One of the most frustrating issues I dealt with for many years was severe migraines – they came and went in phases.. there were times when my migraines were so incredibly bad I would lay in the dark bedroom for hours and hope they would go away when I fell asleep.
But in many cases, I would wake up and my migraine would still be there.. A migraine is almost paralyzing – you are sorely limited to what you can do – watching kids is almost impossible when your head is pounding, and I remember many instances where my spouse would come home from work JUST because I was crying on the phone about the pain of my migraine getting incredibly worse.
My main go-to at the onset of migraine pain was always Ibuprofen – though even half of an 800mg pill would knock me out and make it impossible to wake up. I wanted to know what other options I had and deal with them on a more natural level to alleviate the pain.
Obviously I’m not a doctor, but everything that goes on with my body leads me to do a lot of self research – whether it’s my kids, my husband or myself, I read about everything. When my boys had problems with their teeth several months ago, I did a great deal of reading to determine what could be the cause of their dental decay, eventually determining that their body was in desperate need of minerals and vitamins. While the raw milk they drink does help, the grains that they were consuming were pulling all the minerals back out.. so changes were needed.
I worked hard to cut back grain consumption (not completely but as much as we could) and supplemented with Fermented Cod Liver Oil. We also whipped up our own remineralizing toothpaste, too – and as a result, we are seeing great improvement in their dental structure.
When my husband returned from his deployment to Iraq in 2011, he struggled with PTSD and anxiety. Regular doctor visits led to prescriptions for several medications, all of which eventually contributed to ill-gut health and colitis. Through a change in diet (organic, raw whole foods), exercise, and the use of supplements including essential oils, he’s in a much better place. He has pulled himself off almost all of his medications and feels great – but it didn’t come easy.
A headache is nothing but an indicator that your body is missing something – whether that’s the food you eat .. or, the fact that you may have a nutrient deficiency that is contributing to the pain. When you have a headache, your body is telling you “hey! I’m off kilter – pay attention to me! I need some help!”
There are several reasons your body can be struggling with frequent migraines – these reasons can also offer some relief naturally without the use of medicines or prescriptions. Sometimes just a few simple life changes can have a profound affect on your health.
Less than 30% of US adults consume the recommended daily allowance of Magnesium… and less than 20% get even half of what they are required each day (Src). It’s no wonder why we are always tired and stressed with headaches. A magnesium deficiency can lead things like constipation, anxiety, muscle cramps, anger, high blood pressure, fatigue, headaches, and even more. (Src)
There are several reasons why we are deficient – one of the biggest reasons is the pesticide being used on our food (Corn, Soy, Wheat, Cotton, etc.) – which deplete the soil of the minerals required for not only good soil health but also for our good gut bacteria. There are also other reasons why a magnesium deficiency happens too ~ it involves what you eat, how you feel, and what you take to deal with the effects of those put together.
- Consumption of Sugar: For every molecule of sugar we consume, we need 54 molecules of magnesium to process it.
- Daily Stress: Constantly, from money issues to lifestyle problems, even health problems. We deal with that stress daily and it drains us. Stress hormone production requires a high level of magnesium, and when we stress it depletes our magnesium stores.
- Medications: Prescriptions and Over the Counters can both deplete our magnesium stores – as well as caffeine. Not to mention that the fluoride in your toothpaste competes for absorption with magnesium too (make your own all too easily!)
- Processed Foods: Foods that are processed (which account for 85% of what is on the shelf in stores) are highly stripped of the nutrients your body needs. They are loaded with sugar as well.
You’ll want to increase your daily magnesium intake – with raw dairy, grass fed pastured meat, and vegetables like broccoli, squash and leafy greens. Or, take a supplement of magnesium (200-60 per day) to help find relief.
When you consume large amounts of sugared drinks, alcohol and caffeine, you can experience some of the worst migraines or headaches.
Do you find yourself with frequent headaches? IF you do… grab a glass and drink up. Because your body (and muscles) rely on that potassium and sodium to operate effectively, when you are dehydrated, your body sends signals that you need to drink up. And obviously, drinking water makes things MOVE through your body (I don’t think that I need to get visual on that…) – but you can’t eliminate waste properly if you aren’t drinking water.
Don’t like water? Not many people do – after all, it’s not like soda where the taste keeps you coming back for more. Soda companies know just how to fabricate that soda to keep you putting your lips back on that straw. Water is a challenge..
If you cant drink plain water, I would encourage you to add Lemon or even Grapefruit to your water – it makes a HUGE difference!
Some essential oils can be a wonderful way to allieve nasty headaches – Peppermint and Lavender are two of the most common. Peppermint Essential Oil helps support healthy circulation and blood flow of the forehead and can soothe muscle contractions – therefore making it a wonderful go-to oil if you suffer headaches.
Lavender, on the other hand, is a sedative and a mood relaxer that can provide relief. Put a few drops in your hands and rub your hands on your forehead, behind your ears and down the back of your neck. You can also make a roller blend with 10-20 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and top off with a carrier oil to help provide relief that you can “roll on” as needed.
More times than not, many of us deal with a late cycle (some of us, early perhaps). A late menstrual cycle means estrogen dominance while an early cycle (22 -26 days) means that you are under adrenal stress.
When it comes to estrogen dominance, we see everything from weight gain to depression.. anxiety issues, hair loss, infertility, irregular cycles, miscarriage and in some extreme cases, tumors. Heavy menstrual cramping is also a sign of dominance… as are migraines and headaches.
When you are estrogen dominant, your body does not produce enough progesterone to balance our estrogen – you need progesterone for fertility and pregnancy. Both estrogen and progesterone work together harmoniously, but when you are deficient in progesterone, your body stands a greater chance for estrogen related symptoms (disease can happen much faster).
(Birth Control pills are estrogen based so they can actually contribute to dominance).
Maintaining a balance is important, and there are several ways you can do that:
- Avoiding stress
- A diet that is free of pesticides and antibiotics (think local, grass fed pastured beef, and joining a CSA for local, organic produce)
- Sufficient rest (8-10 hours) *
- Exercise often – 20-30 minutes a day
- Natural progesterone supplement
- Eating foods high in Fiber – fiber helps the body get rid of excess estrogen that is in the bowel
Those four ways are just a few of MANY alternatives – it’s amazing what a few simple life changes can do for your health – but it takes a willingness to read, research and commit to those life changes to see any results.