17 Key Secrets you should know about the Causes of Migraines
- We’re all genetically different, including when it comes to migraines.
- People that get migraines may be more sensitive and you may see it in their gene types
- If an irritant causes your migraine – Can’t we just get rid of the irritant?
- Millions never identify the offending trigger causing their migraine
- WHY might inflammation cause migraines?
- HOW might inflammation cause a migraine?
- Do blood vessels shrinking or swelling cause migraines?
- Dysfunctioning of the Brain Cells… do your Brain Cells stop Firing to cause a Migraine?
- Dysfunction and disruption in the hormones
- Dysfunctioning of the immune system
- Migraine could be associated with Gastrointestinal disorders
- Migraine Pain starts in the Brain (Cell)
- Peptides could be important neurotransmitters that cause the pain in a Migraine
- Going back to the CGRP that is associated with Migraine
- So can we not just block the release of the CGRP?
- Meanwhile university research shows that ginger can reduce the release of CGRP
- Inflammation is implicated in most migraine … and ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory
Inflammation, inflammation, inflammation!
The basic cause of most migraine, and indeed many diseases is, according to most research, inflammation.
But what causes the inflammation that causes the migraine?
Simply put, inflammation is your immune system’s defensive reaction to some thing (or things), some irritant, that your body sees as harmful.
And what causes the intense pain in a migraine?
Once the irritating thing is detected, your body’s immune system does its best to destroy and get rid of it, while at the same time protect and repair the injured area.
The area around the irritant gets red, hot, swollen and painful – in fact, these are the 4 cardinal signs of how inflammation looks. Imagine, for example, how your skin reacts to a bee sting!
But not all inflammation can be seen with the naked eye. Especially if it is inside your body or in very small amounts.
Scientists looking into exactly how inflammation causes pain in migraines have found it to be very complicated. Theories based on blood vessels dilating (getting bigger) or constricting (getting smaller) have held sway for many decades, but more recently other scientists are focusing on specific types of chemicals that are released by the immune system during inflammation.
One of these many chemicals is called the calcitonin gene related peptide, also known as CGRP and it seems to be very important when it comes to the inflammation that causes migraines.
First let’s dig deeper into a little more background, so that we can establish some key concepts. Read on…
What hurts your body is not always the same as what hurts my body because we are all genetically different.
For example, I can enjoy peanuts in large handfuls … yum … but when colleague Paul eats a single one he goes into anaphylactic shock and needs instant medication and rapid hospitalization. Let's call him Paul Nutless.
Delight me with the lobster dripping in melted butter, fried mussels and Oysters Kilpatrick, but colleague John C reacts to crustaceans and shellfish in the same way as Paul to a peanut.
Lobster’s revenge John … ambulance time! Let's call him John Crabfree.
Give me a glass of Merlot and a ripe cheese board, please.
But for Mandy that is the precursor to hours of migraine pain. Unable to do anything but suffer all day!
And always keep Paul Nutless and John Crabfree in mind when you hear that say, a government body has deemed certain levels of toxins to be safe to humans. While their numbers may relate to the population at large, such “normally generally accepted as safe” levels of toxins may be deadly to a small number of susceptible individuals who are simply genetically programmed differently.
The takeaway message: we are all unique.
Even in a family, each and every family member is unique, as is our individual reaction to an irritant and the subsequent inflammation ... (or indeed lack of inflammation!).
By running the numbers it is easy to see why...
It’s in the Genes
When it comes to DNA, every set of genes on each of your 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 chromosomes in total) grabs one gene from two choices from mum, and one gene from two choices from dad.
Two choices out of four are made for each gene.
Everything gets pretty mixed up pretty quickly meaning that you are very different to your siblings, cousins and other relatives…
And given that there are 20,000 genes packed into your 46 chromosomes, each chromosome has hundreds or thousands of genes on it!
Overall, there are thousands and thousands of possible combinations!
…It’s no surprise therefore that we are all so different and our bodies all react slightly differently to different things.
