that lower stress, bring relaxation and feed our body more oxygen.
Tip: Slow and deep into your belly
See the video below for 3 techniques to lower stress and anxiety:
These are all crucial in our body’s ability to repair from the damage causing migraines and supporting our ability to shorten the hangover.
Making sure to:
Get enough proper sleep
Protect with anti inflammatory foods
Feed the building blocks of new brain cells
Get your heart pumping
Support waste removal
Use breathing techniques
Get quality relaxation time
As we get better at using these hacks we will get better at shortening needed recovery time and relying less on things like caffeine.
But if we can prevent our brains from getting damaged in the first place we can take even better steps towards living healthier and more fulfilled lives and this is why I’d like to invite you to join the Migraine Professional Community here.
Comment below and let me know what you do for your hangovers and share with others who have a tough time with theirs.
The migraine prodrome is the absolute most important phase of a migraine, in terms of treatment.
The earlier a migraine can be recognized the more likely we will be able to abort or lessen an attack.
In this article we will be talking about 3 urgent tools that you need to use ASAP for full effectiveness.
Recognizing your migraines prodrome will be your key to it.
What is a prodrome? / Migraine prodrome definition
The very first signs of a migraine, long before the attack phase, (or with migraine with aura) even the aural phase, is the migraine prodrome.
These are thought of as premonitory symptoms because they are slight and give you the “premonition” that something is off or wrong.
The International Headache Society defines a prodrome as:
“Prodrome: A symptomatic phase, lasting up to 48 hours, occurring before the onset of pain in migraine without aura or before the aura in migraine with aura. Among the common prodromal symptoms are fatigue, elated or depressed mood, unusual hunger and cravings for certain foods.”
A prodrome does not happen in everyone but is estimated to occur between 30% to 80% of migraine sufferers.
Migraine prodrome symptoms
It’s interesting to note that migraine prodrome symptoms are very similar to the regular ups and downs of the day that most people experience such as food cravings so we may actually be going in and out of the premonitory migraine phase regularly with it only actually resulting in a migraine occasionally.
There are many symptoms that the migraine is coming and many of them are the result of the damage done to the brain that cause migraines and the subsequent migraines effort to repair and protect the brain from damage.
The most common symptoms are:
– Difficulty concentrating
– Neck or muscle stiffness
– Sensitivity to light, sound and smell(photophobia, phonophobia, hyperosmia)
– Blurred vision
– Becoming pale
– Frequent urination
– Loss of words/difficulty speaking(aphasia)
It’s easy to see how some of these symptoms can simply be brushed off and thought of as nothing more than a regular occurrence.
Warning: We can often end up blaming lights, smells and sounds for our migraine attacks when in reality it was the prodromal phase that increased our sensitivity to the smells and we mistakenly thought the sensitivity was a trigger.
This isn’t always the case but using methods to prevent sensitivities like removing bad foods can go a long way to prevent environmental sensitivities.
How long does a migraine prodrome last?
A migraine prodrome usually lasts from an hour or two to one or two days and this can include the entire variety of symptoms but separate from any distinct aural symptoms like a scintillating scotoma.
But let’s be honest, the 4 categories of a migraine:
Prodrome => Aura => Attack => Postdrome
Are only arbitrary rules we created to understand migraine and in reality these often all blend together.
Migraine prodrome without headache
Because there are no “rules” when it comes to migraines, we can commonly end up with a prodrome that never leads to a headache.
Or a prodrome that progresses into an aura only to have the aura disappear and a headache to never appear.
Or even to have the entire three other phases with a prodrome, aura and postdrome… But with no headache.
It’s completely reasonable and as you get better at learning your body’s signals and knowing exactly what it needs from reading our blogs, you will get better at stopping the progression in its tracks.
The standard migraine prodrome treatment approach is to take your abortive medication as soon as you think a migraine may be coming on.
But this is tricky because what if your prodrome would’ve never turned into a full on attack… What a waste.
Plus, the side effects of the medication might incapacitate you even longer than the migraine would’ve.
This is why we use natural techniques that are safe, effective and will only benefit you.
If it turns into a full blown migraine or not.
3 Urgent tools for migraine prodrome that you have to use ASAP
We have to change our thinking and understand migraine as a protective, helpful mechanism for our bodies.
Migraine doesn’t seem to be what is damaging the migraine sufferers brain.
In reality and according to this study it may actually be protecting our brains.
And it makes sense…
Just like our pain reflex.
When something causes us pain, it brings our attention to it and triggers our reflex to get out of harm’s way.
We can think of migraines this way too.
