I have talked to MANY migraine sufferers over the years. So many have said, "If I can catch it in time, I can stop it. But Excedrin is the only thing that works." (Yep, that's me too!) I've also come to recognize a very frequent migraine pattern in most people, and it's the same pattern as mine. When I released "My Journey out of Severe Migraines & Depression," I had so many people join the Support Group that said, "Those are my migraines, too!"
Updates in Red!
I'm growing more and more convinced that Mast Cell Activation Disorders play a huge part in the majority of migraine sufferers. And it was the final key to my migraines. People with MCAD tend to be "trigger happy," or at least their mast cells are. Fragrance can set them off, stress can set them off, hormones can set them off, infections can set them off, FOOD becomes your worst enemy, and as time goes on you become more and more triggered by food.
Mast Cell Activation Disorder is a condition in which your Mast Cells become hypersensitive. There are many causes of MCAD and there are many symptoms, as well as conditions, connected to MCAD.
You can read more about the symptoms, triggers, and causes of Mast Cell Acitvation Disorder HERE.
As a "rule of thumb," I never rule anything out. I've learned to seek multiple possibilities when it comes to our bodies behaving badly! Especially when it comes to Mast Cell Disorders! There are SO many things that can contribute to it, and it's usually NOT one thing! So I will always continue seeking a deeper understanding and will continue to update as I learn new things or find new contributing factors.
There are two Nerve Pathways that are typically involved in Migraine Headaches.
Trigeminal & Occipital
Unfortunately, these two types of migraines are still not recognized as being separate by the public, and even doctors. Probably because they usually happen together. But, they are two separate pathways that can be activated at the same time as well as separate times.
It is my Hypothesis that if a person experiences Trigeminal & Occipital Migraines at the same time, it could be caused by a Meningeal Mast Cell Proliferation.
Meningeal Mast Cells
Mast cells are found throughout the entire body, but evidence has shown over the years that some people have or can develop a proliferation of Mast Cells in one or many regions of the body. Meninges are the membranes that envelope the central nervous system. In mammals, the meninges consist of three layers: the dura mater, the arachnoid mater, and the pia mater. The primary function of the meninges and of the cerebrospinal fluid is to protect the central nervous system. Mast Cells have been found residing in the Meninges. I have yet to find a study that talks about arachnoid mater's relation to mast cells, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just as involved as Dura and Pia Mater.
So in Laymen's Terms: Meninges are made up of a layer of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord that acts as the barrier and protector of our central nervous system. Unfortunately, it's purpose can become skewed in the event of a Mast Cell Activation Disorder and/or a Mast Cell Proliferation Disorder. Non Mastocytosis random Mast Cell Proliferations are still not considered in the Mastocytosis community from my understanding. Diagnosis is based on the (WHO) classification of Mastocytosis and does NOT include a cerebrospinal fluid biopsy, which is where a Meningeal Proliferation would show most dominant. Cerebrospinal fluid in MS (Multiple Sclerosis) patients showed elevated Mast Cell Tryptase Levels. (1) It is widely recognized that Mast Cells can proliferate more in one region or organ of the body vs another, from person to person, and multiple organ biopsies are taken "after" a positive Bone Marrow Tryptase level has been detected. It is also quite common in the Mastocytosis Community to have had several BMB (Bone Marrow Biopsies) before finally getting a positive reading for Mast Cell Tryptase Levels. They simply say, "It was an error and missed." It is still not recognized that a Proliferation can take place over time. Studies have revealed developmental changes in the localization, the number, and the types of brain mast cell; and a rapid increase in the mast cells’ number of the adult in response to altered physiological conditions. (2) So this is where I say, "Never rule anything out!"
Experimental studies have shown that prostaglandins are distributed in the trigeminal-vascular system, and its receptors are localized in the trigeminal ganglion and the trigeminal nucleus caudalis. Prostaglandins were found in smooth muscles of cranial arteries, and functional studies in vivo showed that prostaglandins induced dilatation of cranial vessels. (5)
Another study found that serotonin, prostaglandin I, and to a lesser extent histamine can promote a robust sensitization and activation of meningeal nociceptors. (6) These chemicals are all released during Mast Cell Activation.
In other words, there are many things validating that Mast Cells activate the Meningeal Nociceptors, which trigger the Trigeminal Pathway.
