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Conventional vs. Alternative Migraine Treatment: Which to Choose? | Be Well Medical

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Migraines are a common health issue that can significantly impact the quality of life. Fortunately, there is no shortage of treatments available for migraines, ranging from conventional medications to alternative therapies. This blog post will explore the differences between these two treatments and advise on which might be best for you.

Conventional Treatments for Migraines

Conventional migraine treatments generally involve pharmaceuticals, such as painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Triptan medications, such as sumatriptan, are a commonly used conventional treatment for migraines. They work by narrowing blood vessels in the brain and blocking the release of certain chemicals that can cause migraine pain and other symptoms. Triptans are often taken as soon as migraine symptoms start and can effectively reduce pain, nausea, and other symptoms. However, they may not work for everyone and can have side effects such as chest tightness, flushing, and drowsiness.

Alternative Treatments for Migraines

In contrast to conventional treatments, alternative treatments focus on lifestyle changes and natural remedies like herbs and supplements. For example, acupuncture can be effective in reducing migraine frequency and severity. Additionally, research suggests that regular exercise can help reduce the frequency of migraines by promoting overall physical health. Finally, certain dietary changes have also been linked to reduced migraine symptoms; for instance, avoiding processed foods can help reduce inflammation in the body, which could lead to fewer migraines over time.

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is a common alternative treatment for migraines. Research suggests that riboflavin can reduce some people's migraines' frequency and severity. It is thought to work by helping improve the brain's energy metabolism and reducing inflammation. Riboflavin is generally considered safe to use, but it can cause urine to turn a bright yellow.

Butterbur is another alternative treatment for migraines that is thought to reduce inflammation in the brain and improve blood flow. It is available in supplement form and can effectively reduce the frequency of migraines in some people. However, butterbur should not be used by people with a history of allergies or asthma, as it can cause allergic reactions.

When treating migraines, there is no one-size-fits-all approach; what works for one person may not work for another. However, it is important to remember that both conventional and alternative treatments can effectively manage your symptoms. It's important to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about which treatment plan might be best for you. With the right combination of conventional and alternative therapies explicitly tailored to your needs and preferences, you may be able to reduce your migraine episodes or even significantly eliminate them.

Nichole Shiffler, NMD Dr. Nichole Shiffler is a naturopathic primary care physician and medical director of Be Well Medical Primary Care. Dr. Shiffler focuses her practice on women's and pediatric medicine. Dr. Shiffler also has an extensive history of treating irregular menstrual cycles, thyroid disease, menopause, acne, PCOS, and diabetes. She utilizes nutrition and herbal medicine to deliver an effective treatment plan to her patients. Dr. Shiffler is available for patient care at Be Well Medical Primary Care. Call (480) 219-9900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shiffler.

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