Some 4.2 million Americans suffer from this painful occurrence and the numbers have increased 20% per decade for the past 30 years. According to standard care, the most notorious cause is physical or emotional stress. Other triggers include weather changes, annoying visual effects and certain foods, most notably chocolate, cheese, alcohol and coffee. (Red wine is the most common alcohol trigger.)
In Natural Medicine, the most common cause is congestion of the gall bladder. When the gall bladder is congested (NOT necessarily “diseased” or having stones), the meridian or pathway along the body associated with this organ becomes stagnated. This results in the ensuing pain along the meridian. The meridian pathway associated with the gall bladder runs along the sides of the body and up the side of the skull. Over-consumption of fats is the number one cause of gall bladder congestion.
Use of artificial sweeteners is #2.
There are a number of very successful treatments and more importantly, preventions for migraines. Aside from the obvious dietary adjustments of reducing unhealthy fats and eliminating artificial sweeteners (consider Stevia as a better alternative), the most successful treatment involves the use of the herbs Coptis and Chrysanthimum. This combination is an extremely powerful treatment and is effective in some 90+% of cases. Please be aware that this combination is quite strong (and awful tasting) and should be done under supervision.
In terms of prevention, nothing is better than Coenzyme Q10. In a recent study, after 3 months, 48% of patients taking CoQ10 achieved a greater than 50% reduction in migraine attacks, along with fewer days with the most common symptoms. Typical dosage was 150mg/day.