AMERICAN HEADACHE SOCIETY NOW RECOMMENDING COMPLIMENTARY TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC HEADACHES
Migraine headaches are a common side effect of gluten exposure for those who are intolerant. The website of the Gluten Free Society
Fasting, eating high-sugar foods, dieting too rigorously, and skipping meals can all trigger, or make people more likely to have a headache or migraine. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference. This is usually due to people’s blood-glucose levels falling too low. The website of the Migraine Trust
As a chiropractor, most people would assume that I would start out by recommending a bunch of Chiropractic Adjustments. You know what happens when you assume don't you? The starting point for taking care of Migraines is almost always diet. The two things that I see associated with Migraine Headaches over and over and over again are Blood Sugar and Gluten Sensitivity. Both can be dealt with by yourself if you know how to go about doing it properly. The really cool thing is that both of these problems are dealt with in much the same way; a strict PALEO DIET.
It is interesting to note that Migraine Headaches are not the first neurological problem to be tied to these two things. In case you missed it, NEUROPATHY is being heavily linked to Gluten Sensitivity and Blood Sugar Dysregulation as well. In fact, fluctuations in blood sugar are not only tied to almost every health problem you can name, they are being tied directly to Migraine Headaches by several studies. When a person eats a diet high in grains, processed and starchy carbs, or SUGAR, their blood sugar can become "UNCONTROLLED". It is critical that you understand that this might be going on even though your blood sugar readings are in the "normal" range. Most particularly, Migraine Headaches are shown to be linked to the blood sugar crash that comes after the spike ---- REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA.
If you were to Google "Gluten Migraine" you will get three quarters of a million hits. Not only is this relationship seen in clinical practice, there are a number of peer-reviewed studies on the topic. Although most people associate Gluten with gastrointestinal symptoms, GLUTEN is heavily linked to neurological problems as well. In fact, more often than not, Gluten Sensitive people show neurological symptoms rather than GI symptoms (HERE). If you want to know the proper way to go Gluten Free, read my post on the GLUTEN FREE ELIMINATION DIET.
Here is the really great thing about following this method. This sort of approach is the basis for healing THE GUT and solving LEAKY GUT SYNDROME as well. It also happens to be the best way of eating if you have ADRENAL PROBLEMS / FIBROMYALGIA, THYROID PROBLEMS, all sorts of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES as well as a host of INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES ---- all of which can be related to Migraine Headaches. And for those of you who have tried this method of managing your Migraine Headaches without the results you were hoping for; do not give up hope. Your problem may very well be caused by Scar Tissue and FASCIAL ADHESIONS. Having the Scar Tissue broken, along with some CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS and STRUCTURAL CORRECTION can go a long way toward helping you manage your Migraine Headaches.
Take a look at Heidi Martin's testimonial from Dr. Osborne's site below. Her statement about misdiagnosis is particularly interesting in light of THIS HEALTHCARE PROVIDER SURVEY. Unfortunately, Heidi is the norm. In fact, if you fail to step outside the box and tackle these sorts of problems on your own (HERE), it is likely you will not ever find a solution.
I had been on disability for nearly 3 years due to debilitating migraines. I was getting them on an average of 26 to 29 days a month. I have recently gone on a gluten free diet and have stopped having migraines. My doctor had diagnosed my migraines as being brought on by stress but I am undergoing the most stress I have ever gone through yet I am migraine free, so I highly suggest to all you migraine sufferers, please try a gluten free diet. It really isn't hard to do at all... What a gift to not be living in daily physical pain... Now I am wondering if they misdiagnosed the reason I have an eight inch scar on my tummy from that intestinal surgery as when I read the symptoms of celiac disease, I seemed to have all those symptoms as well... I have lost so much faith in doctors...I am starting to feel better off researching things myself.
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Please; if you someone you love or care about is struggling with Migraine Headaches, pass this important information along to them. It could literally change their life. While you are at it, help spread the word by liking us on FACEBOOK. It's the best way of reaching your community with a message of hope.
ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE FOR WHAT I DO IN MY CLINIC
FIVE-PLUS DECADES OF MIGRAINE HEADACHES GONE FOR OVER A DECADE
WHEN YOUR HEADACHE MEDICATION CAUSES HEADACHES
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY HEADACHES ARE CAUSED BY THE 'REBOUND" EFFECT?
If you are having a lot of headaches and taking a lot of headache medications, you should automatically assume that you are dealing with Rebound Headaches. However, there are 'official' criteria for determining whether or not your headaches would be classified as 'Rebound' or not.