Researchers tell us that migraine sufferers may be genetically programmed to be more sensitive to migraines than others. This may be because neurons (nerve cells) in the brains of migraine sufferers are more sensitive to chemicals in the body. (Shurks, 2012)
You can discover your genetic makeup by using various companies, one of the leaders of which is 23andme.
This can include information on whether you have genes that make you more likely to have migraines.
Order their kit for between $USD100-200 and mail back your saliva using the vessel they provide.
They will then put it through laboratory testing and from that you will receive a large body of information about your DNA.
From this information experts can take educated guesses at what medical conditions you may be more or less likely to suffer from, based on the data from millions of records accumulated by groups such as 23andme.
They can make all sorts of statistical correlations estimating the chances of you suffering a certain condition when compared to the rest of the population.
Because these techniques are relatively new and not yet widely used in mainstream medicine, it is not possible to know for sure how we should interpret the information they provide.
Nonetheless, some doctors, such as Dr Glenn S. Rothfeld argue that by knowing your genetic code and acting according to his advice, can assist some people in beating diseases, even many incurable ones like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. (Rothfeld, 2017)
Other doctors claim that they have done this with many of their patients through lifestyle and diet change and a program of toxin elimination. (Gundry, 2017)
So now that we are clear on why we are all different, let’s get back to the question of...
Ah! This is where it becomes a little complicated…
Many people can easily identify their irritants, and then simply eliminate them from their lives.
Result: End of migraines.
For example, ME user Ivan gets migraines from dehydration.
The solution (excuse the pun) is a no-brainer: drink plenty of healthy fluids... waters, teas, non-sugary drinks, non-aspartame laden drinks.
Result: no migraine.
But when he has not paid attention to his fluid intake and played too many hours of tennis in the sun...then he gets hit with a migraine.
In the past he would have to lie in a dark room for a few hours while the migraine subsided, but now he uses Migraine Escape for those occasions.
For some people the offending irritant is wheat products, and by going on a wheat-free diet they eliminate their migraines.
Some people know that it is MSG in the food that causes their migraines.
Easily fixed: Avoid ingesting MSG!
For some it’s red wine.
Easily fixed: Avoid red wine!
Migraines can also be triggered by underlying skeletal problems.
Unfortunately, correcting a twisted or misaligned spine is not so easy.
We know of many migraine sufferers who only started getting migraines after a motor vehicle accident, a fall or sports injury. Sometimes surgery or therapy with a physiotherapist can fix those underlying issues … sometimes not.
Because there are literally hundreds of things that could be causing your migraines!
The list of potential migraine triggers is endless, and different for every individual.
And we’ve already established that we’re all genetically different...
...so what causes your body grief will not necessarily cause my body grief.
But with that said, we believe that is where your efforts should lie, in identifying the source(s) of your migraines.
So many people say that migraines have no known cure…
...And there are many groups with a vested interest in perpetuating this view.
However, there are thousands of documented cases of people banishing their migraines by finding the offending articles or irritants that are causing their migraines and simply avoiding contact with or avoiding ingesting these things.
Naturopaths follow this approach and many will methodically take a patient through an often long and detailed process of identifying the items causing inflammation that may lead to migraines.
In fact, we have found that naturopaths, in general, are more knowledgeable than most when it comes to migraines and how to eliminate them.
It is often a shock to find something like MSG, a common food ingredient, being the root cause of a migraine...
...or for many people it is chemicals in their soap or shampoo, or other personal hygiene products.
So STEP ONE in your migraine prevention journey should focus on this area…
...but just remember it can be a very large area and one that is difficult to pinpoint the culprits, so try not to get too despondent if you don’t make progress right away.
So many triggers may be hidden and difficult to find. We'll look at these later on this page, then we'll add in more detail elsewhere on the site.
Some products that one migraine sufferer uses every day without a problem may cause debilitating migraines in another individual, because we're all different!
Some doctors, such as Steven Gundry, claim that some fruits and vegetables, universally accepted as vital to a healthy diet, can be harmful due to toxins they produce.
