Other natural compounds that may be helpful include glucosamine 1500 to 2000 mg a day (this compound was found to be helpful in a small study of 10 patients over 4 to 6 weeks). Coenzyme Q10, 150-200 mg daily, decreased the average number of migraine attacks per month from 4.8 to 2.8 in an open study.
All this suggests that many, if not most, migraines can be prevented naturally. I would begin by taking the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder plus 300 mg of Vitamin B 2 in the morning, plus 200 mg of magnesium at night. If the cost is not prohibitive, I would add butterbur as well. Also check for food allergies, as noted below, and follow the advice in my Pain Free 1-2-3! Book for hormones if the migraines are predominately around your periods or associated with taking estrogen. I have seen this approach commonly eliminate frequent and horribly severe migraine problems, but remember that it may take 3 months to see the effect.
What Else Can I Do to Eliminate the Underlying Cause of the Migraines?
Acupuncture is another option to consider for chronic migraine and tension headaches. It results in reduced pain, reduced frequency of headaches, and improved function, energy, and health. In two studies conducted in New York City and London, acupuncture was found to be cost-effective. In a randomized controlled study of 401 patients with chronic headaches (the majority having migraines), patients received up to 12 acupuncture treatments over a 3-month period vs. a control group that received standard care. The acupuncture patients had 22 fewer headache days per year, 15 percent fewer sick days, and 25 percent fewer visits to the doctor.
Food allergies are also very important to consider. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of migraine patients get marked improvement by avoiding certain foods, and most people with migraines are not aware of what foods are triggering their headaches. This has now been demonstrated in at least four placebo-controlled studies. Food sensitivities are an even bigger problem in children with migraines. To determine if foods are playing a role in causing your headache, it is helpful to do an elimination diet. This requires eating a very limited diet for five days. Eat only pears and lamb, and drink only bottled spring or distilled water. This kind of strict elimination diet will make it easier to tell if food allergies/sensitivities are present and triggering your migraines when you reintroduce foods into your diet. In one study, by avoiding the ten most common food triggers, subjects exhibited a dramatic reduction in the number of headaches per month, with 85 percent becoming headache free. Twenty-five percent of the patients with high blood pressure also had their blood pressure reduce to normal. The most common reactive foods were wheat in 78 percent of patients, oranges in 65 percent, eggs in 45 percent, tea and coffee in 40 percent each, chocolate and milk in 37 percent each, beef in 35 percent, and corn, cane sugar, and yeast in 33 percent each. Some studies also suggest that the artificial sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) can trigger migraines and other headaches, although this is controversial. If you have severe and frequent migraines, it is definitely worth exploring food sensitivities. You may find that instead of avoiding foods that trigger your migraines for the rest of your life, you can eliminate the sensitivities/allergies using a powerfully effective acupressure technique called NAET (see www.NAET.com).