If you suffer from recurring migraines, you know that life can feel unbearable at times. Every attack has the potential to cause unpleasant symptoms ranging from nausea to light sensitivity that can linger for days. According to the American Migraine Foundation, 90% of migraine patients experience disruptions in their schooling, careers, and social lives. These problems get worse with each migraine headache episode. For many people, traditional treatment strategies don’t work, leaving them in agony with dwindling options.
More and more sufferers have been turning to ketamine for potential relief.
Migraines are defined as severe pain on one side of the head that can be unilateral or bilateral. Most migraine sufferers experience episodic migraines, which means they experience fewer than 15 headaches a month. Often, these attacks occur in stages or patterns.
Some people’s migraines start in the prodrome stage, which is 1-2 days before an attack begins. Symptoms vary, but some sufferers report constipation, frequent yawning, fluid retention, and mood changes.
Auras are often the next stage. Some people experience an aura before a headache begins, while others get a migraine with an aura. Vision loss, pins and needles sensation in the extremities, and weakness and numbness are all associated with auras.
If left untreated, a migraine attack can last from 4 to 72 hours. People often complain of feeling exhausted or perplexed for a day or two after the episode has passed, which is known as the ‘postdrome’ period.
The mechanisms that trigger migraines are unclear, though experts believe that blood vessel constriction is involved due to the brain’s chemical reactions during a migraine. Genetics also appears to play a part in some individuals’ sensitivity to these chemical processes, but not in others.
Some individuals are sensitive to certain environmental factors, such as strong odors, bright lights, or weather changes. Other people mention tension, altered sleeping habits, and alcohol and caffeine consumption as triggers; others claim that eating particular foods like aged cheeses or salt, certain medications, or food additives like aspartame and MSG cause their attacks.
Better U provides evidence-based therapies to help combat a multitude of life stressors. Psychedelic therapy consists of breathwork, personalized programs, and medication (ketamine) when appropriate.
According to recent research, ketamine therapy may be an alternative pathway for people who have chronic and intractable headaches. A group of patients taking part in a migraine study were asked to rate their initial migraine pain levels on a scale of 1 to 10. When the participants arrived, their average baseline pain levels were at 7.5. After receiving either three-day or seven-day ketamine treatments for their migraines, 75% of patients reported a pain score of 3.4 or lower. The therapy continued to work better over time, with 40% of participants still experiencing an alleviation of their symptoms in the weeks after and 30% experiencing an alleviation of symptoms 100 days after completing treatment.
Utilizing ketamine treatments for chronic pain is common for pain management and may have several advantages for migraine sufferers. Unlike other pain medications, ketamine hasn’t been shown to reduce blood pressure. It may target N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, which means it may work to relieve symptoms even if traditional painkillers don’t. It may also help relieve the symptoms of depression that often come with suffering from chronic or intractable migraines.
At Better U, we believe in the power of integration. Throughout the psychedelic therapy program and after each ketamine treatment session we provide our patients with the guidance and tools they need to help them fully integrate their experiences. Ultimately, we strive to treat more than just physical pain and symptoms. We also aim to help patients ease any mood problems associated with migraines and promote a healthier lifestyle that can be helpful for long-term migraine relief.
Better U is a leader in psychedelic therapy and self-healing. We’ve developed robust at-home therapy protocols to increase widespread access to psychedelic therapy and provide affordable, convenient options for patients. If you suffer from chronic, intractable migraines, you may be a candidate.
Start today with our intake questionnaire to speak with one of our trained clinicians. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Help for your chronic migraine headaches is only a few clicks away.
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