Are you somebody who keeps a bottle of Tylenol on hand because you’re constantly dealing with debilitating migraines and headaches? You don’t know why you’re getting them, but you do know that you are OVER dealing with it. Good thing you’re here because I’m going to explain the functional medicine approach to migraines and headaches so you can finally find relief…for good this time!
After reading this article, you’ll know what lifestyle changes and action steps you need to take so you can throw that Tylenol in the trash.
Getting a migraine or headache is not fun. Some people struggle with migraines so badly that they get physically sick or have to stay in a quiet, dark room for hours. Tylenol (acetaminophen) may help some people, but medication may not do much for others. Plus, who wants to have to rely on Tylenol forever? Not me.
Let’s also not forget the damage that Tylenol can have on your body. Tylenol depletes your body of glutathione, which is one of your body’s master antioxidants. And acetaminophen can also cause intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) and damage your liver if taken in large doses. Some studies even show that depending on bacteria in your gut microbiome, you may be more susceptible to acetaminophen toxicity.
I hope this may convince you to halt the Tylenol intake and move to natural preventive approaches instead. Let’s chat about what steps you can take now so you aren’t struggling with another one next week!
Whether you are experiencing one of the 4 common types of headaches (listed below) the functional medicine approach to addressing all of these is similar. We investigate the underlying root cause that is triggering them.
Here are some common underlying causes of migraines and headaches.
Many clients are surprised to find out that the foods they eat can trigger these headaches. People can go their entire lives having a food sensitivity without knowing it. This is because, unlike allergies, sensitivity symptoms can manifest hours or even days after you consume them. If you continue to eat a specific good that triggers inflammation in your body, you may experience daily headaches.
The food you are sensitive to could be a trigger or it could be something known as a histamine intolerance. Every body is different, and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing it. Sometimes your body may be reacting to a particular additive or filler, in addition to a food.
I cannot tell you how how many timesI have had patients get rid of their headaches, simply by changing to non-toxic products and avoiding chemicals. Whether it be a candle, a perfume, a laundry detergent including fragrance, they can all contribute to headaches. Of course other environmental factors such as mycotoxins can also contribue to brain fog and headaches. Check out my healthy home articles here to learn more!
When your gut is imbalanced, it can cause a plethora of symptoms, including headaches and migraines. You may be thinking, what does it mean for my gut to be imbalanced?
Well, your gut (or gut microbiome) is made up of tons of different microorganisms including bacteria, fungal components, and more. You need a balance of good species to have optimal gut functioning and overall body functioning. The issue is that common lifestyle behaviors support the growth of harmful bacteria (like poor diet, lacking quality sleep, antibiotic use, stress, and lack of a diverse diet), allowing pathogenic bacteria to flourish and take over. You could also have issues with parasites, h pylori, pathogenic bacteria, viral pathogens that are causing imbalances.
Candida overgrowth is a great example of this. When Candida starts to flourish and take over, it could be the trigger to your headaches. You can read my blog on candida overgrowth here. If you have a history of gut issues and you suspect that it could be related to your migraines, you will want to check my gut health program, Get Your Gut Right.
Your hormones could be causing those nagging and painful headache migraines. Do you ever have a day that you are completely stressed out? The next day you just know a headache is going to appear.
This is because when you are stressed, your cortisol levels rise. And when your cortisol is imbalanced and surging this can be a trigger for headaches. One study showed how the first 6 hours after a stressful period, participants had a nearly five-fold increased risk of migraine onset!
You could also investigate your estrogen and progesterone levels. If your ratio is imbalanced, it could contribute to your headaches. This is why you may experience headaches just right before your period. You can read more about Estrogen Dominance here.
Histamine foods could also trigger headaches and migraines. Women especially may have a higher risk for experiencing histamine-triggered headaches around ovulation when estrogen levels are high. This is because histamine is, unfortunately, upregulated by estrogen. Your body needs histamine in a balanced amount, and too much histamine can cause havoc, contributing to headaches, fatigue, bloating, itching, insomnia, irritability, and gut issues during ovulation.
These are just a few of the most common causes of migraines and headaches. Other causes could be nutrient deficiencies (hello magnesium!) poor detoxification pathways, dehydration, and even underlying infections. If you want to get rid of your headaches FOR GOOD, here is what I recommend you start.
Write down your triggers. Were you stressed the day before? Do you find a common food that sets you off?
Clean up your environment and get rid of chemicals and synthetic fragrances
Truly prioritize stress management by having a daily yoga and/or meditation session, breathing exercises, journaling, or even taking 20 minutes to take a walk in the fresh air.
Work with a functional medicine practitioner to get expert guidance and support to address these symptoms.
Try acupuncture or chiropractor
If you are currently struggling with migraines, please know that you don’t have to deal with these your entire life. There are answers to why you experience them. It just takes some investigating to find the triggers and eliminate those triggers from your life.
We are always working on new ways to serve you and your family on your health journey. Be the first to know about new offerings, health articles, and more by clicking here and filling out your information so we can be in touch.
Helping you get your gut right, improve energy, boost immunity, balance hormones, sleep better and look + feel your best
TERMS + CONDITIONS
© 2023 Taylor Dukes Wellness
Get Your Gut Right