If our brain is getting hurt by something like oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction or inflammation…
Then a migraine is the perfect way for our body to get our attention and make us stop doing what we’re doing.
Does a migraine make you stop doing what you’re doing?
But this is a very primal and old reflex so we have to be the smart detectives and figure out what’s going on.
In the meantime, while we are healing, we need to be on top of a progressing migraine and stop it as soon as possible.
Here are three ways to stop some contributors to migraines that you have to try in the prodromal phase ASAP.
1. The antiinflammatory 1-2 punch
Oxidation, inflammation and chemical stress is a big and bad problem for the brain.
Utilizing turmeric and ginger together, as soon as you feel a prodrome is an awesome way to give your body an anti inflammatory and pain relieving boost.
Some even report ginger aborts their migraines.
But you want to make sure you get enough of each, and an easy way is to take capsule versions of turmeric curcumin and dried ginger powder.
Usually I get reports that 250mg-500mg of dried ginger powder is a great place to start and this study found 250mg of ginger was “just as effective as sumatriptan.”
Turmeric is used in many studies for other conditions between 400-600 mg in a dried powder.
It’s important to get turmeric as well as its active ingredient turmeric curcumin and piperene which makes it absorb and function much better. A combination of these three makes a great turmeric supplement in capsule form.
But everyone is different and dosage will widely vary based on your individuality. Always check with your doctor before making any changes and look for interactions with medications.
2. The pattern breaker
We all have a pattern.
Call this our migraine pattern.
Whether it be a food pattern, stress pattern, emotional pattern, movement pattern etc…
And this pattern is triggering our migraines.
We have to find it and stop it.
But we can’t always be introspective and objective on our own lives so we need a way to break free from ourselves.
This is where the pattern breaker comes in.(Plus its golden for killing stress hormones)
It goes like this:
Sit down in a quiet dim lit space that’s comfortable and helps you hold good posture.
Stop all your thoughts and bring your focus to yourself.
Breathe slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths that are 4-6 seconds inhaling and 4-6 seconds exhaling.
Once you have your breathing pattern practised and on auto then transition into the next step but continue the breathing throughout.
Nice and slow.
Start at your feet.
Relax your feet, loosen any tension and lightly shake them out.
Then move on to your calves, relax them, let go and release any tension.
Then your thighs
Then your butt
Then your lower back
Then upper back
Then start from your hands
Work to your arms and finally into your shoulders
Focus on your shoulders, neck and head, continue breathing and relax them.
Purposely focus on relaxing , loosening and letting go of any built up stress in them.
Breathe and reconnect yourself, you got this.
Remember who you are and sit in your power.
Relax and let go, if only for right now and for yourself.
Continue breathing until you can honestly say you’ve dropped the stress you’re holding on to and can take a look at what you are doing, objectively.
If you can do this as soon as you feel anything prodromal, you have a great chance to recognize and break the pattern.
3. The hot and the cold
This one’s tough and not for the faint of heart. If you’ve never done a cold plunge then do not use full cold unless you are comfortable with it.
But it should be slightly uncomfortable because this switching between temperatures will cause your heart rate to speed up and your brain to fire altogether, helping to build new and stronger pathways that aren’t pain pathways.
Start with a fairly warm shower.
Work your way up and make sure your whole body is feeling nice and warm so that your blood vessels are dilating.
Then flip it to cold. But use a preset cold that you know you can deal with.
This has to be quite cool and will cause a change in the way blood is circulating through your body called the hunters reflex.
This will cause your lymphatic system to drain, your heart to pump more nutrients to your brain, your breathing to increase and bring in more oxygen, your blood vessels to dilate to warm you up and your brain to fire simultaneously to get your body’s functioning up to par with the situation.
It’s not easy, but it’s an easy way to combat the overly comfortable, air conditioned, sedentary lives we live and help counter some of the inflammation running rampant in the regular migraine brain.
Then finish off with some warm again.
As always, this is not medical advice and you should consult your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle.
These techniques are amazing ways to implement natural solutions into a world that’s become so unnatural and caused half of all people to have a chronic health condition and over 1 billion people to suffer from migraine worldwide.
I have created a special presentation entitled the 3 Linchpin areas that destroy hormones and leave your brain in pain which you can see here.
In it I cover WHY it is that the brain becomes overloaded and what keeps our brain and hormones from coming back into balance.
This is an indepth presentation which will teach you more about the causes of brain pain and why it is not recovering properly than anywhere else on the web.
Barometric pressure headaches are a huge problem because they can be so unpredictable and strike at the worst times.
The graph below shows major triggers leading to migraines among U.S. patients as of 2016:
Changes in weather and barometric pressure are a huge problem and go together.
