Contributing Factors: Migarine Headaches

Over many years of experience in integrative medical practice, Dr. Robban Sica has observed that migraines are caused and/or exacerbated by the following factors, alone or in combination. By taking a careful history of the pattern of the headaches and other signs and symptoms, she directs treatment accordingly to correct these underlying causes, until full relief is achieved. By addressing these issues, Dr. Sica has observed reduction of the frequency and severity of migraines by up to 95%. Her recent book, Migraine: End the Pain outlines in detail her successful approach to this disabling disease and is a useful guide for both patients and practitioners alike to reproduce Dr. Sica’s success.

Magnesium deficiency:
Magnesium deficiency results in muscle spasm, which can cause a number of symptoms including migraines and muscle tension headaches, back spasms, high blood pressure, etc. Spasm of the arterial smooth muscle is underlying pathology leading to a migraine. The National Academy of Sciences reported that 40-60% if the US population is magnesium deficient, due to soil depletion of this and other essential minerals. Magnesium is a co-factor in 300 enzyme systems in the body, including mitochondrial energy production. Mitochondrial dysfunction has also been implicated in migraine.

Taking the following supplements can be very helpful:
a. Magnesium chelate 400-600 mg/day
b. Taurine (Dr. Sica finds that the combination as Magnesium taurate is one of the most effective forms.)
c. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 400 mg/day
d. Coenzyme Q 10 100 mg/day (optional)
e. Petadolex (butterbur extract) 1 cap 3 times /day for prevention. (optional). Petadolex can also be taken at the onset of a headache.

If the deficiency is severe, Dr. Sica has found that several intravenous magnesium infusions will more rapidly bring relief, even stopping a and correct this deficiency more quickly.

This condition is frequently under-diagnosed by conventional laboratory testing. Dr. Sica assesses the full clinical picture (signs, symptoms, history, family history as well as a complete laboratory evaluation) to determine whether this condition is part of the migraine picture.

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Food Reactions and Intolerances:
The most commonly recognized foods that trigger migraine are the Tyramine foods, the “classic” migraine triggers: red wine, aged cheeses, chocolate, sardines, etc.

However, food allergy reactions and even environmental chemicals can trigger migraines. It is important to remember that most food allergies are delayed hypersensitivity reactions that can be delayed up to 72 hours. When keeping a food journal to look for triggers, you have to think of foods that were eaten the day or two before. An easier approach is to test for food allergies. Dr. Sica uses a quick, needleless assessment in the office to screen for food reactions and intolerances.

Hormone Imbalances:
The most common cause of migraine in women is an imbalance of (or even allergy to) the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These headaches occur just before and during the period and therefore are usually distinguishable from other causes. Balancing the hormones usually will correct this type of headache.

Unfortunately, a great deal of misinformation exists that estrogen and progesterone cause or contribute to breast cancer. This doesn’t really make a lot of sense, since hormone levels are highest in younger women, yet menopausal women (who are hormone deficient) have had the highest cancer risk. Synthetic estrogens and progestins (such as oral contraceptives and 17-medroxy progesterone) have been demonstrated to increase cancer risk. Environmental toxins called xeno-estrogens, which are estrogen-like chemicals in the environment (such as bis-phenol-A and polycarbonates) in plastics and cosmetics*, etc, also clearly stimulate the growth of breast cancers. (see Environment, Chemicals, & Breast Cancer attachment from Breast Health email)

*Be sure to use natural skin care products that avoid use of these chemicals such as:
Age More Gracefully all-natural skin care AMG –
Call Center Healing Arts 203 799-7733 for Discount Code

Integrative doctors, such as Dr. Sica, are trained and experienced in using specialized testing and compounded bio-identical hormones to balance hormones and prevent menstrual migraines.

Structural Imbalances and Misalignments:
Rotation of the Atlas: The first cervical (neck) vertebra is called the Atlas, because it is the foundation that the skull is based on. The atlas not only carries the head, it also promotes – if in an optimal position – the self-healing process and thereby the physical and mental balance, as well as the integrated recovery of human beings. It is the gate where cerebral nerves and finest nerve tract, veins, spinal cord and spinal fluid take their pass through the foramen magnum. A malrotated atlas inevitably leads to restriction, disturbed blood flow and reduced or false information flow between head and body.

Swiss René-Claudius Schümperli discovered in 1993 for the first time that the first cervical vertebra (atlas) is more or less malrotated in almost every human being. While this has been recognized by the chiropractic profession for many years, effective, lasting methods for consistently correcting this malrotation have been lacking. After his own long suffering, Schümperli developed a unique massage of the short muscles of the neck, called AtlasPROfilax, which is able to correct an existing malrotation of the first cervical vertebra with a single application precisely, safely and permanently without adjustment or other manipulation.
In a study done on 180 migraine patients, 90% experienced significant improvement after the AtlasPROfilax.

Dr. Sica regularly hosts certified AtlasProf and Instructor, Vladimir Tomljenovic, at the Center for the Healing Arts. Call 203-799-7733 for next available dates in Connecticut.

Impaired motion of the cranial bones: These type of headaches often start after a neck or head injury, like a car accident, whiplash or fall. They are treated with cranio-sacral therapy, a gentle manipulation of the skull bones by an osteopathic physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist who have specially trained in this therapy.

Robban A. Sica, MD Center for the Healing Arts, PC
1 Turkey Hill Road – Suite 100, Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 203-799-7733 Fax: 203-799-3560

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