One example is lectins, proteins that plants produce to kill, injure or chase away insects, parasites and animals that want to eat them. These may however be important migraine triggers in some people, and these can be from common food plants such as popular every day foods like grains, wheats, cereals, breads and beans, and the seemingly harmless potato, tomato, aubergine and pepper (and many more).
Other causes may be common, seemingly safe and innocent household chemicals, shampoos, deodorants, and cleaning products.
Another often hidden, and rarely discussed, cause of migraines is common household mould! The invisible poisons - mycotoxins- released from mould into the surrounding atmosphere can be extremely toxic to many people. If you have 'tried everything' including veganism, strict elimination diets, low lectin diets, natural cleaning materials, like so many, and had no success in tracking down your migraine triggers, then mould could be one of the culprits causing your migraine. (Shoemaker, 2010).
Another invisible contributor to migraines can be the bacteria and microbes living in your body. Billions of bacteria thrive in our microbiome - the gut, intestines, colon, duodenum, nose, mouth, sinuses and throat. Sometimes they go rogue, and cause chronic inflammation. Often this is very low level inflammation that is very difficult to detect and identify, but that is simmering away inside causing migraines!
One sufferer known to the ME team suffered terrible migraines which, after decades of pain, were finally tracked down to infection in a tooth that had been subjected to root canal treatment.
Not only this, but it is clear that in many people that suffer inflammation, and migraines, there are multiple things causing inflammation, not just one. When several stressors combine to cause inflammation, it builds and builds to a trigger point, a critical mass of inflammation, a migraine threshold, at which point the body releases a cascade of chemicals that cause migraine pain.
What is also clear from the research is that most migraine triggers are foods, many of them common foods, and we look at many of these - and some of the research on them - in greater detail on this site.
If you are unfortunate enough for these triggers to cause inflammation in your body it can lead to migraines… let’s look at how that might work…
As we mentioned earlier, when the body feels threatened it quickly reacts to protect itself. It rallies its resources and launches a counterattack against the antagonist, and simultaneously warns the brain to do something about it. This can start in fractions of a second.
To understand the process, consider what happens when you are pricked by a needle.
The skin is broken and nerve fibres are damaged and irritated and these send signals to up to your brain which then releases chemicals that make you feel pain.
At the same time, white blood cells in the area detect the toxins and release chemicals in order to:
(1) destroy them and
(2) let the rest of your immune system know that something is wrong.
More chemicals are released, blood vessels get bigger to allow more immune cells to arrive and this process carries on until the damage has resolved and the skin has healed.
This is called the inflammatory response, and is characterised by four main features which you will recognize instinctively from personal experience.
You can remember them by thinking of the SHARP needle prick might cause it:
S – SWELLING
H – HEAT
R – REDNESS
P – PAIN
This whole process of inflammation is one of our bodies’ most important ways of protecting us from harmful things.
Unfortunately, in some people inflammation occurs in unhelpful ways.
In some cases, inflammation is triggered when it is not warranted or when the body feels more threatened than it should – in other words, it reacts inappropriately or it out of proportion to a trigger.
As we said before, some people are particularly sensitive to inflammation and headaches can result from low levels of inflammation anywhere in the body.
Such low levels of inflammation may be triggered by food sensitivities, chemical sensitivities, environmental changes, hormone changes, musculoskeletal injuries, infections, dehydration or myriad other things.
Some experts believe the chemicals released during inflammation, as well as the other bodily changes it causes, may trigger migraines in people with genetically predisposition. Let’s have a look into that a bit further…
There are many processes that occur during inflammation.
As a result, there are different theories that suggest a number of these specific processes might cause a migraine.
Some of the main theories put forward by researchers include:
- Blood vessels expanding (vasodilation) and/or
- Blood vessels contracting (vasoconstriction)
- Dysfunction and disruption in the brain cells (neurons and neurotransmitters)
- Dysfunction and disruption in the hormones
- Dysfunction and disruption of the immune system
It is likely that a number of these processes in combination cause migraines, and that every migraine sufferer is affected by some more than others.
The body of scientific research is still inconclusive and so reading through it gets very complex, very quickly! We try to summarise the research in layperson's terms in these pages and in our emails.
