Migraines: The Best Treatment is Prevention
Migraines: The Best Treatment is Prevention by Dr. Steven Zodkoy DC, CNS, DACBN
Dr. Zodkoy, author of the popular book: Misdiagnosed: The Adrenal Fatigue Link talks about how prevention is the key to avoiding migraines.
I have been treating migraine patients from around the world for 25 years and long ago realized that it was much easier to prevent my patients’ migraines than relieve them. Utilizing a combination of clinical nutrition, state-of-the-art therapies and hands-on techniques I have been able to help 1000s of patients relieve and more importantly prevent even the most severe and chronic migraines. While each patient may require personalization of their migraine prevention care the basic are the same.
Migraines are type of headache that refers to the location, symptoms and cause NOT the intensity. Migraines are usually located on one side of the face and behind the eyes, they are often proceeded by a prodrome of symptoms; flashing lights, nausea, hypersensitivity to smell and are caused by a dramatic fluctuation to the blood flow to the head. Migraines are usually found in women, worse with menstrual cycles and triggered by foods; alcohol, cheese, and nitrates. Migraines are among the easiest headaches to prevent because the underlying mechanism for their triggers is well known.
It is estimated that 40% of migraine sufferers with a genetic mutation at C677T, which basically means it is difficult for these people to utilize Folate. Folate is a key vitamin utilized by the vascular system for stability and the liver to detoxify their body. I believe that the decreased liver detoxification causes toxins to increase in the blood and eventually leads to irritation of the compromised vascular vessels which over-react and trigger a migraine. This premise would explain why menstrual cycles which increase hormone production by 400% and thus the need for liver detoxification are linked to migraines. The idea that the liver cannot handle the toxic burden would also explain why alcohol, chemical exposure, and food with nitrates also trigger migraines. The liver’s burden is exacerbated by the OTC and prescription medications utilized to relieve migraines, all of which need to be detoxified by the liver. The chronic toxic load that medications cause is the reason for rebound headaches and their eventual loss of effectiveness. Strengthening the livers ability and speed to detoxify the body is a keep step to preventing migraines.
There are several steps to reduce the amount of endo- and exo-toxins in the body. Lifestyle changes include increase pure and alkaline water intake, exercise, meditation and the adoption of a diet that reduces artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. Avoiding concentrated chemicals in perfumes, cleaning products, body products, candles and other household items will also relieve the detoxification burden on the liver. Lifestyles changes for migraines simply put means living a more natural, active and clean lifestyle
There are several key nutritional supplements that can also help improve the liver function. Key herbal supplements include; Milk Thistle, Artichoke, and Curcumin to accelerate liver detoxification. Vitamin B11 or Folic acid in the form of 5-MTHF (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate) is extremely important to help circumvent the genetic mutation common to migraines sufferers. Other nutritional supplements that have been proven helpful in liver detoxification are; N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), Glutathione, Magnesium, CoQ10 and Omega oils. I strongly recommend using an all-natural multinutrient as a base for your nutritional supplementation and adding in the liver detox supplements because the liver requires dozens of cofactors to function properly.
The hidden reason why chromic migraine sufferers never fully heal has to do with the prolonged burden the mind-body has suffered. When I meet or speak with migraine sufferers from around the world most of them have been suffering for decades, are toxic from their medications and emotionally and physically exhausted from their condition. Every migraine suffer I have treated also need to with strengthening their adrenal glands to help with their energy, mood, and recovery. Very often weakened adrenals, typical symptoms include dizziness with rising quickly, fatigue, poor sleep and decreased motivation, had become a major trigger. Weakened adrenals or adrenal fatigue makes it difficult for sufferers to deal with stress and is why many migraine are triggered by stressful situations. Nutritional supplementation with adrenal glandular and adaptogens are important to rebuilding the migraine sufferer and providing long lasting relief.
Detoxifying and rebuilding the body to prevent migraines takes time. Most of phone consult patients from around the world are able to dramatically reduce the severity and frequency of their migraines by the 8th week of care. By the 12th week of care most patients are ready to speak to their doctor about stopping their medications, if they haven’t already. There are several treatments I use in my office to speed up this process and offer immediate relief.
- LiteCure laser therapy uses the power and speed of light to relieve migraine pain nearly immediately. LiteCure laser therapy is unlike other laser therapies in the fact that you feel relief quickly, its long lasting and promotes cellular healing to prevent future episodes
- Applied Kinesiology is a hands-on technique that gently relieves muscle tension and strengthens the body’s ability to detoxify and heal
- Alpha-Stim uses a gentle electrical current to promote the relief of endorphins from the brain. Endorphins are the most powerful pain relief mechanism known to man and Alpha-Stim has been proven in 100s of studies to immediately raise endorphin levels and keep levels higher over time
Migraines can be a lifetime sentence of pain but they do not have to be.