Let’s talk about inflammation!
What does inflammation have to do with your migraines? you may ask. Well in a previous post we have discussed the different stages of a migraine headache. A migraine headache starts way before your head starts to ache.
Whatever triggers your headache, this could be food, hormone or environment related, this trigger starts a series of actions. Your brain reacts to the trigger by first sending messages that cause blood vessels in your forehead to swell up. This swelling causes nerve fibers to release chemicals that cause pain and inflammation. This begins a cycle of inflammation which causes more blood vessels to swell which causes more inflammation. After this cycle has continued for some time, you begin to get pain through your head, base of your neck and even your spine.
So this initial phase of the migraine is really inflammation. So the theory goes if you can stop the inflammation then you should be able to stop the pain. Often traditional medications are not effective in stopping this process in the brain that causes these chain-reactions leading to pain. However, new research is working on medications that target the protein that precipitates the inflammation.
These drugs could be promising for many of us who deal with chronic migraines. However, these drugs aren’t on the market yet.
So what can you do?
One solution is to try to recognize the initial signs of being in that initial phase and taking your medications at that time even if
you don’t have the pain yet. This may prevent the headache from even developing or make it easier to treat.
Another solution is to try to lessen the inflammatory response naturally. There are a few well known supplements like magnesium which have been shown to reduce inflammation when taken regularly. Another lesser known supplement is serrapeptase.
What is serrapeptase?
Serrapeptase is a type of enzyme called a proteolytic enzyme. It has the ability to break up and digest proteins. Do you remember that
earlier I mentioned that the inflammation process that starts a migraine is caused by a release of a protein? Yes, so this enzyme has
the ability to break up these proteins thus reducing inflammation in the body. It has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory similar to anti-inflammatory drugs. Serrapeptase has been used by doctors in Europe for conditions like fibromyalgia, tension headaches, migraine headaches, back pain, sinusitis, swelling after surgery, irritable bowel disease and arthritis.
I have been taking Doctor’s Best High Potency Serrapeptase (120,000 Units), 90-Count for a few months and have noticed a reduction in my migraine headaches. I also noticed less muscle tension as well. While I don’t know if it can single-handedly get rid of migraines, I do think it could be a helpful addition to your migraine management plan.
While the side effects of taking serrapeptase are few, the research that I did showed that those who are elderly or who take blood thinning medications or supplements should avoid taking serrapeptase. I would suggest doing your own research and talking with your doctor before trying any new supplements.
Have you tried serrapeptase? Do you have questions leave a comment below!
Check out my quick migraine guide here!