MIGRAINES Come From Digestion

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/10/2024

Ever had a headache so intense it felt like a hammer pounding inside your skull? If yes, then you've probably experienced the debilitating grip of a migraine.

Learn about migraines, their common causes, and what you can do to prevent them.

Understanding Migraines and Their Causes

Migraines, more than just intense headaches, are complex neurological events. Various factors like sinus issues or menstrual problems can trigger them. In some cases, even severe conditions such as head injuries or tumors may lead to migraines.

The Role of Sinus and Menstrual Issues in Migraines

Many people mistake sinus pressure for a migraine because the symptoms overlap: throbbing pain and sensitivity to light or sound. However, unlike regular sinusitis pain, usually localized around the nose area, migraine pains often spread across the entire head.

In women mainly, menstrual issues have been linked with migraines. Hormonal fluctuations during menstruation could trigger migraines. This explains why many women report experiencing migraines during their period.

Woman with keto headache

Head Injuries, Tumors and Migraines

Past head injury incidents can also cause chronic migraines later on due to damage in neural pathways. But if you start getting frequent severe headaches out of nowhere, it's important not to rule out tumors as potential causes.

While these are common triggers, most migraines are referred from digestive system problems, another significant but often overlooked cause.

The Gallbladder Meridian and Migraines

Did you know that the gallbladder meridian can play a role in triggering migraines? Integrating into Chinese medicine, this nerve channel directly connects to your head. If it gets irritated, a migraine can be triggered.

How Irritation of the Gallbladder Meridian Triggers Migraines

Irritating this particular pathway is more common than you might think. Why? Because our modern lifestyles often put undue stress on these sensitive areas.

For some people, irritation along the gallbladder meridian doesn't just cause local pain but sets off those dreaded migraines. Recent research shows how intertwined these systems are.

Digestive Stress as a Cause of Migraines

Our gut and brain are intricately linked, and our digestive health profoundly impacts our head. Unsurprisingly, digestive stress can be a culprit behind persistent migraines.

Research shows how imbalances in gut bacteria or disruptions to normal digestion processes can lead to inflammation and pain signals sent to the brain, triggering migraines. A tense stomach might signal more than indigestion; it could very well mean an impending migraine attack.

Identifying Digestive Stress-Related Migraines through Self-Massage

If you suspect your migraines stem from your belly woes, there's help at hand. Self-massage techniques offer relief by targeting specific areas related to digestion.

A gentle rub under the right rib cage targets the gallbladder meridian, which often refers to discomfort up towards your head when distressed.

Similarly, massaging down on the left side aids in stimulating healthy bowel movements, which helps relieve any pent-up tension causing headaches.

If these massages don't give relief within a few minutes or if migraines persist even after several attempts, chances are they may not be originating from digestive system issues.

Further exploration would be needed into other possible causes of these crippling headaches.

Dietary Changes for Migraine Relief

Changing your diet can be a powerful tool in combating migraines, especially those linked to the gallbladder and digestive system issues. But what changes should you make?

Dietary Strategies for Addressing Gallbladder Issues

Avoiding carbs and sugary foods is critical to easing gallbladder strain. Instead, choose foods supporting healthy gallbladder function, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.

You might also consider incorporating turmeric into your meals. The active component of turmeric, curcumin, possesses anti-inflammatory qualities that may be useful in soothing the gallbladder.

Digestive system illustration

Digestive System-Friendly Diets for Migraine Relief

Following diets that promote gut health can alleviate migraines caused by digestive stress. A low-FODMAP or gluten-free diet could be an effective strategy here.

Certain foods are notorious migraine triggers, like chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine. Try reducing your intake of such known triggers.

The more we can correct our diets towards better supporting our bodies' functions, the greater our chance of reducing painful migraine symptoms.

When Migraines Persist: Exploring Other Causes

If you've been working hard to get your migraines under control, but they persist even after dietary changes and stress management, it's time to explore other potential causes. The key is not to lose hope; there are many reasons why migraines may continue.

Migraine triggers can be as unique as the individuals who experience them. Some people might find that certain foods or scents trigger their migraines, while others might have more unusual triggers like weather changes or bright lights.

Understanding these individual differences can help guide further exploration into potential migraine causes. One study suggests genetics could significantly determine an individual's susceptibility to migraines.

This means if your parents frequently experienced headaches, you're likely at a higher risk of developing them, too.

Aside from genetics, other medical issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders may also contribute to an individual's risk of experiencing migraines. So consider all aspects of your overall health when seeking solutions for persistent migraines.

Magnesium Deficiency and Migraine

Magnesium deficiency can often be an underlying factor for those who suffer from migraines. When the body lacks adequate magnesium, it can lead to a range of symptoms, including headaches and migraines.

This essential mineral regulates nerve function and blood vessel constriction, which is directly related to migraine attacks.

Migraine sufferers who experience magnesium deficiency symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue, and weakness may find relief by incorporating magnesium-rich foods into their diet or by taking supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Addressing magnesium deficiency can be a proactive step in managing and reducing the frequency and severity of migraine episodes, providing welcome relief for those who experience these debilitating headaches.


Migraines can be debilitating, but understanding their causes and triggers can help in prevention and management. While factors like sinus issues, hormonal fluctuations, and head injuries contribute to migraines, digestive stress is often overlooked as a significant cause.

By addressing digestive issues and adopting dietary changes to support gallbladder and gut health, individuals can alleviate migraine symptoms.

Self-massage techniques targeting the gallbladder meridian and dietary adjustments, such as reducing intake of trigger foods, can offer relief.

However, if migraines persist, it's essential to explore other potential causes, including genetics, medical conditions, and magnesium deficiency. Taking a holistic approach to migraine management can lead to better outcomes and improved quality of life for migraine sufferers.

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