Do you have to suffer with Chronic Migraines? Not if you dig deep enough to find the root cause.
Your friend “Dr. Google” has a significant amount of information about “Natural Cures for Migraine Headaches”. Finding the root cause for migraines though, often requires a deeper dive than a google search. Identifying the imbalance, or often combination of imbalances, that are the cause for the migraine will serve to be more corrective for sufferers than surfing through page after page hoping to stumble upon a solution that works. The following discussion is not a “how to correct your migraine” article. This information represents a Functional Medicine approach to identifying and correcting why people suffer from migraines with a goal of helping you gain insight into your root cause. The role of clinical supervision in correction of severe migraine syndromes will be obvious once you read through.
Migraine Headache Overview
According to the migraine research foundation Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone who suffers with migraines. 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines. Migraine is most common between the ages of 18 and 44.
There are multiple types of migraine headaches. The two major categories are migraine with aura, once called “classic migraines” and migraine without aura, formerly known as “common migraines”. The pre-headache aura usually includes visual symptoms like seeing lines, shapes, or flashes and indicates that a headache is on the way. If severe enough, these headaches can progress into status migrainosus. This very serious migraine variant is so severe that the migraine lasts for more than 72 hours and the affected person must be hospitalized. Most complications associated with this variant arise because of prolonged vomiting, severe nausea and sometimes clinical dehydration.
A classic aura migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain is often severe enough that it interferes with daily function and people often end up bed ridden.
If you are a migraine sufferer you have heard the term “trigger” before. A Trigger is a stimulus that can lead to the onset of migraine activity. Triggers include hormonal changes (ovulation or menstruation), certain foods and drinks, toxic additives like aspartame or MSG, stress, exercise, neck strain, barometric pressure changes, some medications, disrupted sleep patterns, dehydration or electrolyte imbalances, hunger or hypoglycemia, strong smells, too much emotional excitement or visual stimulus like flashing lights. Some migraines piggy-back off of other miler headaches, stirring up after a tension or sinus headache starts.
Preventive and pain-relieving medications can help manage migraine headaches but come with a list of risky side effects. The severity of a migraine, however, is often worse than the concern for the risk of side effects so many people continuously medicate. To reference the severity of migraine headaches, here is a list of the common medication side effects people dance with to break the pain cycle:
- pain or tight feeling in your chest, throat, or jaw;
- pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body;
- numbness or tingling, feeling hot or cold;
- dizziness, drowsiness, weakness;
- unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth after using the nasal medicine;
- pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in your nose or throat after using the nasal medicine; or
- runny or stuffy nose after using the nasal medicine.
More serious side effects:
- sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;
- severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats;
- a seizure or convulsions;
- severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;
- blood circulation problems in your legs or feet–cramps, tight or heavy feeling, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, burning pain, cold feeling, blue color changes, hip pain;
- heart attack symptoms–chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
- high levels of serotonin in the body–agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea; or
- signs of a stroke–sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance.
Looking for the Migraine Root Cause
With that heavy background information on the table, it makes sense why so many migraine sufferers are looking for safe, natural alternatives. Many patients who I speak with really struggle between wanting to avoid the severity of the medication side effects and the potential severity of a really nasty migraine. Many of them hold off hoping that the migraine does not progress. Now, let’s take a deep dive and open the doors to understanding some of the root causes for migraine.
Genetics. 90 percent of people with migraines report having family members who also suffer from these headaches. Does this mean that you are stuck with headaches for life if it is genetic? Not at all, in my 22 years of practice I have helped correct migraines with hundreds of patients, most who have family members who also suffer. It is very common for genetic variants to pre-dispose people to problems with Histamines. Histamine imbalances are the most common cause that I have found for a migraine pattern to develop in pre-disposed individuals.
Histamines will cause blood vessels to dilate or widen. For those of you who suffer with aural migraine, this is often where the change in neuro-vascular pattern will give you the pre-migraine aura. If, following the dilation, there is a severe rebound contraction, or narrowing of blood vessels, aura often progresses into severe migraine. Many people will start to take Excedrin Migraine when they get an aura. The caffeine in Excedrin Migraine will vaso-dilate, or widen the blood vessels, thus decreasing the vaso-constriction that causes migraine. The problem with this approach is that caffeine is a well-known trigger for migraine, so many people push back the onset of headache, only to suffer from rebound migraine later.
The deal with histamine though, is that it is supposed to be broken down within 60-90 seconds of being released. Big problems can occur when high histamine levels linger for too long without being broken down. This is called a histamine intolerance. Common symptoms, you guessed it: Headaches and Migraines. Other symptoms of histamine intolerance can show up when you eat histamine-rich food or drinks (food list below). You may experience hives, itchy or flushed skin, red eyes, facial swelling, lower GI cramping or diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, irregular heart rate, anxiety, runny nose and congestion or asthma attacks. So, why do some people struggle with sustaining a proper histamine balance? Good Question!
The two main causes of histamine intolerance are:
- not enough of the enzymes that are needed to break down histamine.
- too much histamine being produced (gut microbes, mast cells stimulus, allergy). Let’s take a look at both causes:
1. Not enough enzymes breaking down histamine:
The body clears out histamine by using one of two enzymes, the DAO enzyme or the HMNT enzyme.
DAO. Histamine enters the body from foods or it is made by the bacteria in your gut. These histamines are broken down using the DAO enzyme that is produced in the small intestines. Like lactose intolerant people, who don’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in milk, there are some people who do not produce enough DAO enzyme and struggle to break down histamines from food. Can you take the DAO enzyme for histamines in pill form like people take the lactase enzyme for lactose intolerance? You bet you can!
HNMT. The methylation cycle (MTHFR gene) plays a role in breaking down histamine. It is also important in creating the methyl groups needed for the HMNT enzyme to work.
Decreased enzyme activity of MTHFR, combined with a diet lacking in b vitamins may cause a reduced breakdown of histamine. Blood analysis for MTHFR gene variants is covered by some insurances. Otherwise, for under $200 you can have a methylation profile done using 23 & me or Ancestry.com raw data.
Other than having a low level of the enzymes that are needed to break down histamine, there are also common prescription medications that interfere with optimal DAO and HMNT levels.
- airway medications, such as theophylline
- heart medications
- muscle relaxants
- pain medications
- gastrointestinal medicines
- nausea and gastroesophageal reflux disease
2. Too much histamine being produced:
This is going to look like the “Who’s Who” list for migraine issues. Triggers for increased histamine include:
Histamine-rich foods and food sensitivity:
Alcohol and other fermented beverages.
Fermented foods and dairy products, such as yogurt and sauerkraut.
- Dried fruits.
- Processed or smoked meats.
- Nuts & seeds.
- Any food with cross reaction to environmental allergy.
- Any individual food sensitivity.
- GMO foods.
- Foods with high pesticide use. See my full article here: https://drcshaw.com/organic-or-not-what-is-most-important-on-your-plate/
- Taking the wrong strains of probiotic.
- Artificial Sweeteners.
Non-Food Histamine Triggers:
- Environmental allergies.
- Airborne toxins, pollution.
- Chemical Exposures (walking down the air freshener or detergent aisle).
- Infections (chronic viral, dental, Lyme disease).
- Toxic Metals.
- Mold Exposure.
- Estrogen Dominance, obesity.
- Menstrual Cycle, ovulation.
- Systemic Yeast.
- Leaky Gut Syndrome.
- Vitamin and mineral Deficiency (B2, B6, B12, Magnesium, Folate).
- Chronic High Stress.
- Unresolved Emotional Trauma.
Migraine Headache Trigger Overview
- High histamine foods increase to total load of histamine in the body. If there is an underlying issue with clearing histamine this will overload the system. Certain foods have histamines in them, like anything fermented. Other foods trigger a histamine release, like spinach or strawberries. Both sources can serve to be problematic for the intolerant.
- Genetically modified foods (GMO) have the ability to damage the gut bacteria that are involved in clearing histamine. Many people improve migraine severity and frequency by switching over to a predominantly organic non-GMO diet.
- Taking the wrong probiotics. CHECK YOUR STRAINS! Lactobacillus fermentum, delbrueckii, bulgaricus, and casei can increase histamine release in your system and trigger migraine. Classically, the bifidobacter strains have a histamine lowering effect. I use Megaspore-Biotic for most histamine patients.
