Thursday 30 April 2020

The Migraine World Summit: Day 6

*This post is not sponsored by the Migraine World Summit but I am a participant in the Migraine World Summit affiliate program. This means I earn a commission from any qualifying purchases of the summit made through my link.

Non pharma approaches for migraine?

Every migraine patient should be taking magnesium.

-        Up to 50% of migraine patients are deficient in magnesium
-        Serum magnesium blood test is unreliable – best for everyone to try taking magnesium

Diets are often poor in nutrients. Stress and chronic illness deplete nutrients. Even if you have a very healthy diet, TAKE THE SUPPLEMENTS.

Genetic factors:

-        Vitamin deficiency
-        Not absorbing nutrients properly
-        Kidney problems – mag deficient

 Which supplements are good for migraine?

-        Magnesium
-        CoQ10
-        Vitamin B2
-        Vitamin B12
-        Feverfew
-        Frankincense


-        Only helpful if deficient, you have a bout a 50% chance that it will help
-        Some people are unable to absorb it properly and need an injection
-        400mg per day. Some take this dose twice a day.
-        Take it with food. Don’t take with calcium.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

-        Cold hands
-        Night cramps
-        PMS
-        Brain fog
-        Palpitations


-        Vitamin B2
-        Trial – took 3 months to work
-        Makes your urine turn bright yellow
-        Not to be used in pregnancy


-        1/3 migraine patients are deficient
-        Effective if deficient
-        Harder to tell if deficient usually best to just try
-        100 – 300mg daily dose
-        Best to take in morning as can give people energy


-        150 mg better than placebo
-        Toxic as plant
-        UK and Germany don’t allow product


-        Grow your own
-        Eat in in a salad or add to tea
-        Very safe
-        Its very effective for some patients
-        Good to get it from Germany as they are very rigorous in their manufacturing protocols


-        Anti-inflammatory spice
-        Ginger capsules for anti-nausea

 Should we introduce the supplements one at a time?

-        If clear there is a mag deficiency then best to start there
-        Add a few at a time just don’t start them all on the same day

Swedish study: 40,000 migraine patients. Frequency of exercise up – less headaches.
3 groups of patients

1)     Topamax
2)     Relaxation
3)     Exercise

All 3 groups did equally well at reducing migraine.

Magnesium can be very dangerous if you have poor kidneys.
People can have allergies to supplements too so something to consider.
Pregnancy- avoid any herbal supplements

How to approach non pharma options with your Doctor?

-        Come prepared to appointment. Bring the scientific paper as evidence for why you want to try something.

You have many options and may don’t involve medications”.

-        Our brains are wired to change
-        Activities we engage in can strengthen or weaken these circuits

-        Intentional practice
-        Paying attention to present moment without judgement

Focusses attention
-        Focus on breath
-        When thoughts/emotions arise. Notice them, acknowledge them and then let them go.
-        Non-judgmental and focus on breathing

Open monitoring
-        Tuning into other sensations
-        Being aware without appraising them
-        Takes practice to be able to learn to do it

How does mediation change the brain?

-        SNS (fight or flight) vs PNS (calm) – mindfulness enhances our parasympathetic nervous system.

-        Neuroimaging during meditation: the areas of the brain that light up; emotional regulation, concentration and attention.

-        Brains of meditators have differences to non-meditators. Hard to tell if they are born with it or there are changes in the brain due to meditation itself.

-        Change the structure of the brain – mindfulness – focussed intended practice – not relaxation

Stress is the number one reported trigger for migraine

Stress has two parts:
1)     Our perception of the stressor
2)     Our response to the stressor

Let down stress linked to migraines – the change in level of cortisol.

Mindfulness meditation & chronic pain research?

-        Global research
-        May help people relate to headache and improve disability associated to headaches
-        Emotional control

-        New York study looking at mindfulness – changes in disability – decreased disability
-        Pilot study – stress reduction – improvement in headache duration

-        Italy – study with CM patients with 20+ headache days & MOH. 2 groups (1) meds, 2) mindfulness). Both groups reduced severity, frequency and intensity of attacks. Not randomized study so potential bias.



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