Welcome to the functional medicine and natural healing podcast where we share the secrets to upgrade your digestion, improve your hormones, restore your immune system and detoxify your body. I’m your host, Dr. Houston Anderson. Now let’s get started. The following discussion is for educational purposes, it is not intended to diagnose or treat. always discuss medical treatments or medical interventions to your personal physician. Alright guys, welcome back to part two of my migraine series just going to be two episodes I believe for now. And then we can answer some more questions if you go and find me on Instagram. So today we’re gonna talk about the supplements that I might use in a typical migraine patient. Obviously, with every migraine, there can be variability, there can be changes, you can be unique. Of course that happens. And we all have our own unique stories. But before we even get into those supplements, I want to remind you go back to the last episode, and try and listen to kind of those root causes. Because it’s easy and fun to go and buy a new supplement, it’s going to cure everything. But it’s more important to know what you’re addressing and why you’re addressing it. Because that way you can understand what supplement you’re taking and how it addresses that. So you can Google any herb or supplement, you’ll find Oh, that helps with migraines. But the question is why. And if you’re taking the same product for the same mechanism over and over, you may not ever get a result and you think you’ve tried 100 things. And you’ve really only tried one thing. And that’s really, really common when it comes to patients coming in the office is that they think they’ve tried everything, but they’ve tried everything related to one kind of way that the body works. So for example, if you’re trying to lose weight, maybe you’ve tried every way of working out to lose weight, but you’ve never tried diet, or vice versa, you’ve tried every way to die up, you’ve never tried actually working out a new way. So there’s those kinds of things. And you may feel like you’ve tried so hard, but you haven’t really hit the story or the nail on the head. So just go back and make sure that you understand some of these root causes. So just as a quick reminder, like the main root cause I covered in the last episode, immune related problems, which are mostly food sensitivities, and food allergens, blood flow related problems, which we’ll cover a little bit today. And then nervous system stimulation. So anything that stimulates the nervous system, are the things are the categories that we’re going to be looking at. Alright, let’s go with a simple challenge, probably the cheapest one that you can do at home. So essentially, we call this the brown bag challenge, what you can do is take a little lunch bag, a brown bag, or any paper bag that you happen to have at your house. And what you do is you start re breathing into it. So essentially, you cover your mouth and your nose and you breathe into it, we usually say eight to 10, maybe 12 or 14 breaths inside that bag. And what you’re doing is you’re trying to re breathe the air that you breathe out, which is going to increase something called co2, that co2, if it makes you feel better indicates a problem was the what’s called the Krebs cycle, or we could call it mitochondrial dysfunction. Okay, so what you would do is, is you feel a migraine coming on or you see kind of the some of the things that are going off, you’re like, oh, no, I might have one, even before you go run for your drugs. To save your life, you can read breathe in this bad really quickly, and see if that decreases the intensity. Now this would go for any symptom that you have with any other condition too. But we’re talking about migraines today. So if you notice that you have increased blood and brain clarity or that the headache, you know, the prodrome, the migraine starts to go away, or you feel an increased energy or brain clarity with that energy, I’m going to say mostly, it’s going to be kind of head related. But if you feel better, then you know that it’s a deficiency of energy actually getting into the cells. And without going into too much of the science of that Krebs cycle or the mitochondrial health indicates some missing B vitamins essentially. But the B vitamins are not the one that most people take. It’s this indicates kind of B ones B twos, befores B fives, which is Panasonic acid, maybe some ala or lipoic acid and CO q 10. So in the easy cases, we add some of those B vitamins. But what I do in the office, it’s a little bit different than what you might see online or in a lot of other doctor’s offices is i i rarely ever use a B complex, those don’t seem to work with patients. So that’s a quick little clinical tip there. If you’re taking a B complex and looking for an actual result, it’s unlikely to happen. I’m not going to go into why that is today. But long story short, I much prefer if you actually have a migraine problem and you notice that this test the breathing into a bag works, then maybe you take some b one for a while okay, if that doesn’t work, you take some b two, you can try some B five obviously in our office, we’re going to use frequency testing or muscle testing in order to determine what the best