Dr. Weyrich's Naturopathic Functional Medicine Notebook is a collection of information on topics of interest to Dr. Weyrich that may be of interest to the world wide audience. Due to limitations of time, not all information that Dr. Weyrich knows or would like to further research is published here. Dr. Weyrich welcomes financial contributions to support specific research topics, as well as copies of non-free access journal articles for him to review on a topic. Constructive criticism is also welcome.


Overview of Migraine Headaches

While the term "migaine" is most often associated with headaches, other body systems can also be affected, such as the abdomen (abdominal migraines) or the eyes (ophthamalic migraines). Migraines can also be associated with the menstrual cycle.

Complimentary and alternative treatments for migraines that are considered below include:

  • Neuro-Gen High Performance Neuromodulation (HPN)
  • Conventional Neuro-feedback
  • Acupuncture
  • Neurotransmitter Balancing

Etiology of Migraine Headaches

Migraines have been associated with hypothyroid conditions [DeGroot1996], [Starr2005, pg 126]. Also consider factors such as sinus infections, muscle tension, estrogen or progesterone deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction, yeast dysbiosis, and mercury or lead toxicity [Starr2005, pp 154, 156].

The menstrual cycle often interacts with hypothyroidism to produce cyclical headaches. Most of these patients (95%) respond to treatment of hypothyroidism [Barnes1976], [Starr2005, pg 156].


Diagnosis of Migraine Headaches

Migraines are a form of recurrent headache that often runs in families, and diagnosis requires four of the following six characteristics:
  • one-sided,
  • pulsating or throbbing,
  • moderate or severe,
  • worsened by ordinary daily activities such as climbing stairs or housework,
  • accompanied by nausea,
  • accompanied by sensitivity to light or noise.
There must be no evidence of other disease and at least 4-5 attacks before a physician can be confident of the diagnosis [Go to HealingWellHealingWell].

Differential Diagnosis of Migraine Headaches


Treatment of Migraine Headaches

Please see conventional, complimentary and alternative medical treatments for important background information regarding the different types of medical treatments discussed below.

Conventional Treatments

Note that overtreatment of migraine headaches with pain-killers (e.g. aspirin) or ergots (e.g. sumatriptan) may lead to chronic daily headaches [Go to HealingWellHealingWell].

Naturopathic, Complimentary and Alternative Treatments

Neuro-Gen High Performance Neuromodulation (HPN)

HPN has been reported to be useful for treating migraine headaches [Snook], [Willis]. Dr. Weyrich has been trained in the use of Neuro-Gen High Performance Neuromodulation system by it's inventor, Corey Snook. However, Dr. Weyrich has not treated any cases of migraine headaches with this technique.

Please see What is Neuro-Gen High Performance Neuromodulation? for more information.

Conventional Neuro-feedback

Neuro-feedback and bio-feedback have been shown to be useful for migraine headaches. Dr. Weyrich has been certified in Neuro-feedback since 2008, and more recently completed an additional residency training program at ADD Clinic of Scottsdale, AZ. While at the ADD clinic, he treated a few cases of migraine headaches.

Please see What is Neurofeedback? for more information.

Acupuncture

  • For frontal headache: EX-HN-3, UB-2, Du-23, St-44 [Backer2010, pg 128].
  • For templar headache: EX-HN-5, GB-8, SJ-20, SJ-5, GB-41 [Backer2010, pg 128].
  • For occipital headache: UB-10, Du-16, UB-60, UB-67 [Backer2010, pg 128].
  • For vertex headache: EX-HN-1, Du-20, Liv-3 [Backer2010, pg 128].

Neurotransmitter Balancing

Neuro Research [Hinz2015] reports that migraine headaches can be benefited by balancing neurotransmitter levels in the body.

Dr. Weyrich has been trained in neurotransmitter balancing protocols, but has not treated migraine headaches using this technique.

Please see What is Neurotransmitter Balancing? for more information.


Hypotheses regarding Migraine Headaches

Dr. Starr proposes that migraine headaches may be associated with myxedema and mucin accumulation in the trigeminal nerve (CN V) that inervates the face and scalp, and states that increased swelling of the extremities appears to be part of the migraine prodrome in many patients [Starr2005, pg 155].

ICD-10 Codes related to Migraine Headaches

Aura:
preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs or symptoms, such as flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling in hands or face [Go to MayoMayo].
Intractable:
refractory; difficult to treat or fails to respond to standard treatments [Go to Headache JournalHeadache Journal].
Status migrainosus:
A severe unrelenting migraine headache associated with nausea and vomiting [Go to HealingWellHealingWell].
Chronic:
occurs frequently over a period of time, generally at least 15 days per month for a period of at least six months [Go to HealingWellHealingWell].
Hemiplegic:
aura that includes muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the body [Go to WebMDWebMD].
Aura persistent:
Aura symptoms persist for more than 1 week [Go to IHSIHS].
Cerebral infarction:
Local hypoperfusion of white matter of the brain. See also TIA and Stroke.

References for Migraine Headaches