As more research is done, more questions are answered, and many more are raised. Some old assumptions get debunked or pushed aside, and previously dismissed ones may all of a sudden seem more feasible.
Early theories pointed to blood vessels in the expanding and contracting in the brain as being the main causes of migraines, but most theories now postulate that migraine specific triggers cause brain dysfunction that causes the trigeminal nerve (see below) to release chemicals (called neuropeptides and neurotransmitters) resulting in an inflammatory reaction and pain in the sensory fibres of the trigeminal nerve/s.
It is important to bear in mind that much of the scientific research is done with the ultimate aim of identifying new drugs to combat migraines.
It may be the case that no definitive disease process is identified. At the end of the day, this does not change much for migraine sufferers – the critical thing for them is to try to identify their triggers and avoid them.
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at some of the underlying processes that researchers think might be involved in migraines.
For many decades most mainstream researchers attributed migraines to either:
- blood vessels swelling and expanding (known as vasodilation; vaso = blood vessels) or to:
- blood vessels shrinking and constricting (vasoconstriction) in reaction to certain inflammatory stimuli.
In other words it was generally believed that migraines were caused these vascular mechanisms, these being changes in blood cells.
Modern researchers now generally accept that migraines are primarily a neuronal dysfunction (brain cells). We mention the vasodilation and vasoconstriction theories because there is still considerable mention of them, and they were the basis of the philosophy behind the design and development of a number of migraine drugs. It seems that vasodilation and vasoconstriction are significants parts of the many migraine events, but they are now not accepted as the cause.
Vasoconstriction is seen in some cases of migraine but it is not clear if this is a cause or effect of migraine itself. When the blood vessels constrict, less blood gets to areas of the brain so less oxygen and less nutrients can be delivered.
Vasodilation, where arteries widen and expand, allows more blood to flow into those areas of the body. Some experts think vasodilation occurs as a result of an initial period of vasoconstriction – in other words, first the blood vessels contract causing a restriction in the blood supply, which then triggers vasodilation.
It is not clear which of these processes is more important in migraine. It is possible that both occur in an alternating, exaggerated way that causes chemical imbalances and leads to migraine symptoms.
Most experts now believe the blood vessel changes that have been observed in migraine sufferers are a secondary result of migraine and not a primary cause. For example, the vascular theories of migraine were strongly refuted by Dr Peter Goadsby in 2009. (Goadsby, 2009)
Most modern migraine scientists say that migraines are caused primarily by a dysfunctioning of the brain cells (neurons).
Migraine specialist Professor Richard Kraig of the University of Chicago - a leading proponent of a theory based on what is called spreading cortical depression - believes that migraine pain and migraine aura is caused when certain brain cells stop firing.
He describes it as being like a seizure in the brain in the form of a spreading wave of electrical silence where the neurons stop firing. (Richard Kraig, Kae Pusic, Aya Pusic, Jordan Kemme; 2014)
Again this takes us back to step one.
What causes the misfiring?
Is it inflammation?
What causes the inflammation?
An irritant to which your body reacts badly...
...An irritant that you may be able to identify and take action to avoid.
Or does the misfiring brain cell cause the inflammation response?
It is not clear how, if at all, this process is linked to inflammation and/or blood vessel changes in the formation of migraines.
In the case of Migraine Escape, many users tell us that applying it at the first signs of aura stops their migraines from progressing into a migraine.
Many scientific researchers suggest that hormonal disruption has a role in causing migraines.
The research suggests that an inflammatory response to a trigger may be more pronounced when there are hormonal imbalances, for example at certain points in the menstrual cycle, that make the inflammatory response more pronounced to the sufferer. (Sacco, Ricci, Degan & Carolei, 2012)
It would seem that there might be broadly two ways to counteract this…
- Find the irritant and remove it if possible.
- Reduce the hormonal disruption.
During menstruation the hormonal changes can be such that migraines are triggered in some people. There are cases of such people not suffering from migraines after menopause.
