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Functional Medicine Approach For Migraine

Published on 15th March 2023

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What are Functional Medicines?

Functional Medicines are medical treatments that eliminate the root cause of illness and chronic diseases.
Besides curing the disease, they help in preventing it from recurring later on in life.

There are different functional medicines for different ailments.


What is Migraine and its Symptoms?

A migraine is a headache that often affects one side of the head and can be extremely painful, throbbing, or pulsating. It frequently comes with high sensitivity to light and sound, strong smells, movements, nausea, and vomiting.

One of the leading causes of impairment among those under 50, around the world, is migraine headaches.

At least 39 million Americans, according to the American Migraine Foundation, suffer from migraines. Due to their high prevalence, severe suffering, and relative difficulty in being treated according to the conventional medical approach, migraines have been dubbed the "hidden pandemic."

A prodrome, which is characterised by increased drowsiness, weariness, and irritability, frequently precedes migraine attacks. Before the pain begins, some people may notice a unique aura, such as flashing lights, tingling, or trouble speaking.

An aftereffect of migraines known as the postdrome, often known as a "migraine hangover," includes weariness, difficulties concentrating, bodily aches, and sensitivity to light. Someone may experience a migraine for days or even weeks at a time, which frequently makes it impossible for them to engage in normal everyday activities like going to work or school.

Causes of Migraine:

Migraines are still a complicated condition that can be influenced by a person's environment, genetics, and way of life. Although the precise physiologic malfunction causing migraines is yet unknown, it most likely stems from both brain and vascular dysfunction.
Migraine attacks can be triggered by a variety of factors like

• environment,
• emotional stress,
• irregular eating habits,
• too much of caffeine, alcohol. cheese, chocolate,
• overuse of painkillers
• food preservatives and specific allergic chemicals,
• flashing lights and loud noises,
• overexertion,
• jet lags,
• change in sleeping patterns,
• dieting and dehydration,
• Hormonal changes
to name a few...

Multiple triggers or a severe single trigger can result in causing migraine.

Migraine is considered as a ‘threshold’ disease as it is usually triggered by an accumulation of events known as threshold.

An electric depolarization wave is emitted in the brain when triggers are met, activating neurons and causing the release of chemicals like calcitonin that lead to widespread vasodilation and inflammation.

Functional Medicines and Treatments for Migraines:


Functional Medicine practitioners can provide meaningful and long-lasting benefits to migraine sufferers.

✅ Food Sensitivity Detection When eliminating the typical food triggers is insufficient to relieve migraine symptoms, a food sensitivity detection can offer important information about what other particular dietary modifications might be beneficial. A selection of Food Sensitivity Detection Panels from various laboratories are available at Rupa Health. These panels detect IgG and IgA antibodies in the bloodstream against particular meals. This information can be used by practitioners to design a customised elimination diet for each patient.

✅ Nutrient evaluation Numerous nutrient deficits, including those of magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, cobalamin, CoQ10, carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamin D, have been linked to migraines. By using nutrient testing, you may determine which vital nutrients are deficient in your patient and design a custom supplementing schedule that is suited to their individual requirements.

✅ Comprehensive Stool Test The stomach is frequently the first place where disease starts, and migraines are no exception. Patients with IBS symptoms and those who suffer from migraines share a lot of same symptoms. Recent research has found out linkages between the gut and the pathology of migraines. Treatments that particularly targeted the microbiome reduced migraine frequency and severity as well.

A comprehensive gut health test can provide insight into underlying pathologies contributing to migraines.

✅ Nutrition Dietary interventions are powerful tools in the treatment of migraines. Numerous studies have found elimination diets to reduce migraine severity and frequency effectively. You can create an elimination diet based on the common migraine food triggers or tailor a customized elimination diet based on food sensitivity testing.

The Ketogenic diet is another dietary strategy that might help people with migraines. There are proven neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet, which was first used to treat seizures. D-BHB in particular has been found to change cerebral metabolism in a way that avoids some of the cerebral irregularities seen in migraine patients. Ketone bodies are an alternative source of fuel for the brain.

✅ Supplements There are a number of nutritional supplements that have shown benefits in migraine treatment. Two popular options are Magnesium and Riboflavin. Riboflavin, given at a dose of 400mg daily, has been shown to reduce migraines’ frequency and severity and reduce the usage of abortive migraine therapies. Numerous studies have also revealed that magnesium, when taken daily in doses ranging from 300 mg to 600 mg, significantly lessens the frequency and intensity of migraines. There are also combination supplements that combine riboflavin, feverfew, magnesium, quercetin, and coenzyme Q10 that may be more convenient for a patient to use.

Summary: Migraines are an extremely painful and distressingly common ailment of modern times. Migraines are typically multifactorial, resulting from imbalances in someone’s diet, lifestyle, genetics, and environment. Functional Medicine testing has the power of personalisation built in, which can successfully prevent and treat migraines. Food sensitivity testing, nutrient test, and microbiome analysis can be done to find the root cause of the problem and suggest customized treatments for the patients! To your health.

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