The Trigeminal Pathway
Trigeminal Nucleus Caudalis (TNC) provide the sensory and pain nerves to the face, sinuses, and temples. Its activation causes the face, sinus, and temple pain/pressure associated with headache. It also provides motor innervation to the chewing muscles and parts of the soft palate. This is associated with jaw and some palate pain. Due to its length and location in the brainstem, the TNC is thought to be a primary transmitter of Increased Nerve Activity. The TNC extends far enough down the brainstem to stimulate the upper cervical nerves, the Occipital Nerves. (7)
The Occipital Pathway
Interesting enough, studies have indicated that Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation is connected to the stimulation of the Occipital Nerve. (8) But studies in the stimulation of the Occiptal Nerve could NOT induce Trigeminal Pain. (9) So we know that the cases in which you have Occipital pain, as well as Trigeminal pain, you can bet the primary culprit IS caused from the Trigeminal Pathway. This would be incredibly helpful in diagnostic situations in determining if migraines or even pain is occurring due to upper cervical problems or due to Trigeminal Activation. It seems widely thought that the Occipital Nerve causes the pain behind the eye, but as you can see the primary points of pain in the Occipital range is the tops of the shoulders, at the base of the skull and behind the shoulder blades. Occipital Pathway will mirror the Trigeminal Pathway in the sense that it is more dominant on one side. The other interesting difference is that the Occipital Nerve activates the muscles which cause the significant pain, while the Trigeminal is just nerve pain without the muscle tension.
Why Does Aspirin Work?
It is widely thought that Aspirin is contraindicated in such cases as MCAD. It's more so warranted, and not really proven to be a problem. So to say I've been confused about why it works so incredibly for my migraines has weighed heavily on my mind for quite some time! But I finally put the final piece of the puzzle together! Protaglandins!
In a study on the Niacin Flush, Prostaglandin production was blocked by Aspirin and prevented a flush. (10)
So I assume this is why catching a migraine soon enough with Excedrin or Aspirin can block prostaglandin release and prevent the full activation of the Trigeminal nerve through the Meningeal Nociceptors.
Update: Ran into another study showing that Aspirin induces the release of NO (Nitric Oxide).(11) NOS has shown to play a very import role in regulating Mast Cell function, and especially an inhibitory effect on the release of many inflammatory mediators in MC proliferation. (12) (see image) If you delve a little further you realize that NOS is the key player in the synthesis of Prostaglandins, and has actually been shown to turn on and off the Prostaglandin Pathway. (13)
To learn more about NOS deficiency and MCAD please refer to my recent post HERE.
This is how my migraines begin. First my right nostril begins to feel dry and begins to hurt, and then it migrates up into my sinus, and then in into my right eye. At the same time my spinal cord in my neck feels like it's excreting poisons. My temple area and side of my head are very sore to the touch.
This is how it migrates. Almost simultaneously I begin getting severe pain behind my right shoulder, in the back of my neck, and on the top of my right shoulder. I can feel pain and tension on both sides of my body, but it's most dominant on the right side. My muscles feel like bricks, and the only relief is warmth or wrenching on the muscles with enormous pressure, the more pressure the more relief, but it's always short lived.
This is how I treat. Diet and staying away from triggers has always been my preventive measure. It did wonders but wasn't 100%, and still felt like I was fighting migraines 24/7. I used to take Excedrin every day (horrible I know). My kidneys suffered horribly! I remember coming across someone having success with just Aspirin and caffeine. Turns out it worked for me too!
How I've been treating. Please see updates below. I stopped my last migraine by placing pressure on the Trigeminal Nerve by my temple, opposite of my Migraine side. I began to feel tingling and warmth come over my nerves on the right side (my migraine side.) I fell asleep and I didn't wake up with a migraine! It's still to be determined if this is a fluke or not. But if you can only have Trigeminal pain on one side, to aggravate the other side, might work to counteract a migraine if you can catch it soon enough. (Interested to know others' thoughts on this.)
I have been addressing Methylation for about a year now. It has helped get my histamine levels under control, it has helped me lower oxidative stress, and it's also helped me heal my gut. I noticed I was less reactive. I've been eating low histamine for over a year.
