Getting to the Root of Migraines

Migraines and your Brain Panic_Disorders

If you suffer from migraines, it is due to abnormal brain activity. This abnormal brain activity is frequently related changes in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) flow and blood flow in surrounding tissues.

A frequent reason for this change in brain activity is a misalignment of the upper neck. Misalignments of the upper neck can lead to changes in the fluids that flow to from and through your brain. There are also a number of external triggers that can set off migraines that you should avoid especially until you can address the underlying cause.

External Factors of Migraines

  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Changes in hormone levels during a woman’s menstrual cycle
  • Changes in hormone levels due to use of birth control
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Alcohol
  • Exercise or physical stress
  • Loud noises or bright lights
  • Missed meals
  • Odors or perfumes
  • First or second hand smoke
  • Stress or anxiety

Food Triggers of Migraines

  • Baked goods
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Tyramine (found in red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken liver, figs, and certain beans)
  • Fruit (Avocado, citrus, bananas)
  • Meats with nitrates (bacon, hot dogs, salami, and cured meats)
  • Onions
  • Peanuts, other nuts, and seeds
  • Food that’s processed, fermented, pickled or marinated


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Keeping a Migraine Journal

There are numerous factors that may lead to these debilitating headaches, and these are just a list of some of the external ones that are in migraine sufferers control to change.

So, if you suffer from these debilitating headaches, but you’re not sure what causes them, the first best step you can take is to keep a journal of foods you eat, activities you do, and other factors that may cause that abnormal brain activity to occur.

Of course, while you’re keeping that journal, seeking the care of an upper cervical chiropractor, who will examine your upper neck vertebra to determine if a misalignment is present due to a head or neck injury.

Minimizing triggers is important but getting to the underlying cause is so much more vital.


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Dr. Craig Lapenski and Dr. Martha Schenk of Advanced Spinal Care, in Graham, Washington are your Graham NUCCA Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Puyallup, Tacoma, Olympia, and Sumner. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, fibromyalgia, vertigo, neck and back pain, and more. More information can be found on our website at