If there's anything worse than hay fever, it's the blinding pain of a migraine -- but for millions of people, it's not a matter of suffering one or the other.
They're the unlucky ones who have both, often at the same time.
Now, new research shows why: allergies can trigger headaches. If you have seasonal allergies yourself, you're a third more likely to suffer from migraines, according to the study of nearly 6,000 migraine patients.
And when the headaches hit, having allergies can make them worse -- more painful, more severe and longer lasting.
But if you have both seasonal allergies and migraines, you've probably already made the connection. You dread those first sniffles, because you know a headache can't be too far behind.
The study doesn't show the reason for the connection, but I suspect it's because seasonal allergies cause inflammation and irritation in the nasal membranes, not to mention the pressure you feel inside your head as you suffer the congestion that comes along for the ride.
In other words, all the right conditions for a headache.
The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone. Get control of your allergies, and you can prevent the migraines.
For short-term allergy relief, start with butterbur. This time-tested natural remedy has proven to be as effective as common allergy meds, but without the risk of side effects such as drowsiness.
But don't count on butterbur alone to do the job. You'll also need to work on a more lasting solution such as the homeopathic remedies proven to desensitize you to the very allergens that are making you sick.
Allium cepa and/or nux vomica can be very effective for classic hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose, while euphrasia -- made from the aptly named eyebright plant -- will help when the symptoms are more in your eyes.
And for ragweed allergies, try homeopathic ambrosia.
A holistic medical doctor can test you for common allergens to see what causes your seasonal allergies, and help desensitize you to them naturally. And for complete allergy solutions and migraine relief -- no matter what the cause -- come see me in my clinic outside San Diego.
Not in the area? Not a problem -- I'm also available for telephone consultations. Call 855-DOC-MARK to learn more or schedule a call.