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Curing Chronic Headaches Without Meds

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It's not easy to find the cause of headaches but the body does give us some clues which can help. This article will discuss various treatments that normalize the body chemistry that causes headaches as well as the main types of headaches: Low Blood Sugar, Liver Toxicity, Heart Weakness, Food Allergy, Environmental Allergy or Sensitivity, Depression, Gallbladder, Pituitary, Ovarian, Thyroid, Capillary Fragility, Adrenal, and Chiropractic. Some people have more than one type of headache going on simultaneously. Most of the products mentioned here are from Standard Process Labs and the dosage recommendations are those of Dr. Bruce West of Health Alert.

It is important to note that an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of severe headache and about 80% of all head pain is directly attributed to problems with the teeth and jaw that are readily alleviated with proper dental care.  This article does not discuss headaches resulting from misaligned teeth, TMJ, TMD or TN head pain.  However, for an excellent overview of how the teeth and jaw affect the entire human system, read Whole-Body Dentistry by Mark A. Breiner, DDS.  Chapter 17, The Great American Headache, is extremely enlightening.

Low Blood Sugar

The low blood sugar sufferer will usually get a headache with a skipped or delayed meal, which allows blood sugar to drop. Low blood sugar sufferers cannot consume refined carbohydrates (anything in a package). The Mediterranean Diet, with plenty of protein, is a good diet for this type of headache. Snacks should be fresh fruit and eating a good breakfast is a must.

According to Dr. Bruce West of Health Alert, "Adrenal weakness and/or a vitamin B deficiency go hand-in-hand with this type of headache. That's why the supplements Cataplex GTF (2x3/day) and Drenamin (3x3/day) from Standard Process Labs are essential. They contain B complex and minerals like chromium (which both combine into the glucose tolerance factor) and adrenal extract to normalize this kind of metabolic problem. If blood tests show any liver involvement, AF Betafood (3x3 daily) should also be used to normalize liver/sugar storage problems."

Liver Toxicity

Nausea, a "sick feeling," and sometimes a metallic taste in the mouth will usually accompany liver toxicity headaches. General body aches and pains with nightmares and/or insomnia are frequent. An intolerance to fats and oils (olive oil, nuts, etc.) is common and will cause a sick, nauseous feeling. Chronic worrying about thought processes is another symptom that indicates your headaches may be caused by liver toxicity.

With all cases of liver toxicity headaches, eliminate all junk food, fried food, refined oils, soft drinks, margarines, and commercial salad dressings from your diet. Eat fresh, preferably organically grown fruits and vegetables, butter (raw if possible), and extra-virgin, first-pressed olive oil for cooking and salads.

In many cases one to three 3-week liver detoxification sessions will resolve the problem. However, If you wish to clean up your system without going through detoxification, try Livaplex (2x3/day for detoxification), Cholacol II (3x3 daily taken between meals) as a gut cleanup, Choline (3x3iday) to help clean up the liver and improve fat metabolism, and Phytolyn (3/day) as a detoxifier. These can be used for three months. If headaches persist after that time, they are of a different type or you are in need of more thorough liver detoxification.

Heart Weakness

Heart weakness headaches are accompanied by symptoms of a weak heart: difficulty breathing, weakness and faintness upon exertion, chest pain and angina, tired soon after awakening, and low blood pressure (although it can be normal or high). These headaches usually occur after exertion of some type.

These patients will frequently be diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). The weakness leads to a lack of oxygen and too much carbon dioxide buildup in the cells. Try Cardio-Plus (3-4x3/day), Cataplex B (3x3/day), and Organic Minerals (l-2x3/ day).

Food Allergy or Sensitivity

Offending foods consistently produce headaches. The most common are milk, wheat, chocolate, and pork. However, if eliminating these foods does not resolve your headaches, you probable need to use the Elimination Diet.

While underlying causes of food allergies or sensitivities can be from weakened adrenals, the main problems are digestion and malabsorption syndromes. When food is not digested properly, the entire gut is affected and large molecules pass into the bloodstream, producing an allergic reaction. Years of prescription drugs and antacids in particular are the main culprits, but a diet of junk and refined foods is also a major factor.

Those having a problem with protein digestion will usually have foul-smelling gas. This indicates a need for Zypan (2-3 per meal). Lots of gas with no odor usually signals a problem with carbohydrate digestion. In this case Lactic Acid Yeast Wafers (2 per meal) is the product of choice. If fats are causing nausea, burping, sudden sickness, etc., you need to clean up the liver and gallbladder. AF Betafood (3x3/day) is the product of choice here.

