I’ve been a strong opponent of the way we treat migraines in this healthcare system. In general, we keep trying different medications until the doctor finds a medication that reduces or stops the headaches. Then we all jump up and down and pat each other on the back and call the process a success. If this is the approach your doctor has taken, then there ARE times when an everyday headache can be dangerous to your long term health.
Headache, cerebrovascular symptoms, and stroke
Headaches, regardless of the type or label, are an indication of something wrong. Whether physiology is imbalanced, whether the body is toxic and the brain is revolting, whether the headache has a musculoskeletal cause. There is nothing “normal” about a headache.
Genes, migraines, stroke. Overall, there is absolutely no doubt that migraines are NOT a problem isolate to the head. They are a problem with the health of the overall patient. This is why we see an increased risk of conditions like stroke and heart disease in migraine sufferers.
MIGRAINE TREATMENT HAS TO INCLUDE LIFESTYLE, NOT JUST PAIN MEDICATION. I have said again and again that the treatments for a migraine have to be body-wide, that the problem is systemic but is manifesting as pain in the head. That is why patients with migraines are at increased risk of things like heart disease and stroke; in this study over twice the risk.
Prevalence of unexplained upper abdominal symptoms in patients with migraine
Looking at recent literature on migraines, it becomes evident that we are approaching treatment from the completely wrong angle. Migraines are slowly being recognized as manifestions of dysfunction in the entire body. Oxidative stress. Toxin overload. Mitochondrial dysfunction. The medications used to treat migraines in no way address these factors. The best approach to migraines involves lifestyle changes to impact the systemic problem. If uncorrected, migraine patients have a higher risk of stroke and neurodegenerative disorders.
This article supports the systemic links w/ migraine, suggesting that migraineurs have higher likelihood of having digestive complaints.
The association of migraine with stroke is becoming stronger and stronger and it is well past the time for physicians to stop treating migraines with pain meds and look at the entire patient. Just medicating the patient pays no attention to the underlying physiological imbalances that are present and allow them to occur unchecked.
The responsibility is also on the migraine patient — they need to understand that to truly address their headaches that, in most cases, major lifestyle change overhauls are going to be necessary.