- Environmental allergies like grass, trees, pollens and pet allergies will elicit a histamine response from the immune system. To touch lightly on histamine receptors, there are four different Histamine receptors found in different tissues of the body. H1 is most common stimulated by allergies and H1 antihistamines like Claritin are mostly used to treat. In some patients an H1 blocker will decrease severity and frequency of migraine by lowering the total load on the body.
- Airborne toxins, pollution, heavy metals and chemical exposures are processed in the liver. If the liver cannot process toxins quickly enough for excretion, or excretion is limited, (ex. Constipation), the toxin can spill into the blood stream engaging an immune response. If the immune system cannot manage the load of toxin, histamine is used to help bolster the immune response. The result can be migraine.
- Chronic Infections. Underlying, hidden, stealth infections like Epstein Barr Virus, a sub-clinical dental infection, Lyme Disease or Co-Infection cause a huge burden on the immune system. To respond, the immune system will naturally increase histamine activity to protect you. I treat dozens of migraine patients every year who have a stealth infection behind their issues. When the immune system is given the opportunity to get ahead of these infections the migraines dissipate.
- Living or working in a moldy environment, even with just a moldy basement, can be a constant over-stimulus of the immune system and can trigger a cytokine storm. Cytokines are protein messengers that trigger inflammation to promote repair and healing in the body. The more cytokines, the more mast cell activation and histamine levels, the result; major chronic migraine trigger. Primary symptoms of mold exposure are headache, muscle weakness, fatigue, memory problems, problems finding words, unusual tingling sensations in the skin, chronic cough, increased thirst and confusion, red eyes, blurry vision, night sweats, metallic taste in the mouth.
- Estrogen Dominance. Estrogen can activate histamine. This is why 3-4x the number of women suffer from migraine than men. Most women who experience menstrual related migraine suffer from this connection. Is there too much estrogen or not enough progesterone? Either can trigger. Estrogens are stored in body fat, so an increase in body fat percentage can be a pre-disposing factor to estrogen related histamine triggered migraine. Is it all about your estrogen? Not always, there are thousands of sources of toxic man-made xeno-estrogens that we are exposed to daily. See my article on foreign estrogens here: https://drcshaw.com/foreign-estrogens-and-your-health/ Many women have a dramatic decrease in migraine activity after menopause when the estrogen levels in their body subside.
- Systemic yeast and leaky gut syndrome. Candida, or yeast, belongs in the gut lining and not in high levels in the blood stream. Yeast that makes its way into the system due to permeability of the gut lining (leaky gut syndrome) can elicit a chronically elevated histaminic state. Again, elevating the total body histamine load and pre-disposing to migraine activity. Leaky gut alone, can have a similar effect by allowing long chain proteins from any food source into the blood stream that can trigger a mast cell driven histamine reaction. The health of your gut is primary to any histamine or migraine challenge in that the proper balance of specific bacteria in your microbiome are predominantly in charge of clearing histamine.
- Vitamin and Mineral deficiency. Many people know about the use of Magnesium as a mineral for preventing migraine. Magnesium plays an important role in relaxing the smooth muscle in the blood vessel walls. If you are low in magnesium it is more common for blood vessel constriction to occur and predispose to migraine activity. Speaking to the importance of clean diet, high sugar levels tend to cause a magnesium imbalance. This is the connection to a high sugar diet and migraine activity.
- B vitamin deficiencies are directly related to the HNMT enzyme (discussed earlier) that helps to break down histamine. The B vitamins 2, 6, 9 and 12 are the ones that become activated by the MTHFR gene. This is the connection with methylation and histamine clearance. Over the counter B vitamins can actually trigger migraine with people who suffer from certain MTHFR variants. If you know your MTHFR genes already, those of you with 1 copy of the C677T and one of the A1298C (compound heterozygous) or 2 copies of the C677T (homozygous) are pre-disposed to migraine trigger with junk grade, over-the-counter multi-vitamins or multi-B vitamins. Let’s not forget that over the counter multi-vitmains, specifically gummy vitamins with sucralose, aspartame, Red or Yellow die in them are direct migraine triggers.
- Chronic levels of stress can cause imbalances in stress hormones that trigger blood vessel dilation and then precede the migraine. Secondarily, chronic unbalanced stress hormones wreak havoc on the sex hormone levels that would lead to increased severity and frequency of migraine. Many studies have been published on stress reduction techniques; prayer, mediation, relaxation, mindfulness, deep breathing for reducing migraine frequency.
- Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. About 1/3 of migraine sufferers report that dehydration is a trigger, Dehydration affects the body on all levels and can cause a rapid shift of essential minerals enough to trigger migraine. Interesting to note that water is an anti-histamine. Drinking 50% of your body weight in ounces of water a day can be very supportive in decreasing migraine activity. This practice will increase trips to the rest room though.
- Artificial Sweeteners. The five FDA approved artificial sweeteners: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose are chemically toxic to the human body. These substances have been linked to auto-immune diseases, seizures, depression, cancers, and are drivers of systemic inflammation. It is imperative to remove these triggers if you want to control a migraine syndrome.
- Unresolved Emotional Trauma. The best description I have heard regarding how trauma can affect your health is this; Imagine swimming in a pool and you try to push that big white, yellow, blue and red beach ball under the water. No matter how hard you try to hold it down, it will bubble up somewhere. Allowing yourself to emotionally process and release trauma that is constantly bubbling up underneath your spirit can be very supportive in lowering the stress hormones that keep you in a migraine pattern. Working with a trained professional like a counselor can be very helpful in letting go issues from the past that are capable of keeping you in a pain cycle.
Creating the Migraine Clinical Picture:
There is certainly a long and daunting list of potential migraine triggers. Some of you may feel like it is not possible to assess and overcome all of those variables. So, let’s put it all together and make sense of it. The first and most important step in stopping a migraine pattern is to identify the list of bad guys. It is very uncommon for someone to present to my office for migraine treatment who only has one problem. The most common migraine patient has three or four imbalances, coupled with food triggers, that when put together cause a syndrome. Controlling just some of the variables can often be migraine corrective.
The easiest way to tackle this long list of triggers is to find a Functional Medicine practitioner who specializes in ordering and interpreting all of the information required to be corrective. The cornerstone pieces of the puzzle for guiding the process come from the medical history. The detailed discussion that I have with migraine patients usually leads me toward what possible triggers on the list are the bigger ones at hand. For example, if you only suffer from migraine with menses, you live a high stress life and you are overweight, I will lean more toward testing and treating the hormone pathways. If you work in a location where there are metals being fabricated, you eat tuna fish 5x a week, get the flu shot every year and you have a lot of silver fillings in your teeth, I will lean more toward testing for toxic exposure and using clinical detoxification for migraine correction. If your headaches started after you had Lyme disease 2 years ago and you have elevated antibodies from a past Epstein Barr Virus infection, I will be leaning toward testing and treating underlying infections and co-infections for correction. If you have a combination of all of these factors, we will peel the layers in the fashion most appropriate for your immune system to handle. Regardless of the list of triggers, there is an approach that can be taken to decrease intensity, frequency and severity of headaches.
With most migraine patients I order a toxic metal screen and blood work for infections, hormones and vitamin deficiency. If clinically complicated, I will often order genetic testing to give the overview required. Once the test results are gathered, I will outline a very specific diet designed to address whatever my primary concern is coupled with a supportive vitamin regimen to start to manage the imbalances identified. Speaking to patient individuality, the diet for histamine intolerance may be different from the diet for detoxification and different than what foods are most supportive if you have underlying infections. Each corrective plan is specific to the individual. There are certainly underlying commonalities in a migraine plan but observing individual factors drives the power of Functional Medicine in correcting a migraine syndrome.
Accepted Alternative Migraine Treatments:
There are many nutritional supports and alternative therapies that are generally well accepted as tools for decreasing migraine severity, frequency and duration. The majority of migraine patients who come to my office are already taking Magnesium, Coenzyme Q10 and Riboflavin. Many of these patients have started these supplements at the suggestion of their neurologist. Most patients are also well aware of proper hydration and dietary triggers, yet they still suffer. To keep banging on the model of “root cause for correction”, if you have not identified what your triggers are and where the combination of imbalances are in your system, you can take magnesium till you turn blue in the face, you will still be likely to suffer from headaches.