Many scientific researchers suggest that dysfunctioning of the immune system causes migraines. (Fortuna, 2017)
Considerable research also shows that the brain is made more sensitive by the dysfunctioning of the immune system. (Bruno, Carpino, Carpino & Zicari, 2007)
It would seem that there are broadly two ways to counteract this.
- Find the irritant and remove it if possible.
- Boost the immune system. Though remember... the irritant(s) could be part of the thing reducing the immune system!
These are of course huge topics in themselves and can warrant masses on research on their own.
11. Migraine could be associated with Gastrointestinal disorders and Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies
Recent research also suggest that migraine may be associated with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel syndrome, and celiac disease. Whether it is the cause or the effect, or a mix of both, there is certainly a strong body of research showing that there can be close links for many sufferers. (van Hemert, et al., 2014)
Gastrointestinal disorders such as 'leaky gut' can be characterised by foreign bodies breaking through the gut wall and intestinal linings allowing toxins from the digestive system to find their way into the brain, through pathways such as the vagus nerve, which is the nerve connecting the digestive system with the brain.
With that said, we are always mindful that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also be major factors in the causation of some peoples' migraines. Research shows that common culprits are deficiencies of magnesium, folates, B vitamins, zinc and iron.
Research from the New York Headache Center showed that migraine sufferers may develop magnesium deficiency due to
- a genetic inability to absorb magnesium,
- magnesium wasting in the kidneys
- excretion of excessive amounts of magnesium due to stress,
- low nutritional intake of magnesium rich foods, and several other reasons.
The study states that “ … there is strong evidence that magnesium deficiency is much more prevalent in migraine sufferers than in healthy controls …” and they suggest that up to 50% of migraine sufferers are magnesium deficient.
A study by researchers from the State University of New York showed that injecting magnesium sulfate (sometimes written magnesium sulphate) alleviated cluster migraines in some patients.
A study on orally administered magnesium (as compared to the injected magnesium aforementioned) showed inconclusive results but reviewers criticized the methodology of the study in that “most likely because both magnesium deficient and non-deficient patients were included in these trials. (Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. 1995).
High levels of an amino acid called homocysteine can contribute to migraine. Homocysteine is often a biological marker for inflammation.
Research over the last 20 years points to the cause of the PAIN in migraine starting in the brain cell (neuron).
The brain cell is the basic working unit of the brain whose job is to send out and receive information.
These neuronal signals are in the form of neurotransmitters – there are many different types including those made of amino acids and peptides (the building blocks of proteins). These signal information to and from neurons via nerves and other cells, to tissues and muscles all around the body.
When a neuron senses an attack on the body, whether it be from you putting your hand on the hot iron...
...or through injury...
...or a bee sting or a cutting your hand with a kitchen knife...
...or poison or toxin...
...or food that it cannot handle...
...then the neuron launches a counter-attack.
The neuron sends out chemical signals to the affected parts of the body.
It does this by releasing amino acids called peptides. A peptide from a neuron (brain cell) is called a neuropeptide.
A growing mass of research indicates that one of the culprits in many migraines is a particular neuropeptide called the Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP).
And a great deal of contemporary research is actually pointing at this peptide as being the #1 Culprit in migraine pain. (Durham P. L., 2006) (Bigal, Walter, & Rapoport, 2013)
Now, while we could label him and consider him to be a nasty little chappie… remember that he is actually part of your body’s counter-attack on the offending irritant that is upsetting your body...
The cheese, the red wine, the deodorant, the sugar, the aspartame, caffeine...
...That MSG from your chicken chow mein...
...The crick in your neck from that whiplash injury...
...That head injury from your car crash or sporting collision...
...That smell of benzene, or diesel exhaust...
...The chemicals in your soap or shampoo, or that hair dye...
...That carpet cleaner... those bathroom and toilet cleaners...
...Those toxins from that plastic dish in which you microwaved your food...
...The BPA that leaks from plastic water bottles left in the sun...
...The radiation from your phone...
...That gluten for 4% of migraineurs...
...The lectins from those beans...
...That genetic mutation you have !!
