Migraine—it’s a headache!

…And no laughing matter. Many of us know at least one person among family or friends who suffers excruciating headaches. At their worst, migraines can send their victims to bed or to the hospital for days and sometimes weeks at a time.  It’s proven extremely hard to get a handle on chronic, recurring head pain, especially that which has its genesis in injury, allergies or genetics.

The Migraine Research Foundation whose only mission is to assist sufferers by providing information and support to end migraine pain, says “Migraine ranks in the top 20% of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses.”  Working under the adage that “only those who live with it can know,” Migraine sufferers number one in four American households.  More than 90% of those are unable to work or function normally during their attacks. While most sufferers might experience Migraine attacks as often as once or twice a month, some have excruciating headaches daily. In other words, the throbbing and ocular symptoms that might accompany the headaches never abate.

According to Medical News Today, “The condition is estimated to affect between 16 to 23 percent of adults aged 18 or older in the United States. A condition this prevalent has a substantial financial effect on the country. For example, one study estimated the lost productivity in the country, due to missed work, to be $5.6 billion to $17.2 billion per year.

“Although risk factors across the population and within individuals have been identified, predicting when and where a migraine might strike has proven difficult. For instance, potential migraine triggers include food ingredients, hormone fluctuations, stress, lack of sleep, and certain foods, such as caffeine and cheese.

“However, the chances of each individual’s trigger sparking an event, as well as the time at which it may begin, can vary substantially.”

It’s interesting that 18% of American women suffer as opposed to only 6% of men, but 10% of children suffer as well. Over the years, understanding of the illness has evolved first from medical doctors dismissing complaints as psychiactric in nature to today’s research that links the disorder to nerve pathways and brain chemicals. The study of Migraine is still very much a work in progress.

So, what to do about it naturally?

Dr. Kelsey Klausmeyer, a naturopathic doctor who used to live in Wichita, KS, was a frequent guest on GreenAcres’ now defunct radio program, “The Healthy Half Hour.” At the time that we consulted with him (2012), Dr. Klausmeyer was a hands-on physician with lots of experience with Migraine. On our radio program, he offered a link to new research being done by the American Academy of Neurology that may represent a breakthrough in the way traditional medicine looks at Migraine:  http://www.aan.com/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=release.view&release=1062 .

It was comforting at the time for many of our customers who suffered from migraine to hear what Dr. Klausmeyer had to say. Here’s is some information gleaned from his radio presentation:

“It’s now recognized,” said Dr. Klausmeyer, “that pain meds for migraine headache used too frequently actually can send a patient into ‘chronic migraine,’ not to mention other toxic effects of traditional medications. Instead of just relying on pain meds for acute Migraine, the AAN outlines what should be used to prevent Migraine.

“Most neurologists now recognize Magnesium and B vitamins (especially the use of B-6) as big helps in the prevention of the headaches in the first place.”  But he cautioned, “in severe cases, since the naturopathic supplements might not work as fast as medications, working the two together may be warranted.”

DSC02563For those who want to explore the world of GreenAcres and what 23 years of listening to customers and vitamin and supplement experts, such as Dr. Klausmeyer, have done for our knowledge to this point, you might want to check out these natural Migraine relief supplements:

  • NaturalCare’s Migraine for Men and Women (Belladonna, Bryonia Alba, Cimicifuga Racemosa among other ingredients)
  • Enzymatic’s Petadolex Pro-Active (supports healthy blood vessel relaxation in the brain)
  • Quantum Health’s MigreLief (a combination of Feverfew, Magnesium and Riboflavin—NOT recommended during pregnancy)
  • Health from the Sun-My-Grastick a roll-on safe for pregnant women who have migraines associated with hormonal fluxuations and who have experienced immediate relief by massaging it onto their temples.DSC02565 (400x300)
  • Kals Migra Defense (a complex capillary formula includes Butterbur, Magnesium, and White Willow among other ingredients.)
  • Hyland’s Migraine Relief (an old standby that works, is a homeopathic that contains Belladonna, Gelsemium, Nox Vomica and more. (Belladonna especially can be an allergen for some, so read those labels carefully.)DSC02564 (400x300)

Recently, CBD Oil (hemp oil extract) has been a big boon to migraine sufferers, and two of our Bradley Fair supplement team members recommend Sinol—an all all-natural nasal spray for fast headache relief, and if you’ve seen Cindy rubbing an essential oil on her neck, you know it’s Grey Matter Batter.

As you can see, there are no “smoking gun” remedies for Migraine, but as research continues, and there are more natural paths to symptom relief, a cure in our day and age may be just around the corner!

Please note not all of our GreenAcres Markets carry every supplement mentioned above, but all of our eight stores will carry some.