I had my first ever migraine headache when I was 19 years old. Up until this point, I had witnessed my mom have migraine headaches much of my life. I remember her telling me that a migraine headache is much more than a headache, and she sure was right.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a migraine headache is a headache that include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and/or sound, throbbing and pulsing pain in an area or all of the head, and can even last up to days.
On Friday, I got a nice migraine… it wasn’t severe and definitely wasn’t my worst ever. However, as a migraine sufferer, no migraine is a good migraine.
Back to being 19, I got my first ever migraine and my word was it a night. If I remember correctly, I threw up around 20 times… yes 20 times. In fact, the next day my abs felt as if I worked them out harder then ever before. After that I continued to get migraines relatively regularly. I went to the doctors and after a pair of glasses and 2 prescriptions, my migraines were manageable. And by manageable, I mean they were less severe and about 1 less per month. Between the lack of positive effects and the fact that I detest taking medication for daily living, I sought out other care.
Enter chiropractic care. Now please understand that I do not believe any form of medicine (whether holistic or not) to be the cure for anything. I do believe that balance in many areas of medicine as well as healthy living are the keys to health and complete wellness. Chiropractic care was unbelievably good to me. It was the thing that helped me live a normal life during this season of migraines. And chiropractic care also opened my eyes to holistic living in a new way.
Come to find out, my migraines were coming mainly from hormonal imbalances that caused my spine to “act out” if you will.
Years later, I do not regularly visit a chiropractor, although I wish I did. Yet my migraines are far and few between. So how do I then manage my hormonal fluctuations as well as my spinal alignment??
Food… yes that’s right, food! Friday night, I ate a cream cheese and ham filled tortilla. I really just ate about two bites, however for the 3 previous days, I had not consumes an ounce of dairy, wheat or yeast. When I consumed these things, my body flipped out.
And this can be greatly explained by a recent article I read in the New York Times. Dr. Dodick explains in this article that recent research suggest that migraine headaches (rather then normal headaches) are immunologic. This simply means that migraine headaches are in fact a reaction from your immune system rather then from stress, the weather or other factors. This doesn’t mean that those other factors do not or cannot effect your immune system as well, but this article sheds great light on what migraines truly are so that they can be prevented.
If migraines are immunologic, then migraines are the result of your immune system halting to and then attacking an invader. And if this is the case, then 98% of migraines come from food. Now just because you are not flat out allergic to a food does not mean you may not have a sensitivity to it. Therefore, if you are experiencing migraines, you can continue to stay on your medication for the rest of your life, or you can consider what you are eating. The best way to go about the latter is to keep a food journal and spend time reviewing it when a migraine comes your way. Also, if you are consistently having mild headaches, these could be a sign of a small but very real immunologic reactions happening within your body.
So what do you think?
Do you experience headaches?
How about migraines?
Can your relate your migraines or headaches back to any specific thing or food?
What do you think about the research Dr. Dodick shares in the article listed above?