Try These 3 Natural Remedies to Reduce Your Migraine Pain

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Migraine Pain: 3 Natural Ways to Fight It

Try These 3 Natural Remedies to Reduce Your Migraine Pain | Naturopathic Dr

I know you’re probably always on the go, always moving, and you almost always have something to do. I also know that having a migraine makes it practically impossible to do anything.

It’s not a minor inconvenience. It’s actually an obstacle to success. And you shouldn’t have to just deal with it.

But, if you’ve had migraines for a long time, you probably feel like you’ve tried it all and that there’s no solution.

Well, I believe that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. In fact, I don’t just believe it – I’ve seen it.

Now we just have to get you there. 

With these natural approaches, we can drastically reduce, and maybe even eliminate, your migraine pain.

Understanding Migraines

Try These 3 Natural Remedies to Reduce Your Migraine Pain | Naturopathic Dr

While many people think of migraines as really bad headaches, that would be an oversimplification of the actual problem.

For a long time, migraines were believed to be the result of constrictions and dilations of blood vessels in the head. However, recent evidence suggests that migraines are actually a neurological disorder caused by genetic mutations.

Pain from migraines is typically incapacitating and last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. They’re often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, dizziness, and numbness or tingling in your extremities.

They most often affect people between the ages of 18 and 55, and in the United States, about 18% of women and 6% of men experience migraines.

About 25 to 30% of people who suffer from migraines experience auras, which last anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.

Auras can act as a warning sign for an oncoming migraine. But they can also be disorienting.

Different people experience different aura symptoms. Some people have reported seeing sparks, bright dots, or zig zags in their line of vision. Others feel tingling on one side of their body or find it hard to speak clearly.

One of the key characteristics of migraines is that everyone experiences them differently. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.

A naturopathic approach focuses on determining what will work for you.

Treating Migraines

Try These 3 Natural Remedies to Reduce Your Migraine Pain | Naturopathic Dr

There are many ways to treat migraines by boosting your body’s natural healing abilities. From incorporating botanical treatments, to changing your diet, migraines are treatable and can be reduced, if not eliminated altogether.

Here are a few different natural approaches to treating your migraines.

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential to your body for so many reasons. It helps bone and heart health. It can reduce the symptoms of PMS. And it helps lower blood pressure, along with lowering your risk of diabetes.

For all of these reasons alone, you should probably increase your magnesium intake, especially because it is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies.

But magnesium is also good for you because it helps reduce the occurrence of migraines.

Studies show that up to 50% of migraine patients exhibited lower levels of magnesium during migraine attacks. It also found that brain magnesium concentrations were often 19% lower in patients during migraine attacks compared to healthy controls.

Magnesium is particularly effective in patients who experience migraines with auras.

You can take magnesium as a supplement or try increasing your magnesium intake through the food you eat.

Some foods rich in magnesium include:

  • Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Tuna
  • Black beans
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate

All of these foods are pretty delicious, and with enough magnesium in your system, your body will be ready to fend off the next migraine attack.

Botanicals

Research on migraines has looked into the botanical treatment of migraines and come away with some promising results.

Feverfew is one of these treatment options. Migraine sufferers can exhibit elevated serotonin levels during an attack. Feverfew contains the chemical constituent parthenolide, which can inhibit the release of serotonin. 

There’s some debate on how feverfew should be administered. Some people say that it needs to be taken regularly for about 4 to 6 weeks before it becomes effective. Others say that it works for them when it is taken at the onset of a migraine.

Another good botanical option is ginger.

In a study that compared the efficiency of ginger and Sumatriptan (a prescription medicine) in reducing or eliminating migraines, ginger performed just as well as sumatriptan did.

But overall ginger performed better because it had less adverse side effects for the user than Sumatriptan did.

Another great thing about ginger is that it’s readily available at your nearest grocery store and can be ingested easily in tea.

By using these natural approaches to your migraines, we’ll be able to manage your pain more effectively.

Diet

One more treatment option for migraines is altering your diet. Many migraine sufferers have reported success with elimination diets.

You may notice that certain foods seem to trigger your migraines, and you’re not alone. Many people have food allergies that set off or exacerbate their condition. Actually, about 20% of all migraines are believed to be caused by food sensitivities.

Some recognized triggers are food containing tyramine and phenylalanine. These include aged cheese, beer, yogurt, red wine, and chocolate.

Food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame (artificial sweeteners), and sodium nitrate are also common triggers.

A study of 60 patients with migraines showed that the average number of foods causing symptoms was ten per patient.

The most common foods were wheat (78%), oranges (65%), eggs (45%), tea and coffee (40%), chocolate and milk (37%), beef (35%), corn, cane sugar, and yeast (33% each), mushrooms (30%) and peas (28%).

It may seem scary at first to try an elimination diet, mainly because this food often makes up a lot of a person’s diet. But in this study, the total number of headaches for all of the patients fell from 402 to 6 per month, with 85% of them becoming headache-free.

So while the diet seems restrictive at first, the pain-relief you’ll experience is well worth it.

The Takeaway

Try These 3 Natural Remedies to Reduce Your Migraine Pain | Naturopathic Dr

It can be incredibly frustrating when a migraine interferes with your personal or professional life. But your body has the incredible ability to heal itself, and it’s time to take advantage of that.

The thing about migraines is that they affect everyone differently. You deserve a treatment that’s tailored to you.

Come into my office today, and we’ll find a treatment that works best for you.

About The Author:

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National College for Naturopathic Medicine (now called The National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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