- If drugs like ergotamines, triptans, and opiods are taken for over ten days a month, for three consecutive months, you are said to have Rebound Headaches.
- If simple analgesics (Tylenol, Nuprin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, etc, etc) are taken half the days of the month, for three straight months, you are dealing with Rebound Headaches.
DIY HELP FOR HEADACHES
- CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS: I cannot even begin to tell you how many patients that I have successfully treated over the years with various kinds of headaches. To understand more about this, go HERE.
- TISSUE REMODELING: If you are one of those people who gets relief from a Chiropractic Adjustment, but it does not seem to hold more than a few days (or even a few hours), there is a good chance that you are dealing with underlying scar tissue. Much of this is likely to be FASCIAL ADHESION due to some old ACCIDENT or injury. I wrote about the relationship between cervical (neck) ranges of motion and chronic neck pain / headaches A FEW DAYS AGO.
- CLEAN UP YOUR DIET: If you are consuming things like MSG, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and who-knows-what-else, it may be quite difficult to do anything with your headaches until you start eating better and drinking more water. The great things is that this step alone may resolve your headaches. HERE is more information on the subject. This diet aspect boils down to diminishing the chemicals your body makes that well collectively refer to as INFLAMMATION. Fail to understand Inflammation, you'll find it tough to help yourself.
- CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR: For people struggling with regular headaches, this is a critical step in the right direction ---- particularly for those who might be dealing with underlying hypoglycemia. You should be aware that Blood Sugar Dysregulation is being touted as a causal factor in almost every health problem you can name. Be aware that this can be a huge problem even in the absence of DIABETES.
- GET OFF GLUTEN: Gluten is problematic in all sorts of crazy ways. HERE is more information on the subject. Be aware that you may be sensitive to more foods than Gluten. Milk is a common one as well.
- MAKE THE DECISION TO EXERCISE: Regular exercise is good for you on many different levels. HERE is more information about doing it the right way.
Just remember that this list is by no means comprehensive. However, if you were to do the things on this list and still find yourself struggling with headaches, you might have an underlying BRAIN-BASED problem that requires special neurological testing (not just another brain scan) or metabolic testing.
DESTROY MIGRAINE HEADACHES
You feel like you have tried everything there is to try. You have had more tests than should be legal. Everyone tells you that other than these "Migraine Headaches" there is really nothing wrong with you. You feel like you cannot go on. Allow me to give you some hope. I believe that there is an answer to everyone's problem ---- it is just a matter of finding it. Find what is causing your headaches, and you can begin to take your life back from the thief.
Believe me; you are not alone in your suffering. An estimated 1 in 6 Americans suffers from regular (daily) HEADACHES, with MIGRAINES affecting nearly 10% of our population. And what does the medical community have to offer you besides drugs? How about more drugs? How about "new" drugs or "different" drugs? But the problem is, you have already tried these drugs. In fact, you have tried just about everything there is to try. Maybe it's time for a new approach.
What about an approach that attempts to uncover the cause of the headache instead of simply covering symptoms? Makes sense, does it not? It's time to start taking your life back from the thief.
WHAT ARE MIGRAINE HEADACHES?
Like almost all NEURO-ENDOCRINE / IMMUNE SYSTEM ISSUES, women are affected much more frequently than men (4 to 1). When symptoms strike, they usually last for at least 4-6 hours and can hang on as long as several days. Although there are a wide variety of symptoms associated with Migraine Headaches, there are two that stick out above all the others; throbbing pain, and relentless nausea. A list of other common Migraine symptoms includes:
SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINE HEADACHES
- Pain (Frequently Throbbing, and often on One Side of the Head Only)
- Nausea & Vomiting (Sometimes Vomiting will Relieve the Headache)
- Photophobia (Increased Sensitivity to Light)
- Phonophobia (Increased Sensitivity to Sound)
- Odor Sensitivity
- Temperature Sensitivity (Heat and / or Cold are both Common)
- Hypersensitivity to Touch (often seen in FIBROMYALGIA --- a Problem Frequently Associated with Chronic Migraine Headaches)
- Blurred Vision or Other Visual Disturbances
PRODROME, AURA, POSTDROME, AND TRIGGERS
One or two days before a migraine strikes, many people notice subtle changes that might tip them off that a Migraine is on the way. These include, but are not limited to:
- Constipation / Diarrhea (IBS)
- Food Cravings
- Neck Stiffness
Although most Migraine sufferers experience their headache without an "aura," about 30-40% of the Migraine community experience this phenomenon. Auras are usually visual disturbances, but can manifest as sensory, motor, or verbal dysfunctions as well. Each of these symptoms typically begins gradually, builds to a crescendo over several minutes, then lasts up to 30 minutes. Examples of aura include:
- Visual Phenomena (Various Shapes, Spots Before the Eyes (Usually Bright), Rings / "Halos", Flashes of Light
- Vision Loss (Usually not a Total Loss. Could be Loss of One Field of Vision or Peripheral Vision)
- Pins and Needles (Usually in Arm, Leg, or Face)
- Speech or Language Difficulty
Note that many of these symptoms are the same that you will see in a stroke. If you feel anything out of the ordinary ---- particularly a significant worsening of motor function, call 911 immediately.