In this article we will understand what causes barometric pressure headaches and what we can do about it.
Definition / What is a barometric pressure headache?
Barometric pressure is also known as atmospheric pressure and is the amount of air-pressure-based-force that our environment is exerting on our bodies.
A barometric pressure headache is when changes in the environment cause the barometric pressure to drop or rise.
This change causes our body to have to adapt and alter its internal pressure.
If our trigger levels are high or we have congestion or a high amount of mucus from eating mucus forming foods then our body does not easily adapt to these changes.
This causes nerves to have added pressure on them that can then result in an inflammatory reaction that may create a headache or even trigger a migraine.
For example: When inside an airplane that is taking off and climbing rapidly there is a very sudden change in barometric pressure. Your body adapts to this by changing its internal pressure and this usually ends in our ears popping to balance out.
How do weather changes cause barometric pressure to raise or drop?
Generally, when the sky is clear and sunny there is higher barometric pressure and when the sky is cloudy and moist then there is low barometric pressure.
But this isn’t always the case.
When the sun is out it’s warmer so air is expanding and this causes more pressure.
But when enough of that heat has caused hot water to evaporate and that hot air to rise high enough to cool down, this causes clouds to form and lowers pressure.
It’s not as simple as this but this is a general understanding… That’s why we have meteorologists.
Can barometric pressure cause migraines and headaches?
Barometric pressure is a completely normal event and we have experienced it for millions of years throughout our evolution.
It’s even reasonable to assume that knowing when the weather was changing would have provided an additional adaptation to survival because we would then have some time to prepare before any storms hit.
It’s usually the case that barometric pressure will change 5-6 hours before a storm comes but some very sensitive migraine and headache sufferers can feel it up to a day or two prior.
As the barometric pressure drops and the pressure in the atmosphere around us becomes low, our body has to adapt.
This causes many different changes in our bodies including changing the pressure in our ears and sinuses.
If our ears or sinuses have mucus or blockages, this makes the problem much worse because the air in them will try to expand, pressing on nerves.
This means we need to choose cleaner diets that are less mucus forming.
According to mother nature network there are also changes in blood pressure, blood sugar and event joint pain when the barometric pressure changes.
It’s completely reasonable to suspect that if blood pressure, blood sugar and joint pain are all adversely affected, then the body is going through big changes during lowering or heightening barometric pressure.
We know the migraine brain is one that does not like change and these are not small changes if they can affect these factors.
This study found that “sales of loxoprofen, which can represent the onset and aggravation of headache, significantly increased with worsening weather conditions.”
Then this study in 2004 found “Of the 77 subjects in the study, 39 (50.6%), were found to be sensitive to weather.”
Even flare ups of rheumatic conditions like arthritis, joint pain and low back pain as well as mood changes are all affected by barometric pressure and weather.
Remember when a storm was coming and grandma would say “I can feel it in my bones.”
What is high / low / normal barometric pressure?
This study from 2011 found that “The frequency of migraine increased when the difference in barometric pressure from the day the headache occurred to the day after was lower by more than 5 hPa, and decreased when the difference in barometric pressure from the day the headache occurred to 2 days later was higher by more than 5 hPa.”
So it’s not so much the increase as it is the decrease in barometric pressure that does us wrong.
Tools for barometric pressure headaches
There are some amazing apps available to give you warnings on barometric pressure so that you can plan and prepare for any problems that may come.
You can see the two sites for the best apps for barometric pressure for Android or Apple here.
Here is a great article on barometric pressure headaches with a list of cities that have the least barometric pressure variation.
Understanding barometric pressure headaches
Barometric pressure changes are completely normal and it’s not until changes happen in your body that it is unable to deal with them.
There is a big shift that happens in the entire body when the amount of pressure on it changes.
Every fluid and gas in our bodies has to adjust to compensate for the change.
But this is absolutely normal and from an evolutionary perspective we have dealt with this for millions of years and evolved and adapted with it.
The problem starts when our trigger levels are too high and our threshold too low.
When our body is taken out of its natural context, this puts stress on the body.
Then, when we add a bunch of stress from our jobs, our work, our relationships, our food etc…
Our body’s ability to adapt starts to break down.
This is why problems like PMS are so common nowadays where they were never before outside of some rare circumstances.
In humans natural and evolutionary habitat, we would not survive if we had barometric pressure headaches and migraines that would incapacitate us and we simply would not have been able to reproduce and carry our genes on.
So our inability to adapt to these problems is a much more common occurrence today than it ever was and for good reason.
Watch this video on how barometric pressure affects the neck and contribute to pain.
Migraines with weather change
Here is what’s causing the problem then I’ll explain whats happening after.
Eat foods that aren’t digested properly or that are wrong for our body
When we have chronic infections
When we have a suppressed immune system from constant sugar intake
When we have a compromised digestive system
When we have constantly high stress that our body cannot adapt to
Our body starts to create lots of waste products that it cannot get rid of.
We are always creating waste as natural byproducts of cellular metabolism, that’s a given.
But in our regular habitat we are always bringing in a lot of nutrient dense foods and supporting the systems that are clearing out and detoxifying that waste.
Our natural diet that we evolved with for millions of years is unprocessed and this leaves nutrients intact for our gut bacteria to thrive off of and create the nutrients we need to build really strong brain cells and clear out waste without a problem.
This means our gut, our liver, our kidneys, our skin and our lungs are always functioning optimally and removing the waste.
We are also detoxifying on a regular basis.
In our natural habitat:
We are in the sun which is regulating our circadian rhythms and optimizing sleep cycles so that our stress hormones drop at night and we can rest and digest.
We are sweating a lot because we rely on physical activity to live and play which means waste is constantly being flushed out of our skin.
We are moving/exercising in habitats with clean air which means our heart rate is high and our lungs are pumping which is constantly bringing in oxygen and expelling waste through our lungs.
We are using vigorous muscular contractions and this is causing our lymphatic system to be squeezed and drained into our detoxification organs. (Our lymphatic system is the waste removal system but doesn’t have its own pump like the blood does with the heart because it relies on movement and breathing deeply.)
We are eating unprocessed food which are full of vitamins and minerals which keep our system running optimally.
These foods are unprocessed and non pasteurized which means they are full of enzymes which help to break them down and prevent the body from reacting to them.
They are also full of high quality fibres that feed our gut bacteria so that we don’t develop gut infections or leaky gut + they are also giving our intestines a good scrub to remove the waste we are creating throughout the day.
There’s so many more pieces that I could go on about that contribute to the body not getting its needs met and this is why I created the 10 steps program.
When these needs aren’t met, our systems don’t function properly.
This sets us up for problems and if any little nudge comes along like pregnancy, emotional stress or an illness…
A cascade of problems gets triggered like they seemed to come out of nowhere.
Migraine and chronic headache sufferers know this feeling.
It stems from the body getting a backup of the detox systems which creates mucus inside our tissues that’s full of latent inflammation.
If this happens inside our ears/nose/throat system like is commonly seen with sinus or throat infections then it’s common to see vestibular issues or pressure changes causing extreme pain buts it’s not always the case as we are all different.
So what do we do?
There’s a simple system we have to understand here.
Make the body function properly and anything that’s left over, if you can’t problem solve for it, find a specific holistic health specialist for that problem.
So you want to:
Each of these are actually deep topics and arent as simple as “well obviously I breathe” or “just think positive.”
There are many causes for the body to get aggravated and “clogged up” which leads to environmental sensitivities, allergies, mood swings weight gain etc.
But one of the biggest and most important ones are food intolerances.
What’s one of the most common side effects of a food intolerance?
What has been shown to lower environmental sensitivities and headaches?
Healing food intolerances.
Now of course life isn’t black and white and there are a number of factors that come into play like environmental toxicity, gut dysbiosis, leaky brain etc.
But this may benefit all of them.
Not everyone can do an oligoantigenic diet or follow our food triggers guide exactly so here are the 10 most common foods that have aggravated migraine and headache sufferers in studies.
Coffee and Tea
Cut them out for at least 1 month then try reintroducing them 1 at a time with 3 days between each reintroduction.
As you regain your ability to sense foods that your body is or is not sensitive to you will be able to gauge how high your trigger levels are, how low your threshold is and if an oncoming storm will trigger you.
It’s a process and years of damage and back up doesn’t get fixed overnight so it’s important to start re-regulating all the cleansing systems, remove foods that make your body angry and get started on the step by step path to health today.
Starting with these foods is step 1.
If you know someone with barometric pressure issues share it with them and comment below if you’ve ever experienced a sensitivity to barometric pressure. If you want answers, reach out.
Homeopathy is a 200 year old system of medicine that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism and promote health.
The use of homeopathic remedies is based on the discovery that natural substances are capable of curing the same symptoms that they can cause.
By studying the symptoms that develop when a healthy person tests or “proves” a remedy, homeopaths can determine which symptoms the remedy is capable of curing.
(In contrast, allopathy(or conventional medicine) is based on using drugs that create the opposite effect of symptoms through harsh chemical means usually leading to side effects)
This is called the Law of Similars or “like cures like”.
