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Stop Chronic Headaches Naturally

Updated on February 14, 2011

What Causes Headaches?

Headaches, scalp and neck pain can disrupt our lives. Though sometimes terribly painful, they are rarely serious.  Prescription medications and NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, Celebrex etc.) can be dangerous, even deadly, when taken regularly.  Knowing the most common causes and your personal triggers can eliminate headaches. 

Tyramine is an amino acid that causes vessels to constrict. It is found in: Aged cheeses including American. Aged, cured or pickled meats, fish, bologna, game meat, meat tenderizer, meat extracts, caviar, salted or pickled herring and other dried fish, and soy bean products, chocolate (sorry), alcohol, because of sulfites, coffee, not necessarily because of caffeine. Also, sugar, MSG, cow dairy, citrus (mostly oranges).

Other Common Causes

Stress . According to Ancient philosophy, a body's energy is a balance of Yin and Yang.  Yin represents the feminine, nurturing, and Yang, masculine, protective.  When out of balance for too long, dis-ease occurs.  There are only yang meridians in the head. Meridians are pathways for healing to occur on a molecular level. Headaches are excess yang energy.  It is as if the energy is protecting you from too much perceived chaos. We were never meant to deal with the stress we incur today.

Hormonal imbalance is usually due to low progesterone or excess estrogen, which usually occurs just before menstruation. A fluctuation in hormone levels can also cause headaches. Pharmaceutical hormones from non-humans and synthetics are NOT the answer. One example is Premarin, made from pregnant mare's urine. They are dangerous, and the body does not recognize them as needed hormones in the body. They mask some symptoms, like hot flashes, but your natural hormone levels continue to diminish, which leads to age-related diseases.  Natural biologically identical hormone therapy can make a significant reduction in headaches. 

Heavy Metal Toxicity is common, especially in industrial areas, particularity around Western New York.  Lead, mercury and cadmium are the most common heavy metal toxins. They kill neurotransmitters, which leads to neurological impairment. Of the people tested at our center suffering neurological problems, including chronic headaches, MS and thyroid disease, nearly all test high in heavy metals. Neither blood nor hair testing is an appropriate indicator. For one thing, it illegal in New York. Hair dyes and hair products can also compromise a hair test. Blood tests only measure recent exposure, not chronic exposure nor sequestered heavy metals. Unless you chew on batteries, cadmium is almost exclusive to smoking and passive smoke. Cadmium has a 30 year half life, too, so after thirty years of complete isolation from cigarette smoke, only half is eliminated. Heavy metal toxicity also causes joint pain, anxiety and a host of other illnesses.

Constipation is a sign of something out of balance. It can be from dehydration, among other possibilities.

Acupuncture is best for headaches, including migraines
Acupuncture is best for headaches, including migraines

Prevent is Easiest Solution

Prevention is the best answer, but if you get more than an occasional headache, here is what you can do.

  • Eliminate the most common culprits mentioned above, for ten days, then reintroduce one at a time . When the headaches re-occur, avoid the last food re-introduced. That may be your trigger. Remember, when you first stop, you may get worse for several days because your body is used to ingesting them, manufacturing chemicals to counteract them. It takes your body a few days to stop making the “balancing” chemicals.
  • Magnesium deficiency is strongly associated with headaches and generalized aches and pains, as well as anxiety, depression, hypertension, leg cramps, twitching, insomnia and more. Dose is to bowel tolerance (loose stool), then backing off until normal elimination. Calcium combined with magnesium is especially good for women, such as Cal-Mag by Vital Nutrients. Caution : Magnesium supplementation should be supervised by a physician in people with renal failure.
  • Take a good B-Complex . Studies show that people low in B-2, are usually deficient in other B’s. It is better to take a B-Complex rather than just one B. Our experience shows that people do better with a complex B and there are many other benefits to the other B’s. "The B's" affect many more functions in the brain and body. B12, for instance, helps prevent Alzheimer's and other cognitive impairments.
  • Feverfew is best for prevention, rather than as a treatment, by preventing the release of serotonin which can cause vasoconstriction. However, f you are already deficient in serotonin, it probably won’t work. In Dr. Ronald Santasiero’s experience, positive results are about 50/50, so it’s worth a try.
  • Acupuncture is one of the most effective treatments for headaches (and other pain) and safer than drugs. Massage therapy is also effective, especially when combined with acupuncture. For over 14 years, we have seen positive results treating migraines with acupuncture, usually with only 6 treatments or less.
  • If you experience bloating, constipation, loose stools or digestive problems, you may need digestive enzymes , especially as we age. Drugs that reduce acid, called Proton pump inhibitors, prevent vitamins and nutrients from absorption. The body also becomes dependent on them after long-term use, which makes it difficult at best to come off them.

    Commonly used proton pump inhibitors:
    Omeprazole (brand names: Losec, Prilosec, Zegerid, ocid, Lomac, Omepral, Omez)
    Lansoprazole (brand names: Prevacid, Zoton, Inhibitol, Levant, Lupizole)
    Dexlansoprazole (brand name: Kapidex)
    Esomeprazole (brand names: Nexium, Esotrex)
    Pantoprazole (brand names: Protonix, Somac, Pantoloc, Pantozol, Zurcal, Pan)
    Rabeprazole (brand names: Rabecid, Aciphex, Pariet, Rabeloc. Dorafem: combination with domperidone
    As with so many drugs, they do not address the cause of the problem. They do not "cure" anything. An experienced holistic doctor will tell you which digestive enzyme is best for you.
  • Stress Reduction is imperative. We are so used to stress that we often do not realize how much it affects us until experiencing headaches, neck and back pain and panic attacks. Learn simple meditation and commit to twenty minutes a day. Also, re-establish a proper sleeping pattern. Meditation is great for defeating the negatives effects of stress. You might be surprised at the plethora of studies showing the efficacy of daily mediation in the treatment of pain and chronic diseases and, as well as maintaining wellness. List your biggest stressors and list what brings you peace, relaxation and joy. Are the two balanced? Cross out the stressors you can learn to live without. Balance the ones you have to live with by doing more of what brings you peace and joy. Nothing out of balance works for long.

You really can stop chronic headaches. Some people do not want to put the time in to meditate and exercise daily, but when you think of the time and money wasted trying to get rid of chronic headaches, prevention is easy!



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    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 7 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi Caligirl,

      First, keep in mind that many companies measure milligrams combined with citrate. We use Vital Nutrients, because they use an honest number. For example, "Magnesium Citrate 250mg". That might only have 100mg or less mg of magnesium, versus Vital's which says "Magnesium 150 mg,

      (as citrate).

      In other words, if "citrate" is NOT in parenthesis, then you don't know how much actual magnisium you are getting. Whew!

      With that said, we start with two of the 150mg (pure magnisium) at night. If still constipated the next day, add one, so that's three at night, before bed, and so on. When you get a normal stool, then that's your dose. If it's loose, then back off one.

      I hope that helps. Please let me know. And thanks for reading and commenting.

      Dr. Cherie

    • CaliGirlsCorner profile image

      CaliGirlsCorner 7 years ago

      Hi Dr. Cherie,

      I'm thinking of trying the Magnesium therapy you mentioned. I get constipation from the Welbutrin I take. I am also thinking I am Magnesium deficient. What is a good mg to start with and increase until I get a loose stool? Thank you for such informative hubs.

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 7 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi again, tmbridgeland,

      Every human is gluten sensitive, but to different degrees. Grains continue to be pushed as healthy, but in reality, humans do not have the enzyme to digest them. Sometimes people have symptoms of sensitivity and don't put it together with the gluten. For instance, when I eat pizza or bread, which is VERY little, my intestines get bloated until the next morning. When Dr. Ron eats more than a slice or two, his knees ache from inflammation. It's good for people to pay attention and put their awareness on their body changes after eating gluten. Grains were made for animals, not humans. It's only been about 10000 years at most that humans have eaten grains, and not nearly as much as today, so we have not had a chance for the ability to digest them properly build into our DNA.

      Wheat gluten causes problems in humans, period. Must be a reason, right?

      Thanks for commenting. Appreciate it. And glad you've been able to realize what was causing your problems. Yea!

      Dr. Cherie

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      I must be gluten sensitive. Never been checked, but I don't need to be, I know my quality of life improved so much when I cut it out. Not just headaches, but seasonal allergies, joint injuries that didn't heal for 15 years, until I quit wheat and then they did heal. The human body is complex.

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 7 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hey there, tmbridgeland,

      Yes, you are sooo right! Wheat gluten is a bugger for so many problems, including headaches, swollen joints, sinus problems and so much more. people have no idea. I know what you mean about the pizza! I just don't trust anyone who doesn't like pizza!! But, we have to balance everything in our lives. I eat pizza, just not a lot. However, I really enjoy it when I do.

      I am so glad you read this hub and I thank you. I will also check yours out and see what you have to offer.

      Take care and thanks again.

      Dr. Cherie

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      This Hub is on the spot! I like the list of foods. I would like to add wheat gluten. For me, a sensitivity to gluten caused me terrible migraines until I figured it out by chance, when a diet I tried eliminated wheat, and my migraines went too. Pizza, with wheat and cheese, is the worst. I hate that, cause I love pizza.

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Thank you, lovelypaper. Please let me know if this hub has helped in any way.

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 8 years ago from Virginia

      Wonderful hub. Helpful information. Thanks.

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 8 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      I must say, I would try eliminating something else first!

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 8 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Are you sure chocolate? I guess I know where my headaches are coming from now...:*(