7 Steps to Heal your Migraines

Healing migraines can happen, especially when you understand some of the root causes of this debilitating condition.

I’ve seen people fully recover from chronic migraine headaches time and time again using the seven simple steps listed at the end of this article

There are four primary triggers for migraines reported in the scientific literature:

  • Stress (emotional, physical/excessive exercise, fasting/hypoglycemia, sleep deprivation)
  • Foods (sensitivities, allergies, intolerances)
  • Hormones (female hormonal cycles, hormone replacement, oral contraception)
  • Cellular Energy (mitochondrial function)

You can heal your migraines by eliminating trigger foods and adding in high-quality supplements!

Through my clinical practice, I have found that eliminating trigger foods is the fastest route to healing. While working on my recent book, The Elimination Diet, I examined research explaining how food sensitivity and intolerance reactions can increase stress, alter hormones, and drastically effect the production of energy in each and every cell—the other three primary triggers for migraines!

Whether a person is 10 or 92 years old, changing the diet has helped more people with migraines than anything else. When nutritional supplements are added in, well over 90% of people that present in my practice with migraines improve tremendously. The vast majority rid themselves of migraines all together.

As a Functional Medicine trained nutritionist, I get e-mails from people around the globe asking for my help. One of the most common requests is “what can I do for my terrible migraines?"

I want to share this story of one of my recent clients—a 10 year old boy named Jeremy.

Jeremy was missing out on his childhood. Every week he would get one to two incredibly painful migraines (9 out of 10 on a pain scale of 1 to 10) that would last two to three days. Much of his time was spent lying in a room with dark sunglasses on while he took a pile of supplements and medications. His mother had emailed me claiming she was worried that her son was missing most of his school year. As a father of five active children, I couldn’t bear to hear of a child imprisoned by his pain. After all, a 10 year old boy is supposed to be jumping and running outside!

During our phone consultation, I gave her a list of 11 different foods to eliminate from his diet (see list below), passed her some of Ali’s delicious recipes that were free of these foods, and recommended they consider giving Jeremy Epsom salts baths 3-5 times a week (see instructions below)

Within three days, Jeremy’s mom emailed me and asked: “Is it possible that we are already seeing results?” His pain had dropped and he was beginning to get relief. By the fifth day, his pain was gone. When he ate some candied nuts that were coated with sugar and wheat flour on day 8, his headaches came rushing back.

7 Things You Can Do Now To Heal Your Migraines:

1. Eliminate these Foods to Heal Migraines:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Yeast 
  • Corn
  • Sugar
  • Citrus
  • Tea
  • Coffee 
  • Chocolate
  • Beef 
  • Alcohol (for adults)

If you would like step-by-step personalized guidance from us in finding your food sensitivites then you can look into joining our online Elimination Diet Support Program. We also have an Elimination Book that details the entire program along with 125 recipes. Interested in more? Check out our Elimination Diet page with a link to 4 Free online cooking videos featuring delicious elimination diet recipes. 

2. Easy on the additives

Avoid foods with sweeteners, additives, and preservatives such as MSG; nitrates and nitrites (found in cured meats); aspartame (found in soda and other “Sugar-free” products); and sulfites (found in wine, salad bars, dried fruits).

3. Go to Bed!

Go to bed before 10pm every night to ensure restful sleep, and minimize or eliminate screen time for at least 2 hours before bedtime. 

4. Don't Starve yourself

Make sure you are eating enough during the day and always eat a nutrient-dense breakfast. Food deprivation and hypoglycemia are a form of stress, which can trigger migraines.

5. Late Night Light Snack

If you are waking in the middle of the night, try eating a light snack one hour before bed to stabilize your blood sugar. 

6. Relieve stress

  • Epsom salts baths are fantastic for both stress relief and as a source of magnesium. Both of these are effective for reducing migraines. 
  • Deep breathing and meditation are phenomenal for stress relief. 

7. Add in high-quality nutritional supplements.

One studied compared injectable magnesium sulfate to a well-known combination of migraine medications (Dexamehtsone/Metofloparmide) and found it to be twice as effective at lowering pain within both 1 hour and 2 hours after treatment!

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 400mg per day. 
  • CoQ10 (QBest*): 100mg 2 times a day for 45 days or longer. 
  • Magnesium Taurate or CitraMate: 400-800mg per day

*Qbest is a proprietary form of CoQ10 from Thorne Research that has superior bioavailability. In absorption tests, it appears to be better than most forms of CoQ10 including ubiquinol. 

 

References

  1. Comparison of Therapeutic Effects of Magnesium Sulfate vs. Dexamethasone/Metoclopramide on Alleviating Acute Migraine Headache
  2. High-dose riboflavin treatment is efficacious in migraine prophylaxis: an open study in a tertiary care centre.
  3. High dose riboflavin as a prophylactic treatment of migraine: results of an open pilot study.
  4. Efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial

Stay up to date with the current science and recipes that can help make your family healthy.

Comments

Hello... Been battling migraines and working with a functional medicine doctor in Seattle who recommended your cookbook/website. I've heard of these food triggers but wondered about tea. All tea or just black and green tea. I drink herbal tea (ginger and peppermint). Is herbal ok?!

Heather~ Avoid all teas from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis). Herbal teas that don't contain any flavorings are great. Yes to peppermint and ginger teas! :)

Would sugar found in fruit such as berries, bananas, apples be ok?

Debilitating migraines have lead me to consider a distilled water fast, I'm seeking local physician oversight. I suffered a TBI that started the slew of headaches, including tension, migraine and cluster. Fasting with just some green juice mix made me feel pretty good, the day i started to break the fast with just one food, i was hit with a nauseating, painful head explosion. What would you suggest, deter? It is possible that my brain is actually still swelling. My diet is vegan, gluten and soy free, the one difficulty is coffee but i will go days at a time without. Likely starting a new fast this week...

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