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Say Goodbye to Headaches! What gives you a headache? I’m sure any number of factors come to mind. Stress is the most common answer and leads to “tension headaches.” And what about the familiar stuffy sting of sinus pain? Then there are those awful migraines, the angriest of the headaches, accompanied by a whole host of symptoms including nausea or vomiting, stomach pain, and/or sensitivity to bright lights, loud noise and strong odours. Sometimes smells can even trigger a migraine!

Did you know there are 150 different types of headaches?

Getting a headache is always a good sign that something is off in your body. They can be triggered by a wide variety of factors that are usually fairly easy to identify once you tune into your body and familiarize yourself with what it needs.

Top Headache Triggers

Dehydration

Research shows that water-deprivation headaches are among the most common types of headaches people experience. Just think, how often do you fall short of the daily recommended eight glasses of water? Staying hydrated not only help limit headaches, but it also improves concentration and significantly decreases irritability.

Stress

Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve experienced a headache in response to stress or tension. You’re barely treading water, with too much to do and not enough hours in the day. Your baby just won’t stop screaming, but you need to get the grocery shopping done. Your boss is in a foul mood — again. Your head begins to pound. Stress is a fact of life. It can be hard to avoid a tension headache, but taking a mindful approach to life and prioritizing peace and wholeness, whether through yoga, meditation or gratitude journaling, can help us to manage stress better when those tense moments do show up.  

Headaches

Food Intolerances

We all know how alcohol can trigger a headache – especially when combined with dehydration, resulting in the ever-dreaded hangover.  But have you ever been drinking diet pop and suddenly felt headache-y afterward? You’re not the only one, and it’s not a coincidence. Aspartame and caffeine can act as dietary triggers that lead to headaches. Other food intolerances known for influencing headaches include Monosodium glutamate a.k.a. MSG, nitrates found in processed meats, tyramine — a natural chemical that’s also found in processed meats, as well as aged cheese; pickles and olives; snow peas, fava and broad beans; and nuts.  

Bread and pastries, cultured dairy products and yes, even chocolate, have also been known to cause headaches at times. As usual, moderation is the key, as well as taking note of what you were eating before a headache occurred so you can identify your own unique sensitivities.

Hormones

Oh, those hormones sure have a way of impacting all areas of our bodies, don’t they? So, is it any wonder that they could be to blame for headaches, too? Truth is, elevated estrogen levels can have an impact on the frequency and severity of headaches in both women and men. Because of naturally heightened estrogen levels, women are 3X more likely to experience a migraine than men! If you experience headaches or migraines on a regular basis, it is worth speaking to your healthcare practitioner about getting your hormone levels tested. Getting back into balance won’t only help your headaches, it can also change your life in a lot of other positive ways.

Natural Ways to Treat Your Headaches

Essential oils – A wide variety of essential oils can have a calming effect on headaches and also help to soothe migraines. Some good options include lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils.

Herbs – Butterbur and feverfew are two herbal remedies that have long been used to help treat headache pain; however, like with most herbal supplements, it is important to consult the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure you are taking them safely and effectively.

Yoga – Yoga is proven to be one of the most effective forms of self-care to help reduce headaches. In fact, one study actually demonstrated a significant reduction in migraine headache frequency when yoga was practiced regularly over a period of just three months.

Visit your Chiropractor – Sometimes the root of your issue starts with getting your body re-aligned – literally. Headaches can be caused by misalignment in your spine and overall musculo-skeletal structure, and enlisting the help of a professional can be life changing. Encouraging results have been seen in a variety of studies, suggesting that a visit to your Chiropractor can help to reduce migraines. Participants in these studies have rated the results between good to excellent (compared to the results when using no treatment, mobilization, and ice).

Acupuncture – If you suffer from frequent headaches and want to avoid popping pills on a regular basis, you might wish to consider acupuncture. One study showed that after 3 to 4 months of treatment, patients receiving acupuncture had higher response rates and fewer headaches, with results that were possibly more effective than prophylactic drug treatment – and with fewer adverse side effects.

Headaches are unfortunately common, but they don’t have to be. If you feel like you’re dealing with more than your fair share and are having trouble pinpointing the issue, please do not hesitate to contact us at (519) 954-7950 or info@HealthSourceIMC.com and we will work to identify your triggers and solutions together.

The Team at HealthSource Integrative Medical Centre

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23832131
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14979888 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2708042
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23196150
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23030536
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15623680
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11276299
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17501846
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8775024
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099267/

 

 

What Is A Leaky Gut?  How Your Intestinal Health Affects You.

It’s easy to feel discouraged if you’ve been dealing with on-going health issues that just won’t go away and doctor after doctor has tried everything only to come up with prescriptions that ease symptoms but don’t solve the underlying problem.

But have you considered that the root cause of the “mysterious illnesses” you or your loved ones have been suffering with could actually be right in your gut?

From hormone regulation to immunity to enzyme production that keeps the rest of our body in tip top shape, we continue to be amazed by how critical gut health is to maintaining overall vitality. One condition we are starting to learn more about, and see a lot of, is Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky Gut is a condition that is linked to literally dozens of illnesses. But, because western medicine hasn’t yet learned enough about the gut to fully understand the influence it has on overall health, there are no broadly understood methods of diagnosing and treating Leaky Gut syndrome. This means that, most times, doctors resort to trying to resolve the symptoms without actually addressing Leaky Gut itself!

Time and again this leads to cyclical treatments as the symptoms are treated but the root cause continues to develop and worsen. If you’re feeling stuck in this kind of cycle, don’t worry – it’s not just you! And there are treatments…

Leaky Gut is often called a “phenomenon” that stems from issues like immunity, gut function, and the effect of diet and lifestyle.

In fact, in Canada alone, more than 20 million people suffer from digestive disorders – and that doesn’t even consider half of the symptoms often associated with Leaky Gut! It’s vital to understand the broad-reaching effects that the Standard American Diet, chronically high stress levels, toxin overload, and even bacterial imbalances can have on gut function – and that healing your gut is founded on managing these four elements.

Leaky Gut

Do you have any of these symptoms?

• Consistent bloating, gas, cramps
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• New food sensitivities
• Autoimmune diseases
• Thyroid conditions
• Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis

You might be suffering from a leaky gut! So what causes leaky gut?

All the systems mentioned above stem from an actual malfunction of tight junctions (TJs) in your small intestine. TJs have one, very important job: they act as a barrier that selectively allows some particles – like vital nutrients – to pass through the intestines to the bloodstream, while making sure that disease-causing particles stay out.

When TJs malfunction, they create what’s known as “intestinal hyperpermeability,” which basically means your body becomes inflamed because of extra holes in your intestines. Well, we all know acute inflammation, if left untreated, scales into chronic inflammation – and that is the root cause of most diseases.

So here’s your takeaway: Sometimes health issues seem minor, but if left untreated, they can compound into much larger issues and even disease! You have to pay attention to your body as a whole and consider the way each function interacts with the others – this is called Natural Medicine and it’s what we specialize in.

Leaky Gut symptoms can often be misdiagnosed (or undiagnosed) for years! That’s why working with an integrative health team (that can partner with your other doctors to get a good sense of the bigger picture of your body’s health) can be incredibly valuable to you.

Whether it’s you who suffers from Leaky Gut, or you’re looking to proactively protect your family, here are ways you can manage the four most important factors that contribute to Leaky Gut:

1. Remove inflammatory foods and gut-damaging toxins
Common culprits of inflammation and toxins include grains, gluten, sugar, antibiotics, conventional cow dairy, GMOs, pesticides, and processed foods. Start by eliminating these from your diet and just wait to see how quickly you feel relief and freedom!
2. Add gut-healing foods
Prebiotitcs and probiotics are critical. Also consider adding other nourishing foods like bone broth, simply steamed vegetables, fermented foods, raw cultured dairy, hormone-free and antibiotic-free animal products, and healthy fats to your regular diet.
3. Reduce stress
We can’t stress this enough! Our culture constantly deals with competing priorities and we often can’t even tell how stressed we are (until we suffer the consequences). Make an intentional effort to reduce stress in your life. Take time to turn off your brain; enjoy quiet time, sunny vitamin-D filled walks, meditation, or yoga.
4. Add gut-supporting supplements
Your integrative health practitioner is the best person to consult on the type and amount of supplements that would be best for you. Ask them about L-glutamine, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and plant-derived mineral supplements, all of which can contribute to supporting and improving a healthy gut!

If you think you might be struggling with symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome, we want to help!
We use Live Blood Analysis to examine a pin-prick sample of your blood through a special microscope to help identify leaky gut.

Contact us so we can help you identify the underlying causes, and determine your best course to a healthy life!