...That reaction to the bacteria in the moulds from damp in your house or work place?
In addition to CGRP expression other chemicals are released in the inflammatory response. These include arachidonic acid, prostaglandins, cooxygenase 1 and 2, thromboxanes and others. Let's have a brief look as some as they are key to understanding how drugs were developed to block them, and thereby block pain.
Prostaglandins, COX-1 and COX-2
One such group are called prostaglandins, which are lipids that the body creates wherever there is infection, injury, tissue damage.
When injury occurs prostaglandins are produced and released by an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2 or COX-2.
COX-2 is released specifically during the inflammatory process and with COX-1 is essential for proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys.
Many drugs have been designed and used to block the release of COX-2, and thus, for many people, block the inflammatory process, and the pain associated with it.
Certain constituents of the hundreds in ginger, such as 10-gingerol, 8-shogaol and 10-shogaol also carry out the same function, courtesy of Mother Nature, and in a manner which is gentle on the human kidneys and liver.
Migraine Escape® contains 10-gingerol, 8-shogaol and 10-shogaol and these substances were shown to inhibit COX-2 in research conducted by Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois College of Pharmacy, Chicago, USA. (van Breeman, Tao, Li 2011)
Prostaglandins contribute to the development of the signs of acute inflammation. (Ricciotti & FitzGerald 2011).
They are important because they play a key role in the inflammatory response, as well as being involved in controlling blood flow and blood clotting.
Prostaglandins cause vasodilation, preventing unnecessary blood clot formation and also control the muscle contraction.
They catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid to the endoperoxide prostaglandin which can form a variety of prostaglandins, thromboxanes and prostacyclin. (van Breeman, Tao, Li 2011) (Ricciotti & FitzGerald 2011).
On the other hand, thromboxanes (produced by platelet cells) are vasoconstrictors that cause blood clotting (platelet aggregation). Their name comes from their role in clot formation - thrombosis.
Many drugs reduce pain by blocking thromboxane (e.g. aspirin) and prostaglandin.
Interestingly research shows that ginger also has the ability to block the release of thromboxane and prostaglandins providing one of several explanations for how ginger has come to be used for thousands of years in the treatment of pain relief, particularly in the case of migraine. (Mustafa & Srivastava, 1990)
CGRP seems to be being singled out as the main chemical cause of the pain associated with a migraine.
CGRP is also identified by researchers as a potent vasodilator. ( Brain, Williams, Tippins, & Morris, 1985)
Research studies by Dr Paul Durham at the Missouri State University showed that CGRP is released from ganglia cells in the trigeminal nerve. (Durham P. L., 2006)
Ganglia are clusters of nerve cells, and the trigeminal nerve controls feeling in the face transmitting feelings such as touch, heat and cold, and pain from the face to the brain.
The trigeminal nerve also controls the facial muscles involved with biting and chewing.
It has three parts, hence its name the TRI-geminal nerve.
The three parts are the:
- Maxillary nerve,
- Ophthalmic nerve and
- Mandibular nerve.
Geminal refers to the fact that it is a TWIN (Gemini), and that there are two trigeminal nerves in your head.
90% of medical texts talk about the trigeminal nerve in the singular, making it seem to the layman that there is only one, but there are two - one on each side of the brainstem or pons.
The trigeminal nerve is the largest of the five cranial nerves, and is called the fifth cranial nerve or CN V.
It seems that when one or more of the trigger factors discussed earlier combine together, the trigeminal nerves release CGRP.
The CGRP then causes the expression of even more inflammatory peptides and chemicals (sometimes referred to as mediators) - some with wonderful names like tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)!
These mediators can act to activate more CGRP synthesis over hours or even days, leading to the pain of the migraine.
As previously stated, for some people finding source of inflammation is easy, for some it comes with a process of self-evaluation, but for many they just cannot locate it.
If you're one of those people who cannot find the source, one common action is to reduce the inflammation, and you likely already do (or have tried) this through your use of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY migraine drugs.
A big family of these are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs.
The triptan family (including sumatriptan) and painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin are examples of these.