nutrient is for you and what B vitamins is going to help you the most which is you know, obviously the benefit of working with a practitioner but at home, if you’re just going to do that reread test. You’re looking at this specifically the B vitamins that have to do with that Krebs Cycle cycle or citric acid cycle. Big words long story short breathe into a bag. If you don’t feel so awesome, then you might have a B vitamin deficiency. Okay, so here’s another one you can do at home. So as you kind of feel any migraine or headache coming on you can try the challenge is called a tablespoon per hour. And that is the tables When per hour of high dose omega threes and sometimes omega threes, both DHA and EPA Fatty Fatty Acids, so I wouldn’t really do over five tablespoons, and it can definitely cause loose stools or diarrhea. So I wouldn’t do it at work or as as my first trial on this. But it’s definitely worth a try on a day off or a weekend, when you can afford to have you know, a couple of extra bowel movements or be stuck on the toilet for a little bit of time. I know it sounds scary. But once again, we’re choosing diarrhea and migraines and, and you know, that’s your choice to make there. But oftentimes, you’ll find that in two or three doses, it starts to kick in. So what we do is you take a tablespoon of this high dose of omega omega threes, and you’ll do it every hour. So essentially, you’ll take one on the first hour, take one on the second hour, take one on the third hour and see what happens. If you get up to five and you aren’t having a result, then I would say okay, that’s not the secret there. But But what we’re looking at here is that those high dose anti inflammatory fish oils can actually change the balance of the fatty acids or inflammation in your body. Okay, so if this test works for you, you’re looking at probably you’re consuming too many Omega sixes, maybe eating seed oils regularly or semi regularly, or just the build up over time, you don’t have healthy cells, fat cells that surround both your neurons and your actually your individual cells. This can happen just from eating too many processed and refined foods too. So I like to use an Omega liquid from biotics research. And I’ll link it in the show notes if this test actually works for you. So let’s say you do two or three doses, and once the officials aren’t gonna be bad for you, they’re gonna be healthy either way, whether you whether you actually do well on this test or do poor on this test, it doesn’t really help you, that’s okay, the officials in your system aren’t going to be negative, they will have any negative side effects to you, other than maybe some looser stools, but if this helps you, I’d recommend actually doing five grams of liquid omegas a day for 60 days. So that’s a really high dose. A lot of people don’t know that. Most of the research on fish oil, when you actually talk about having a clinical benefit, actually seeing a change in symptoms in a reasonable period of time, you know, like two, three weeks, you’re looking and doing something like five grams a day, whereas most fish oil pills, especially the ones that you buy at the store, they’re gonna have, you know, 23423 400 milligrams of EPA and 234 100 milligrams of DHA. And so those low doses are equal, usually about a gram. So if you’re going to go buy the low dose ones, then you’re going to end up taking five servings essentially every day in order to get that clinical benefit for 60 days. Yeah, it’s a little bit expensive. But the reason why you know, it’s good for you is because you did the challenge, right? So you know that that’s going to be a story there. And honestly, like, if you’re looking for a benefit with omegas, you can do high dose fish oil, high dose cod liver oil, but it really does have to be at about five grams a day to see kind of that dramatic shift, rather than Yeah, if you took, if you took like one gram a day of omega threes for like two years, maybe it would wind up working, but it just doesn’t work fast enough. And it doesn’t shift the balance, it doesn’t get you back to homeostasis or balance fast enough that you see much of a result, maybe a lot of you guys are already taking fish oil, but you don’t think it specifically cures any ailment. And oftentimes, that’s dosage and then then the frequency, right so just that that total quantity that you’re getting into your to your body at a regular interval. So this is actually very similar to another challenge I was talking about, which is called the ibuprofen challenge. The ibuprofen challenge is simple. If you take Tylenol, ibuprofen, Excedrin, any of those things for your headache, or migraine, and it actually helps you then you can rest assured that your fatty acids need to be balanced and you’d benefit from fish oil supplementation at that high dose. Because essentially all that those do is balance out your omega threes and sixes and you kind of have this now of course there’s some other things that they do and especially if you’re taking the Excedrin, it has some caffeine in there that may be benefiting you with blood flow and things like that. But if you’re looking at just a straight like Tylenol or acetaminophen or you’re looking straight ibuprofen,
