new-migraine-theory-oxidative-stress-may-trigger-migrainesMigraines afflict about 1 billion people worldwide. They cost the United States $36 billion in productivity, including $113 million in lost days of work. Migraines consist of a severely incapacitating set of neurological symptoms including:

  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Acute throbbing head pain that may affect one or both sides of the head
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms and legs or the face
  • Sensitivity to bright lights, certain odors, and loud noises
  • Nausea and vomiting

Migraines can persist for 4 to 72 hours. Migraine episodes can be unique each time for every person. New studies have attributed the onset of migraines to oxidative stress.

Defining Oxidative Stress

People need oxygen, and our planet will not survive without it. Our bodies will start to shut down without oxygen. Oxygen plays a vital part in how our body functions. Lack of oxygen can result in our cells being deprived of a critical element, thus weakening our immune system.

Oxidative stress involves oxygen. It develops when cells are damaged by the oxidative process. It is a standard course that occurs to our bodies naturally and even to things in our environment. A perfect example is rust that is due to oxidation. When the natural oxidative process of the body gets disrupted, such as when free radicals attach themselves to molecules in your body, a problem may begin. This can cause toxic outcomes.

What Are Free Radicals?

When oxygen metabolizes, free radicals are formed. These free radicals are lacking an electron and, therefore, look for another molecule with an electron to take over its place. In their quest, they launch charges that injure cells surrounding them.

Similarly, your body begins to “rust” as you age. Free radicals are streaming through your system to search for an extra electron. The more free radicals in your body, the more damage that is happening. This is evident when we compare a five-year-old child to an older adult. The changes that are apparent in skin tone and color display how free radicals affect the body. While we all age, some may age sooner than others and acquire more health conditions. A study has revealed that this can be due to some people having more free radicals than others, frequently because of lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, and improper nutrients.

Things That Increase Free Radicals

Exposing yourself to some things or habits increases the free radicals in your body:

  • Excessive stress
  • Air pollution
  • Radiation
  • Smoking
  • Too much exercise
  • Too much sunlight
  • Medications

What is needed to counter these free radicals? Antioxidants that are made by the body and consumed in plant foods are the answer. It is vital to steer clear from the things listed above and fill our lives with healthy foods and environments. Now that we have learned what oxidative stress is, let’s talk about how this connects to migraines.

How Migraines and Oxidative Stress Relate

A fascinating article about migraine attacks shared some potential ideas on how to help sufferers of the disorder. The research has revealed that people with migraines have higher levels of oxidative stress. Jonathan Borkum, Ph.D., explained that migraine triggers could raise brain oxidative stress, resulting in an imbalance between the creation of free radicals and the capacity of the body to prevent their harmful effects. These triggers may include loud noises, stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet, and air pollution. Recognizing growth in oxidative stress can help in fighting off not only migraines but also other medical conditions.

Dr. Borkum explained further that migraine episodes are not just instigated by oxidative stress but they may also be dynamically protecting and repairing the brain from it. For the longest time, migraine attacks have been seen as nausea, pain, and sensitivity to light and sound. However, those are symptoms of the disease. Is it the body’s method of defending itself from the ailment? It’s essential to look beneath the episode and see what the brain’s underlying vulnerability is. What is causing oxidative stress?

Healing Migraines Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

Your body should be in the best shape and performing at its optimum to fight the free radicals and lessen oxidative stress. The greatest way to do it and guarantee the health of your central nervous system is by consulting with us here at Haan Family Chiropractic in Huxley, Iowa.

The correct alignment of the upper cervical spine is crucial to the overall health of the body. A misalignment often happens in the C1 and C2 vertebrae. These bones are vulnerable to misalignments due to accidents, or a simple trip and fall. When this happens, pressure is put on the brainstem. This results in improper signals being relayed to the brain and a disruption in blood flow and cerebral spinal fluid flow to and from the brain, which can lead to a migraine. If the brainstem is damaged, it can also influence how the free radicals are being targeted. This can bring about more health problems.

Our upper cervical chiropractic clinic uses a gentle method which does not pop the neck or crack the spine to be effective. Instead, the bones are assisted in moving back into their correct positions naturally. Once an adjustment is completed, healing begins. Many of our patients report improvements in their migraine symptoms even after the first adjustment.