Hopeless Migraine Sufferer

Healthy Livingon July 26, 20101 Comment

Dear Doctors:

I have suffered with migraines for almost 15 years now and have had MRI’s, xrays, blood work-ups, etc. The tests always say that everything is normal but I have intense headaches 3-4 times per week and I have just had enough! The doctors have prescribed various migraine meds, beta-blockers, and pain pills and I still have no relief. What would you suggest next?

“Hopeless Migraine Sufferer”

Dear “Hopeless Migraine Sufferer”:

First of all, we’d just like to let you know that we know what you’re going through. Over many years in practice, we have see migraines affect the daily lives and relationship of those who suffer with them. The inability to plan social engagements in the future, the strain on personal and professional relationships, and the fear that the quality of your life will always be compromised are some of the most devastating and life altering effects on migraine sufferers. Often times, the loved ones in the life of a migraine sufferer don’t really understand and you therefore try to “suck it up” so as not to put a damper on things. This adds additional stress. Estimates on the number of Americans who suffer from migraines range from 28 to 45 million.

Alternative medicine has often been helpful in treating migraine headaches. It has also been helpful in treating tension headaches and the two of them need to be differentiated: migraines are caused by vasodilatation in the cranial blood vessels (expansion of the blood vessels), while tension headaches are caused by vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels). If you are on a beta-blocker for something like hypertension, it might be making your migraines worse.

Migraines can affect the whole head or just one side and can switch from one side of the head to the other. Migraine sufferers are often sensitive to light, noise and odors and can experience nausea or vomiting. Bright lights, wavy lines or blind spots (often referred to as an “aura”) precede the migraine in many instances. Migraines are often triggered by emotional stress, chemicals (like the food additive MSG), coffee, barometric changes, menstrual cycles and changes in sleep patterns.

We have seen many migraine sufferers whose migraines have been either improved dramatically, been cured or occasionally have received no help at all through the use of alternative medicine.

We will now discuss specific cases and some of the alternative approaches that I have seen help, but I would advise you to never give up hope because we believe that there is always an answer even if you have not yet found it.

There are many different biochemical, hormonal and structural imbalances that allow common migraine triggers to do their dirty work. Here are a few of the most common that we have treated in our office:

• Hormonal imbalances – Reestablishing a normal hormonal balance and menstrual cycle is often of great benefit and can be tested through either blood or saliva samples.
• Jaw problems – also known as TMJ dysfunction, can also cause migraines.
• Chronic systemic Candida (yeast) can also be the culprit.
• Food allergies and sensitivities – Simply finding out what you might be sensitive to and what may be triggering your migraines and eliminating these items might just solve your problem. Testing through various laboratory methods may be performed.

Traditional chiropractic adjustments have been found to help many migraine sufferers. We have seen that in most instances chiropractic has been able to help most migraines to varying degrees. Tight muscles in the neck and at the base of the skull and other neck problems will often result in abnormal blood flow and therefore could result in migraines. The key to successful chiropractic intervention is to seek care before you have a full-blown headache. By being treated between migraines, the frequency and severity of the headaches can often be greatly diminished.

Acupuncture is another very effective treatment for migraine headaches. By stimulating some key acupuncture points, migraine triggers can be calmed and muscular tension can be relieved which can reduce the frequency and severity of many migraines.

To sum things up, the big idea here is that there is help for migraines and it does not necessarily have to be in the form of a little pill from the pharmacy. Just because you have not gotten relief from what has been done so far, do not give up! Alternative or natural medicine often takes a different approach to identifying and treating migraines. By working with your doctor to identify potential triggers, as well as eliminating or treating them, there is help for migraine headaches.

In good health,

Dr Heather

About drheather
I have been practicing alongside my husband, Dr. Ralph S. Cardin, for the past 12 years and have worked in the health care environment for over 29 years. Besides being a passionate practitioner, I am a proud mother of four beautiful boys. I am active in my church and my children’s school and enjoy cooking and exercising.


One Response to “Hopeless Migraine Sufferer”

  1. rita m bock says:

    Good report, my sister has had migraines for years and I pass any information along. I have heard low magnesium could be a posibility. Great t-shirt I will wear it proudly. I have not needed your services but it is summer with boats and bars for my pelvis. Blessings all around. Massage therapist is still great asset. Have a happy summer.

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