kind of kind of INSEAD that if those are helping you then you can be pretty confident that your oil balances in your body are incorrect. Okay, let’s talk about a few vitamins really quick co Q 10 is some really good research for as well as b two has some really good research for it for decreasing the severity of the migraines and the frequency. But what you find is that they don’t actually make them disappear. But they do help about 50%. So I mean, if you wouldn’t mind your migraines being 50% Better, this may be a possibility for you just kind of a different family of of, they really fall back to the original brown bag challenge. But even if you fail the brown bag challenge meaning it doesn’t seem to help your migraine go away. This these are still things that you can add on they just probably aren’t like the number one root cause but you can still get 50% improvement in three months by using these products regardless of whether it’s like your root cause or not. So you see some benefit there even in And, and people were no root cause determination was actually done. But it’s just kind of the general population giving these things and kind of hoping and praying that something work and it turns out that they do a little bit. Okay,
so the big thing about CO q 10, and b two specifically is that they address like your blood flow. So when you’re addressing that blood flow, you’ll find that, that or the I guess, it’s more like the visceral inflammation of your arteries and your veins that go through the brain so it can kind of keep them pretty calm, which is one of the reasons why you see changes in that blood flow. So often, I use a product from biotics research called Migron x. So am I gr a NX. This has the b two in it and the CO q 10. And as well as a few other herbs. So and it has some butterbur and some feverfew I’ve seen both of those work in patients and both of those fail in patients. So I don’t really like them because they really are kind of like anti inflammatories and, and while they do kind of support the cellular health with regards to migraine, I don’t find that they’re like the secret. Now I have had a few patients that butterbur cured everything. But once again, those take two to three months to really kick in. So it’s hard to see that that benefit where we’re hoping that in two to three months someone’s migraines are already better anyway, to a large degree. But let’s say that you would just have like some breakthrough migraines, like once every quarter or something like that, that might be something that you could add in but usually have to be on those on maintenance. So if I’m doing a maintenance products, like I said, I use that migraine x, which I’ll link in the show notes, where it has those high doses of b two and the CO q 10. As well as those herbs kind of kind of put in there. Now I will say that there is a caveat with doing high dose b two. So like I said, the research on the B two is pretty, pretty stellar, you’re going to find that it helps a lot of people. And b two deficiency is actually really, really common. But the main reason why we CBT deficiency in patients is simply because your gut, especially the bad guy, guys, or when you have overgrowth, it doesn’t have to be bad. Once again, you’ll hear me say that good gut micro organisms or adding probiotics can often often cause this deficiency in people. So if you’ve been on probiotics for 10 years, you may have a b2c deficiency caused by your probiotic. Now no one talks about that stuff, because it’s controversial. And now everyone’s scared to take a probiotic and you sell them in your office. It’s really a controversial subject. But here’s what I’d say that B to deficiency, you can take b two, anytime you address your gut. So usually what you do, like I said, Go listen to one of my other podcasts on gut health, you address your gut health, you take some Chinese captives, some all leave some load something like that, you address a lot of that, which kills a lot of the excess gut bacteria. Then with that, you know, you can take your BT without having to worry about side effects and get all the benefits. It’ll also make the beat to work faster. So that’s an important one there. In the previous podcasts on migraines, we talked about estrogen dominance affecting the liver. The ret main reason I see that this is a problem with migrants is a little bit different than you think it’s not just an estrogen dominance story. Yeah, that causes lots of fun problems. But what estrogen does is it sensitizes serotonin receptors on the cells. So if you have high estrogen, then your body’s going to hyper react to serotonin changes. So serotonin is responsible for vasodilation and vasoconstriction of the vessels in the brain are essentially you’re talking about blood flow once again. So when I talked about blood flow is an important one, that estrogen is correlated directly with that as well as with inflammation. But it’s more correlated with actually that that hypersensitivity is serotonin changes. So when estrogen is high, the smallest changes in serotonin can create a migraine. And let’s just talk about that serotonin really quick. So So serotonin is going to be higher low throughout different activities every day. Once again, now now you’re trying to figure out why you have a migraine, but