Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
Migraine is so much more than a headache, and it varies hugely from one person to the next. It’s even possible to have migraine without much or any head pain at all.
Natalia’s approach to migraine puts you, the patient, firmly at the centre. She starts by building a thorough understanding of how migraine is affecting you – your symptoms, any specific triggers you have identified and the impact that migraine is having on your life. Migraine typically comes and goes over the years, and by taking a detailed case history, Natalia is often able to identify the specific circumstances or events behind current symptoms – maybe a change of job, or a particularly stressful time.
Many women find that their migraine attacks are linked to particular times in their menstrual cycle, or that they start up, or worsen, at times of hormonal change – at puberty, after pregnancy or during the menopause. This information again shapes Natalia’s approach.
Herbal Medicine and Migraine
Natalia makes extensive use of the herb Feverfew, which is a well known migraine remedy. Small daily doses can help to reduce migraine attacks: many of her patients also find that a large, single dose taken at the first signs of an attack can ward it off completely.
Natalia usually incorporates a small dose of Feverfew into an individually tailored mixture of 5-10 different herbs. She selects the remaining herbs according to the patient’s needs, for example to
clear the head and reduce ‘fogginess’
relax tense muscles
lift mood/reduce anxiety
Herbal medicine can be used alongside, or as an alternative to, prescription migraine treatments.
Nutrition and Migraine
A migraine-friendly diet is essential for any sufferer, and to be effective must be tailored to each person's needs. This may involve avoiding any foods that can trigger an attack. But in fact the problem is just as likely to be what you’re not eating.
The most common dietary migraine trigger isn’t a food at all – it’s hunger. About two thirds of migraine sufferers find that hunger, or missing a meal, can trigger an attack. This can cause blood sugar levels to fall too far, too fast, and researchers have found that this rapid fall often triggers a migraine attack. So choosing foods that help to keep blood sugar stable, and eating frequently so that hunger never strikes, are vital for most migraine sufferers. Natalia can help by providing ideas for healthy breakfasts, snacks and meals on the go.
Does your diet supply all the nutrients you need? Low levels of some vitamins and minerals have been shown to worsen migraine, while having migraine can also mean that you need much higher than average levels of some nutrients. Natalia uses supplements to boost any low levels, while helping you to make changes to your diet to maintain healthy levels in the future.
Herbal medicine and nutrition are valuable for migraine but are often not the whole answer to this complex condition. Natalia is happy to work alongside your GP or neurologist, and can also help with referrals to highly qualified, reputable practitioners of other therapies such as osteopathy, acupuncture and remedial massage.