They ruin your day, destroy your ability to focus, kill your mood and keep you from getting anything done. They may hit you out of nowhere. You may or may not know the cause. You may have only experienced one a few times or they may be a chronic problem for you.
Either way you are desperate to find answers and relief from…
According to Dr. Mercola,over 37 million Americans suffer from Migraines!That’s not even taking into account everyone who is suffering from less severe headaches.
Despite their prevalence, migraines and their causes are still poorly understood. Many people turn to over-the-counter or prescriptions medications, caffeine or highly caffeinated drinks for relief. Although these may offer temporary comfort, they don’t address underlying issues and can cause harm to your body if used long term.
I don’t want you to continue suffering. I’ve dealt with headaches and the occasional migraine myself so I know personally how debilitating they can be. I want to help! I hope we can both leave understanding a little bit better what can be done to help RID your life of migraines entirely.
What Causes Migraines?
There are so many factors that go into determining the cause, but I want to give you some common culprits.
#1 Food Triggers
In modern society, we’ve lost touch with the fact that everything we put into our mouth has an affect on the rest of our body. What you eat could actually be a primary cause of your migraines.
Your gut has been called your ‘second brain’ and is responsible for regulating a number of important hormones, like serotonin and dopamine. Every system in your body is intricately connected.If you are eating foods that are disrupting your gut, especially if your gut is already weak, then your head could very well be paying the price.
Everyone’s body is unique and reacts differently to different foods. It might take a little time to figure out what your food triggers are but once you do, you’re one step closer to a life without migraines.
Pick something from the list above and go off of it completely for 21 days. Be sure to note how you feel and how many migraines you experience. After the 21 day period, reintroduce the food slowly and take note of how it affects your body. If you feel yucky or your head starts throbbing within the following 72 hours, you might have found you trigger.
At that point, you can choose to go off this food entirely (recommended) or limit it as much as you can. Even if you don’t have a negative reaction to the food, most of the things listed above are better off avoided anyway so know you’re one step closer to a better diet either way.
If you know you’re going to be eating your food trigger (maybe you’re going to grandma’s house for dinner and don’t want to offend), try taking enzymes/probiotic supplements just before you eat to help with digestion. This could possibly ease the negative affect they have on your gut and head.
The elimination diet isn’t always easy, but it is a lot better than suffering for the rest of your life with unbeatable migraines!
Get tested for food allergies
Have a comprehensive blood test done to find food sensitivities. Make sure your doctor is testing IgE and IgG.
IgE = think E-MEDIATE (immediate), such as anaphylactic shock (true allergy – eliminate for good).
IgG = delayed reaction, up to 72 hours (intolerance, can often be reversed with healing of the gut).
Be willing to make lifestyle changes if allergens or intolerances are found.
#2 Unhealthy Gut
Sometimes people experience migraines as a symptom of a deeper problem happening inside their gut. Once they discover the problem and start changing their lifestyle in order to heal, they find the migraines (and other unpleasant symptoms) disappear.
Here are a few common gut issues we are seeing a lot these days.
Celiac is an autoimmune disease that often occurs in people who are genetically prone to extreme gluten sensitivity. Those with celiac must avoid gluten-containing foods entirely or risk severe damage to their small intestine.
In this Italian study, migraine sufferers were 10 times more likely to have celiac diseasethan those without a migraine problem. Participants who were found to have celiac disease experienced better blood flow to the brain after going on a gluten-free diet!
SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
When large numbers of commensal bacteria become present in the small intestine, the gut’s microbiome becomes extremely unbalanced. SIBO causes digestive issues like bloating, diarrhea, gas and discomfort as well as headaches, migraines, fatigue, etc.
Going on a SIBO-friendly diet can help to reduce or eliminate migraines entirely.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder of the large intestine where the colon is “leaky” or experiences frequent spasms.
In a study lead by J. Alexander Cole, researchers took 125,000 people with the purpose of discovering how many IBS patients also had migraines, depression and/or fibromyalgia. About half of the people in the study were already diagnosed with IBS.
Participants with IBS were found to be 60% more likely to suffer from migraines than those without IBS.
