What Really Causes Migraine Headaches?
A Vascular Headache
Migraines are vascular headaches that occur when there is uneven dilation of the blood vessels. Imagine a garden hose that is narrower in some places and widens out in others and then becomes narrower again. As the water flows through the hose it will meet resistance in the narrower places and then flow with ease in the widened place only to "hit" the narrow places again. This is exactly what occurs with migraine headaches when the blood vessels of the head dilate unevenly. The blood flows through the narrow passages and then will enter a place where the blood vessel has dilated. This does not produce pain because the flow of the blood is not impeded. It is when the blood continues on its path from the widened area into another narrow area that pain is produced. The blood continues to travel through the vessel but now it must go through a smaller space. When the blood "hits" this smaller space there is literally an impact. The same amount of fluid must now squeeze through a narrower space. This creates pressure on the blood vessel wall, which in turn can produce pain. Oftentimes, migraine sufferers can actually feel a throbbing or pulsating, a bonging pain that is rhythmic. This is the impact of the surge of blood on the narrowed vessel that occurs with each beat of the heart. This vessel has now become inflamed and possibly distended due to the onslaught of blood trying to enter a narrow space from a dilated space. The result is pain.
So Let's Get Those Spaces Even!
If we could make the blood vessels even—a consistent diameter that does not fluctuate - or when it does change it would dilate or constrict evenly across the length of the blood vessel—then that would solve our problem! Yes. That is correct. That is exactly what prescription medications are designed to do. But interestingly enough, the mechanism of action of these medications is to cause vasoconstriction. This means that the blood vessels will narrow. This can work because the dilated portions of the vessels now become just as narrow as the already constricted parts of the blood vessel and there is no traversing the wide portions to the narrow portions. This means no surges of blood impacting the vessel wall thus an alleviation of the pain. But sometimes this won't work because the vessel walls are already so inflamed and distended that the narrowing helps, but cannot take away the tenderness of the already damaged tissue. That's where the anti-inflammatory/analgesic drugs come in (like aspirin). Overall, however, vasoconstriction will bring some, if not total relief. But let's think about this for a minute because it really is not the correct way to deal with the problem...
Vasoconstriction—A Temporary Fix
Okay, we have the blood vessel at an even diameter throughout its length. This prevents further damage to the walls by not allowing surges of blood to hit and injure the wall. But the vessels are constricted—narrowed, which means an overall higher blood pressure. It also means that certain substances that are vasoconstrictors will have to be continually manufactured to maintain this constricted and even state of affairs. What if the production of these vasoconstrictors falls off? The vessels will begin to dilate and the possibility for uneven dilation becomes a consideration. Please note that if we have surges of vasoconstrictors this adds to the uneven dilation problem and can set up vasospasms. The blood vessel walls go into spasms because of the conflicting messages—dilate—no—constrict—no—dilate—no—constrict. What will it be? With different hormones telling the blood vessel wall different messages, a spasm can occur, which is painful.
So What Does the Body Want?
Constricted or dilated blood vessels? What does the body prefer to have? Common sense tells us if our blood vessels are wide and open, blood flow is easier and blood pressure drops. Blood can more easily access all areas without the need for the heart to pump as hard. It is easier on the whole body if the blood vessels are dilated (not constricted) to allow easy access of the blood to the tissues. Therefore, when the vasoconstrictive substances are not present or not present in such large amounts, the body will try to return to its preferred state. This can be likened to a default. Everything goes back to the default unless otherwise stated or chosen.
So Where are We Going?
Wouldn’t it be better for us to go forward instead of backward? When we use vasoconstrictive substances to relieve the pain of migraines or to "prevent" migraines, we just continue to make the possibility of future migraines a reality. We are staying in the backward state. At some point in time, your body will try to return to the default—that of evenly dilated blood vessels. To get to this point, dilation will have to occur. If it occurs unevenly, we're back to migraines. So we dump into our bloodstream more vasoconstrictors and here we go again—it's the merry-go-round routine. When will we ever allow the body to go to the default and healthy state? The goal is to help you achieve even vasodilation, to help you get off the spinning merry-go-round of vasoconstrictors, to fully control and conquer migraines through healthy, body-friendly methods.
Is that the reason I Get Migraines on My Days Off?
You bet it is. A typical pattern for migraine sufferers is that they do well (suffer no migraines) during times when they are expected to perform. But as soon as the pressure is off, here comes the migraine. The reason for this is that during times that we must produce, the times when we must perform, the times when we have to be all and do all, we produce certain neurotransmitters and adrenal hormones to enable us to accomplish the tasks at hand. These substances are potent vasoconstrictors. Because the blood vessels are narrowed and there is no dilation going on—we will have no pain. But as soon as the pressure is off, the body will say, "Whew, free of those vasoconstrictors for awhile, let's dilate and return to good health and circulation." If the dilation process happens unevenly, then we have the pain of the migraine.
So What Do I Do?
