Migraine Causes

My Personal Migraine Story:


I experienced my first migraine exactly 24 hours after having the yellow fever vaccination.1 I knew instantly that I was having a migraine, I have studied migraines extensively. But, I had yet to experience one personally. There's nothing like personal experience to add full-color resolution into a black-and-white story. It was a year of learning to walk a mile in someone else's migraine shoes. I have treated migraines for many years, and I've become familiar with their triggers and causes, but my very own migraine story was a new chapter that I did not particularly enjoy reading. I experienced intense pain, loss of ability to concentrate, light sensitivity, prodrome, nausea, and sound sensitivity. I have a busy schedule at the clinic and a very busy home life, four children, two of them toddlers. The introduction of migraine headaches was a significant disruption. My triggers seemed to be stress, cardiovascular activities, noise, and bright lights. I think my list of triggers is also the job description for every daddy, so I was having attacks fairly frequently. I also became newly sensitive to certain foods and food additives.

2 I began to avoid my triggers as best I could, especially those associated with foods. But, I knew my triggers were not the cause. I had never had a migraine until I was vaccinated. I am not making a pro or negative vaccine argument here; it’s just my personal story. I experienced an adverse reaction the yellow fever vaccine that caused my immune system to run wild. After the vaccine, my immune system became like that of someone with an autoimmune disorder. I had a massive over reaction to the vaccine that caused so much inflammation I began to have migraines overnight that would later send me to the emergency room. Specialist after specialist were not able to help me, but they all agreed that I was very sick. I spent one and a half years recovering. What I learned about the immune system, as well as a migraine and migraine triggers continues to bless the people in my life every day. I put myself on a safe heavy metal detox program and a very effective antiviral program. After six months on that program, I haven't had any further migraine headaches. That was a major personal win for my


1 CDC: Yellow Fever Vaccination Adverse Effects


2 Food and Drink


family and me, which I now pass on to my patients. I once had a patient who had experienced migraines on and off for 30 years. They began after a traumatic incident when she was seven years old. She was under the care of several different doctors for her migraines, and she was also on medications that sometimes helped, and sometimes did not. While I was taking her history, she listed all the things that caused her to have a migraine, like cigarette smoke, alcohol, food additives, stimulants like coffee or caffeine and energy drinks. I explained that those aren't causes, those are triggers. We need to find the causes of your migraines, and we need to look into the past to find them. Since she had had very little success treating these headaches, it looked like something may have been overlooked. We needed to find what had been missed in her history so that we could better understand the cause of her migraine. If we could do that, we would know better how to treat it. That's when I discovered that she had had a very serious trauma at age seven. Her migraines began right after that and had never let up. That new piece to the puzzle gave us much more information than we had before, and we were able to treat her migraine effectively.


Causes of a Migraine:


There are several causes of migraines, but they all end up creating a common factor that leads to the root cause of migraine pain. The common factors behind all migraines are chronic inflammation, over-reactive immune systems, and small blood vessel damage and disorders. Let's talk about these causes, and then you will understand why certain triggers cause you to have a migraine but don’t seem to bother other people. Migraines sufferers intimately understand their triggers. They know that if they get around someone who has been smoking, they're going to have a migraine. They know that if they eat at a particular restaurant, they're going to have a migraine, but those are triggers, not the causes. Causes are things like autoimmune disorders, chemical toxicity,mitochondrial damage, viral infections, especially viral infections that have gone undiagnosed and have become chronic, like Epstein-Barr virus. Other causes include endocrine dysregulation or imbalances in your hormones like cortisol, or blood sugar dysregulation, like low blood sugar, high blood sugar and diabetes. All of these conditions eventually lead to the kinds of chronic inflammation and immune system over-activity that become the underlying causes of migraines. All of these causes ultimately result in neurovascular inflammation, inflammation of the brain and small blood vessels that feed the brain. The blood vessels that feed your brain, and the delicate neurons that your brain is made of, become inflamed or are attacked by the immune system or both.


Migraine Triggers:


Migraine triggers come into play only when the brain and body systems are susceptible to being triggered. It is only when the resting membrane potential in the brain is weakened that the neurons and capillaries become vulnerable to being over excited, or activated too easily. Migraine triggers, like lack of sleep, stress, stimulants, food additives, bright flashing lights, alcohol, cigarette smoke, dehydration, medications, and

strenuous activity push the already weakened neurons into a state of hyperactivity or cause an inflammatory reaction by the immune system. If the brain were healthy, it would be able to adapt to the stresses of life and “triggers” wouldn't trigger a migraine. When the brain or the body system is already in trouble, it becomes susceptible to the stresses of life and those stresses become triggers for migraine attacks. That's why always take a time-line history when evaluating patients. I need to understand what the causes of the condition are. I need to understand all the puzzle pieces that are in play that result in a brain that can't handle the stresses of life.



Migraine Headaches Part One

Migraine Headaches Part Two

Migraine Headaches Part Three

Migraine Headaches Part Four


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Dr. Kenneth Wingrove D.C.

U.S. 491 & NM Hwy 64, Ste.6&7

Shiprock, NM 87420


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