In some cases all three types of digestive problems exist at the same time. You can use all three products, or you can try Multizyme (3 per meal). Your diet should be the same as with liver toxicity headaches: no junk food, no fake fats, no margarines, etc. Once your digestion begins to normalize, your absorption will improve and the entire syndrome will be broken. This is why taking three Multizyme tablets at bedtime sometimes greatly helps those allergy sufferers who have malabsorption sensitivity as the root cause of their allergies.

Environmental Allergy

Many headaches can be traced to man-made chemicals. Examples like pesticides, fertilizers, perfumes, and products found in new houses like glues, carpets, paints, thinners, etc., can all overwhelm the liver, lymphatics, circulation, and nervous systems, producing toxic headaches. Often nothing can be done except moving to a new (or old as the case may be) house.

In some instances, air purifiers can help. Negative ion generators and electrostatic air filters can often be effective. Increasing ventilation and increasing or decreasing humidity often will play a role, especially increasing humidity at high elevations. When building or remodeling, natural woods, fibers, and fabrics produce the least problems.

In some cases the nutritional product Allerplex (32 5x3/day) will help. Plenty of fresh air and exercise outdoors is also helpful, as well as lots of pure water and a diet of whole, natural foods.

Depression

A depressed individual is susceptible to chronic headaches because of physical or emotional lethargy. Often psychotropic drugs play a role in causing headaches. Eating a diet of whole, organic foods, starting an exercise program, including aerobic exercise and weight lifting; and using supplements can help. When depression is suspected as a cause of headaches, also consider the Heart Weakness cause of headaches.

It is not always easy to get a depressed person to exercise. Often counseling is needed just to get the person up and out. The first six months are the toughest and the following supplements are essential. Cataplex B (2-3 taken 3x daily) with Catalyn (2 taken 3x daily), a tablespoon of raw flax oil and a diet that contains more protein and fat, and less carbohydrates (processed foods). If the patient is also prone to anxiety or panic attacks, add Min-Chex (2 taken 3x daily).

Chiropractic

This term describes a type of headache caused by misalignment of the vertebrae (usually in the neck). These headaches are often accompanied by neck stress, stiffness, and/or pain. Good chiropractic or osteopathic care to correct misaligned vertebrae usually provides prompt relief for this type of headache. However, dietary or other headache causes can actually cause the vertebrae to continually become misaligned. In these cases, the real cause must be addressed and corrected.

If the person suffers from chronic joint problems and weak ligaments and tendons, Ligaplex II (2 taken 3x daily) may help. It supplies the trace minerals needed to maintain strong ligaments and an aligned spine and neck. A diet of organic foods with 1/3 eaten raw will help by providing needed nutrients to maintain a strong skeleton. Of course, exercise is always a must.

Gallbladder

This type is very similar to Liver Toxicity headaches. This sufferer will have marked problems when eating fats and oils. Nausea will usually accompany these headaches. There is often pain over the liver and gallbladder area. If the gallbladder has been removed, the underlying cause of the gallbladder problems and headaches are almost always still present since gallbladder removal is treatment of the symptoms, not the cause.

In these cases, you may want to clean up the liver and gallbladder by eating plenty of raw beets and using the product AF Betafood (3-4 taken 3x daily for three to six months). One to three Liver Flushes may also help by thinning the bile, allowing for better bile flow, and removing bile gravel and small, premature gallstones. If this is the cause of your headaches, these procedures will provide prompt relief.

Also avoid fats and oils for a short period of time while you cleanse the liver and gallbladder. Remember that gallbladder removal does not eliminate the need for this treatment. Rather, the treatment would have eliminated the need for gallbladder surgery.

Ovarian

These headaches usually occur during ovulation and/or menstruation. They often come with emotional instability and mood swings. Acne can occur during this time and many women take birth control pills to control these problems. Birth control pills are a form of hormone therapy and are therefore treatment of symptoms. It is always best to try to normalize body chemistry and hormone production to eliminate these types of headaches.

Exercise, eat a diet of organically grown foods, and eliminate refined foods, sugars, processed foods, fried foods, processed oils, and alcohol. Supplements are often needed to balance body chemistry and bring about hormonal stability. In order of importance: Symplex F (2 taken 3x daily), flax oil (1 tablespoon daily), and Organic Iodine (1 taken every other day). Those allergic to iodine (this is very rare) will not be able to use Organic Iodine. Those allergic to iodine are well aware of it.

