Natural methods for battling ophthalmic migraines

natural remedies for pain reliefQuestion: I was recently diagnosed with ophthalmic migraines. One of the main symptoms is flashing zig-zags of light, which last for 15 to 20 minutes and then go away for day or even weeks. Once I even lost vision in my left eye for a few minutes. The flashing light is usually followed by what my doctor referred to as a “hatband distribution” of pain. Do you have any suggestions for combating these attacks?

Dr. Wright: Ophthalmic and other varieties of migraines are frequently helped by the same general five-step approach that’s usually effective in treating “regular” migraines. It’s outlined as follows:

Have food-allergy and sensitivity screening done. (Contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine, 800-532-3688,, for a list of doctors in your area who can help you with this and other testing/screening procedures.)

Have your doctor screen for hormone allergy and sensitivity.

Test for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

After allergy/sensitivity screening and hypoglycemia test, please see a nutritionist to make a diet plan, which can help you desensitize or eliminate food allergens.

After screening the following to make sure they’re not on your list of allergies and sensitivities, consider using the following supplements: 200 milligrams of magnesium citrate two times a day, 200 milligrams of vitamin B6 twice a day, three feverfew capsules (which usually contain 100-125 milligrams of feverfew per capsule) two times a day, 200 milligrams of riboflavin (vitamin B2) two or three times a day, and a hypoallergenic multiple vitamin/mineral combination.

The natural route does take time. But it gets to the root of the nutritional deficiencies and other triggers that are actually causing your headaches, so you can clear them up for good, rather than temporarily masking the symptoms with patent medications. And when you rid yourself of food allergies and give your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll likely notice some other great health benefits too.

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Dr. Jonathan Wright

Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. More than any other doctor, he practically invented the modern science of applied nutritional biochemistry and he has advanced nutritional medicine for nearly three decades.

Thousands of doctors respect Dr. Wright as the author of the best-selling Book of Nutritional Therapy and Guide to Healing with Nutrition, as well as other classics in the field. Yet he regards all the above as secondary to his family medical practice. For more than 27 years, he has devoted his talents to helping heal many thousands of patients. Combining the most advanced new natural techniques with the best in traditional medicine, he takes a truly holistic approach.

As of today, Dr. Wright has received over 35,000 patient visits at his now-famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I have had these for 40 years. Never though about food allergy. The first event was during a very stressful time. I have always thought that was the connection. I wish there was a cure out there.

  2. says

    This sounds like the “aura” I used to get before all my migraines. I was most susceptible during the week before my period… during that time, even a single whiff of gasoline fumes, cigarette smoke, etc. would set me off. I am SO SO SO grateful that I don’t get them anymore. They are super painful!

  3. Anonymous says

    I’ve had ophthalmic migraines for 26 years. When I was younger, stress and hypoglycemia were the two biggest triggers. I couldn’t identify any food allergies, and surprisingly, no correlation between my periods and migraines existed. A sudden, bright light or glare is my biggest trigger now – and the resulting aura occurs almost immediately after the event.

    An article I read on Aug. 29, 2010 about the cause of migraines talks about a build-up of glutamate in the brain being a trigger.

    Link to the article:

    After reading more about glutamate it seems that both stress and hypoglycemia are linked to the proper removal of excess glutamate and/or cause it’s build-up in the brain.

    After searching the Healthier Talk website and others I found several recommendations to combat glutamate buildup: Lithium, toco-trinols, taurine, carnosine, turmeric, glutathione, resveratrol, and vinpocetine. I’m trying each of these, and now will try the feverfew mentioned in this article, until I can hopefully find one that works for me. BTW, after increasing my magnesium citrate and B6 intake several years ago I don’t get the tingling sensation in my nose and hands, only the aura.

  4. crosbyj says

    Anonymous, my story is almost exactly like yours. same triggers, especially the bright lights. For so many years I felt alone, there was no information available. I am glad there is now some info on what to try. I will try the magnesium right now. Thanks for the post.

  5. Greg Z says

    I suffered from such opthalmic migraines for many years – from 20 years of age until current – aged 51. The biggest triggers for me were milk chocolate, lack of sleep, orange juice and old milk products. The migraine would usually commence with an aura although not always, followed by intense headache pain, major sensitivity to light and strong odours. I stopped eating chocolates entirely (aside from white chocolate), cheese etc and manage to reduce the incidence of migraines from several times per week to 3 monthly, then 6 monthly and now possibly even only once per year. I also started taking Ginseng capsules (made by Vital) when the migraine commenced and this was a life-saver. I would still have the aura, but would avoid the extreme pain of the headache once the aura had passed. I have carried these capsules in my pocket for more than 30 years and from a totally debilitating effect, I very seldom have these attacks any more.

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