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September 17, 2013

Dear Dr. Whimsy,

Hello Dr. Whimsy, I’ve been suffering with chronic daily migraines for the last 8 months. I’ve had every diagnostic test possible and have seen numerous doctors and was hospitalized as well. I’m currently on a gluten free diet and I limit my dairy intake. I was also diagnosed with endometriosis and had laparoscopic surgery last month. What other suggestions do you have for me to improve my quality of life? And help me get better?

Thank you,  

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to write me. Migraines can be one of the most debilitating conditions a person can suffer from. In the case of classic migraine the suffer may experience pain, nausea and photophobia (sensitivity to light). They may even experience flashing lights or stars and a sensation of floating and dizzyness.

In addition to lab work and imaging to rule out a possible lesion, your doctor may also want to run a comprehensive hormone panel; as some migraines have been linked to hormone fluctuations. You may also be experiencing food sensitivity, so it might be a good idea to make an appointment with a naturopath and run what is known as a “Comprehensive GI Health Panel”. While the test can be expensive, it can tell you what foods you may be sensitive to and what foods you should avoid.

Migraines are also known as “vascular headaches” and have shown improvement when people were prescribed a class of medications known as “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibators” or (SSRI’s).” In this population, taking 5-HTP, a precursor to serotonin, along with a B6 complex and magnesium (available in either pill form or powder) seems to help. I especially like the product Calm by Natural Vitality. And my favorite brand of 5-HTP is produced by the professional line Thorne Research, We currently offer both products at Erewhon. For herbal support you may want to consider herbal formulas that contain Butterbur (Petasitidis hybridus). Butterbur is an herb that has been used by herbalist as a traditional remedy for migraines.

Furthermore, some people have experienced improvement after seeing a chiropractor and discovered that they had an undiagnosed subluxation (misalignment of the spine) and that their health was improved after receiving an adjustment. This group of migraine suffers also seems to improve with gentle stretching exercises like Hatha yoga.

And finally, some migraine suffers improve simply by remaining hydrated and adding electrolytes to their water and including coconut water in their diet for additional support.

I hope I helped give you a few suggestions to think about and wish you well on your journey to good health.

Sincerely,

Dr. Whimsy

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