Natural Remedies for Migraines
When most people get a migraine, they think of drugs like ibuprofen. Many are unaware that there are natural remedies available for migraines. In fact, natural migraine cures may be more effective and pose less risk.
A migraine "attack" can be so debilitating it can impair someone for hours, or an entire day. It can even cause some people visit the ER.
When people first experience migraines in their life, they may believe something is severely wrong with them....some people go so far as to have an MRI and other tests performed.
After a physician gives you a diagnosis and tells you that you may be suffering from migraines, which have a multitude of triggers, you may feel alone in your search for natural remedies for migraines. This search can be exacerbating for some people because pain killers do not work for everyone equally, and once the pain starts, all you feel you can do is lie in bed and wait for it to go away.
But all is not lost, because researchers continue to look for unique approaches to treating the pain. For those researchers with an open mind, they often take a “step back in time” and look at natural migraine cures, because modern medications simply do not work for everyone, or have undesirable side effects.
For example, some of these modern migraine medications may create a dependency, even if they are effective. Stated differently, as long as you take the drug, you feel better, but should you stop the meds, the condition quickly returns.
Years of research has shown that often migraine pain is triggered by consuming certain foods. Identifying the trigger food or foods should, in my opinion, be viewed as one of the natural remedies for migraines. Preventing a condition from occurring is preferable to treating it after it arises.
Of course, it is easier said than done, and you may want to seek some advice from your doctor, dietitian, or naturopathic doctor. This strategy entails a detailed process of eliminating a long list of suspect foods and then “challenging” those foods by gradually adding them back into the diet.
This process may take months before the identification of personal triggers can be obtained.
Many people, understandably, are unable or unwilling to take the time to do this, so they continue to suffer or they resort to daily medication that can have unwanted side effects and pose long term health risks. But there may be another option, according to researchers who have been investigating and evaluating some “old-fashioned” natural migraine cures. There are several theories.
We owe a debt to all of the people who have gone through the whole elimination-challenge process. Because of them, we know that some foods are much more likely than others to trigger migraines, while others are never or rarely the culprits. In general, fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables and rice are “safe”. So, a diet consisting of only the safe foods is commonly suggested as one of the natural remedies for migraines.
The interesting thing is that people who have allergies are also “safe” on this type of diet. Migraines have not usually been considered an allergic response, but they could be.
It is easier for many people to stop eating a specific food for a period of time, rather than a long list of “suspected” foods.
Research has shown that the most common allergic food triggers are wheat, orange, egg, tea, coffee, milk, beef, corn, sugar and yeast, in that order. Eliminating some of these foods could be the natural migraine cures that you have been searching for.
The hardest food to get out of the diet is wheat. You know that it’s in bread and pasta, but it is a very common food additive, found in packaged spices and prepared dinners. It’s probably easier to start with something like milk or orange, but more people are allergic to wheat and wheat gluten than was previously believed. Not only could it be the root cause of your migraines, but it could also be causing digestive disorders and other health problems.
This may be another type of allergic reaction; if not, it is very similar. Observational studies have shown that many people experience a migraine after taking an analgesic or pain killer. They had a common everyday headache, so they took an aspirin. But, instead of relieving the pain, it continued to worsen until they ended up with a full blown migraine.
No one knows exactly why, but it may have something to do with blood vessel dilation. There is no specific analgesic to avoid. Any pain killer on the market could trigger an attack. So, although it may seem odd on the surface, avoiding over the counter or prescription pain killers may be a course of action to consider.
Instead, you should consider incorporating the use of some herbs, such as feverfew or butterbur. They are botanicals that are considered natural remedies for migraines, but chemical evaluation has shown that they are not natural forms of salicylic acid or aspirin.
Feverfew is one of those old fashioned natural cures for migraines that merits a new look. The active ingredient is believed to be parthenolide and some manufacturers specify the content of that compound in their products. There have been a number of studies conducted over recent years, and it has been shown to be effective in as many as 70% of all cases. It can also be used to relieve other forms of pain, such as joint, menstrual or muscle, without fear of triggering a migraine.
Butterbur is one of the different natural remedies for migraines, in that it must be taken on a regular basis to prevent attacks. It works in about 50% of all cases.
Other Natural Cures for Migraines
There are other new and interesting products. Vitamin and enzyme supplements, including riboflavin and bromelain, have proven successful in many cases studied.
New nutritional supplements designed to improve the function of the liver, kidney and intestines are now on the market. There is only a small amount of research to support their use, but what there is looks promising.
A naturopathic doctor studies such things and a good one will be aware of the newer products, even if the ingredients are herbs that have been around for centuries.
A highly trained naturopathic doctor can also recommend other natural remedies for migraines and help tailor a treatment plan that works for you. The importance of this cannot be overstated because of our unique biochemistry: what aids one person may not benefit another.
Should you decide you'd like to inquire about the services of a naturopathic doctor regarding not only natural remedies for migraines but any health ailment, please feel free to fill out the form below. My name is Dr. Rami El-Hussieny, and I am an ND who currently practices in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, MI.
Much more than natural remedies for migraines discussed back at the Home Page