Migraine + Naturopathic Medicine

Migraine + Naturopathic Medicine

June 1, 2015

At our North Vancouver clinic we look at the whole picture when it comes to treating migraines. We take into account the complete medical, family, menstrual, and digestive history, we look at your lifestyle, seasonal patterns and diet. We then explore the possible genetic links, environmental triggers, mood and stress contributors. With this mind-body approch our goal is to identify the underlying causes of migraines and naturally eliminate the ones that lead to your condition.

Wonder why we look at all the angles?

STATISTICS: In adults between 18- and 65-years, the prevalence of migraine is estimated to be between 17 -21%, with a female predominance of 3:1

PHYSIOLOGY: The immediate physiological even leading to migraines is thought to be the dilation of vessels in the head, but what causes this in the first place is not fully understood. Blood vessels don’t just dilate spontaneously—they are presumably responding to chemical changes that are occurring in the body.

CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE: The bulk of the research in the area of migraines is on medication therapy; namely the use of anti-inflamatories, Triptans, and Ergotamine derivatives. The medications are helpfull, paradoxical as it may seem however, a surprising percentage of migraine headaches may be caused by migraine medication! The “rebound effect” of analgesic and ergotomine compounds has been implicated as a contributing factor for sufferers of daily headaches.

Now consider the following facts:

  1. There is a growing body of research that point to underlying physiological condition that influence the frequency and the severity of disease; for example Altered Gaba metabolism, which is a neurotransmitter is connected with some of the individuals with migraine. Genetic studies have also clearly shown that primary headaches (migraine, tension-type headache and cluster headache) are multifactorial disorders characterized by a complex interaction between different genes and environmental factors. The MTHFR gene, for example, responsible for folate metabolism ( C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene specifically), is one culprit for frequency of migraines.   Other family of genes hypocretin receptors (HCRTR1) and (HCRTR2) genes that regulated immune responses in the central nervous system have also been implicated in the disease.
  2. There is also a clear connection with the severity, periodicity, and frequency of the migraine attacked and the menstrual cycles in some individuals pointing to underlying hormonal imbalances.
  3. During gestation the cells of the brain and gut develop almost simultaneously into the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS), respectively. They remain connected via the vagal nerve lifelong.  This brain-gut-enteric microbiotal axis is involved in majority of migraine suffers particularly pointing the role of diet in management of the condition.
  4. Additionally most migraine sufferers have co-existing problems such as bowel problems, hypertension, TMJ misalignment, spinal subluxations/tensions, food allergies or intolerance, and environmental allergies  among others.

Our North vancouver and West Vancouver Naturopathic clinics  operate based on a holistic look at neurological conditions. We look at the whole picture and offer naturopathic migraine treatments that are natural and have lasting effects.