Headaches come in all shapes and sizes, and consequently there are many different types. Pain robs us of our time and of quality moments with our family and friends.
It is important to understand that each individual could have a unique trigger for headache. It is key to address the root cause when treating headaches, otherwise it is hard to manage the discomfort of headaches and their reoccurrence long-term.
Headaches can present as tension, cluster or migraine in terms of type.
Treatments vary from diet changes, nutrients, botanicals, balancing hormones, treating thyroid, and structural chiropractic adjustments. Headaches respond extremely well to nutritional treatments. Through healthy substances we can make true life changing differences.
Integrative medicine is a comprehensive, science-based approach to medical care that draws on the best of many different specialties: natural medicine, allopathic (or conventional) medicine, diagnostic testing, nutrition, metabolism, detoxification, nutritional supplements, customized diets, acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage, among others. In integrative medicine, natural medical therapies are preferred as a way to mimic and enhance the body’s natural, healing abilities while minimizing unwanted side effects.
Our team of doctors and practitioners at Progressive are trained to determine the appropriate lab work to get to the root cause of your migraines. There is hope!
Here are some of the potential causes traditional medicine may not have considered that could be causing your headaches.
Poor diet and stress can lead to what is known as “leaky” gut. This is when the tight junctions in your gut loosen due to inflammation triggered by low quality foods and toxins within the body. The main way to heal the lining of the gut is to remove those pro-inflammatory foods along with your food allergies.
Your gastrointestinal system is the key to neurotransmitter production and overall nutritional balance. When there is inflammation, these imbalances can take place.
Removing dairy, gluten, wheat, corn and soy that are typical pro-inflammatory foods will give your intestinal lining time to heal. I often get the question, “how long does it take to heal my gut lining?” The answer will vary for person to person. The average time is 6-9 months. A lower level of inflammation does not mean permission to re-introduce all of the pro-inflammatory foods again. Work with your integrative doctor or nutritionist to determine what is best to eliminate from your diet and when to re-introduce other foods.
Hormones must be in harmony to keep you headache free. If thyroid, sex hormones, or cortisol levels are imbalanced, you are more prone to headaches. It is very important to order lab work that will measure the complete function of these organs.
For example, measuring thyroid hormones go well beyond thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). A full thyroid panel is key to determining your overall thyroid function and this is missed in mainstream medicine. Here at Progressive Medical Center, we take a comprehensive thyroid panel picture in order to make a full assessment of the activity of your thyroid.
A sex hormone panel, drawn at the appropriate time, will provide great insight into what role these hormones may play in triggering your headaches. For example, progesterone supports normal functioning nerves. When progesterone is decreased in the body, nerves can become inflamed. This can lead to migraines.
Keep track of how you feel just prior to your period and after to provide a clear picture of your symptoms to your integrative doctor. This will help him or her to further target your plan while results are pending.
Our body is made of 70% water. Our cells thrive on pure water to keep us clean and lubricated. The rule of thumb for water is half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 lbs, that would be 60 ounces of water per day.
Remember to increase your water intake if you are exercising or hanging out in the infrared sauna.
Stress, whether physical, mental, or emotional plays a role in the body. Stress affects your gut lining by increasing “leaky” gut. Stress affects your blood pressure and heart rate which, in turn, affects your overall body.
Environmental stress is another area that is not commonly discussed. Your body’s store of antioxidants such as glutathione, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and mineral status determines how you well you will respond to free radicals or oxidative stress levels. If your body is not able to properly decrease free radicals, you will have more imbalances in your body. This, imbalance, can represent itself in the form of migraines.
Consistent high stress on the body will also affect the adrenals. The cortisol level will begin to fluctuate outside of normal levels which will put the body in the “fight or flight” status for prolonged period of time. This tires the adrenals.
Tired adrenals can lead to you getting colds more frequently, feeling tired, no matter how long you sleep, increase the likelihood of migraines and put stress on the thyroid.
Your grandmother was right. If you stand up straight, you will be less likely to have headaches and back pain. Motor vehicle accidents or other falls can contribute to misalignment within the body. It is best to get a physical assessment by a Chiropractic doctor to determine your structural status.
It is time to start treating your migraines by looking at yourself as a whole. Find an Integrative doctor in your area to support you by doing the proper testing and providing a treatment plan based on your whole picture, not simply your migraines.
Progressive Medical Center has a team of doctors with over 100 years of combined Integrative Medical experience treating patients with a variety of ailments, including migraines.
The focus is to address the underlying causes of illness, not just the symptoms, and to promote health of the whole person- mind, body, and spirit. If you are looking for a different approach to solving many of the medical issues and symptoms that plague millions of people around the world on a daily basis, then consider Progressive Medical Center.
The principles of integrative medicine: