Headaches can be a tricky thing to treat, and there are so many effective options if you’re willing to investigate. Headaches are one of the top five reasons for emergency department visits and top 20 reasons for outpatient visits.
The exquisite pain and tension of chronic headaches can be a pain in the, well, head! If you have ever had debilitating pain before then you know how it can stop normal daily functioning, work performance, enjoying time with your kids or friends, and it can especially tank your mood. Aside from popping Tylenol or Advil, which can have some negative side effects, what can you do once it starts?
The American Association of Family Physicians claims 38% of migraine sufferers could benefit from preventive medicine, but only 13% of people use prophylaxis.
“Some indications for preventive therapy include four or more headaches a month, eight or more headache days a month, debilitating headaches, and medication-overuse headaches. Identifying and managing environmental, dietary, and behavioral triggers are useful strategies for preventing migraines.” (1)
The class of headache drugs called Triptans are for moderate to severe headaches. These act on serotonin receptors in the brain. Usually over the counter pain relief is the first drug of choice. These can be effective, but finding the root cause could stop the need to refill that prescription.
What do naturopathic doctors look into when evaluating your migraine?
So many factors:
- screening as to what kind of headache you have
- muscle tension
- ergonomics in the workplace
- family history of headaches
- hormones (particularly lower estrogen)
- Body inflammation
- seasonal/environmental allergies
- food allergies/intolerance
- liver clearance
What are the solutions?
Again, so many things!
- Testing for food intolerances, and faulty liver pathways
- Physical therapy: massage, physio, osteopath, chiropractics
- Liver supporting herbs such as rosemary and milk thistle
- Hormone supports
- Decreasing your environmental chemical load at home
- Vitamin B2
As horrible as it is to have such pain, it may take a few tries to support your body to detoxify, build healthy hormones, and give your brain the nutrients it needs. The good thing is that headaches are easy to track, and keeping your symptoms logged on a phone app or in a chart can be reassuring that treatment is working.
I am happy to support you support your body. Call the Natural Care Clinic to book an appointment and to start your journey to health.
All the best,
Dr. Mollie Brennan, ND