I see many patients who have had long term issues with chronic headaches, especially migraine headaches. Usually we can get to a root cause of the headaches, be it magnesium deficiencies, food sensitivities, or hormonal problems. This process is detailed here on our main web page.
Often times, our goal is to decrease the frequency of the migraine headaches, especially if headaches occur more than once a week, or are severe enough to impair function and quality of life. Of course, getting to the root cause of things is ideal, but occasionally some preventative measure is still necessary.
Conventional drug therapy for prevention often involves the use of beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants (eg amytriptiline), or anticonvulsants (to decrease nerve cell irritability). The use of anticonvulsants to decrease nerve cell irritability is particularly interesting, because that is why I believe food sensitivity assessment is so important in these cases. The amino acid glycine, and the B vitamin niacinamide may be useful in that respect as well.
Interestingly, even conventional medicine is starting to recognize the importance of mitochondria enhancing agents. The mitochondria are organelles inside every cell, that help with the generation of energy. Many neurologists are familiar with the use of vitamin B2, or riboflavin, for prevention of migraines. I use this frequently, but find it especially effective when given by injection as a Myer’s IV injection. B2 is one of the nutrients used by the mitochondria.
Coenzyme Q10 can also be very important in migraine prevention, and this works with the mitochondria as well. The nice thing about CoQ10 is that its side-effects generally involve an elevated mood and reducing fatigue, in addition to a reduction in migraine headaches, because of their effects on energy.
While CoQ10 and vitamin B2 may not be enough alone to help patients with active migraines, the addition of intravenous use of CoQ10 and B2 can help, and the addition of ozone therapy can be tremendously helpful in migraine sufferers. Ozone is a potent stimulus to the mitochondria to get working efficiently. Here is a page that goes into a bit more detail.
Magnesium oxide was mentioned in a conventional internal medicine review course I recently listened to. I have found this to be extremely useful for prevention orally, but the real magic is when it is given intravenously in a Myer’s push or in a high-dose magnesium and B6 bag (magnesium and B6 work together). I say “magic” because it can abort the most severe migraine headache if given correctly, when nothing else works. For prevention, a more absorbable form of oral magnesium such as magnesium glycinate may be more effective, usually after a short series of intravenous magnesium is given to “top off the tissues.”
What’s the most important for migraine prevention?
It terms out sleep hygiene. This is especially true of weekend headaches, which seem to be triggered by over-sleeping. Going to bed the same time each night, and getting up the same time every morning seems to be key, with those over 25 getting about 7-8 hours and those under 25 getting 8-10 hours. Sometimes this can be achieved just by keeping to good habits, and sometimes hormones like cortisol and melatonin need to be addressed.