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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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