This is what happens after the Migraine Headache is gone. In the same way that people who have been through a seizure feel exhausted, people who have had a Migraine Headache may feel drained and "washed out" as well. As you can imagine, the whole cycle is not only physically draining, it is also emotionally exhausting; frequently leading to anxiety over the next headache that the suffer knows will be coming soon.
Be aware that a "trigger" is not necessarily the same thing as the "cause". It is the thing that sets the cause, whatever the cause may be, in motion. Common triggers are stress, anxiety, hunger, fatigue, lack of sleep / insomnia, certain chemicals, smells, female hormonal issues, as well as numerous others.
WHAT CAUSES MIGRAINE HEADACHES?
It is critical to remember that the "official" names of headaches and their symptoms are often blurred together ----- i.e. "Cluster" migraines, "Stress" Migraines, "Hormonal" Migraine, "Opthamologic" Migraine, "Retinal" Migraine, and on, and on, and on. Some of these are considered to be "true" Migraines, some are not. Although practically every doctor under the sun will tell you that no one really knows what causes severe headaches (whether they are technically "Migraine" or non-migraine headaches), this is not totally true. We know that people who suffer with severe headaches will almost always have one of their two components ---- sometimes both.
Understanding Inflammation is a huge factor in managing headaches, as well as Fibromyalgia and numerous other Chronic Conditions. If you can control the amounts of inflammatory chemicals coursing through your body, you can frequently control pain and overall health (HERE is a great example that leads us into our next bullet point). However, in the case of many Migraines Headaches, there is a very different underlying cause....
Many times, people fail to hold adjustments due to Microscopic scarring of the Elastic, Collagen-Based Tissues (chiefly FASCIA). In fact, the "SCAR TISSUE" is a major, but almost universally overlooked, cause of Headaches that I would categorize as being under the "Neurological" heading. I am not going to quibble about whether these headaches are, according to "official" classification schemes, truly Migraine Headaches or some other kind of severe headache. Like one of my professors used to say, "Call it Banana Boat for all I care". All I can tell you for certain is that I have been very successfully helping people with all sorts of severe headaches using a form of advanced / intense Tissue Remodeling.
To say that the brain and nerve system are complex is to make an understatement of absurd proportions. When Tissue Remodeling along with appropriate Chiropractic Adjustments do not provide a quick and simple solution to Migraine Headaches, other things must be looked at. The first of these is the Brain and Central Nervous System. In order to understand the battle between your Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nerve Systems, as well as the "Brain Loop", and the relationship to Migraine Headaches (not to mention numerous other health-related problems), please visit our BRAIN-BASED THERAPY page.
As we have already discussed, headaches (including Migraines) have lots of different triggers and causes. However, many researchers believe that the main culprit in many headaches (including Migraines) is Inflammation. SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION is a group of chemicals that make up part of your normal immune system response. When these chemicals are found in normal amounts, everything seems to cruise along just fine. However, when your body begins making too many inflammatory chemicals, an array of bad things begin to happen --- one of which can be Migraines.
Another common trigger of massive Inflammation is Food Sensitivities --- very specifically GLUTEN. AUTOIMMUNITY is another major roadblock to understanding the cause of many Migraine Headaches. This is especially true considering that a minimum of 1 in 5 Americans has an underlying Autoimmune Disease ----- their body is actually attacking itself! Some of the other common ones include BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION, MOLD, CANDIDA, DYSBIOSIS, LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, POOR GUT HEALTH, PARASITES, HEAVY METAL EXPOSURE, HORMONAL IMBALANCES, THYROID PROBLEMS, etc, etc, etc.
My best advice to you would be to get your life in order. No; I'm not talking about making out your will or anything that radical. I'm talking about a complete lifestyle makeover. If you are really interested in getting your life back, HERE is a great starting point. While it certainly may not provide all the answers, it will give you a good foundation to move on from.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration