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Why migraine drugs don’t work

May 24, 2013

Migraine meds fail most of the time

If you want to see an exercise in futility, take a look at how mainstream medicine treats migraine patients.

Actually, a more accurate way to put it would be to take a look at how mainstream medicine fails migraine patients — because new research confirms that for most patients, treatment comes up empty.

Only between 200 and 400 of every 1,000 migraine patients sees a benefit from meds — and by “benefit,” I don’t even mean a cure. Just a reduction in the number of headaches by half or more.

But while the drugs may not bring real relief, they do bring something else: side effects so bad that many people stop taking the meds even when they do help, according to the study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

I can’t say I blame them. The side effects of those drugs can be worse than a migraine, and include sleep disorders, weight gain, sexual problems, hair loss, and more.

If you want real relief from migraines, there are two steps you need to take.

First, turn to natural remedies that can help reduce both the frequency and severity without the side effects. Butterbur, for example, has been shown to cut the number of headaches in half.

That’s not a solution, but it’s a good start.

The second step is to find your migraine triggers.

That may sound simple, and for some lucky people it is simple. If your headaches are caused by something obvious — like booze — then all you need to do is steer clear of that cause.

But for many people, the trigger isn’t nearly as obvious or as easy to avoid. Headaches could be caused by food additives that aren’t always listed properly on the label — like MSG, which is hidden behind a dozen or so other names.

Migraines can also be unrelated to diet. They can be triggered by everything from high levels of stress to low levels of certain hormones. A holistic doctor can test you for all the possible causes and work with you on a natural solution — a solution that will bring real and lasting relief without the risks.