That is exactly where the current research is now concentrating, and the big pharmaceutical companies are spending millions on developing drugs to stop the release of the CGRP, and or the other chemicals that are involved in its synthesis and release. (Durham P., 2008 Sep)
How can they achieve this?
Well, 4 big pharmaceutical companies are carrying out trials of new drugs that do just that. Media reports that the price of these treatments could be around $8,500. (Court, 2017)
We will have to wait for their release… but… you do not have to wait because...
16. University research shows that GINGER can reduce the release of CGRP
Interestingly enough recent research published by a team from George Mason University, Virginia shows that ginger is one natural compound that reduces CGRP release. (Slavin, Bourguignon, Jackson & Orciga, 2016)
And ginger is the key component in Migraine Escape (ginger which is extracted using a special process so that it is especially concentrated).
So interestingly, this university research gives us strong scientific basis for understanding how Migraine Escape works (in light of the most recent research at time of writing - September 2017).
We already know that ginger has a long history in the treatment of migraines for thousands of years and know from many research papers that it is has been successful in the treatment of migraines.
We have also seen how it works with many people using Migraine Escape to reduce their migraines*.
The George Mason University study stated that results showed "… a statistically significant decrease in stimulated CGRP secretion from (neuroendocrine ) CA77 cells following treatment with ginger (0.2 mg dry ginger equivalent/mL).
Relative to vehicle control, CGRP secretion decreased by 22%.
They also stated that "Interruption of calcium signalling, a mechanism which can trigger CGRP release, has been suggested as one potential route by which exogenous food substances may impact CGRP secretion" and concluded that "...ginger extract showed inhibition of calcium influx."
So how does Migraine Escape compare to this study?
Well Migraine Escape is highly concentrated ginger extracted using a unique and high-tech process. The liquid is applied topically, that means it is rolled on the forehead.
Why apply it topically? Why roll it on?
Because topical application can be a far more effective way to get the active ingredients into the bloodstream, and more and more modern medicines and treatments are tending to topical application as it can be less stressful on organs such as the kidneys.
Ginger works on several levels... not only reducing the release of the peptides such as CGRP, but also it acts as an anti-inflammatory i.e. the same mode of action used by triptan migraine drugs.
Yes, ginger is one of nature's anti-inflammatories, and is a plant with extraordinary qualities.
There is an abundance of evidence of ginger's medicinal properties and in time we will be exploring in full how these relate to migraine.
We at Migraine Escape will continue our findings to add to this website and page, and will continue to try to summarise the mountains of research into layman's terms. We will add links to pages with more details on the myriad of individual topics that are covered above.
So don't forget to keep checking back for updates!
References on Migraine Causes
- Brain, S. D., Williams, T. J., Tippins, J. R., & Morris, H. R. (1985). Calcitonin gene-related peptide is a potent vasodilator. Nature, 313(5997): 54–6. PMID 3917554. doi:10.1038/313054a0.
- Bigal, M. E., Walter, S., & Rapoport, A. (2013). Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) and Migraine Current Understanding and State of Development. Headache (American Headache Society), 53:1230-1244.
- Bruno, P., Carpino, F., Carpino , G., & Zicari, A. (2007). An Overview on immune system and migraine. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, Jul-Aug;11(4):245-8;PMID: 17876959.
- Court, E. (2017, June 9). New migraine drugs have promise — and a $8,500 price tag. Retrieved from marketwatch.com: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-migraine-drugs-have-promise-and-a-8500-price-tag-2017-06-09
- Durham, P. (2008 Sep). Inhibition of calcitonin gene-related peptide function: a promising strategy for treating migraine. Headache, 48(8):1269-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2008.01215.x. Review. .
- Durham, P. L. (2006 Jun). Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide CGRP and Migraine. Headache, 46 Suppl 1:S3-8. Review, Pubmed.gov US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fortuna, W. H. (2017, August 9). Migraines could be an immune system disease, opening up new treatment paths. Retrieved from Quatrz Media: https://qz.com/1048226/big-data-may-open-up-new-avenues-of-migraine-research/
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