Did you know that 7 in 10 people globally suffer from migraines and most of them are middle-aged women, and 1 in 6 Americans suffer from severe headaches or migraines? This makes it an issue that we definitely want to address, begin to uncover some of the root causes and provide hope for people that are suffering from this debilitating condition.
Rather watch or listen?
What causes migraines?
There are many things that can potentially contribute to migraines. These can include:
- Cranial or cervical vascular disorder;
- Trauma—not just physical trauma, such as, for example, a concussion—but also emotional trauma;
- Infections or substance abuse;
- Some disorders of the cranium (jaw or cranial issues that might be contributing structurally to migraines;
- Psychiatric disorders; and
- Hormonal changes.
Food sensitivities can contribute to pro-inflammatory and pro-algesic mediators, perpetuating an inflammatory cycle. This can not only contribute to the cause of the migraines, but it can also make the migraines more frequent, more painful, and more intense.
Let’s not forget nutrient deficiencies which can be a huge driver for migraines and chronic headaches. Things like vitamin D, B12, B2, CoQ10, magnesium, and zinc are all very common nutrient deficiencies, which when addressed, can make huge shifts in the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Another thing that’s important to remember about migraines is that it is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. The mitochondrion is the powerhouse of our cells. It has very specific processes to produce energy, and so when we have toxins and infections, poor gut health, inadequate nutrients, and lack of exercise, this can contribute to poor mitochondrial function and neural inflammation. Also, dysregulated blood sugar can affect our mitochondrial health.
What are some of the things you can do?
First, make sure you get evaluated by a practitioner that can really look beyond just simply medications—looking at your GI Health, how you are assimilating food and nutrients, and how you are eliminating and detoxifying, immune health, mitochondrial health, and hormones.
For example, looking at a specific nutrient analysis, which could be a combination of lab testing as well as performing a very simple nutrient analysis on your own, can determine possible nutrient deficiencies. Every reaction in the body requires nutrients. If you are deficient, there’s a really good chance that it’s going to be very difficult to resolve your migraines, which absolutely can be resolved when you really try to unpack this.
The other thing that you can consider is determining what is going on in your gut. If you have SIBO, leaky gut, candida, or so on, these need to be treated. As Hippocrates once said, everything starts in the gut.
Moving towards mitochondrial food plan, essentially a healthy ketogenic plan can also help. This can be an effective plan for the short-term or even long-term depending on the severity of your migraines, to be able to optimize mitochondria health. And it could be life-changing for some people.
Graded exercise is one of your key things to do to improve your mitochondrial health is exercise. Now that doesn’t mean you should go out and do high-intensity exercise starting tomorrow, but things like walking, integrating more movement into your routine on a daily basis, and moving more frequently throughout the day, are all extremely valuable.
Once you’ve done that, then you want to really address specific nutrient deficiencies. If there are some, begin to target those through food first, of course. Supplementation can also be really valuable. You can also consider things like botanicals, such as butterbur, otherwise known as Petasites, can be very effective for decreasing the frequency of migraines. However, make sure to discuss the safety of that with your health professional.
Lastly, make sure you find the right professional for you who’s going to help work through this process. As a reminder to all of you that are suffering from migraines or severe chronic headaches, there is hope, and you can get better.
I know sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, and I’ve worked with many patients over the years that I know feel that way initially. I just want you to know that you can get to the bottom of it by being patient and making sure you find the right practitioner.
We, of course, are happy to help and would love the opportunity. So, if you found this helpful, give it a like, give it a share. If you’d like to reach out to us for an appointment, please do that as well. Schedule your appointment here: https://p.bttr.to/3MvopdB.
Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, The Movement Paradigm, for weekly tips on mindset nutrition and movement.
Other things that might interest you: