Wednesday 13 June 2018

The Migraine World Summit Summary: Day 6

Day 6

Robert Cowan: Best natural, affordable and free treatments

One of the biggest problems with western medicine is the time pressure for consultations.

Behavioural & lifestyle changes are so important. Patients who follow this do the best.

Sleep – getting up at the same time each day even at the weekends (no lie ins!)

Diet – stress of diet can make headaches worse. Schedule for food and meal times and be consistent (let brain know when food is coming).

Exercise – Helps to raise endorphins so pain of 8 feels more like a 5.

These three components work best together;
1.Preventative meds
2. Acute meds
3. Anti-migraine lifestyle

There is no mention of lifestyle changes in the current guideline treatments for migraine. Why? Western medicine – quick fix.

Partnership between patient and doctor is key. You can’t just take a pill and expect to feel better. Work with each other.

He acknowledges it is VERY HARD for patients with chronic migraine!

Have a vision of wat you would like life to be about. See it and visualise it.

Tendency to overdo it on good days – enjoy good days but take it easy and don’t overdo it otherwise one step forward, two steps back. Progress NOT Perfection!

Important to make informed decisions on what you’re able to do or not do – what will be worth it?

Natural treatments – Roberts thoughts

1. Acupuncture: Culturally bound. Amazing results for some. Make sure you go to someone with training in traditional Chinese medicine.
2. Biofeedback: Big fan! Good evidence for it. Uses a technique to get feedback about all sorts of things we are not conscious of. Learn to relax and calm down the nervous system.
3. Mindfulness training: Live in the present. Don’t worry about the future or what has been. Good, well controlled studies of efficacy for migraine. Meditation – clearing mind. Mindfulness – focussing on the now.
4. Daith piercing: sceptical. Probably works as a placebo. No hard science.
5. FL-41 tinted lenses: Certain wavelengths of light can be more painful for some people. Study found can actually make worse when glasses worn all the time. Can become more light sensitive all the time. Can be very soothing to wear at times.
6. Food allergy and sensitivity test: weak data and no clear triggers. More important the time and frequency you eat. Probably not worth your time, pain and money. Cutting out gluten – FAD.
7. Ketogenic diet: worse than a migraine itself HA! Mixed data for it. Originated by treating epilepsy. Wouldn’t recommend.
8. 5:2 diet: No evidence for migraine. Migraineurs don’t do well with disruption to routine.
9. Vegan diet: If healthy and feel better then great. Epiphenomenon – more energy etc but not migraine specific.

Find a diet you are comfortable with and be consistent!

Migraine: Either too sensitive to external stimuli or internal stimuli (e.g. hormones).

1. Ginger, turmeric and saffron (potent anti-inflammatory) not many great western medicine studies.
2. Ice packs for acute attacks? YES. Ice was the first anaesthetic used.
4. Epsom salt baths – anecdotal studies
5. Magnesium, riboflavin, coq10 and calcium (good data for migraine)
6. Probiotics – good for health. No data for migraine.

Neck tension & Migraine
1. Chiropractors: in clinic they see the worst outcomes of chiropractic care (paraplegic). Very wary!
2. Physical therapists & osteopaths


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