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Lindsey’s Ultimate Guide to Migraines

The Ultimate Guide includes essential tips and information shared by Lindsey, an expert in managing migraines. In one of the recommended practices, Lindsey suggests finding a peaceful environment such as a grassy field to sit

Picture this: Your day starts beautifully. There isn’t a cloud in the sky, and everything is laying out just as you planned the night before. 

Then suddenly, you get a little twinge in your eye. No wait, it’s in your eyesight. No worries, you must have looked at the sun too long, or maybe it was that light in the kitchen. You try to ignore it, then decide that’s no sweet glimpse of sunlight –  it’s a migraine aura and a sign that today will be a migraine day.

You have around 15 minutes before the pain comes, so what’s the first thing you do? 

In this post, we’ll cover how to triage a migraine. We’ll review the root causes of migraines through a functional medicine lens, discuss how to prevent or decrease the intensity of your migraines, and include information on vitamin and mineral supplements for migraines. 

Migraine Triage: What to do When a Migraine Comes Out of Nowhere

I am a long-time sufferer of migraines with auras, though I consider myself one of the “lucky ones” because I get a visual warning before the pain starts. The aura gives me time to put a plan into place. 

So before you find a cool, dark room to rest in, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure you hydrate. I prefer to drink warm or hot water at this time because it naturally slows me down.
  • Make sure your clothing is not restrictive. Say “no” to workout clothing or even a bra. You want to let things circulate, feel good and flow freely. 
  • Take some magnesium. Approximately 45% of Americans are magnesium deficient,  and magnesium is responsible for 350+ enzymatic reactions in the body!
  • Break out your favorite calming essential oils, like lavender. Fill your sink with some warm, oil-infused water, submerge a soft washcloth in the sink, then place it across your forehead when you find your final resting spot. 

The most crucial step is taking the time to rest – your body is telling you to stop. Find a cool, dark, comfortable place where you can be in the moment, let go of everything else, and heal.

Migraine Prevention Strategies

For me, most of being an adult is about preparation, and the more prepared I am for a migraine, the less suffering I experience. 

I used to be ready with an Excedrin Migraine in my car and medicine cabinet. Over time though, it became easier to handle the migraine than the jitters and vomiting I experienced from the Excedrin. But that was many years ago, and I knew there had to be a better option – or at least I hoped really hard. 

Here’s a great list of what I do today to prevent migraines. 

  • Stay hydrated! Though the link between hydration and migraines is up for debate, dehydration makes them more intense in my experience.
  • Regularly practice yoga and keep your body moving. Your blood and lymph need your muscles to work and clean out all the different detoxification pathways in the body. Yoga, in particular, is really good at clearing out the nooks and crannies, allowing our bodies to release cellular debris more often.  
  • Make and keep regular appointments with a chiropractor or massage therapist. Most of us sit way too much throughout the day, and it takes a toll on our bodies in the form of spinal misalignment or tight muscles. 
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep. (Did I say sleep?) Our bodies heal at night, so it’s important never to skip sleep. 

Supplements That May Help With Migraines

Each of our bodies has unique needs, so be sure to chat with a Certified Functional Medical Practitioner, your Doctor, or a Nutritionist before adding any supplements to your diet. Adding supplements to your diet without expert advice can be dangerous, plus many are of poor quality, which means they won’t provide relief. 

That said, here is a general list of supplements that may help –  though you may need more targeted relief for your specific case. (Again, consult an expert!) 

  • Magnesium (glycinate, L-threonate, or malate forms)
  • CoQ10 (Ubiquinol form) 
  • B-Complex Vitamins
    • B2, or riboflavin
    • B6, or pyridoxal 5′-phosphate
    • B9, or folate
    • B12, or methlcarbylamine

The Root Cause of Migraines

I endorse a Functional Medical approach because it’s all about finding the root cause of what’s making you ill or causing symptoms.

Of course, the first step is to pay attention to what is triggering your migraines. Is there a particular food or medication that may be the culprit? Are you sleeping enough? Are you constipated? Many other things can contribute, but you get the idea.

Things that commonly cause migraines include:

  • Hormonal swings: usually estrogen dominance during the menstrual cycle 
  • Heavy metals: in the body: typically lead or cadmium
  • Food sensitivities: things like sulfites, alcohol, meat, cheese, etc. 
  • Histamine intolerance: This is a major one! Migraines can be part of a reaction to allergens in your environment, or in the foods you eat and medications you take. 

While flushing these things out of your system can provide relief, you should never detox alone. Always seek professional guidance when it comes to clearing those pathways – our bodies are complex organisms, and you don’t want to do more harm than good.

Migraines are a Challenge

Suffering from migraines is hard, so hard in fact that says the affliction is the world’s sixth-most-disabling disease.

If you get migraines, know that you are not alone. Many of us are searching for the easy road to relief. 

If you want to get to the bottom of the root cause of your migraines, my recommendation is to seek out a Certified Functional Medical Practitioner and describe your case to them. And if you think you have histamine-related migraines, be sure to check out Lindsey’s workshop at Find Your Yoga – A Wellness Studio on April 16, 2022. Email Lindsey today for more information.