A simple example of this principle can be seen with the common onion.
Slicing an onion can cause symptoms of burning and watery eyes as well as sneezing and a runny nose.
Many hay fever sufferers with symptoms of burning, watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose have found dramatic relief after taking homeopathic Allium Cepa(the remedy made from red onion).
Thus the substance that can cause symptoms can, as a remedy, also cure them.
Your combined unique symptoms are even more important than your diagnosis.
For example ten people with severe headaches can describe ten different combinations of symptoms, each requiring a different remedy.
By matching a remedy to the particular way you experience migraines, your homeopath is treating you as an individual, not the disease.
The importance of Homeopathy is found in its extremely individualized prescription of remedies.
The Homeopathic consultation is a series of interviews where the primary complaint as well as all surrounding complaints are taken into account and recorded.
Things like traumatic experiences, previous illnesses, and familial disease are also gone through.
Things like food preferences, energy highs and lows, sensations felt, particular sensitivities and lifestyle add extreme precision and individuality to each set of migraines.
The whole person, not just the body, but the mental and emotional are also focused on to bring out the “picture” of the person’s migraine.
It is this picture that must then be used and matched to a homeopathic remedy that most closely resembles it.
Then a potency is selected based on the individual’s sensitivity and recommendations are made for mental physical and dietary hygiene(like doing an elimination diet, or obtaining an air filtration system)
Then it’s just a matter of time.
Depending on your individual circumstances, you will experience it differently.
Some people start feeling different in the first few days and some weeks.
Usually mood is the first to improve as the body’s healing mechanism is enabled.
Migraines get less frequent and shorter.
Sometimes they will change in their pattern and intensity like an onion’s layers, then a new remedy is chosen for those specifics and the peeling continues.
The action of the remedy happens deep within and triggers the body’s immune system to start clearing out and ends the bodies need to create symptoms.
Its these same symptoms that the body uses as a natural defense mechanism to bring awareness to itself and prevent you from going out and hurting yourself further.
Slowly but surely symptom pictures are tackled and along with creating good mental physical and dietary habits, the body is strengthened and its sensitivities to triggers are lessened.
It is usually long standing chronic disease that has developed many layers because of different forms of suppressing the diseases’ desire to express itself.
But sometimes there’s just one layer and the migraines are gone.
This leads into the amazing power of using homeopathy for acute situations.
Many people tend to think it’s only useful in chronic disease but when you can see a patient’s migraine go from a 10 to a 3 in just a 2 hours, you want to tell everyone about it.
There are many acute homeopathic remedies for migraine but once again they have to be prescribed for the individual’s picture as many times a one symptom prescription is lacking.
Generally we’ve(the homeopathic community) found that acute situations such as colds and flus are exacerbations of long standing chronic diseases and using a remedy that’s not based off the chronic can lead to further suppression.
But there’s always more research to be done as homeopathy also has one of the largest medical pharmacies on earth.
So how do we apply all this knowledge we’ve learned about homeopathy?
This is all part of a bigger picture that we have to learn to listen to ourselves and what our bodies are saying.
We have to treat the individual that has the disease and not the disease that has the individual.
And we have to learn to empower ourselves and our own healing abilities to find the answers were looking for.
How do you experience your migraines differently from others? Leave a comment and compare.
Have you ever had your migraine triggers properly assessed?
Studies show that up to 100% relief can be found through removal of triggers. That’s HUGE!
What is a trigger?
A migraine trigger is a substance or circumstance that causes the onset of a migraine usually within a few hours to a few days. Some foods can take up to 3 or 4 days to trigger a migraine.
Migraine triggers can include weather changes, hormonal changes, mental emotional stress, allergies, food sensitivities and intolerances, food additives, alcohol, caffeine, exhaustion, physical activity or tension, medications and over stimulation of the senses.
Why do we have triggers?
Triggers, in my opinion are the wrong word for many of the substances and circumstances that cause migraines. A trigger implies something that is set in stone and will cause a migraine when it occurs.
In many cases we find triggers to actually just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Lets call this the “threshold”.
A trigger is usually a stress on the body that is just a little more then it can handle and process effectively. When our body is pushed past our “threshold” it creates an inflammatory response by the body to try and remedy the situation.
Our body only has a few ways of dealing with an almost infinite number of stresses and the main one is inflammation. This inflammation then aggravates the circulation in our brains and creates a sort of swelling that triggers our sensory system to release a pain response.
Other symptoms of this inflammatory process include auras, exhaustion, cravings, nausea etc.