your serotonin is going to drop and increase, either like a steady increase or decrease depending on the activity of the day. So you may have a lot of stress and may decrease your serotonin and set off a migraine or you may have a week off due to the holidays or you get some time off and that will actually increase your serotonin a lot and change that blood vessel constriction or vasodilation. Also when you’re having time off, so you find that people are like, well, it doesn’t matter if I work or don’t work if I have stress you don’t have stress. And the reason why is because our serotonin levels change a lot. But it’s it’s anytime you have estrogen dominance or high estrogen you’re gonna find that the changes in serotonin affect your brain cells and your migraine a lot more than if you didn’t so once you get that estrogen out, then you’re going to find that the changes in serotonin don’t affect you as much. Now of course a dramatic change in serotonin and a little bit of estrogen dominance might be a good example of why someone might have migraines infrequently. So but but you know, if you have a lot of stress in your life or a lot of changes in serotonin that happiness and that satisfaction chemical, then then you may you may be extra sensitive as shown with regards to migraines. Okay, so how do you know if you have high estrogen I’ve covered this another app says But long story short, if you have any PMS symptoms if you have ovulation pain, if you have any ovulation symptoms, really, if you have irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, those indicate excess estrogen. So you’ll find that low serotonin or, and or low but healthy estrogen levels make you depressed. But high serotonin makes you hyper excitable as well as high estrogen. So you can actually people are kind of back and forth. They’re like, well, I need estrogen because of my age or my gender or my lab tests showed low estrogen. But your we have to kind of choose you choose your battle here. So first, you’re going to choose to get rid of your excess bad estrogen, which is really common in today’s society. But after that, then you can kind of address where you know, okay, am I really depressed? Do I really have a low grade kind of Dysthymic presentation, essentially, what you’re looking for here is just getting you out of the migraine state. So you can really reassess where in the world is your brain as far as inflammation right now anyway, a good note here is that five HTP, which a lot of people take for mild depression may be good for postmenopausal women, because they have lower estrogen levels in general, but not so good for younger females, right. So maybe you you know, have some mood changes or mood disorders that make you pretend to be more depressed than someone else, when you’re 25 years old. And so you read the five HTP might be a great one to increase your serotonin. And while it may, it may actually cause these migraines. And so if you’re someone who takes a lot of supplements, you may have some five HTP slipped in there somewhere. And you may find that anytime that you eat eggs, which would be high in tryptophan, or take a supplement that has a level of five HTP, you actually end up getting migraines or you get yourself closer to having a migraine at all times. And then any stimulus can set you off, like a simple light. Okay, a second note here, just for fun, because obviously men listen to the podcast to is that testosterone says it’s sensitizes the cells in the men’s brain to serotonin. So if you’re taking testosterone replacement therapy, or even natural test boosters, you can actually end up with migraines and males. So you have to pay attention to what you’re adding. Because once again, you think Oh, testosterone can only be good for males. But that’s not true. I also noticed that men can have estrogen dominance, it does back up the liver does cause other problems. But it’s not as much about the serotonin, estrogen and men as much as the testosterone, estrogen, testosterone serotonin admin. Okay, so obviously, as in all my other episodes, I talked about how for estrogen dominance, we use a ton of amgr should extract in most cases was kind of ends up making this kind of my number one go to for migraines, as I mentioned in the previous podcast, but that goes for both males and females. So you got to pay attention to that. Once again, I’ll put a link in the show notes if you want to look at that product if you haven’t. And once again, my goal here is to give you some ideas that you haven’t tried, or that you may not be aware of, and today we’re focusing on supplementation specifically. Alright, the next thing to pay attention to is blood sugar changes. If you have hypoglycemia, or you get hangry, right, you get angry when you get hungry. If you don’t eat, you likely have unstable blood sugar. Okay, so these blood sugar changes spike neurotransmitters, which create a rapid change in nerve stimulation, which results in a migraine, and those with diabetes, obviously, your blood sugar issues are going to be very sensitive to changes, you know, a little bit of carbs can cause a huge, huge dramatic change. So you have to pay close attention to those. While a few cases of hypoglycemia can be hard, it’s really about avoiding