Have you ever suffered from a headache? If yes, then you know how uncomfortable it could be. Headaches can paralyze you for days, weeks and even months! Headaches can make your life miserable. But despite the fact that more than 10 million Americans suffer from headaches, traditional medicine cannot really offer a cure. Because the most common approach is simply giving a pill to treat the symptoms, it looks like we might be doomed to a lifetime of Excedrin and days lost. Is there anything else that can be done?
The better approach would be to find the root cause of the problem and eliminate it. Sounds simple, so why don’t they do it in every medical office? Because in real life it is not that easy. Let me give you an example.
A middle-aged, pleasant lady came to my office complaining of chronic headaches crippling her life. She was seen by multiple doctors without getting help. The last doctor she saw advised her to check for possible hormone imbalances and she came to see me. I created a list of possible causes:
- Migraines, a poorly understood condition, is probably related to hormone imbalance. She was at an age when hormonal decline was there for sure.
- Tension headaches that can be related to depression. Even though she denies it, she did not look happy. So depression was still on my list.
- Headaches, secondary to excessive coffee intake. Yes! She was drinking several cups of coffee every day. But she said that could give it up without a problem.
- Excessive alcohol intake can also cause headaches. But she denied drinking alcohol, except socially.
- Head tumors are notoriously known as a reason for chronic headaches. But her regular doctor had an MRI done that ruled out any brain mass.
- Not enough sleep can cause chronic headaches. And it was definitely a problem, because her sleep was not great and not long enough.
- Electrolyte imbalance, especially magnesium deficiency, can be the cause of chronic headaches. Magnesium is necessary to relax. Not enough magnesium because of low greens in your diet and/or soil depletion, and you can’t relax your head muscles, resulting in chronic headaches. But her magnesium was normal.
- Certain foods as well as food additives like chocolate, cheeses, MSG and sulfides can cause headaches. But from many years of suffering from headaches she learned all about that foods and additives and stayed away from them.
- Allergies, like food allergies, causing sinusitis, can be the cause. And she indeed was suffering from frequent sinusitis and food allergies.
- Even a hole in the heart can cause severe headaches. But her echo-cardiogram did not show any hole.
- Do not forget about too much stress in our life. It can cause anything from headaches to even death. And this is understandable: we are not designed to sustain that much stress. Humans are hunters/gatherers intended to work only 2-3 hours a day. Can you imagine? But how many hours do you work a day? Your spouse?
What we did first was deal with her hormonal imbalance and food allergies. And though she did respond initially, she was still suffering from headaches. We continued to look for the cause. I was hoping that specific imaging studies would help and was waiting for more information. And then came the answer.
She went to a different continent for a week. And a miracle happened: no more headaches over there. But they returned as soon as she came back. What it meant was: allergic inflammation in the sinuses! And then the imaging studies came: a lot of problems in the nose and sinuses with blockage.
She went for surgery and did well after that.
Treating headaches for this woman, and for so many others who don’t even seek the proper treatment can be much more complicated than popping a pain reliever every four to six hours.
- Are you suffering from headaches?
- How often?
- What do you do to get rid of them?