I have suffered from weekly migraines for the last 5 years.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have suffered from weekly migraines for the last 5 years. What do you recommend I try to get them under control?” — Linda L., Roanoke, VA
A. Dear Linda, I would recommend taking high-absorption curcumin, boswellia, DLPA and nattokinase when you are experiencing a migraine. Each ingredient works in a slightly different manner to get you comfortable as quickly as possible. I advise taking these four ingredients three times a day.
If you are not doing so already, I highly recommend taking a good look at your diet. Dietary restrictions would include avoiding all gluten and soy products. I would also recommend restricting carbohydrates and sugar to less than 50 grams per day. While I understand this takes a huge effort on your part, it can make a real difference. Click on my healthy diet plan for more information. For additional information, I also recommend checking out the following websites: www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com and www.drperlmutter.com. You should also read the books, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.
In addition to modifying your diet, there are some natural ingredients that you may want to consider. When it comes to headaches and migraines, there are a number of supplements that may be of benefit to you. I suggest you start by adding vitamins B2 and B6, magnesium, and CoQ10 to your supplement regimen. I have also listed additional recommendations. You do not need to use all of the suggestions, but I wanted to provide multiple options so you can find the combination that works best for you.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), in particular, has been shown to reduce the frequency and duration of migraines in preliminary studies. In fact, one study indicated that people who took riboflavin had more than a 50% decrease in the number of attacks. I recommend taking 400 mg of vitamin B2 daily.
Vitamin B6 also plays a role in the prevention of migraine headaches. You want to look for a formula that features vitamin B6 in its active form of Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P). In foods or most supplements, vitamin B6 is found in one of three forms: pyridoxine hydrochloride, pyridoxal, or pyridoxamine. Inside the body, these forms of B6 have to be converted by the liver to the active form the body needs – P-5-P. By consuming vitamin B6 in the active P-5-P form, conversion is no longer necessary, and the full benefits are available immediately after absorption. I recommend 60 mg of vitamin B6 (as P-5-P) twice daily.
Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for nervous system function. People with migraines often have lower levels of magnesium compared to people who do not have migraines, and several studies suggest that magnesium may reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Some studies also suggest that magnesium may be helpful for women whose migraines are triggered by their periods. Look for a formula that features magnesium in the form of magnesium glycinate chelate. This form of magnesium is well-absorbed and doesn’t cause loose stools or gastrointestinal upset, which can be present with certain other forms of magnesium. I recommend 200 mg of magnesium (as magnesium glycinate) twice daily.
Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10, is very healthy in general and an excellent addition to your daily supplement routine. In one study, 150 mg of CoQ10 each day reduced migraine occurrence about 50% over the course of three month’s use. I would suggest using the activeform of CoQ10 (called ubiquinol), which is more effective than plain CoQ10 (called ubiquinone). I recommend taking 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10, in the form of ubiquinol, daily.
You may want to also consider using extracts of ginger, feverfew, or purple butterbur.Each of these botanicals has been shown to help people reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches. Again, you do not need to use all of the suggestions. Hopefully, by providing a wide range of options, you can find the combination that works best for you.
Terry . . . Naturally