Of course some triggers are poisons, such as MSG, that should be completely avoided and even if we become healthy enough to be able to ingest it without triggering, it is still causing mayhem in our bodies.
How do we find our triggers?
Triggers can be found in a variety of ways such as an allergy tests, elimination diets, muscle testing, pulse testing and experimentation.
Because our bodies sensitivities and desires are always changing, it is tough to use testing as an end all be all for finding our triggers.
For example I find when I am relaxed, well slept and hydrated that I can have that slice of cake and eat it too.
But if I have been on minimal sleep for a few days, drank caffeine to keep me energised, dehydrated because of the caffeine and extremely stressed because of deadlines I have for work then having a slice of cake is a likely trigger.
This combination of circumstances sets me up to have low stomach acid and enzyme function, poor gut strength because of the gut-brain connection and terrible blood sugar regulating because of it.
Because of the dynamic and constantly changing nature of our health it’s much more effective to log diet, exercise and sleep so that you can track your “threshold”.
When you re-establish a deep connection with your body you can monitor your own stress level and gauge where you are on the “threshold” spectrum. Using pulse testing and muscle testing helps bring our minds into our bodies and learn to listen to them.
What are the most common triggers?
The most common migraine triggers are an average of all the migraineurs and what triggers them. At the end of the day, migraine triggers are very individual to ourselves and can vary widely between people. We must remember the “threshold” to not get obsessive about triggers and end up living in a bubble.
Some foods, if ingested regularly, become seen by the body as pathogens or hostile which causes our body to create antibodies to them. This will cause our body to attack that food and anywhere it is (think of our guts, causing leaky gut OR if we have leaky gut then food particles can end up in our joint and our bodies will attack our joints)
The most commonly found triggers:
Food sensitivities and intolerances including the Big Eight and Cross Reactions
– The big eight are the most common allergenic foods and more likely to be headache triggers.
– They include eggs, fish, milk, nuts(from trees), peanuts, shellfish, soy and wheat.
– There are many more sensitivities such as orange juice and cured meats that are individual to each person.
– Cross reactions are a very common problem because we generally find people having some level of compromised gut function and “leaky gut” which means food particles can end up in our bloodstream and trigger our immune system to attack them. This in turn causes our body to attack parts of itself like our joints and intestines. Even if we remove this food, sometimes our body will identify foods that are in the same family to the intolerant foods and attack them to.
– For example if you are allergic to wheat then your body might also create an immune reaction to other grains or to its own thyroid gland because of some of the compounds in wheat having a large similarity to thyroid tissue.
Hormones are produced by our glands which are very very sensitive organs. They can easily be affected by stresses and chemicals.
Hormonal changes occur when we have been under stress, nutrient loss(such as when we have compromised digestive systems), as well as different times in our life such as menses, puberty, menopause and illnesses.
These changes are often severe and trigger migraines when our body doesn’t have the resources to keep them properly regulated and within normal ranges.
This is one of the reasons that eating lots of high quality fats and cholesterols is actually very good for you because all of our hormones are made from them.
Weather changes such as fluctuations in temperature, incoming storms and barometric pressure drops are common threshold factors especially if we have problems with mucus, our sinuses , ears or throat.
Storms can sometimes be detected by sensitive people hours and even days before they show up and it’s a natural part of life.
When we aren’t healthy enough to adjust our bodies balance with these changes they can often end up triggering our migraines.
Blood sugar imbalances
Blood sugar imbalances are often caused because of improper diet structure, as well as poor fasting capability, exhausted body systems, low hormone levels and a lack of entering into ketosis.
Diets should be balanced to maintain energy for atleast 4-5 hours after meals, if you are getting tired, yawning , bloating between them then they are not balanced.
Fasting has been used since the beginning of time for not only getting through periods of famine but also to optimize the body and create more efficiency through healing different systems. When we fast for extended periods of time from hours to days we enter into ketosis.
Ketosis means our body switches from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fats. This process breaks fat down in the liver into ketones, the main of which is called butyrate. Butyrate is an extremely potent antioxidant and anti inflammatory and helps lower total body inflammation that is necessary for migraineurs.
If our hormone levels are low because of exhaustion and improper diet then fasting may not be comfortably possible at first. You should speak with your healthcare provider first before starting any new dietary plan or fast.
Food additives and preservatives
There has been thousands of new chemicals added to the food supply to improve flavor, shelflife and other benefits to the products.
Oftentimes, our bodies do not recognize these chemicals and create adverse reactions to them. Some of these can also be found as natural parts of some foods but cause adverse reactions especially in migraineurs. The most common is MSG as it’s a well known migraine trigger but others include:
– artificial sweeteners
– soy/wheat/milk/corn extracts
– processed sugars
– biogenic amines
– trans fats
The easiest way to limit intake of these is to eat fresh whole unprocessed foods. Try and go organic especially for meats and get it as close to the farm as possible.
Caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are both quite stressful on the body and require being in a very good place to process them without side effects most of which of the time its not possible.
They create inflammation, exhaust your adrenal system, dehydrate the body, take the nervous system, act as emotional crutches and cover up the effects of meals and if the meal was a good balance and fit for you.
Whenever possible avoid them, and especially for the beginning of a healing journey caffeine and alcohol have been shown to push the “threshold”.
Dehydration is commonly known to trigger migraines but is not commonly known that the majority of people are statistically dehydrated. This explains why renal disease is at an all time high. Our body requires water and hydration for every single biochemical function of which there are billions every second.
Half of your body weight(lbs) in ounces of water should be drank every day. This water should be clean and pure and not contain run off that’s usually found in most tap waters.
Things like chlorine, fluoride, estrogens, and heavy metals are huge organ disruptors and will tax the body’s resources lowering your “threshold”.
Nerve irritation and muscle tension
This is commonly found in industrialized countries where we sit for long periods of time with bad ergonomics and posture, lack magnesium in our diets to relax muscles and have a whole host of other problems that lead to bad posture, muscle tension and eventually with the wrong movement, migraines. A physical health professional should be seen such as a chiropractor, osteopath or NUCCA certified specialist.
Mary wakes up in the morning, unrefreshed again. She skips breakfast because it will just make her more tired. Gets to work and grabs a coffee to get out of the fog. A few hours pass and she’s starving because she skipped breakfast and is craving something sweet and chocolatey to wind her up. She grabs something quick because she’s in a rush and doesn’t want to get tired from a meal. It usually consists of an apple and a bagel. After lunch she feels exhausted and grabs another coffee to perk her back up. Around 3-4pm shes got another craving and grabs a granola bar then heads home. When she gets home she has so much to do before bed she doesn’t gets hungrier and hungrier. Eventually she has a late dinner around 9-10pm and then gets a terrible craving around midnight with which she has some chocolate to satisfy her.
Does this sound familiar? Do you see anything wrong with it?Every day millions of people around the world go through this process. They skip proper meals and end up getting cravings and having to take sugary caffeinated pick me ups that wind up their bodies and blood pressure.
This is a fast track down the road to serious disease, exhaustion and chronic health problems. What could she do instead? Meal prep her days meals with nutritious meals full of protein and healthy fats. This staves away the cravings and maintains her blood sugar and energy levels. When she wants a snack instead she can bring some dark chocolate covered almonds to work to give her a slow trickle of nutrients and energy instead of a fast carbohydrate that picks her up and drops her wanting more. And get to sleep on time, theres nothing more valuable for raising the “threshold” then getting adequate quality sleep.
Parasitic, fungal, bacterial and viral infections are much more common than we give them credit for. They can literally attach themselves to our nervous systems to make us crave junk foods and snacks to feed themselves. They will exhaust our bodies and change the rhythms of of day to suit themselves. It starts with eating high quality food and giving our bodies proper rest, this usually solves it but testing and a specialized protocol might be needed to help them leave us.
Allergies are largely a problem of our modern day and age. We have compromised our digestive and eliminatory systems and clogged our livers up with more problems than solutions. After a certain point that our livers can’t handle it, our immune system begins to take over and creates allergies to all sorts of substances. My mom once told me she was even allergic to bullshit.
Many allergies can be solved through the systemic healing of the body. Applying holistic principles and slowly reducing the overall stress load of the body. As the body gets stronger, our “threshold” goes down and our reactions to allergies because less and less.
The most crucial allergenic that needs to be watched for is mold spores. Any area that has had water damage or mold damage should not be lived in. Mold spores are microscopic but can completely incapacitate the immune system and cripple our health. If it smells mold, get out. Even one exposure to a lot of mold spores depending on the species can trigger illnesses.
How do we eliminate our triggers?
Eliminating triggers begins with stopping the introduction of the trigger and all similar substances in our bodies. Some triggers are simply poisons(like MSG) that shouldn’t be ingested.
Just as with everything else, we approach the body holistically and lower its stresses. We get out of its way and let it heal itself.
– Begin with lowering mental and emotional stresses such as bad workplace environments and familial settings.
– Then include restorative activities such as working in, tai chi, yoga and increase sleep times
– Find a diet that sustains your energy, gives you strength, removes triggers and add in healing foods such as bone broths.
– Tackle environmental stresses and triggers such as lights while sleeping, mold, chemicals in the environment, additives in foods, poor postural supports etc.
