Guest post by Erin Knight, FDN-P
Did you know that nearly 60% of migraineurs report suffering from anxiety as well? I didn’t. That was one of many surprising things I discovered interviewing functional medicine experts and clinicians with decades of experience helping people overcome their headaches and migraines at the root cause (you can listen in to these interviews here on the Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit)
As much as the high correlation between migraines and anxiety surprised me, I could quickly see some reasons for the connection. People with frequent headaches report that managing life around headaches and missing out on things places an incredible strain on relationships and career that is nearly as bad as the physical pain. In other words, the mental agony of being sidelined by severe headaches is worse than the pain itself and contributes to the stress we carry around each day. But I don’t have to tell you that.
Is this meal going to cause a headache today? Am I going to be able to make it to my daughter’s choir concert? Is my boss going to pass me up for that project because I’ve been out with migraines so many days this year? If you are like me, these questions are always top of mind – creating a vicious circle between worrying – headaches – and more stress.
While it may seem quite obvious that there is this worrying and fear that migraineurs carry around with them each day, you may be surprised to learn from the experts speaking at the Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit, that there are many underlying root causes that can lead to both anxiety and headaches at a biological level. Some of these include:
- Poor absorption of nutrients such as magnesium
- Leaky gut and inflammation in the digestive tract that impacts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and hormones like estrogen
- Emotional trauma in childhood (which is linked to a staggering increase in chronic conditions such migraines, autoimmune diseases, obesity and chronic fatigue
The good news is that there are real solutions to improve your health at a foundational level that can drastically improve or even resolve both headaches/migraines and anxiety at the root cause.
The experts in the Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit talk both about what has helped their clients recover their health as well as natural, simple ways to reduce the pain and intensity of headaches quickly and at home so you can go on with your life.
If you know you experience headaches due to weather changes, sinus stuffiness, neck tension, classic migraine or monthly hormonal changes – there are different relief techniques to employ for each. For example, Jay Davidson (featured on Day 4) highlights 3 tricks for clearing pressure out of your head when you feel a thunderstorm headache coming on – and they work in minutes! My favorite is to dab frankincense essential oil with your fingertips along the hairline in your neck. I can feel drainage start immediately with this simple technique!
If you think you’ve tried it all and been through the gamut of herbal and homeopathic remedies – I promise you will learn something that surprises you and makes a difference in your journey.
5 things I learned about hosting the Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit that might surprise you too:
- There are many superstar supplements that can help people with different types of migraines beyond the typical riboflavin and magnesium citrate – for example, Vitamin C, different forms of magnesium, 5-HTP or tryptophan, and glutathione.
- Migraines are being reclassified as an autoimmune disease. One autoimmune disease that frequently leads to migraines (and anxiety and miscarriages) is the clotting disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome (featured on day 7 in Trudy Scott’s interview)
- Food sensitivities may be more important than avoiding trigger foods
- There is a visual processing disorder that affects 15% of the population and is simple to correct.
- Toxicity from air and water pollution causes different types of chronic headaches and can be easily identified and reversed.
We are so thrilled to be able to offer this first-of-its-kind resource for people who want to stop managing their headaches, stop watching life pass them by from the sidelines and find natural relief options that really work. Register and start watching here
Feel free to share something that surprises YOU from the talks in the comments below.