Migraine is a condition with diverse symptoms, primarily a severe headache and nausea. While the tendency runs in families, the exact cause is unknown. One theory says migraines are kick-started by abnormally low levels of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that regulates pain perception. According to the National Headache Foundation, the list of migraine triggers is extensive and includes: barometric pressure changes, too much or too little sleep, stress, bright sunlight, intense heat or cold, muscular tension, hormonal shifts, loud noises, chemical odors or perfumes, overexertion, and a broad range of foods that includes aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, canned foods, artificial sweeteners, MSG, red wine, beer and processed foods of all kinds.
One of the best long-term strategies to prevent migraines naturally is to supplement, urges says Stuart Stark, M.D., medical director of the Neurology & Headache Treatment Center in Alexandria, VA. “Most natural strategies that ease migraines can take several weeks or months to show results, so many supplements are unfortunately abandoned prematurely,” As always, check with your doctor or health care practitioner. Try these one at a time, for at least three months, to determine their efficacy, before moving onto prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
GUT BRAIN THERAPY: You can trigger-proof your digestive tract with Gut Brain Therapy’s two-part protocol, which works to strengthen the enteric nervous system housed in your gut. The Foundation Formula “feeds” the gut with easily digestible proteins derived from fish, and the Renew Formula stimulates liver and kidney function with an herbal blend that includes milk thistle, dandelion, beetroot and artichoke.
Research: A small study published in the Alternative Medicine Review found that 80 percent of the participants who took Gut Brain supplements for three months reported improvements in the severity and frequency of migraines. Follow the label guidelines.
COENZYME Q10: It’s not clear exactly how the vitamin-like substance known as CoQ10 works, though it might improve the brain’s ability to metabolize glucose, Halpern says.
Research: A study published in the journal Neurology found that CoQ10 could reduce migraine frequency by up to 50 percent. Take 100 mg, three times a day.