On August 7, 2012, Shirley Wang wrote in the Wall Street Journal about recent advancements in the research for a migraine cure. In particular, she wrote that researchers have isolated a brain chemical, known as calcitonin gene-related peptide transmitter (“CGRP”) to be responsible for the transmission of migraine pain. She further wrote that researchers are in the process of coming up with medicines that would block CGRP from forming and thus prohibit any migraine pain from occurring. Several doctors were quoted in the article and one of the so-called experts stated that there was an immediate need to develop drugs that would stop any pain from being felt by migraine sufferers.
First, let us assume that researchers were able to come up with a medicine that blocked the formation of CGRP and thus blocked the headache pain associated with a migraine. What then? We would still not be any closer to finding the cause of each person’s migraines. Instead, we would be continuing the flawed approach of prescribing medicines to cure the effects of migraines and not the real causes behind them.
If the body is in pain, there is a reason for the pain. The transmission of pain is the body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong so that you can take actions to change this.
By blocking the CGRP transmitter, you are only fooling yourself.
There is still pain, you just cannot feel it. What is worse, you might not change your behavior. If you are like me, then the pain is not the only thing that occurs when you suffer from a migraine episode. Instead, you feel fatigued, lose your appetite, and sometimes get nauseous. These symptoms will not be cured by a magic pill that allows any doctor to relieve him or herself from their obligation to find the reason for your migraines.
Second, the side effects of these painkillers could be worse than the migraines themselves. In my case, I was told to start taking triptans indefinitely in order to abort/ lessen the effects of migraines. I took one pill and started feeling a severe pain in nearly all of my extremities whether I was sitting, standing, walking, or lying down. I also had stomach pains. These side effects continued for over 24 hours. Needless to say, this was the first and last time I took any of these.
As I have said before, your only hope to lessen migraine episodes is to find your particular migraine triggers. This can be different for different people, but in my experience has most to do with your diet. The reason for this is that migraine sufferers have more intolerance to certain foods. As has been mentioned in the article “Monosodium Glutamate”, migraine sufferers have a more sensitive TRESK gene (the migraine gene) that was published in a 2011 Oxford University study. This gene is particularly sensitive to tyramine. If you can minimize the formation of tyramine in your body, you will likely lessen the frequency and severity of your migraine episodes.
If you do get a migraine episode, it is better to try natural approaches or exercise to abort/lessen the effects of migraines. Read about some of these in the following article: “Alleviating / Aborting the Migraine Episode”.
Don’t be lazy – That is what doctors and drug manufactures are counting on. Instead, be proactive about finding your specific migraine causes and work to change your lifestyle in order to cope with your migraines.