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Headaches and migraines

by Dr. Holly Carling
| November 10, 2010 8:00 PM

Headaches plague more people in the United States than perhaps any single symptom (except fatigue). Headaches can be simply an annoyance, or severe, such as a migraine - incapacitating the person for up to several days at a time.

As with all of the many symptoms a person can have, headaches are the body's way of alerting the person to the fact that something is wrong. I was stunned the first time someone said to me, "Yes, I get normal headaches."

There is no such thing as a "normal headache." All headaches mean something, and can mean several different things.

The good news is you don't have to suffer! There is a causative factor (or factors) and once that is discovered, treatment can commence and life can return to normal. Life should not be dictated by your symptoms.

Headaches located at different areas of your head mean different things - different causes. In other words, if your headache is on top of your head it means something entirely different than if it's located between your neck and head, or on your forehead.

So what are the causes of headaches? There are lots of causes. Low blood sugar can cause headaches (missed or prolonged time between meals), toxic overload in the liver, fatigue, stress (physical or emotional), neck tension, digestive difficulties, alcohol in the blood or accumulated in the liver, loud noises, bright lights, inadequate sleep, smoking or exposure to smoking, imbalanced hormones, strong odors such as perfume or cleaning supplies, sinus infections or congestion and allergic reactions.

Certain foods can trigger headaches such as those containing the amino acid tyramine (found in red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs and some beans), chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG), processed meats (contain nitrates), dairy products, caffeine and onions. Mineral imbalances can also trigger headaches.

What can you do about it? First find the offender. If it's something in your diet, eliminate it. That sounds simple, but it isn't always easy to find. You need someone who is skilled in helping decipher your symptoms (all of them, not just the headache - after all, you are a person, not a set of symptoms).

Treat your headaches naturally. Don't depend on drugs. The problem with drugs is that while they may help initially, the load they cause on the liver generally leaves you more susceptible to the next headache and it then becomes a vicious cycle.

I've been successfully helping people eliminate their headaches and migraines for over 30 years. Learn about my favorite solutions for eliminating headaches and migraines at our upcoming health class, "Natural Solutions for Headaches & Migraines," on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Vital Health & Fitness in CDA.

Fee: $10

RSVP: 208-765-1994

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with over 30 years of experience. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d'Alene clinic. Visit Dr. Carling's website at www.vitalhealthandfitness.com to learn more about Dr. Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Dr. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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