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Migraines and Fibromyalgia have one thing in common, they are both due to mitochondrial dysfunction. More often than not we see those with mitochondrial dysfunction suffering from more than one type of discomfort. The first thing we do is take a detailed history, to truly understand the patient’s history, environment, previous treatment plans, and symptoms.
Mitochondrial function is a necessity for the body to perform properly. There have been studies that show that magnesium and malic acid is needed for mitochondrial function. In fact, giving magnesium malate 2 tabs, three times a day showed decreased pain in fibromyalgia patients. Magnesium also helps as a laxative and is often helpful in cleansing the gut and beginning to restore gut health. Another step we take to restore gut health is to perform a food sensitivity test to make sure they do not have any specific IgG reactions to foods consumed in their daily diet. We use the Food Sensitivity Test from Vibrant America. Genes
There is research supporting that individuals who have an MTHFR gene mutation are more susceptible to instability in the central neurovascular system. Those who have a MTHFR gene mutation can not convert folate to methylfolate. This is linked to migraines, mood problems, and increased susceptibility for fibromyalgia. For more information regarding MTHFR, please refer to GeneCards: MTHFR.
Nutrition / Supplements
After analyzing lab work, and when implemented correctly, there are many foods and supplements that can help patients with symptoms associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.
Some foods to eat include:
almonds and other nuts and seeds
dark leafy greens
The supplements we use are from Biotics Research and include:
Bio D Mulsion
Optimal EFA caps
When a migraine hits, it can take you out anywhere from 2-72 hours. Often times, individuals report their migraines consist of a pulsating feeling and sensitivity to light. In fact, many who suffer from migraines report an “aura” before the migraine begins. An “aura” is a visual change (lights, the shape or size of an object, or dark spots in line of vision), auditory changes, and something deja vu, tingling, or strange smells.
Those with migraines typically make less nitric oxide. In women, that increases their chance of myocardial infarction, strokes, and angina two times more likely. In men, 42% of them who have migraines, had heart attacks.
The inside coating of a blood vessel is referred to as vascular endothelium. It is made up of endothelial cells. The purpose of a healthy endothelium is to suppress inflammation, prevent clots, and keep blood flowing. If the endothelium becomes damaged, its function becomes compromised. Those with migraines showed a decreased number of endothelial functions.
One thing that sets functional medicine apart from traditional medicine is the lab work and genetic consideration. We work with many high tech diagnostic lab companies to determine the underlying cause of symptoms. In fact, there is a specific genetic mutation that leads to elevated homocysteine levels. It is MTHFR 677- the methylation gene. In fact, many patients who suffer from migraines have a family history of it.
We can break down a migraine even further and look at how it affects the rest of the body. Oxidative stress is a free radical that floats around the body. Oxidative stress is normal and necessary but too much of it begins to cause issues. In migraine sufferers, there is an increase in superoxide dismutase and elevated levels of catalase.
The standard American diet has done nothing but increase migraine factors. The foods consumed negatively influence gene expression as well as contribute to obesity. Many individuals have success when they switch from the standard American diet to the paleo diet. This diet gets rid of gluten and grains and patients tend to see improvement quickly. On top of this, they are now providing their bodies with the proper nutrients and healthy fats for optimal function. Here is an article that provides more information on acute migraine strategies.
We are able to create personalized nutrition plans for your body as well as determine other predisposing factors with the help of the InBody 770 system. This advanced machine provides a great deal of information for us regarding the patient. We track patients Anthropometric measurements in order to determine their lean muscle mass, fat density, visceral fat (fat surrounding the organs- a key indication of disease risk), water percentage, and height and weight. We measure our patients every 8 weeks and keep a detailed record. These reports are great indicators for health and also assess inflammation and edema.
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