I will use different combinations of some of the well-known therapies outlined below. This list represents around 20-30% of the tools that I use, keeping in mind that root cause correction is often about treating the “why”, which does not always include supplements that are only designed to make you feel better. With that, here is a quick glance at some of the more popular supplements taken by migraine sufferers:
Magnesium is known to decrease the severity of blood vessel constriction that can cause migraine. As part of over 350 enzymatic reactions in the human body, and as a mineral that can become deficient with too much sugar consumption, Magnesium is a common deficiency. Knowing what kind of magnesium to take is important. Mag glycinate is one of my favorites and in a pharmaceutical grade preparation 400mg -800mg a day in divided doses can be very helpful. Too much magnesium can cause loose stool and doses can be modified accordingly.
Great food sources of Magnesium include:
- Pumpkin seed – kernels: Serving Size 1 oz, 168 mg
- Almonds, dry roasted: Serving Size 1 oz, 80 mg
- Spinach, boiled: Serving Size ½ cup, 78 mg
- Cashews, dry roasted: Serving Size 1 oz, 74 mg
- Pumpkin seeds in shell: Serving Size 1 oz, 74 mg
- Peanuts, oil roasted: Serving Size ¼ cup, 63 mg
- Cereal, shredded wheat: Serving Size 2 large biscuits, 61 mg
- Soymilk, plain or vanilla: Serving Size 1 cup, 61 mg
- Black beans, cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 60 mg
- Edamame, shelled, cooked: Serving Size ½ cup, 50 mg
- Dark chocolate -60-69% cacoa: Serving Size 1 oz, 50 mg
- Peanut butter, smooth: Serving Size 2 tablespoons, 49 mg
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, has been shown in many studies to decrease the number of migraines people have monthly. There is not a significant amount of information published on how B2 specifically works however, it is likely that the role of improving methylation and detoxification is the reason why. Revisiting our discussion on the connection between methylation and histamine this would make sense. Adult patients who have benefited from vitamin B2 supplementation usually take 400mg a day. Eggs, green veggies, lean meats and dairy products are good sources of B2. With respect to food sources, dairy is a rather common trigger for headaches and I usually omit it from the diet outlined for correction.
Coenzyme Q 10 has a link in increasing brain cell energy and aiding in oxygen delivery. Studies have shown it to take 4 weeks to decrease migraine frequency at 150mg a day. Food sources like salmon, tuna, organ meats and some whole grains are not as significant a source of Q10 as taking a supplement. If I am using coQ10 with an adult patient I start them at 100mg capsules 2x day.
Vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the chemical process of the body that breaks down histamine. Pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (P5P) is the active form of vitamin B6. Foods high in vitamin B6 include salmon, tuna, eggs, milk, beef, and carrots.
DAO supplements are available that may help some people who don’t produce enough of the enzyme. If, from reading this article, you believe your headaches stem from a histamine source, it is worth adding the enzyme to your diet. Studies have found that histamine intolerance symptoms can improve significantly when taking DAO capsules before meals. Pea shoots, the first few inches of the pea plant that come up in the spring tend to be high in the DAO enzyme. These are easy to grow in your garden and are a tasty addition to salad.
Quercitin is another powerful tool to decrease mast cell secretion of histamine if you believe your symptoms are histamine related. This supplement is taken between meals to be most effective in histamine suppression.
Feverfew, as its name suggests, is an herb that has been used to decrease fever. It is also a popular over the counter tool for many migraine sufferers. A number of small studies from years ago demonstrated migraine reduction between 24 and 40% and those who benefit from it swear by it. Parthenolide, the active ingredient in Feverfew is an inhibitor of inflammation and can stop vasodilation in certain individuals with high serotonin. This, when used for a few months, can inhibit the onset of migraine. I have not used feverfew to help with migraine syndromes in over a decade. When the root cause is identified and addressed, I have found it to not be needed. Feverfew should be avoided if you are taking prescription blood thinners.
Butterbur. Participants in a 2004 study were treated for 4 months twice daily with 75mg commercial butterbur extract from the shrub. Maximum response was achieved after 3 months resulting in an attack reduction of 58%. Long term use has been reported to show liver toxic effects and, for this reason, butterbur is no longer available in some countries. This is another tool that I have found unnecessary when the reason for the migraine has been identified and addressed.
