Migraines: Triggers and an Easy, Natural, and Safe Solution
Migraines are a debilitating neurological condition that causes sufferers to miss out on family, social, and work events. Sometimes, all you can do when a migraine attacks is lie down in a cool, dark room with a cold cloth on your forehead and try to rest until it passes. Even then, you may spend the next couple of days recovering and feeling very exhausted. Migraines are not just really bad headaches. In fact, they are not always accompanied by head pain, although it is one of their main symptoms. Other symptoms include:
- Pounding head pain usually affecting only one side (not always)
- Visual disturbances or loss of vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme sensitivity to bright light, loud noise, and certain smells
- Dizziness or vertigo (a spinning sensation)
Migraines are very common in today’s hectic world. As many as 39 million Americans, including men, women, and children, suffer from them. Migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness worldwide. Out of every 4 households in the United States, 1 contains a person suffering from migraines. Women are 3 times more likely than men to get migraines. Migraines are most rampant among people in the age ranges of 25 and 55. If you have a family member with migraines, you may be at a higher risk for developing them.
Keeping a Diary of Your Migraines
Doctors and migraine specialists recommend that you keep a migraine diary to help you keep track of what occurred before your migraine hit. This can help you to see a pattern developing and identify what your particular trigger may be. You can download a version of WebMD’s migraine diary here. It helps you track warning signs, the type of pain and intensity, what you ate, what your stress levels were, and what activities you were doing before the onset of your migraine.
Certain things are known to be triggers for migraines. This is different for everyone and you may find something not listed below that is your personal trigger. This is just a general idea of things to watch out for when fighting migraines.
Tyramine is something that has been linked to migraines. It is a substance found naturally in some foods, especially aged and fermented foods. In particular, you will find it in:
- Cured meats — hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, etc.
- Aged cheeses
- Some types of beer
- Smoked fish
- Foods high in protein if they have been stored for a long time or not kept cold enough
- Aged chicken liver
- Summer sausage and other meats that are air dried or fermented
- Red wine
- Soy sauce
- Sauces that contain shrimp or fish
- Yeast extract
- Miso soup
Some triggers that are not related to tyramine are:
- Citrus fruit
- Nuts, including peanut butter
- Broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, snow peas
- Sour cream
- Sourdough bread
- Red plums, avocados, figs, papayas, raisins
- Caffeine — too much or too little
Non-food related triggers:
- Menstruation: Women often get migraines a few days before, during, or after their periods. A drop in estrogen is thought to be why.
- Your environment: Perfume can be a huge trigger for some people. Confined spaces with someone wearing a strong scent and perfume counters can be a challenge. Bright, flashing lights, such as being in a dark movie theater or sun shining through the trees when driving can be a problem for some.
- Stress: This is the most known cause of migraines. Migraine sufferers are highly responsive to things in general. When dealing with worry, shock, or anxiety certain chemicals in the brain are released causing a migraine. Another thing related to stress is a letdown migraine. This happens when you are actually coming out of a stressful situation and may be the cause of weekend headaches.
We are not recommending that you begin avoiding all the things listed here. Rather, be aware of them and if you notice they are causing your migraines to occur, then avoid them. Even though you may be working hard to avoid your triggers, migraines will probably still happen. It is a good idea to come see us, here at Perkins Family Wellness and Spinal Care in Farmington, Michigan, as we have had much success in helping our migraine patients. Why is this so?
The Link That Alleviates Migraines
As upper cervical chiropractors, we recognize the connection between the central nervous system and migraines. The brainstem, a major component of the central nervous system, is located at the junction where the skull and neck meet. The C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) are designed to take the weight of the head and also protect the brainstem from damage. However, these bones are easily misaligned when one has a car accident or even a simple trip and fall. If they move out of place, they begin to put pressure on the brainstem, causing it to not work at its optimum.
We examine our patients to pinpoint the exact location of the problem. In this way, we can target that area of the neck and encourage those bones to move back into place naturally, without the need to pop or crack the spine or back in any way. When this problem is corrected, the body can begin its natural healing process and correct any damage done to the neck and muscles of the neck. Communication is restored throughout the body, and you will feel better overall. Those in case studies have reported seeing a major improvement in their migraines. Some patients even experience them going away and not coming back!
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins call 248-478-6203 or just click the button below area
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.