If this protocol fails to resolve the problem, you may need to add Ovex (2 taken 3x daily starting a few days before headaches are anticipated and taken until this time has passed). This may be needed for three to six months. And finally, a food containing organic iron, such as Ferrofood (1 taken every other day) is sometimes needed.

Thyroid

This type of headache usually shows up first thing in the morning (upon arising). As the thyroid gets fired up later in the day, the headache usually subsides. These people should also consider Liver Toxicity as a concurrent cause of their headaches. Since thyroid hormones are conjugated (made active) in the liver, a toxic liver will contribute to thyroid problems and their headaches.

In these cases, exercise is a must and meals should not be too big. Supplements needed include: Thytrophin (2 taken 3x daily), Cataplex F (1-2 taken 3x daily) and for some women Symplex F (2 taken 3x daily). If you are allergic to iodine you will not be able to use Cataplex F and should substitute a tablespoon of raw flax oil daily. It can take from six to 18 months to "rebalance" a thyroid gland.

Capillary Fragility

These can be crushing headaches caused by blood leaking from weak and fragile capillaries. The cause can be prescription drugs, but is more often a lack of the bioflavonoid complex called vitamin P.  This nutritional complex is found in raw fruits and vegetables and is concentrated in peppers, the pith of citrus, and raw potatoes. 

Those suffering from this problem may also have chronic bruising, bleeding gums, gingivitis, ulcers, and cuts that heal slowly. You will find that no amount of ascorbic acid will resolve this problem, because it is the bioflavonoid portion of the whole vitamin C complex that is deficient (and not present in this form of Vitamin C).

In most cases, supplements are needed for six months as the diet is changed. CyrutaPlus (2 taken 3x daily) and/or Cataplex ACP (2 taken 3x daily) are the products of choice. Remember that prescription drugs can contribute to capillary fragility and bleeding. All pain killers, arthritis drugs, and NSAIDS are notorious for causing these problems. Look up all your drugs in a drug handbook and talk to your doctor about the ones that are causing this type of headache. 

Adrenal

Also known as fatigue headaches, these come on later in the day as fatigue sets in. You can feel listless and exhausted while having a headache at the same time. Often the blood pressure will be low at this time. You can test these headaches as adrenal type by performing the Ragland Test. Take your blood pressure lying down (face up) and record it. Without removing the blood pressure cuff from your arm, stand up and immediately take the blood pressure again.

If the adrenals are exhausted, you will fail to get the normal rise in systolic (first blood pressure number) reading. This is diagnostic of adrenal exhaustion and a signal that steps must be taken to normalize this imbalance in the body chemistry. The treatment of choice is smaller meals, plenty of mild exercise, and the right supplements, in this case Drenamin (2-3 taken 3x daily) and, if the blood pressure is low, Vasculin (2-3 taken 3x daily).

You can check your success with this therapy by repeating the Ragland Test and seeing if your blood pressure responds more normally. And for more information on the phenomenon of Adrenal Exhaustion, with or without headaches, see "Adrenal Failure," Health Alert, Vol.16, No.5.

Headaches Are Warning Signs

Always remember that headaches are usually a signal that something is wrong. They are a red light like the one in your car signaling that the car needs oil, or that something else is seriously wrong.  If you disregard the red light in your car, the engine will eventually break down. If you disregard headache warning signs, you can lose your health or have to rely on more and more drugs while never addressing the cause of the problem.

I hope this gives you a start on the detective work needed to find the cause of chronic headaches. Learning to pay attention to your body can often help you identify, and thereby eliminate, the cause of a problem. While the cause of every headache is not always possible to track down, breaking them down into categories or types makes the job easier. Not making an effort to determine and treat the cause can be deadly.

Early Migraine Treatment

The herb, butterbur, fell out of favor during the 1800s but now it's back as the treatment of choice in early migraine headaches.  Petasin and isopetasin, the two active ingredients in butterbur, relieve pain by calming muscles in spasm and relieving inflammation.  Since there was a German report "suggesting" that one of its substances, pyrrolizidine, might be carcinogenic, there is now a butterbur product that doesn't contain pyrrolizidine.  It is called Petadolex and is sold in the USA.  It won't work in all pain cases but has no known side effects.  If you try it, simply follow the recommended dosage on the label.

 

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