Headaches and Migraines

 

As with all of the many symptoms a person can have, headaches are the body’s way of alerting the person to the fact that something is wrong. I was stunned the first time someone said to me “yes, I get normal headaches”! There is no such thing as a “normal headache”. I like many others only experience one to two headaches a year, while the other population may experience headaches daily. All headaches mean something, and can mean several different things.

Headaches (all types) plague more people in the United States than perhaps any single symptom (except fatigue). Headaches can be simply an annoyance, or severe, such as a migraine – incapacitating the person for up to several days at a time.

You don’t have to suffer! There is a causative factor (or factors) and once that is discovered, treatment can commence and a life without or with very little headaches. Our lives should not be dictated by our symptoms.

Headaches located at different areas of your head mean different things – different causes. In other words, if your headache is on top of your head it means something entirely different than if it’s located between your neck and head, or on your forehead.

So what are the causes of headaches? There are lots of reasons. Low blood sugar can cause headaches (missed or prolonged time between meals), toxic overload in the liver, fatigue, stress (physical or emotional), neck tension, digestive difficulties, alcohol in the blood or accumulated in the liver, loud noises, bright lights, inadequate sleep (and sometimes too much sleep), smoking or exposure to smoking, imbalanced hormones, strong odors such as perfume or cleaning supplies, sinus infections or congestion and allergic reactions.

Certain foods can trigger headaches such as foods which contain the amino acid tyramine (found in red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs and some beans), chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG – an additive in many foods), processed meats (contain nitrates), pickled or fermented foods, dairy products, caffeine and onions. Mineral imbalances can also trigger headaches.

Some people do well during stressful periods, and then when the stress is gone, the headache comes.

What can you do about it? First find the offender. If it’s something in your diet, eliminate it. That sounds simple, but it isn’t always easy to find. You need someone who is skilled in helping decipher your symptoms (all of them, not just the headache – after all, you are a person, not a set of symptoms!)

Treat your headaches naturally. Don’t depend on drugs. The problem with drugs is that while they may help initially, the load they cause on the liver generally leaves you more susceptible to the next headache and it then becomes a vicious cycle. Chiropractor Bret Wickstrom in Greenville NC has knowledge and experience with whole food nutrition.

Different types of hydrotherapy (hot or cold packs or baths) can be very helpful, especially with migraines. Some people get relief by taking an enema (cool water or coffee enema). This eliminates the toxic burden in the colon and if using coffee, the liver too.

Some people also use guided imagery or meditation. Yoga helps some.

But the most effective methods we have found are utilizing chiropractic care, nutrition and detox programs. Eliminating the toxins will reduce the load on your liver so that it is more effective in dealing with headaches, reduce your chemical sensitivities, help your body regulate sugars better and much more.

Chiropractic is a very effective way to manage headaches. Studies on chiropractic alone show that headaches are reduced in intensity by about 80% and frequency by 50%. When nutrition is added the results skyrocket and most headaches are alleviated totally, without residue.

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