Are you stopped in your tracks with migraines?
Migraine headaches can be a debilitating disorder causing lost days at work and even causing a trip to the emergency room for pain control. Traditional medical treatments involve treating the symptoms once they arrive. Functional medicine looks to answer what CAUSES the migraines. It helps identify the underlying triggers that cause the visual changes, sensitivity to light and noise, the pounding in the head and the nausea and vomiting that is so often associated with a migraine.
Migraines can be caused by:
- Sensitivity to foods: we often think we only have a sensitivity or allergy to a food if we have a rash or immediate reaction. Food sensitivities can be very subtle and only when tested or eliminated is it recognized as a trigger for a migraine.
- Vitamin B deficiencies can lead to migraines. Comprehensive vitamin testing can be performed with functional medicine labs and supplementing with vitamins even in the healthiest of diets may make a big difference.
- Hormone imbalances: Migraines are the most common in women in the teenage years as well as the perimenopausal years when the hormone levels are fluctuating – hormones act like a symphony and when one instrument is out of balance, the entire orchestra is out of tune.
- Chemical triggers hiding in our foods and air: get rid of processed food that might include MSG (monosodium glutamate), nitrates (deli meats) and sulfites (dried fruit, wine) and even artificial sweeteners.
- Mitochondrial imbalances: mitochondria are the powerhouses and energy producers of our body. While mitochondrial issues are often associated with fatigue, muscle aching and brain fog, sometimes the only symptoms are migraines. Testing special compounds in the urine called organic acids may be helpful in finding out if this could be a root cause of migraines.