Many Alternative Therapies have been documented to decrease migraine activity. Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage, Mindfulness, Meditation, Counseling, and many more techniques have stress reducing and physiologic corrective effects that can decrease migraine intensity and frequency. I have referred different patients to all of these specialties depending on the information they provide with their medical history. If your migraines became worse following an auto accident, chiropractic or physical therapy may help. If increased following an emotional trauma, counseling is warranted and if migraines are more common when you are stressed, massage or meditation may be supportive.
The 7 Pillars of Health; Exercise, Supportive Rest/Circadian Rhythm, Positive Mental Attitude, Optimal Individualized Diet, Proper Hydration and Pain Management are critical in laying the foundation to allow correction of migraine. More in depth info on my website here: https://drcshaw.com/downloads/7-pillars-of_health.pdf
Migraine Headache FAQ:
Do I have to follow a strict diet for life to stay migraine free?
No, once the system has re-balanced and after the root cause has been addressed, it is normal to be able to return to a more well-rounded diet. Observing and minimizing combinations of your specific food triggers that are consumed at the same time is usually a good idea. Many women find it helpful to be more-strict on their diet the week prior to menstruating or when other triggers like increased stress or significant weather pattern changes occur.
Do I have to stay on therapeutic doses of vitamins for life to stay migraine free?
No, once systemic correction has occurred, a supportive vitamin regimen for your weakest link is common. Is your link low DAO enzyme or MTHFR? You would take DAO enzyme with histamine rich foods, or stay on the proper Methy-B vitamin to support HNMT enzyme for maintenance. Is your system imbalance estrogen dominance or stress related? Your maintenance regimen would support proper hormone function or use stress management tools etc…
Is the use of pain medication a bad idea if a headache “gets ahead of me”?
No, the severity of a migraine warrants the use of pain control for quality of life. The goal with Functional Medicine is to re-create optimal physiology so you no longer need pain medications on a regular basis. In a dream world you never need pain meds again. Can they be used to break a cycle? Of course.
How long does it take with the Functional Medicine approach to correct migraines?
This is determined by many variables, the severity of the migraine sydrome, the combination of factors for why you suffer from migraine, the length of time you have been suffering and the speed that your body responds to the plan that is outlined. An average migraine patient will have 20-30% decrease frequency, intensity and duration of migraine in the first month. A good percentage of patients are migraine free by the third month, sometimes having a dull, non-problematic headache with a trigger like menstruation.
How and when do I discontinue my prescription migraine medication?
Once we have stopped the migraine cycle by identifying and correcting why you had headaches, you will no-longer require Rx medication. Most patients use their prescriptions until we have corrected the root cause. Certain prescription drugs like beta blockers have to be weaned off in a specific way depending on the dose that you are taking and how long you have been using them. Other medications that are taken “as needed” can be discontinued when you no longer need them.
What does a general Functional Medicine approach to migraine correction look like?
Following medical history and diagnostic testing, diet modification is used in combination with a clinically outlined corrective supplement regimen for the triggers that have been identified. Follow up blood work/diagnostics to confirm correction. Once you are migraine free, specific food re-introduction protocols are outlined and weaning from corrective vitamin regimen to a preventative list.
How much does it usually cost for migraine correction?
In my office, vitamin therapies range from $250-$350 a month for the first 2-3 months depending on what triggers had been identified. It is $500 for the first two office visits (Medical history and treatment plan) and $75 for follow up visits that are normally scheduled once a month. Toxic metal screen costs $140 and is not covered by insurance. All other blood work is usually covered by insurance.
A migraine is a symptom. Finding what combination of imbalances are causing this symptom is imperative for correction. Any combination of the factors discussed can trigger migraine activity. A careful, well thought out, diagnostic approach to addressing unbalanced hormones, overstimulated immune function, accumulative toxins, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, stress triggers and genetic variants is usually significant in freeing individuals from the grips of migraine activity.
Don’t give in to the notion that migraines are a way of life. If you are willing to modify your diet and address the underlying causes that are identified, there are well understood tools that can be used to recreate you as a migraine free individual. If you have tried magnesium, Co-Q10, riboflavin and diet change to no avail, there is a good possibility that there is something deeper in your system that you have yet to identify (often toxins, hormone issues or infections). A Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner should be able to help you take the deep dive and find some solid answers.
The only true way to fail is to quit looking for answers.
Health is a choice, Dig In!