Natural Medicine/Migraine Disease



Natural Medicine and Migraine Disease.
Its Time to Think Outside the Box.

By Dr. James Sensenig, ND

Conventional medicine has made great strides in recent years in its attempts to assist migraine sufferers.  The popular pharmaceutical abortion drugs are truly remarkable in their ability to stop a migraine in its tracks.  Sadly, the area of greatest concern to migraineurs, how to prevent the onset of a migraine, remains an unsolved mystery.

Many significant scientific discoveries are the result of challenging existing thinking rather than accepting it.  Let's think "outside the box" in a search for theories that might lead us to a successful approach to the prevention of migraine.

Within my field of alternative medicine, naturopathy, it is believed that most disease states begin with or are complicated by some level of digestive dysfunction.  If the body is not efficient in digesting and absorbing the nutrients it needs, and subsequently does not have all the essential building blocks at its disposal than some level of dysfunction will occur.  This dysfunction may effect circulation, tissue repair, respiration, liver function, potentially any system or organ within the body.

Let's look at migraine for example.  The most common explanation of the cause of migraine in the conventional medical community is that it is the result of changes in the blood vessels in the area of the brain.  Therefore, researchers concentrate on ways to interfere with the process of vascular constriction and dilation and thereby reduce or eliminate the pain.  Unfortunately this theory and process does not explain why the changes in the blood vessels occurs in the first place.  Therefore while this approach may help in addressing the pain it does nothing to prevent the next headache.

One of the prevailing thoughts in alternative circles is that the vascular changes may be the result of a food allergy.  This is not the sort of allergy that results in rashes or typical allergic reactions, but rather a reaction to poorly regulated intestinal absorption.  A breakdown in the process of intestinal absorption can occur for any number of reasons.  Because this function is absolutely critical within the body even minimal digestive dysfunction may cause problems.  The intestinal lining is designed to absorb into the blood stream those nutrients which the body needs and just as importantly keep out those things the body cannot use. 

We believe that when the intestinal wall allows improperly digested proteins, fats, or other nutrients to enter the blood stream that the body views the undigested nutrients as foreign substances and reacts to eliminate them.  It is further believed that in some people this allergic reaction can cause vascular changes.  The result of this thinking is that in the treatment of most migraine sufferers we focus initially on improving digestive function.  In recent years there have been some wonderful advances in nutritional medicine as it relates to products to improve digestive function.  These predigested food products appear to allow the gut wall to heal and thus return to its role of keeping the allergenic products out.

Now for the next piece to the puzzle.  There is another critical function in the body that effects the body's ability to recover from chronic disease. The body must be able to detoxify, that is, get rid of the normal waste products and other toxins.  In the process of metabolism the body generates the energy it needs to survive and function. A critical step in metabolism is the removal of the waste products generated by the body.  In addition to the waste products generated within the body, we are constantly subjected to a wide variety of foreign substances in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. The body must also be successful in removing these environmental toxins.

The critical organ in the detoxification process is the liver.  It is an amazing organ with a wide range of functions.  Within alternative medicine circles liver function is almost as critical as digestive function when we attempt to address the root cause of disease. 

If I were to summarize the philosophy that is the basis of this article in one simple sentence it would be: give the body what it needs (digestion), enhance its ability to eliminate what it does not need (detoxification) and the body will invariably move toward better health.  As a practitioner it is my job to assist you in returning the body to proper, that is normal, function.

In over twenty years of clinical practice I have seen this approach work time and time again with migraines.  I am dedicated to bringing this successful approach to the attention of as many migraine sufferers as I can.

Yours in Good Health,


Dr. Jim Sensenig, ND, Founder


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