– Find your constitutional homeopathic remedy and consult a holistic health care practitioner
What do we do once we know our triggers?
Remove them and work towards specifically healing the causes of each one. Sometimes there can be multiple causes for our triggers and they can be things that we wouldn’t make the connection between at all so consulting a Holistic Health Care Practitioner is crucial to saving time, money and energy.
If it’s mostly food triggers then work on healing the digestive and adrenal systems.
If its weather or infections then look at healing the digestive and immune systems.
If it’s mental emotional stress then look at healing the adrenal and hormonal systems.
If it’s blood sugar imbalances then look at healing the adrenal and hormonal systems.
Are our triggers off limits forever?
Sometimes. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that the foods we are eating are poison. Other times we can make a few steps towards bringing down our “threshold” and our bodies are very forgiving.
Healing or hormonal, digestive and adrenal systems can give us many food intolerances and sensitivities back as well as lower our threshold to the point where we are not triggered by things we used to be.
How do we heal ourselves so that we can still enjoy some of our delicious triggers?
– Start with the foundation principles
– Create a deeper connection to yourself and your body and be authentic with what you are creating in your life.
– Use what was described above to heal yourself, because nobody else can do it for you and we just support you in doing it
– If you want to save time , money and energy then consult a Holistic Health Practitioner to get to the root cause and find solutions fast.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about a holistic approach to migraines then click HERE and schedule a FREE 30 minute migraine relief strategy call.
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How do we know if we are progressing, getting worse and digging ourselves deeper into the chronic illness hole OR healing ourselves and climbing up and out into the light of health and wellness?
Well, tracking of course.
Tracking is essential for not only yourself, but also for your healthcare provider so that they can see the dots and make connections between them that you otherwise wouldn’t know how to make.
Tracking can give us clues into dietary triggers, environmental triggers like mold, family stress triggers, physical triggers and occupational triggers.
It can also show us what is raising our threshold. Our threshold is everything. As migraineurs, if we can get it low enough long enough and support our bodies, they can heal and overcome many triggers.
For instance, there is a very common cycle that will drain our resources and plunge us deeper into chronic disease if we don’t recognize it objectively.
It goes something like this:
-Wake up tired and skip breakfast because we are in a rush
– On the way to work grab a coffee that starts off our insulin and adrenaline spike which taxes our body and shuts off our repair systems.
– At work get tired and grab a snack, something like a bagel or a muffin ( this spikes your insulin again and perpetuates the roller coaster)
– At lunch you’re usually in a rush and didn’t pre pack a healthy/sustaining meal so you grab a quick meal and a coffee to keep you going
– After lunch you’re drained and because of a lack of nutrition from your food you get cravings which usually ends in something sweet or chocolatey
– After work you rush home and deal with the house not wanting to eat because it will make you tired
– End up late at night getting cravings and eating empty foods to satisfy you
Theres many different instances in how this can play out but at the end of the day, your adrenaline and cortisol are shot because of the caffeine and sugar spikes causing chronic fatigue. You haven’t actually had any proper meals and are malnourished even though you are over-caloried. Your sleep wont be restful because its just trying to stabilize from the day and so much more just because of not seeing the pattern.
When we can become objectively aware of our patterns of action and thought we can become conscious of how to fix them. More importantly they give us the insight to fix ourselves and save thousands of hours and dollars of wasted time trying to fix our health.
So how do we track?
It depends on how sick we are, how much we can handle and how much we want to know.
You can go ahead and record every action and thought each and everyday until you crash and burn because of your lack of health to sustain it. Or you can begin with just recording a few essentials of what we call The Foundation Principles to Migraine Health.
– Foods eaten and proportions (Eating real food makes this so much easier)
– Sleep times and quality
– Liquids drank, amounts and times
– Stress periods and emotional reason
– Exercise time and type
It’s as simple as that, just keep a little diary next to your toothbrush.
If you want to take it a step further, find out your ideal goals for each of these activities.
– Find out the types of foods and proportions you work optimally at
– Find out the amount and quality of sleep that wakes you up feeling refreshed
– Find the amount and quality of liquids you need to be at peak energy and go to the washroom every 2-3 hours
– Find who and what environments support your best and optimal mental and emotional health in the pursuit of your dreams
– Find the exercise that makes you feel good and gives you energy but doesn’t burn you out and drain your resources
Then commit to achieving these situations on a daily basis and work towards them each day.
Track what helps you towards them and what takes you away from them.
At the end of the day just try and improve a little bit every day. Before you know it your life and health will be transformed and your migraines will be a thing of the past.
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