processed refined foods, especially those added sugars and getting adequate protein. So in my practice, I require that women get 60 grams of protein each day, and that men get 75 grams of protein each day. So if you don’t know how much protein you’re eating, then you probably aren’t hitting that number because it does require an effort. Unless you’re eating something like a carnivore diet, then you probably are hitting that number. But if you’re not adding protein to probably two full meals, whether it’s eggs for breakfast, which once again could be a problem for serotonin, or you’re adding a whole chicken breast for lunch and a whole chicken breast for dinner, or whatever your version of protein is, you probably aren’t hitting that if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll never hit that number without separate supplementation. So it’s important to know that I prefer a supplement from a company called body health was once again I’ll link down below. I prefer that supplement over protein shakes, as the quality of protein shakes are really hard to determine. And you have to have optimal digestion to break these down. So the body health supplement, it’s actually 10 tablets a day I recommend you take five in the morning, five in the afternoon, you take them between meals, and it’ll stabilize that blood sugar to a large degree throughout most of the day. Now obviously you still have to try to eat healthy, but it takes care of that protein requirement that a lot of people are missing that is required to stabilize blood sugar. The other problem with protein shakes oftentimes the the protein shakes they like to claim to be hydrolyzed proteins or like broken down completely for you. But whether they’re carnivore proteins or whey protein shakes, they can actually act act as glutamate excitotoxins, which are triggers for migraines, right? So it can actually act as kind of that MSG story. And that would be something that would once again set you off. Alright, we can’t talk about migrants without talking about magnesium, a lot of people swear by magnesium for their migraines, but it can actually act both ways. In general, I would say that magnesium supplementation for migraines, I find that most people find a pretty good benefit, too. But it’s usually the people that are more like mostly headaches and tension headaches, severe headaches, things like that, and then the occasional migraine, they’ll find a lot of the benefit there.
And then also, for true true migraine patients, it’s really kind of hit and miss. I like magnesium citrate as my form of magnesium. Yes, I know that everyone in the world thinks that magnesium glycinate is just for the brain and anxiety and stress and all these things. But I still find that magnesium citrate gives me a better clinical benefit as far as long term health. The other reason I like it, because magnesium glycinate still falls in that glutamate pathway. So it actually can once again be a migraine trigger, if you use that glycinate. Now, obviously, any magnesium can go and stimulate that that cycle magnesium could bind with the glycine molecule inside your body and create that same problem, but I prefer to address migraines. What I like to say is actually indirectly if you’re using brain supplements for migraines that only affect the brain, you’re going to have a very aggressive response, it’s either going to be a horrible migraine or complete relief, most often or alights really results in a horrible migraine. So I don’t really like to address it that directly what we do is we get the body healthy, and then the migraine slowly but surely go away. Another way to add magnesium is just to do Epsom salt baths. I do like those, that’s a form of magnesium sulfate. The benefit of the magnesium sulfate, which I’ve always told patients I liked the sulfate specifically helps liver detox more than any other form of magnesium. So in the liver, when we’re talking about migraines, you’re really talking about two major pathways. Honestly, 90 99% of all detoxification is going to happen between two pathways, which is sulfation and glucuronidation. The glucuronidation pathway is related to blood sugar, and the nut I mean, that’s that’s pretty much taken care of with artichoke, the sulfur products are a little bit harder to get into the body. So I do like some MSM. I like the magnesium sulfate because once again, you’re absorbing it through the skin. So it’s not as direct. You have MSM products. And then I also like some of the broccoli products out there. Right. Some of the some of the broccoli sprout products out there are doing pretty good, you’ll find that people can be hypersensitive, those two. So just Just a note right there. Now, kind of one of the myths is perpetuated right now in functional medicine is that everyone needs magnesium. This is 100% not true, but it’s that it’s not that they don’t need magnesium is that if we were to lab test every one for sure, we have the research that says most people are magnesium deficient. But the question is, why does everyone need magnesium, I mean, 20 years ago, and it wasn’t a thing, but but I’ll say, you know, everyone wants to blame it on soil quality and things like that. And I just don’t find that that’s really the truth. Really, it comes