Help the blood vessels to dilate and to dilate evenly and do it naturally, by ensuring our body has the right balance of vitamins and minerals that we need to have a happy and healthy body. Notice that this is just the opposite of how we currently are trying to treat migraines. When will we learn to help the body, instead of always following the path of continued destruction? in one or both eyes, have tingling in the fingers and tongue, mild confusion, and slurred speech. The aura is followed by a pounding headache. The aura stage usually lasts 10 to 40 minutes. The aura is caused by the constriction of blood vessels.
Common migraine is accompanied by nausea, a general feeling of ill-being, and sometimes depression and irritability. Common migraine sufferers usually lack the warning aura. Their head pain normally involves the entire head, not just the temple or one side of the head. Migraines that become complicated can cause a paralysis of eye movement, weakness or paralysis of the arms and legs, vertigo, tingling, blindness and even loss of consciousness.
Certain events are known to trigger migraines and I am sure you are sick of hearing this, but humor me and let’s touch on a few before I give you the solution. They are menstruation, fatigue (physical or mental), stress (physical or mental), exposure to bright lights, iron deficiency, magnesium deficiency, low blood sugar, B complex deficiency, oral contraceptives, withdrawal (even temporary withdrawal) from caffeine (found in coffee, tea, or cola drinks). In migraine-prone children, exercise or vigorous sports can precipitate an attack because of the production of neurotransmitters necessary to perform these activities and the subsequent lessening of neurotransmitters which trigger an attack. The role of foods as triggering agents of migraine is also well documented.
A Miracle Cure?
Maybe. There are a number of nutrients and extracts that have had a documented positive effect on migraines, including Coenzyme Q10, ginger, butterbur and in particular the omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). So certainly look at loading up on EPA by adding fish to your diet or through good quality supplementation.
But here is the real miracle. The majority of adults are now being found to be highly deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is a vital mineral in the pursuit of a healthy body for a myriad of reasons, but in terms of Migraines, Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and it helps relax soft muscle tissue and therefore assists in creating those nice even blood vessels we talked about before. Even blood vessels means even blood flow, which means less or no migraines. It’s not rocket science, its simple biology.
But it can’t be that simple you say?
Well in essence it is, but there is one small problem with magnesium when you just take it on its own. Its not all that well absorbed into the body as a supplement and so most of it flushes straight through and we get very little benefit. But magic can happen when Magnesium is blended in the right combination with Vitamin B6 and zinc, which are acknowledged as co-factors that increase absorption of the magnesium by up to 4 times.
Let's Talk More About Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for the health of the smooth muscles. A deficiency in magnesium is associated with spasms of the muscles, including the smooth muscle in the lining of the blood vessels. Being marginally deficient in magnesium can make a migraine sufferer more prone to headaches. It is interesting to note that in industrialized societies magnesium deficiencies are common. Both men and women can have migraines as a result of low magnesium, but women are especially prone to low-magnesium headaches at the time of their menstrual periods and during the latter part of pregnancy.
Current Pharmaceutical Drug Therapy
Standard medical treatment for migraines fall into two categories: 1) prevention and 2) pain relief during acute attacks. The mode of action for the vast majority of these drugs is vasoconstriction. If you have been reading all the material I have presented thus far, you will recognize that this is the wrong way to go about correcting the situation. By causing the vessels to constrict we will only continue to perpetuate the problem. In other words, you will always continue to suffer from migraines. They won’t just go away someday. Yes, you may see temporary relief, but at some time the body will attempt to return to the default state of dilation and the result will most likely be uneven vasodilation, causing spasms in the blood vessel wall. This means another migraine headache.
Now you know why migraines occur in a viscous cycle, but you also know how to fix the problem. To make the whole process easy, we have put together the very best of the ingredients, in exactly the right combinations, into one simple easy to take supplement. ActiveMg is a purpose-built formulation for sufferers of migraines and cluster headaches.
ActiveMg contains Magnesium (3 types), Vitamin B6 and Zinc (to improve absorption of the magnesium), Vitamins B3, B9 and B12, Cramp Bark and Passion Flower. It is professionally formulated and backed by science and it comes in a capsule that is easy to take. Just 2 -3 capsules a day and your migraines will become a thing of the past.
How Long Until I See Results?
Its not a pain killer, like a pharmaceutical product. It’s a preventative that will cause natural dilation of your blood vessels, just the way they should be, rather than vasoconstriction that happens with conventional drug therapies.
Treating migraines naturally may take a period of time. However, it is the only way to go. By correcting the cause instead of just treating the symptoms, we will achieve the ultimate goal of healing, not just temporary pain relief. Expect your headache symptoms to disappear or diminish substantially within 2-4 weeks of starting the supplement.
How Much do I have to take?
You should start with 2 capsules per day. Unlike most supplements where you spread the dose out throughout the day, you should take both capsules at once, with food. It doesn’t matter whether you take them morning or night but be sure to take them both at once.
If you consider yourself an occasional migraine sufferer (one migraine a month) then this does will be sufficient so just remain on that.
If you are a chronic migraine sufferer (one or more migraines a week), you will start on 2 capsules a day, then after 2 weeks you increase to 3 capsules a day. Again, you should take them all at once.
Make your dosage a regular part of your health program. Take them everyday for migraine and headache prevention.