Managing My Life with Migraines
I’ve had tremendous success with the rainbow diet listed in The Edge Effect by Dr. Eric Braverman. I started with that and added in the supplements and food to increase my serotonin levels. Most people that suffer from migraines are low in serotonin and melatonin levels. It’s important to track these. The test I took from Braverman’s site/book were also confirmed by my lab work through the endocrinologist. I also discovered after following The Migraine Cure book and working with an endocrinologist to test my magnesium levels that I was very deficient. I began raising my levels taking magnesium citrate (420 mg minimum daily) as recommended by Dr. Braverman’s book. This is the ‘Master mineral’ needed to reduce frequency of migraines, and keep our bodies function.
I learned that migraines can be the result of these elements conjointly: overload, stress, and deprived nutrients in the brain. I also learned to take a combination of melatonin (3 mg), vitamin B6, and kava kava at bedtime to assist me in pineal restoration. This gland produces the hormone melatonin. When your brain is in pain, sleep is disturbed and your depletion levels just drop forever. That is until you restore them daily. The endocrinologist I saw guided me to safely restore my hormone levels to their optimum levels.
Females – estrogen 250-437 pg/mL, progesterone 6-28 ng/mL, DHEA-S 250-380 ug/dL
Males – estradiol <25 pg/mL, progesterone 1-1.2 ng/mL, DHEA-S 500-640 ug/dL
These are all discussed in Braverman’s book and listed in The Migraine Cure by Sergey Dugan, MD, PhD and Lynn Sonberg – a wonderful resource.
I had been dealing with migraines for 15 years and was determined to stop taking meds. It took 4-5 years of research, trial and determination, but now I don’t remember when I had my last migraine. I used to keep a log of migraines (4-6 per month) and food triggers etc. I’ve been off meds for 3-4 years now. There isn’t just one part of my lifestyle I changed it was all inclusive.
I also determine a list of triggers as well as the food needed to support brain function. Avocado (dopamine production), blueberries (BDNF production), Curcumin (turmeric) and omega 3s all have been shown to raise BDNF levels and protect your brain. Sunflower, pine, pumpkin, walnuts (anti-inflammatory), almonds, cashew, sesame support brain nutrition. Most studies I read discussed that patients with chronic migraines had lower levels of BDNF. I also used intermittent fasting to increase my BDNF production. The act of resting our guts periodically then triggers a cascade of hormone events in our bodies with boost our body’s repair mechanisms. If you feed the brain you’ll learn that ‘brain fertilizer’ will allow you to be prepared to fight these reoccurring migraines.
It took me over a year to boost my biochemicals from diet changes. Then I shifted to tailor one, more specific to my blood type, lifestyle, and stress level. Sometimes I would go a month or so without running, horseback ridding, or even stepping foot into my office. I was in too much pain and on lots of pain pills. It was very disheartening to wonder if I would ever feel better.
Now I drink Matcha Green Tea daily, organic Liquid Jade by The Tao of Tea is amazingly good. The full leaf powder contains amino acids, L-theanine (calmness), high antioxidant levels, and EGCG (stimulates alpha brain waves). These important neurotransmitters (glutamate molecules) rapidly cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate alpha waves. I noticed a big difference in hydration when I began drinking 9.5 pH alkaline water.
After I’d restored my body and brain with the best organic foods and nutrients I found, I also discovered it was important to eliminate all GMOs. I completed a liver cleanse twice in a year to detox the buildup from taking meds. I also had the amalgam (a mix of mercury, silver, tin, and copper) fillings replaced with resin composites.
Once I feel a migraine coming on I get a fresh shot of wheatgrass on an empty stomach (complete absorption). Amazing benefits: Chlorophyll (anti-inflammatory), vitamin A, B-complex, C, E, Iron, K, magnesium and calcium- great for healing. This works quickly, remember to keep calm and quiet for an hour (30 minutes minimum – really) I listen to classical to shift my brain into alpha and relax.
If I feel I’m still heading for the train wreck, before the tears and nausea arrive, I sip a double dose of Runa tea or last resort an espresso shot. Eat a small piece of sprouted bread or something in 5 minutes. This also reduces the inflammation, the coffee sometimes results in headache later, but it’s not a migraine. I relax in the dark with a cold pack behind my neck at the the base of my skull (C1, C2 area), this time at least an hour. The neurotransmitters need time to shift to an alpha state. Allowing my brain to focus on instruments as the pain slowly declines works well.
A quick way to increase your magnesium levels is transdermal. I take hot baths with 2 cups of sea salt, 1-cup Himalayan bath salt, 2 cups baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), 3-5 drops lavender oil and soak for 20-30 minutes, then rinse. Occasionally add a detox component of 1-cup Aztec healing clay – calcium bentonite). When I stopped the meds, I used this process, shifting every other day and I followed up with a swim in a salt water pool. I allowed my body to rejuvenate faster.
Additionally, I’ve discovered other sources to balance the PEA in our brain and alleviate pain by enhancing our Endocannabinoid system.
Please comment if you would like for me to share more on any of these topics.