Migraine ChecklistA holistic approach to health means addressing all the potential factors in a condition and migraines commonly have a number of factors.
If you suffer from migraines, below is a list of things that you should check have been addressed as possible causative factors; one or a number of these factors can be involved.
- HYPERTENSION - This is one of the medical conditions that can cause headaches and migraines and these are medical conditions that need to be excluded by your doctor
- MAGNESIUM – Recently we recommended magnesium supplementation to a patient. She was reluctant as she had been taking a magnesium supplement already for 3 months however she had experienced no noticeable benefit.. We wanted to make sure she had a good quality magnesium that was being absorbed from the digestive tract into the blood effectively and from there being incorporated effectively into the cells. After 2 days on a good quality magnesium she called us to say she could not believe the difference and was feeling dramatically better. The quality and formulation of different magnesium supplements dictate their effectiveness.
- MSG – This is a flavour enhancer that is usually only listed as 621 on lables. It is in many foods, not just Asian fast foods. Hidden food sources include: ham, salami, sausages, flavoured potato chips, flavoured crackers, instant soups, gravy powders, stock cubes, chicken salt (on French fries) and other savoury foods. There are many brands that do not contain MSG so, once you know the good brands, an MSG free pantry is more than achievable.
- ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES – These are the 200 numbers such as 202, 222, 223 etc. Common sources include the processed meats mentioned above, wine (the most common offender), beer, dried fruit such as apricots jams, tomato sauce and other fruit-based preserves and sauces.
- HORMONES – Hormonal imbalances can be a factor for some women precipitating monthly migraines.
- FOODS - Certain foods can trigger migraines. The most common ones are oranges, chocolate, wheat and sometimes dairy. However, it is more likely to be the additives mentioned above that are in the food that are the culprits. When foods such as these are triggers, it is usually the result of daily consumption. Once identified, infrequent consumption of these foods is unlikely to trigger headaches.
- OMEGA 3 FISH OIL – Supplementation with omega 3 fish oil (not flax oil) can be an important factor for some people.
- MEDICATION- Certain medications such as the contraceptive pill can precipitate headaches and migraines. If in doubt about any of your current medications, check this with your doctor. The Medsafe datasheets for prescribed medications can be found online at: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/datasheet/dsform.asp
- MUSCLE TENSION – This can be a source of headaches and migraines. Useful approaches to address this include magnesium supplementation, taking a bath with Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) 2-3 times a week and a bodywork practitioner such as physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor or massage therapist. A suitable exercise program may also be part of addressing this issue.
There is a curious factor that may or may not be a factor for some migraine sufferers...
- BLOOD SUGAR – Some people get headaches when their blood sugar drops too low. Balanced blood sugar levels can be easily achieved by increasing the intake of dietary protein and replacing white sugar and white flour with complex carbohydrates.
- STRESS – This is best addressed by identifying the people whose presence appears to precipitate a migraine and then reduce your time with those individuals to the extent that you can. Alternatively, intersperse the contact by taking frequent breaks and practice deep abdominal breathing during those break times.
Holistic Medical Centre Dispensary Please note that some of the products we dispense, such at the Vitamin D 5000IU, do require a prescription from the doctor. If you have any questions regarding these products please contact reception and Melane or Kasey will be able to answer your questions.
Changing of the Guard
Our nurse Marcia has recently left our team to further explore her interest in IV therapy. It was sad to see her go but we wish her all the best with her new ventures! Tamara is a lovely nurse who some of you have met and she is our locum nurse for the next three weeks, and of course our wonderful nurse Karin is here on Fridays. On the 31st of March our new nurse Pamela starts with us and she will we working Mondays - Thursdays. Pamela comes to us from a very busy medical centre on the North Shore and we are looking forward to having her join the HMC team.