from cortisol issues, you’ll find that if someone can manage their stress and their blood sugar, so cortisol is also going to be highly correlated with blood sugar, that they’re not going to need magnesium. The other thing is, you’ll find that the epinephrine and norepinephrine stimulation, aka also known as adrenaline, is what makes them deplete their magnesium. So this is your Daily caffeine and coffee. So essentially, you have poor sleep, you have excess stress, which then makes you tired, you don’t eat correct, which then makes your blood sugar off. And then to compensate for the fact that you didn’t sleep because you have bad blood sugar. Now you’re stuck drinking caffeine or coffee in the morning, which is then depleting your magnesium. Now that would be too hard to tell most people so let’s be honest here, most people are just going to take their magnesium supplement, but I will tell you that that magnesium supplement will never overpower those stressors in your lifestyle. So that’s important. Important there. Okay, so the other thing I want to kind of give you kind of the scenario because with all supplements, migraines, it’s a little bit more complex than you actually think because migraines people are sensitive, right? When you have that over hyper excitable nerve that we talked about in the last episode. And so like magnesium, technically adding magnesium to a neuron itself just to the brain will actually cause a migraine. Okay, so but if you look at the actual just sodium ions, potassium ions, what it actually does to the to the nerve, it makes it fire, it creates pain, essentially, in the brain from adding magnesium. Now, I don’t see that people come in and say, Hey, I’m taking magnesium and now I’ve got migraines that’s not so it’s not really a root cause there but it is possible. On the flip side, magnesium also decreases CGRP and that was in the q&a from last episode. So the calcium is thought to actually create the pain for the migraines and so it will decrease the calcium. Even though you have more firing neurons, you’ll have less pain. So like I said, you can you can actually have a supplement that could help some people in her other people Um, but in like traditional models, they can’t have things like that you can’t have a drug that makes people’s migraines worse in some cases and cures it in others, you need one that has a consistent mechanism. But in holistic medicine and functional medicine, when we’re addressing real patients, we’re able to, you know, have both scenarios and accept that two people can be different from each other. So what works for your friend next door doesn’t have to work for you. And at the same time, it could work for you. So it’s definitely worth trying out. If you know someone that has a miracle cure for migraines and, and it worked for them. It could be local, right? So maybe people in Arizona where I’m at, maybe they won’t respond to magnesium, but every one in northern Alaska is magnesium deficient. Because of the cold and the stress, I have no idea how that’s gonna work. But every area can also have different triggers for their migraines, obviously, seasonal allergies, things like that. The only thing I didn’t cover here is gut health. I will say that, like we talked a little bit about that b two and gut health. But by far, like, if you look at the functional medicine, doctors that teach migraines are talking about migraines, you’re gonna find that they do gut and food allergies and get great results. So let me just go back to that they’ll do gut and food allergies and get great results. What the one thing I think that they’re usually missing is that estrogen dominance piece, which then desensitizes the serotonin, and it leaves you in kind of like a better place. But I would say that those are your main things that you’re looking at here. So that’s it for supplements for migraines today. You probably need to listen this episode again, I guess I was talking a little bit fast. But But once again, if you have more questions like I’m going to do Q and A’s on this on Instagram, so if you listen to this in the next week, you might find that post up there. So you want to stay up to date with like the latest changes, go and follow me there. And then once again, if you need to work with a practitioner, I don’t do telephone consultations this moment, you can always check on my website and see if I’m doing them. But we’re just a little bit behind locally. So I want to make sure that those people get taken care of. But Dr. Donahoe in my office, he is doing those telephone consultations. He knows all this information too. If you need to work with a practitioner, reach out to us, let us know you can either get on my waitlist for either phone or in person. Or you can work with Dr. Donahoe. He’s not booked out too far right now, but we expect him by May this year, just because he’s new to Arizona, we expect by May this year, he’s going to be completely slammed, he’s gonna be on a waitlist to this happens a lot. When you find good doctors, a lot of people end up coming to them. So go ahead and get on the waitlist if you need to. Otherwise, go ahead and find me online. And I’ll keep presenting you guys some of this cool information in 2023 and we will see it in the next year.