Migraine Headache Mystery: My Personal Story

Migraine Headache Mystery: My Personal Story

Posted on September 24, 2017

By: Amanda Patchett, RN, FNP-C

For migraine sufferers, the word “migraine” is terrifying simply because these types of headaches can truly be debilitating for many people who suffer from them regularly. This hits a very personal note for me as I used to suffer from migraine headaches at least 2 times weekly for many years, until I finally revealed the root cause of my migraine headaches.

Prior to learning about holistic medicine approaches to migraines, I sought out traditional doctors, including a neurologist. I, of course, had imaging done to rule out any structural abnormality within the head and then was simply given medications to control the symptoms of my migraine headaches. I, unfortunately, didn’t know there was another option, as no other options or root causes were discussed.

When I started working within this practice at Health and Wellness of Carmel, as a registered nurse, I decided to do a food allergy and sensitivity panel simply out of curiosity, not because I was overly suspicious of food allergies. I didn’t present with any gastrointestinal upset or skin rashes which would be more hallmark for food allergies or intolerance. To my surprise, however, when my results came in, they were shocking to say the least.

The testing revealed that I had Celiac Disease which is also termed “gluten-sensitive enteropathy.” Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks your intestinal lining when you consume gluten. This in turn prevents absorption of many nutrients and can lead to many symptoms and most commonly presents with diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and bloating. For me personally, I had none of those symptoms. However, after further workup with Dr. Fetters, my iron stores were extremely low as well. After eliminating gluten, repairing my gut lining, replacing iron stores with oral iron supplementation, and replacing the nutrients, my migraine headaches resolved very quickly within a matter of a month or two. Fast forward 6 years to the present day and I can truly say that I haven’t suffered from a migraine headache since then.

What I have learned from this experience is exactly what our practice is about… That there is a root cause for everything and it’s not acceptable to just treat the symptom itself!  So for many migraine-sufferers, it might not be Celiac Disease. However, there are many other holistic treatment options and underlying causes that we can address here within our functional medicine practice.