Ever had a migraine? I’m not talking about a severe headache here. I’m talking about a vision-impairing, nauseated, dizzying, almost-unconscious-with-pain, vomiting headache! The pain. Oh God, the pain!
Most doctors seem to know so little that it amazes me. There is a focus on “killing the pain”. That is at best, only a partial solution. Most migraines are worse than the VAST majority of pain killers. The actual causes need to be addressed if you HOPE to find a solution.
I suffered from migraines for many years. I have actually been known to bang my head against a wall, hoping that that particular pain would distract me from the pulsating monster in my head. I researched and found only more and more medications, most of which did not work.
Over the years of personal suffering, I tried chiropractic, diet restrictions, sedatives, hormones, meditations, naturopaths and acupuncture. None brought lasting relief.
Usually I tried to forget the pain once it left me. Eventually I decided that the problem could only be addressed when I could think though it when my thinking organ itself – my brain – was NOT actually in savage pain.
I thought about all the different types of patients I had seen with migraine and asked myself:
WHAT ARE FACTORS THAT MIGRAINE SUFFERERS HAVE IN COMMON?
…and THAT turned out to be the right question.
Until that point the truth had escaped me. But then I realised that MIGRAINES HAVE MULTIPE CAUSES …even IN THE SAME PERSON!
So, what are the factors and how do they work? The multiple causes of migraine are:
1. STRESS: I never met a migraine sufferer who wasn’t stressed! It’s a common denominator, whether the patient recognises that stress or not.
2. HORMONES: especially for women – we are five times more likely than men to have a migraine. If the hormones are out of balance, then you can expect some bad effects somewhere. When you test for it, you find that there really is a hormone imbalance INCREDIBLY often.
3. NECK PROBLEMS: everyone knows how awful it feels when your neck hurts. If you have slept wrong, or had a car accident, or somehow ‘put your neck out’ as the common phrase puts it, then a headache, or migraine, often follows.
4. FOOD REACTIONS: it is well known that some foods, like chocolate, Vegemite or similar yeast extracts, beans and some other foods can be the final trigger to start a migraine.
5. SLEEP DEPRIVATION: one of the forms of torture is to stop a body from sleeping. Sleep is imperative for normal processing of emotions and reactions to life’s problems. Getting a good sleep heals more than headaches.
The real clincher is that……
In migraine patients, they almost ALWAYS have 2-3 of these factors!
So “WHAT IS CAUSING MY MIGRAINE” is usually the WRONG QUESTION to ask yourself.
The right question?: “What THINGS (plural) ARE causing my migraine”.
From one migraine to the next, you might have two to three DIFFERENT factors in place.
This makes tracking the cause of any one migraine very difficult for any single patient to identify.
One time her neck is a problem. The next time her hormones have tipped the scales. Another it’s a food issue. So no wonder she is confused!
THE SOLUTION? Make sure each factor is controlled as far as possible. That is…
A) No chocolate, beans or Vegemite for a month at least;
B) Make sure your hormones are in a normal balance, with no excess oestrogen;
C) De-stress by using meditation daily. No need for an hour, just 5 minutes will help;
D) Get a good night’s sleep. Use wild lettuce and hops rather than sleeping tablets (see my earlier BLOG about sleep);
E) Get your neck problems assessed properly. Maybe you need a massage, maybe you need to change your pillow? Maybe you sit for hours with your neck twisted at a small angle, looking at your computer screen, or TV?
But if you can eliminate even one factor, your chances of reducing your migraine incidence are greatly improved!
I truly hope this helps at least one of you to understand a little better. And maybe even get relief. In the very least you know that the culprit is probably “culpritS”, and what they may be.
Blessings as always,