Individualized Treatment for Migraine: Three Case ReportsDecember 2005
Case Study #3
“MM,” a 56-year-old woman with a long history of migraine, called us in January 2005. She experienced her first headache almost 38 years ago, at the age of 18. MM also complained of depression, problems sleeping, hypertension, weight gain, severe hot flashes, significantly decreased sex drive and libido, and muscle aches. MM was experiencing a migraine every day. One of her common headache triggers was a change in the weather. She also reported at times waking up with pounding headaches at 2-2:30 a.m.
She had experienced premenstrual syndrome at a relatively young age. Since the age of 35, MM had gained more than 20 pounds. Her current weight was 187 pounds, her height 5’2”. She had a history of two normal pregnancies and five abortions. During her pregnancies, she had practically no migraine. Her menses stopped at age 52. Four years ago, a doctor discovered that MM had elevated blood pressure (150/95 mm Hg) and very high cholesterol (above 300 mg/dL). MM was placed on nadolol for hypertension and Lipitor® for hypercholesterolemia. Because of adverse side effects from taking Lipitor®, this drug was discontinued after two months of treatment. MM was taking different painkillers on a daily basis.
After receiving information about a migraine program from a Life Extension health advisor, a required blood test was performed by a family physician. Blood test results were as follows, with reference ranges in parentheses: total cholesterol: 300 mg/dL (<200 mg/dL); estradiol: 19 pg/mL (19-528); progesterone: 0.4 ng/mL (0.2-28.0); total testosterone: 51 ng/dL (14-76); DHEA-S: 86 ug/dL (65-380); and pregnenolone: less than 10 ng/dL (10-230).
MM’s medical history, physical appearance, and blood test information suggested the following program:
We also recommended zinc (30 mg), MetaRest® (one capsule), and MagnaCalm (one scoop), all taken at bedtime. We likewise suggested that she request the following prescriptions from her doctor: triestrogen (90% estriol, 7% estradiol, 3% estrone) gel and micronized progesterone (50 mg/mL) gel, to be used on a cyclical basis.
After six weeks on the program, MM reported back to us that she was free of migraines. She had stopped taking medicine for headaches, reported increased energy, was enjoying a fulfilling sex life with her husband, and stated that she “feels great.”
In this article, we have described three cases that required three different approaches.
In the first case, we used a very specific, individualized approach. The patient’s clinical picture played a major role in this case. If we had relied only on blood test results as a determining factor, we could not have achieved a successful migraine cure.
In the second case, our patient sought to modify in her own way the migraine-correction program we recommended. She substituted supplements (for example, using a combination of melatonin and L-theanine instead of MetaRest®), used different hormone preparations, did not apply the hormone preparations cyclically, and was inconsistent in her usage of the program. When she finally realized that it is not only the particular hormones and supplements that play a main role in migraine management—and that it is crucial to use certain formulas and combine them with specific regimens (i.e., taking them at certain times of day and in cyclical fashion)—she was able to get complete relief from migraine. In other words, how she used the different preparations and supplements proved to be extremely important.
The third case was typical in clinical picture, blood test results, and approach for management. By strictly following the program, the patient achieved the expected end result: a life without migraine headaches after 38 years of suffering.
As you can see, all three programs for curing migraine were similar, with small variations as necessitated by each individual’s requirements.
2. Aurora SK. Etiology and pathogenesis of cluster headache. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2002 Feb;6(1):71-5.
3. Sinclair S. Migraine headaches: nutritional, botanical and other alternative approaches. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Apr;4(2):86-95.
4. Landy SH. Challenging or difficult headache patients. Prim Care. 2004 Jun;31(2):429-40, viii.
5. Lawrence EC. Diagnosis and management of migraine headaches. South Med J. 2004 Nov;97(11):1069-77.
6. D’Amico D. Treatment strategies in migraine patients. Neurol Sci. 2004 Oct;25 Suppl 3S242-3.
7. Sandor PS, Afra J. Nonpharmacologic treatment of migraine. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2005 Jun;9(3):202-5.
8. Dzugan SA, Smith RA. The simultaneous restoration of neurohormonal and metabolic integrity as a very promising method of migraine management. Bull Urg Rec Med. 2003;4:622-8.