Friday, August 20, 2010

Migraines and Headaches

Migraine headaches can be very severe and usually last for several days. Migraines are often preceded by an “aura,” which may consist of visual disturbances such as flashing lights. The headaches are often associated with nausea, sweats, dizziness, and light and sound sensitivity.
The cause is still controversial, with muscle contraction, low serotonin and the relaxation (dilation) of blood vessels all playing a role.

Consult with a chiropractor to help reduce the pains of migraines. It's known to help reduce the effects of migraine headaches.


After 3 months of being on the supplement regimen below, continuing to use a good multi-nutrient powder alone may be enough to prevent your migraines from recurring. Natural approaches can commonly eliminate even frequent and horribly severe migraine problems, but remember that it usually takes 2 to 3 months to see the effect — so give them time to work.

Recommended Supplements

Multi-nutrient powder

Take a good multi-nutrient powder.

Vitamin B2

300 mg of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) in the morning.


200 mg of magnesium at night.


Butterbur (Petadolex) can both prevent and eliminate migraines. Take 50 mg 3 times a day for 1 month and then 1 twice a day to prevent migraines. You can take 100 mg every 3 hours (for a maximum of 300 mg in a 24 hour period) to eliminate an acute migraine.


In the hospital emergency room or holistic doctor’s office, 1-2 grams of intravenous magnesium over 15 minutes can effectively eliminate an acute migraine within minutes (to find a holistic physician, visit


During a migraine, medications are also reasonable (and can be taken with the natural therapies). Though the tendency may be to wait to see if you really need it, the earlier the migraine is treated, the more successful the treatment is — and spending 2 days with a migraine is a lot less healthy than taking the medication!

Aspirin, Tylenol and caffeine

In the U.S., medications in the Imitrex® family still remain the first choice that physicians use for the treatment of acute migraines. No one is paying to give the physicians the research showing that the old combination of aspirin, Tylenol and caffeine (cost approximately 20 cents vs. $10-25/dose) is equally effective, so don't forget that you can use these if needed (e.g., 1-3 Excedrin Migraine or Excedrin Extra strength — the dose recommendations on the bottle are fairly low). Midrin®, which is a prescription mix of three medications, can also be effective. Two capsules are taken immediately followed by 1 capsule every hour until the headache is relieved (to a maximum of 5 capsules within a 12 hour period).

The Imitrex family of medications is OK to use — just a bit expensive. A fascinating study can guide you on when to use Imitrex family medications vs. when to go with other therapies. 75% of migraine patients get painful sensitivity to normal touch around their eyes (e.g., wearing eyeglasses). If you use Imitrex before you get the pain and tenderness around the eyes, it will knock out the migraine 93% of the time. If the pain and tenderness around the eyes has already set in, Imitrex only eliminates the migraine 13% of the time (although it still helped the throbbing). In other words, if you are one of the lucky ones who does not get pain around the eyes, the Imitrex can knock out your migraine at any time. If you are one of those who do get pain and tenderness around the eyes, it is a race against the clock to take the Imitrex before that pain starts. This means that you should take the Imitrex early in the attack (within the first 5 to 20 minutes) before the skin hypersensitivity gets established.

Other Therapies & Advice

Food allergies

Avoiding hidden food allergies can reduce or eliminate migraines in 30-85% of patients. In one study, the most common reactive foods were wheat in 78% of patients, oranges in 65%, eggs in 45%, tea and coffee in 40%, chocolate and milk in 37%, beef in 35% and corn, cane sugar and yeast in 33%. Clinical experience also suggests that the artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) can trigger migraines and other headaches (although this is controversial). You may find that instead of avoiding foods that trigger your migraines for the rest of your life, you can eliminate the sensitivities/allergies using a powerfully effective acupressure technique called NAET (visit

Estrogen patches

In women, if the migraines are predominately around the time of the period or associated with taking estrogen, the key is to prevent the fluctuating estrogen level. One way to do this is to use an estrogen patch for one week beginning a few days before the period is expected (e.g., a Climara® .025 patch).

More Information Online

American Board of Holistic Medicine (find holistic pratitioners at

NAET (acupressure technique for treating food allergies at

Blood Testing for your Healthy Well Being

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