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Headaches and migraines are a common complaint among individuals seeking chiropractic care. Millions of people, predominantly women, suffer needlessly. In women, many times headaches and migraines may be hormone-related, especially during the menstrual circle and menopause. Headaches and migraines may have a number of symptoms of varying intensities affecting the patient during an episode, from throbbing and pulsing head and neck pain to light and sound sensitivity, and in extreme cases, nausea and vomiting. The pain and discomfort may last from several hours to several days, which makes life less enjoyable.
Important to remember: If the symptoms persist for an extended time period and have neurological indicators, such as numbness and tingling on one side of the body, vision problems and vision loss, and severe headache ‘like you haven never experienced before’ this time, you should immediately consult your primary care physician.
In the following post, we will discuss a few things you can do to help reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches and migraines.
Two of the major food allergens, wheat and cow’s milk, have been linked to headaches, especially migraines. In addition to those two culprits, other grain cereals, cane sugar, yeast, corn, soy, citrus, eggs, beef, caffeine, and chocolate have also been identified as causative indicators in over 150 different clinical studies. People who maintained a grain-free and dairy-free diets tended to see a decrease in pain and frequency of headaches and migraines.
Besides these major food allergens mentioned above, processed foods contribute to a number of ailments and allergies, even in people who are non-chronic headache sufferers. Processed foods contain a wide variety of chemically altered additives, such as coloring, flavoring (i.e. MSG), preservatives, artificial sweeteners (i.e. aspartame), and other additives, which promote severe symptoms in people with headaches and migraines. Furthermore, food sensitivities may also occur with the following symptoms:
- Bloating, gas, belching, or other digestive distress after meals
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Low energy or drowsiness shortly after a meal
- Nasal congestion and mucous discharge up to 7 days after eating an allergen food
If these are common after you eat, you may need to investigate if you have specific food sensitivities. One of the ways to help is by keeping a daily detailed food diary to determine what specific food seems to induce your headache and migraine symptoms, which in turn will help you heal your gut. The next step would be to eliminate the reactive food(s) from the diets and monitor the progress. It is also important during this time to read the food labels to ensure to avoid chemical food additives as a person can be sensitive to those, just as much as they can be sensitive to specific food items.
So, when choosing the foods TO eat to keep headaches and migraines at bay and overall health:
- Eat fresh, unprocessed, whole, organic, and non-genetically-modified foods from local sources
- Eat at least 1/3 of your food (vegetables, fruit, and nuts) raw or lightly cooked
- Grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish
- Avoid grains and other products that contain gluten
- Avoid any irritant foods that you’ve determined during the elimination process
- Avoid artificial sweeteners of any kind
When eating a diet of foods listed above, there may be very limited need for additional supplements as these food deliver many micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. However, here are a few supplements that may be helpful in reducing headaches and migraines, as well as general health:
- Ubiquinol, a reduced form of CoQ10 for improved mitochondrial function in healthy cells, tissues, and organs
- Magnesium for relaxation of blood vessels in the brain and body
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, & folic acid
Even though, this is an obvious example, exercise plays a very significant role in reducing headaches and migraines. Exercise is one of the best way of increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain and the body, increasing energy levels, improving the mood, and ultimately reducing headaches.
With Chiropractic, keeping the nervous system at optimal function by allowing the body to communicate to the brain appropriately is a vital aspect of spinal and overall health through a natural, effective, drug-free approach to health that promotes natural healing function and potential. Chiropractic allows the body to release the accumulated physical, mental, and chemical stress and further allows the appropriate alignment and movement in the spine and its structures. Chiropractors work with people of all ages, including newborn babies, pregnant women and children. Talk to your local chiropractor today and start on the path to health to maximize your nervous and immune system function that leads to overall more energy and increased vitality!
Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana
SCHEDULE THE FIRST APPOINTMENT FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY at 706.254.4579!