Migraines are especially debilitating and sometimes include nausea and vomiting. I recently treated two teenagers with “Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome”. One patient was a 16-year-old female and the other a 14-year-old male. Both suffered frequent migraines, nausea and vomiting.often enough to miss school for days in a row. One patient, missing weeks at a time, needed an in-home tutor. After multiple examinations by conventional doctors, nothing was found in the gastrointestinal tract, so they were given migraine medications and antiemetic medications (to prevent vomiting). They even convinced my patient to have surgery and have her appendix removed! Both patients continued to suffer from the same headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Both patients had insomnia and problems with their circadian rhythm. And as time went by, since the doctors couldn’t find anything, they assumed that my patients were lying or psychologically disturbed; so they prescribed counseling and powerful antidepressants to no avail.

So when I met my patients, they were very sad. Worse still, other professionals assumed they were “crazy.” The first thing I did was fix his diet. Both patients ate too much sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods. Over time, this led to hormonal imbalances and poor digestion. Society generally accepts the notion that these foods are the acceptable norm, but their toxicity is insidious. Sugar, in my opinion, should be considered a drug. It gives you a “high sugar” by stimulating the same brain receptors as heroin, and then causes you to crash and burn in a “carbohydrate stupor.” To feel better and less irritable again, we yearn for more. We are finally recognizing how this long-term addiction leads to diabetes and degenerative brain disorders, yet it is still common and “acceptable” in the standard American diet. The body needs the proper building blocks to heal, and these patients just weren’t getting them.

At the same time, he needed to improve the state of his digestive system so that they really absorbed the good food that they began to eat. Digestion begins with chewing and the enzymes in the saliva. It then travels down the esophagus to the stomach, where it requires an acidic environment to break down proteins. Proper mixing of bile from the gallbladder and other enzymes from the pancreas allows nutrients to be absorbed in the small intestine. Holistic practitioners have known for many years that the intestinal flora is an important symbiotic organism within us. Both patients had a history of antibiotic use that altered their flora. Asking patients about their stools is a component that is often overlooked among doctors, especially when the patient is present for a migraine headache. By providing supplements to these patients, I helped them restore their digestive capacity to absorb food properly.

Finally, we must look at the spinal cord, with nerves entering and leaving between the vertebrae. This is the two-way communication between the brain and the rest of the body. If the vertebra is not moving properly, communication is hampered. The situation becomes like that of a general unable to communicate with his troops. The brain and digestive organs do not cooperate with each other. This is a potential cause of malabsorption, but it can also be the result of a poor diet. If we think of these spinal nerves as circuit breakers, then if an organ becomes overloaded (from poor diet and lack of nutrition), it shuts down, like a safety valve or a disobedient child to prevent further damage. However, this also acts as a barrier to healing. So the final piece of the puzzle was to address this problem by fixing the structural alignment of both patients.

Several elements influence recovery time. Changing your diet requires several months of adaptation with minor adjustments along the way. The age of the patient also plays an important role. Younger people respond more quickly to treatment than older people. Patients also vary in compliance. Some, desperate to change their lives after years of misery, adapt overnight with great success. Others, distrustful of “New Age” medicine and eager for the ease of a pill, need much more compelling scientific evidence. They tend to be more reluctant and rationalize, almost sabotaging their own recovery. When both patients were able to return to class on a daily basis, attend school dances and return to a normal life, the parents were also relieved. That is all the evidence I need.