What to Do When You Have No Idea Why You Have Migraines
So, you’ve had a few migraines, and now you are beginning to realize, this is becoming a problem. Maybe the headaches are getting worse, more frequent, or lasting longer. A conventional doctor probably told you there wasn’t much they could do, so they threw a few medications at you in the hopes that one would stick. The medication makes you tired, your appetite is a mess, and sleep is a teary subject.
Basically, you’re deteriorating.
What do you do when you have no idea why you suffer from migraines? Where do you start? How do you help yourself? In this post, I will guide you on your next four steps.
I have worked with patients who have migraines, adrenal fatigue, and thyroid dysfunction for two decades, and these steps are always part of the process. Treating this kind of chronic condition can look overwhelming at first, but I’m a huge fan of baby steps, so here are your first four toddles.
Step 1: Do the Elimination Diet
The elimination diet helps treat migraines for many of my patients. This is an intensive diet that will, at the very least, clean out the toxins in your body. It is one of the most widely accepted migraine diets in the medical community, and it’s regularly used in treatment plans.
With the elimination diet, you’ll want to remove groups of food that are well-known triggers, such as dairy, gluten, fake and added sugars, and caffeine. The elimination diet takes about one month to complete. Here are the basic steps, but you’ll want to plan this out by reading my articles on the diet.
- Remove all contents from a danger food category for three days
- Reintroduce items from that category for three days
- Remove the food again for three days and track symptoms in a diary
This three-step process is done because food can take up to three days to manifest symptoms. It will take attention to detail, but my article and elimination diet food list will be very useful.
Step 2: Get a Full Thyroid Investigation
Thyroid testing is step two because it needs to be done immediately. If you need to beg your doctor for a full thyroid investigation when you are suffering from migraines, then that is not the right doctor. Thyroid disease is a common migraine trigger. There are some things you can do on your own to test thyroid function:
- Check your temperature before you get out of bed in the morning. Very low or very high temps at this time could indicate thyroid dysfunction
- Feel for swelling around your neck, especially below the Adam’s apple or just above the collarbone
- Check for symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Use a checklist or write them down.
The wide range of normal thyroid hormone levels means that even if you’re in the normal range, there could still be a problem. A full thyroid panel will help you investigate options more carefully.
Step 3: Take Magnesium, No Matter What the Tests Say
Even if your magnesium levels look normal on your blood tests, take a supplement anyway. Why? Because nearly half of all Americans don’t receive enough magnesium, and magnesium studies have shown that regular supplementation can reduce the frequency of attacks by 41.6%.
Step 4: Take a Probiotic
Starting a probiotic will help your gut get back on track during this discovery phase. Our bodies make both good and bad bacteria. The bad stuff contributes to disease, and good bacteria can promote health.
Research shows that migraines are commonly associated with gastrointestinal diseases like leaky gut syndrome. Patients with gut disease have a higher prevalence of headaches. This study showed:
- Improving gut bacteria can reduce inflammation
- Probiotics help strengthen the gut
- Good gut bacteria and stronger gut permeability leads to better brain function and healthier levels of serotonin
Getting onto the right track is essential when you learn that you have migraines. As with all chronic diseases, an overwhelming sense of worry becomes a regular visitor. It’s important to keep a positive, can-do attitude, especially if you’re at the beginning of this condition. Things may get worse before they get better, but these first steps will help get you started.