The Beginner's Guide to Natural Living
The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide on how to prevent disease, lose weight, improve energy and live vibrantly.
  
 


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Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
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Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
My very talented Naturopathic Doctor
She treats a wide variety of conditions
Office & phone appointments available
Los Angeles, CA (Pacific Palisades)

Migraines
Naturopathic Medicine Treatment
Interview with Dr. Lena Kian, ND

A Migraine is a type of headache disorder that is often one sided, and it’s characterized by throbbing or a pulsating sensation and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise and light. It’s often quite debilitating and can affect ones quality of life. And sometimes it’s preceded by a visual disturbance called an aura, and once that takes place then it leads to a full grown migraine and can last anywhere from six hours to forty-eight hours in duration. The conventional treatment for migraine headaches is drug therapy to prevent the onset or to reduce the severity. Drugs such as NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin are used, triptans such as Imitrex, anticonvulsants or blood pressure medications have been used and also antihistamines. The side effects include gastrointestinal upset to possible damage to the liver, and nausea and drowsiness can also take place.

Migraine Causes
Migraines are an inflammatory response caused by an abnormal dilation and constriction of the blood vessels of the head called vasospasms, and they are often triggered by many factors such as exposure to bright light or to noise or cigarette smoke or certain perfumes. They can also be due to fluctuations of the hormones such as the menstrual cycle or even the birth control pill can bring on and cause a migraine. Other factors that trigger it are food sensitivities, alcohol, missed meals, so fluctuations in blood sugar can bring it on, abnormal sleep patterns and stress. Topamax is a medication that is prescribed to treat Migraines, but the side effects of this medication far outweigh the benefits. Topamax side effects can include oral birth defects in newborn babies if a women takes this medication during her pregnancy.

Naturopathic Medicine Migraine Diagnosis
When someone comes to see me with a migraine headache, I want to take a thorough history of the onset of the headache, what has brought it on, what makes it better or worse, and I also want to look at lifestyle factors, their diet, their physical activity and specifically their stress levels. I want to order some tests, specifically blood tests, looking at their blood sugars, looking for hormones doing a blood or salivary test to check for that, and also a salivary cortisol level. I also want to check for food allergies, looking at IGG or IGE blood levels to rule out food allergies that may be triggering the headache.

Naturopathic Medicine Migraine Treatment
When I treat someone with a migraine, my goal is to optimize blood sugar, to balance hormones and to reduce inflammation. I would prescribe a organic whole foods low glycemic diet, and I would avoid foods that the patient is allergic to based on the blood tests that they have done. There are also certain foods that trigger migraines such as triptans in chocolate, wine or cheese or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, nitrates or processed foods.


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Naturopathic Medicine Migraine Supplements
I prescribe nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and B-6 which help to relax the muscles and the arteries. I also use herbs such as butterbur and feverfew which are anti-inflammatory. These are similar to antihistamines without the side effect of drowsiness. I also prescribe homeopathic remedies based on the appropriate symptom that the patient displays.

Naturopathic Medicine Migraine Treatment Success
I have a high success rate. For those who follow my protocol, over eighty percent of them are symptom free within two to three months.

Naturopathic Medicine Migraine Diet
If someone would like to reverse their migraine headache, I recommend that they adopt a natural living lifestyle. This includes eating a whole foods organic based diet and also to avoid eating processed foods and synthetic ingredients such as MSG and aspartame. I also recommend that they take nutritional supplements such as calcium and magnesium and to see a naturopathic doctor.

Interview with Dr. Lena Kian, ND

Also See: Dr. Angela Agrios, ND Naturopathic Doctor Health Series