About 3 months ago I began taking Immunothrive to help balance and regulate my T-cells. In turn it helps prevent the activation of mast cells. This has made all the difference in my reactivity. I no longer react to everything I eat. And I have been able to introduce all the foods I wasn't able to eat without reacting to them. Mushrooms, Coconut Aminos, Nuts. I'm no longer low histamine. It's continued to get better with time, as I know it will take time for the Mast Cells to redevelop a less reactive state.
Update: A lot has happened since this post! A lot of important things! I think the most important thing to take into consideration is WHY! Why am I reacting to everything? For a long time, I simply thought it was maybe, genetics and low methylation... Or I thought it was oxidative stress and nutritional deficiencies throwing the immune system out of balance... Yes it can be all of these things. And I don't think it's only one thing. But typically it is related to an immune dysregulation and a large pathogenic burden.
It seems that many are suffering from TH2 dominance. There should be an intricate balance between TH1 and TH2. Without this balance the body isn't capable of fighting off infection. And as infection gets worse, so does the imbalance. Heavy metals not only effect our ability to detox properly, it can also cause TH2 dominance. Copper toxicity can cause TH2 Imbalance. This is why disease is so progressive. All these things accumulate more and more with time. Often times it takes one big trigger to get the ball tumbling and then it's all down hill from there.
Here are two VERY important articles I recommend you read to understand what we are up against.
Immune System Imbalance (TH2 Dominance): Overview
this article goes over exactly what you can expect from a TH2 dominance and what can cause a TH2 dominance.
A Deep Look Beyond Lyme (Dr. Klinghardt's Views)
this amazing accumulation of information validates everything I have accomplished in my recovery up to now. It gives you a very broad idea of what we are up against, and the things that can help.
Regarding my story! The significant things that have helped me in my recover........
The Immunothrive (in which I have mentioned). When I began Immunothrive, never in a million years would I have assumed it could work so well. And it saddens me that it hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves, as many have been fear mongered out of using it when it is in fact a perfect tool in recovery. Even if you are herb sensitive, which I "was," it's still worth a shot because it is a very high quality herb. I did not react to it like I do other herbs. But others haven't been able to tolerate it. Many underestimate it's power and push it way too fast, and then scare themselves out of taking it again, because it's a methyl donor. I started out with just a quarter of a capsule and slowly worked my way up to 3 capsules. If you are interested in giving Immunothrive a try, My readers can get $3 off with code " histamine3 " at Immunothive.com
I was doing incredible on Immunothrive, it completely kept my migraines at bay. But then I got pregnant.... And there wasn't enough research to support it's use during pregnancy. But I tried to go off of it and I began getting violent migraines again. So I stayed on it until my first trimester passed and my migraines subsided. It was by far my best pregnancy in regards to migraines. But towards the end of pregnancy I started getting more migraines more inflammation, my subluxing joints got worse, I wasn't able to walk at times because my hips got so bad.
BUT then ENTERS CD!!
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt
As I am writing this, I am realizing...... that the two things that have been truly life changing for me are the two things in which.... If I had listened to all the fear mongering, I would not be where I am today. A quick search on CD Therapy and you have shear anger and hatred for it. Yes, it's a scary thought, but only through lack of education and understanding is it a scary thing. Within 3 hours on CD Therapy, all my inflammation practically disappeared, within a week all my subluxations stopped, my migraines stopped, I quit reacting to everything.. I am now able to eat bananas without ANY issues! That was the one food I could never seem to tolerate, I found out the hard way too many times! It has helped me tremendously in my mental stability and notice I experience more dopamine! CD is the one option in which, really, the only thing you have to fear is the die off and that can be controlled by your dosage. I highly recommend reading Kerri Rivera's Book, "Healing the Symptoms Known as Autism." Dr. Klinghardt is a big supporter of her protocol.. I have witnessed many miracles after having entered the CD community and out of all the communities I am a part of this by far has the most stories of success! I bought my CD kit from www.wps4sale.comThis is my vision for healing now.....
- Lower the pathogenic burden to allow for more healing foods...
- Diet should support the immune system NOT induce TH2 dominance...
- Support and balance the immune system to do it's job...
- Heal and replenish the gut...
- Mercury filling removal needs to be addressed at some point...
As a courtesy to me and all my research efforts,
please site this resource when sharing my information.
please site this resource when sharing my information.