Most people will experience a headache of some sort at some point in their life. But, for some unfortunate headache sufferers, the pain and symptoms experienced during a headache may be classified as a migraine. The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that, according to research, approximately 12% of the United States population suffers from migraines. Not all migraine sufferers experience the exact symptoms but symptoms may include extreme pain, severe and/or recurring throbbing, sensitivity to light, sound and/or smell, nausea and vomiting, auras (visual phenomena), fatigue, loss of appetite, blurred vision, dizziness, and more. Migraine symptoms can leave someone incapacitated for a few hours or multiple days, making it not only extremely distressing and uncomfortable, but rendering common things like work, school, or other responsibilities difficult to complete.
Treating migraines can be tricky because there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. While some may be able to manage symptoms with over-the-counter medications, others may require strong prescriptions and pain killers (that come with other side effects) to alleviate persistent symptoms. In naturopathy, we believe in addressing not only the symptoms but care about investigating the root cause of migraines so that we can devise natural and holistic strategies to manage your migraines and alleviate pain.
Our highest priority is working with our patients to achieve improved holistic wellbeing. Rather than tackling symptoms that continue to reoccur, we aim to either reduce symptoms and make them manageable or find strategies that alleviate migraines altogether for a patient, based on their individual health. It is imperative that we work closely with patients to identify underlying factors in your lifestyle that may be triggering or worsening migraine symptoms. Lifestyle areas that are often addressed when naturally managing migraines include diet, food sensitivities, activity level, hormone levels, stress, quality of sleep, and more. We have to start first with the individual’s health history and lab work so that we can carefully tailor an optimal strategy for a patient.
Once lifestyle and general health have been examined and addressed, many different natural remedies, supplements, treatments, botanical and herbal remedies, and other strategies may be suggested to manage your migraine symptoms naturally. For example, dietary changes or elimination diets to determine food allergies and sensitivities, holistic strategies such as acupuncture and spinal manipulation, herbal and natural supplements such as magnesium, butterbur, feverfew, and riboflavin (Vitamin B2), etc. Additionally, we find that many patients can benefit from implementing relaxation strategies such as meditation, exercise, and sleep. All patients are unique and have an individual health history and that is why, at Health for Life ND, we work closely with our patients to find the best strategies and solutions for the migraine symptoms they are experiencing with the long-term goal always being managing or eliminating the root cause of migraine headaches through naturopathy.