Most people don’t realize how disabling migraines are. But migraine sufferers know migraines are more than just “bad headaches.”
The truth is migraines are disabling.
In fact, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, 90% of sufferers can’t work or function normally when one strikes.1
Most doctors tell migraine patients to lie down in a dark room and take Imitrex. That’s a drug to help relieve pain, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
But Imitrex can actually cause headaches — what’s known as rebound headaches — if you take it too often. And unfortunately, that’s what usually happens. The pain of a migraine is so intense that people who get them often panic at the first sign of ANY headache and reach for their Imitrex.
This drug can also cause some really scary side effects. Just look at this list!
And here’s the worst part. Imitrex does nothing to keep migraines from coming back.
I don’t prescribe that drug.
When patients come to me complaining of migraines, I do something they don’t expect…
I test their thyroid levels. Most doctors would never think of that at all. But let me explain why it makes sense.
Over the years, I’ve found that migraines and hypothyroidism go hand in hand. And now a new study proves what I’ve seen in my own practice.2
For 20 years, researchers studied 8,412 residents of a small town in Ohio. They found that people with frequent headaches had a 21% higher risk of hypothyroidism. And people with migraines had a 41% increased risk.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body can’t make enough thyroid hormone. It can cause mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, fatigue and constipation.
Most doctors prescribe synthroid or similar drugs for low thyroid. But I don’t treat my patients with chemical hormones. Natural hormones are safer and less expensive.
I’ve found that addressing my patients’ hypothyroidism also helps with their migraines.
But even before trying natural hormones, there’s something else I recommend first. I advise many of my patients to take a simple and natural thyroid booster that also relieves migraines.
It’s a magic little mineral called magnesium. Here’s why it’s so important for your thyroid…
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It produces hormones that drive the metabolic rate of every cell in your body.
Magnesium helps you make more of the T4 hormone in the thyroid. Without it, many of the enzymes that make thyroid hormone could not function at all.
This important nutrient also helps convert the inactive T4 hormone into the active T3 form. This is critical because the metabolism of your cells is boosted by T3, not inactive T4.
Magnesium also helps avoid migraines. Studies show that migraine sufferers have low blood levels of this mineral.3
Other research shows that taking 500 mg of magnesium for just 12 weeks can vastly improve the frequency and severity of migraines.4
To boost your magnesium levels, start with your food. Add green leafy veggies, tree nuts, yogurt, berries, halibut, avocado, bananas, and raisins to your diet.
Supplements are also widely available. Look for magnesium that is bound to citrate, malate or aspartate. Take it with vitamin B6. It will increase the amount of magnesium that accumulates in your cells.
Some people have trouble absorbing magnesium from pills. If you eat a high fiber diet, for example, your body doesn’t absorb as much magnesium. Also, taking diuretics, antibiotics, or proton pump inhibitors for acid reflux all interfere with magnesium absorption.
In that case, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a good alternative. Just add about a cup of Epsom salt to your bath water. Let it dissolve while you soak in the tub and absorb magnesium through your skin.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS