Migraines are one of the longest-lasting and most disabling chronic neurological disorders although only about five percent of people who have migraines have been diagnosed and treated. It’s a very common condition, especially among women aged 35 to 45. Dr. Amelia Scott Barrett M.D, a Stanford-trained Neurologist, is a real game-changer – not just when it comes to migraines, but in helping women get back on their feet. She’s revolutionized the way we treat headaches, going beyond just treating symptoms and looking at what causes them in the first place.
Dr. Barrett explains that repeated migraine attacks can change the structure of the brain in a process called chronification. As a result of the changes it’s easier for the brain to develop headaches and medications stop working as well as they used to.
Contrary to popular belief, pills don’t cure migraines, they only suppress the pain for the time being. Dr. Barrett challenges the idea that medication is the only way to manage migraines. She emphasizes the importance of understanding and being aware of the root causes of headaches and encourages women to take an active role in their health.
Two significant factors contributing to migraines are nutrient deficiencies and gut health issues.
Nutrient deficiencies are often overlooked in the diet of women with migraines. Research shows that consuming more Omega-3 and less Omega-6 can halve the number of headaches within three months (Ramsden, Et Al 2021). She believes that empowering patients with dietary information can reduce headaches through simple food choices.
Migraines are also caused by leaky gut and by inflammatory mediators. However, many people don’t know that their symptoms are abnormal and may try to downplay them, which can lead to a lack of understanding about their lifestyle and why they need to make changes.
Dr. Barrett also emphasizes the importance of testing to determine what the body needs. Women with daily headaches have limited bandwidth for making lifestyle changes, so it is essential to focus on those that will help them improve their overall health. Specialized testing can be done to look at nutrients, leaky gut, and toxins, as well as new genetic testing that has only been around for a couple of years.
Studies show that people with migraines are twice as likely to have problems with the detox systems in their bodies. Dr. Barrett emphasizes the importance of understanding the biology of detox systems in the body to help women clear out toxins and reduce their overall toxic burden. The initial step is to investigate the underlying causes of headaches. Resources are available on Dr. Barrett’s website to assist individuals in resolving these issues.
Dr. Barrett envisions the future of headache medicine as rooted in understanding the hidden causes of headaches. By providing resources and empowering women with knowledge, she believes in healing the brain and body. Evidence-based tools play a pivotal role in this journey, directly improving health and reducing headaches.
There is new science and technology that is changing the lives of people with headaches. Dr Barrett encourages more women to think outside the box and potentially use evidence based methods as part of the strategy to heal. As they navigate the future of headache medicine, there is hope for a life free from the constraints of chronic migraines. “Understanding the hidden causes of headaches is not just about treating symptoms; it’s a journey toward empowerment and healing. By embracing evidence-based tools and individualized approaches, we pave the way for a future where women reclaim control over their health and live free from the constraints of chronic migraines.” – Dr. Amelia Scott Barrett M.D.