The migraine headache. Just hearing the phrase can cause over 10% of the world who suffer from this syndrome to cringe. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine headaches rank in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses. Nearly 30 million people in the United States have migraines, and three times as many women as men have them. Identifying what causes a migraine is of paramount importance to avoid future attacks. Yet, what triggers the event in one individual may not trigger it in another. Here are some unusual causes for migraines and some alternative treatments that can empower you to get on top of the pain or prevent it from striking.
Causes of Migraine Headaches
Experts are hard at work trying to solve the complexities of the nervous system and what causes migraine headaches. Common triggers include: stress, change in sleeping or eating patterns, hormonal changes, allergies, alcohol or drug addictions, chemical imbalances, and dehydration. This list may be familiar to you and yet you still may not be finding what is triggering your migraines. Some unusual, less talked about causes for migraines include the following:
- Weather. When the barometric pressure drops or when temperatures and/or humidity skyrocket, you may feel a migraine start to begin. Pay attention to weather fluctuations and the onset of your migraines. If you start to see a pattern develop, you may have found one cause of your migraine headaches. Although you can’t control the weather, you can at least plan accordingly when you know you need to. Getting ahead of a migraine is the key to pain relief and management.
- Lifestyle changes. A surprising finding from migraine suffers is the increase of attacks on holidays or weekends. Common logic would predict otherwise. Shouldn’t the decrease in the normal workload and stress equate to less problems with migraines? Understanding how the body stores and releases built-up stress sheds some light to a confusing reality. During the week your stress load builds then over a weekend or a holiday when you release this stress your body’s response may be to get a headache. This bodily response has been termed the “letdown headache” and was a confirmed reaction at the 2011 American Neurological Association’s annual meeting where it was reported that patients had an approximately 20% higher chance of experiencing a migraine 12 to 24 hours after their mood changed from “sad” or “nervous” to “happy” or “relaxed.” The best antidote for chronic migraine sufferers is to stick to a regular routine of sleep and activity. Try to keep stress at bay so it doesn’t have a chance to build and wreak havoc on your life later.
- Withdrawal from Caffeine or Magnesium. Scientists followed case subjects that suffered from chronic headaches and found that their headaches were aggravated by the consumption of as little as two and a half cups of coffee a day. Another glanced over cause of migraines is the loss of magnesium in your body. Emotional and physical stress drain your body’s magnesium stores. Consult your doctor to have your magnesium levels tested and to see what alternative supplementation you might need to offset low levels.
- Gluten Sensitivities. Some chronic migraine sufferers have found relief by totally dropping gluten from their diets for two weeks to see if they have a gluten intolerance. Studies show that for individuals with gluten sensitivities, even the smallest amount of gluten in your diet can trigger the onslaught of a headache.
- Reactive Hypoglycemia. Diet. Diet. Diet. It affects our bodies in so many ways. Research has shown a link between migraines and the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet. High amounts cause your blood sugar levels to rise which then requires your body to produce more insulin to process the sugar. This reaction causes your blood sugar levels to then drop dramatically. If you aren’t monitoring your intake of simple carbohydrates you may be inadvertently triggering a headache because of the dramatic rise and fall of your blood sugar levels.
Alternative Treatments for Migraine Headaches
There are alternatives to handling your migraine pains without reaching for the pill bottle every time an attack starts. Many of the treatment options involve diagnosing your triggers and practicing proactive, preemptive care. Consult with your doctor about some of these alternative treatment options for your migraine headaches:
- Lifestyle changes to avert common triggers
- Allergy testing to diagnose environmental sensitivities
- Trigger point therapy to relax tight areas that could trigger a migraine
- Spinal care to relieve possible nerve pressure
- Nerve testing to rule out problems with spinal or neck nerves that may be a root cause behind your inflammation or chronic migraines
- Acupuncture to address energy imbalances and improve physical, mental and emotional health
- Biofeedback to control the blood flow to the brain and better manage a migraine
Call for a Consultation
Waiting until your next migraine headache hits to call your doctor is a mistake. Call Freedom Health Centers today to take control of your life and get ahead of your migraines. With preemptive care and diagnostic testing you may be able to spend months or even years free from an outburst of migraine headaches. Because we understand the interplay between the body’s many systems in a holistic way, we are able to offer invaluable pain relief treatments at Freedom Health Centers in McKinney. Through our care, some patients who have explored much more invasive options along other avenues have discovered they can effectively manage their symptoms and get relief from their pain without resorting to pills or other adverse alternatives.
Call Freedom Health Centers today at (972) 542-3300 for a FREE CONSULTATION to begin identifying the most effective pain relief treatment for your chronic migraines.