Solution: Get tested for SIBO, IBS and/or Celiac Disease
See a qualified doctor who is familiar with these conditions and get tested to see if they might be an issue for you. Once you have a diagnosis, it becomes a matter of diet and lifestyle to manage symptoms. Not always an easy fix, but definitely worth the effort to be symptom-free!
#3 Muscle Strain
If you have tense muscles on your neck or back they can put unnecessary strain on your head and cause headaches, or even migraines.
This can be caused by working out (heavy lifting can often cause you to tense up your neck muscles), sitting in the same position for long periods of time, looking down at a computer screen or desk for hours on end, sleeping in awkward positions, etc.
More Solutions To Stop Migraine Headaches
Here are a few more simple things you can do to help either get rid of or avoid migraines and headaches.
Nothing like a cup of green juice to flood your body with much needed micronutrients and fuel! Mother nature has provided us with thousands of incredible nutrient-dense foods that are healing to the body and mind.Organifi is packed with superfoods like spirulina, matcha green tea, wheatgrass, etc. that contain natural anti-inflammatory properties. Organifi also contains turmeric, which is a natural pain reliever which researchers have found to work just as well as Ibuprofen.
I also use turmeric powder on its own in smoothies, juices or mixed into my favorite kefir.
Exercising regularly and making an effort to be in motion more throughout the day can have tremendous benefits to your health. Not only does movement promote good circulation, but it stimulates the lymphatic system, boosts mood and helps the body release endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers.
Did you know… endorphins can be 18-500 times stronger that man made painkillers!
When I have a headache I love stepping into my infrared sauna. Using infrared heat has been shown to be an effective method for pain relief. This type of LED technology allows for deep tissue penetration, which results in increased cell growth. This type of sauna is also a powerful detoxification method, which may bring relief from headaches and migraines caused by toxins.
Food is medicine! Almonds contain a compound called arginine, which helps blood flow more effectively. Better circulation = more blood to the brain,which can help with headaches and migraines.
You can also get arginine in capsules or powder form.
You know I love essential oils. For headaches and migraines, peppermint oil is particularly effective. You can rub a few drops on your temples or do what I do and put a drop in a steaming pot of water. Then you put a towel over your head and inhale the fumes. This is a powerful and quick way to get the oil’s aromatic compounds into your system so only use a drop or two.
I also like doterra’sDeep Blue Rub. It is a combination of several essential oils (Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Eucalyptus and Osmanthus). It feels AMAZING when you rub it all over your scalp.
Migraines may be a symptom of magnesium deficiency.Magnesium is an extremely important mineral that helps the body regulate over 300 biochemical reactions that are vital to health and well being.
Research points to roughly 80% of the population being deficient, often unknowingly.
Studies have shown taking 400-600 milligrams of magnesium daily may reduce certain types of migraines (menstrual and aura-associated migraines). I personally use CALM magnesium supplements. I like to put a scoop in hot water and sip like tea.
Feverfew has been studied a lot for migraine prevention and has been shown to help prevent migraines in some people.
You can find it as a dried leaf powder, in capsule form, or in tea.
If you or a loved one has suffered from migraines, my heart goes out to you. I hope you’ve found some of the information in this blog post helpful.
There are a lot of answers out there besides prescription medications, you just have to find what works for you. You want solutions that can help you solve the root cause of the problem long-term and not just ease symptoms for a few hours.
Migraines are almost always a symptom of something else going on in your body. Your body is talking to you, trying to tell you something that is going on deep down inside. You just need to listen.
BE OPEN and WILLING to make lifestyle changes to better your health and decrease chances of experiencing migraines! I promise your health and happiness are worth the fight it takes to get them.
Don’t give up.
Remember, we’re in this together.
This week’s JUICER GIVEAWAY WINNER is none other than…
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
During my FitLife transformation, I lost 70 pounds! That's why I signed up for the protocol, but the most exciting result is that I found ME in the process. I had been hiding under a pile of pounds, self-doubt, and grief! FitLife changed my life and I knew I had to share it with others.
-Lynne, Longwood FL
I started with Fitlife back in 2011-2012…I wrote into Fitlife asking for an extreme amount of help. I was 300 pounds, with high cholesterol, and Drew helped me transform my life. I lost over 130 pounds and I no longer have high cholesterol. Not only did I lose weight, so did my husband, who lost over 70 pounds!