Dr. Stengler Uncovers a Hidden Cause of Migraine & How Liver Function Can Be at the Root of Migraine Pain..... For people who suffer from migraines, debilitating pain can strike at any time, and frequently does. For many migraine sufferers, frequent bouts of pain are not only uncomfortable, but also disruptive, regularly robbing time from jobs, families and leisure pursuits. But despite considerable research, migraines remain largely a medical mystery. So when 47-year-old Judy came to Mark Stengler, ND, complaining of migraines, she may have assumed this would be another dead end. During the past 10 years she had been felled by migraines three or four days each week and had consulted many mainstream medical doctors in a desperate search for help.
The doctors had prescribed virtually all the medications that are usually effective against migraines, including antidepressants, but only the painkillers had any effect. Unfortunately, their effectiveness eventually wore off, leaving Judy once again in pain. Here is her story...
Naturopathic physicians like Dr. Stengler go beyond the symptoms that bring a patient in, investigating the entire health profile with a goal of curing the underlying problem. So Dr. Stengler asked Judy many questions about her overall health. She reported that in addition to the migraines, which occurred on the right side of her head, she was often sluggish and felt tired a good deal of the time, especially after eating fatty foods. She had a history of not responding well to pharmaceutical medications despite taking them often, and she suffered from poor digestion, including having gas and often feeling bloated.
Reviewing her overall state of health and her migraines led Dr. Stengler to suspect that the problem behind Judy's headaches -- as well as her other, less intrusive symptoms -- was poor liver function. Dr. Stengler explained to me that the liver is extremely busy -- it is constantly involved in metabolic reactions because it processes all the nutrients and chemicals from digested food. It also plays a role in blood sugar regulation and the production of bile used to move substances out of circulation, which helps eliminate waste products and breaks down fats. Additionally, the liver processes hormones, filters blood and serves many other functions. In fact, thousands of biochemical reactions occur in liver cells every second of the night and day. Headaches in the temple area, he says, can signify liver and gallbladder problems, a connection echoed in Chinese medicine. People with liver problems tend to be gassy and bloated, as this patient was, and they may have skin outbreaks, as well. Also, poor liver function can cause irritability and a bad response to fatty foods -- another symptom Judy described.
Dr. Stengler immediately suggested dietary changes that would reduce the stress on Judy's liver... this was necessary because of her long use of pharmaceuticals. She cut out all fried food, alcohol, sugar, trans fats and artificial sweeteners, even in small amounts. He also instructed her to increase her intake of fruits and vegetables to a total of five servings per day and to drink eight ounces of water, between meals, six to eight times a day. He also added a custom-blended supplement containing the following liver-supporting herbs...
Fringetree (bark -- Chionanthus virginicus)
Stinging Nettle (leaf -- Urtica dioica)
Bearberry (leaf -- Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Dandelion (root -- Taraxacum officinale)
Milk Thistle (seed -- Silybum marianum)
Burdock (root -- Arctium lappa)
Celandine (root -- Chelidonium majus)