"Migraine" – the word that headache sufferers fear, the name for the worst kind of headache. While research has had a difficult time finding any clear explanation for the cause of migraines, clinical experience has recently shown that there is a clear migraine – yeast infection or Candida connection.
Migraines are headaches that are felt in half the head or the entire head, that last from 4 hours to 3 days, that may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light or loud noise, and that may be worsened with physical activity. Migraine headaches are sometimes preceded by an aura, meaning unusual visual symptoms (such as seeing spots or lights before the eyes) or other symptoms that usually go away before the headache starts.
Migraines have been found to be triggered by various things, including:
Birth control pills
Certain foods and food preservatives
Weather with high humidity, with either high or low temperature
What is the connection between these varied triggers? Yeast infection (also called Candida). Consider the following:
Alcohol is obviously a fermented product. Fermented products promote further fermentation and yeast growth in the digestive system.
Menstrual cycles. Migraines are three times more common in females than in males, but only after puberty (when the hormone levels change); before puberty, the migraine rates are 50/50 male to female. Migraines are also more common when women take birth control hormones, and less common during pregnancy. The explanation? Estrogen. Yeast appears to be nourished by female estrogen, especially when it is present at high and steady levels, such as are produced by birth control pills. During pregnancy, estrogen is low while progesterone is high.
Missed meals. People who are carrying a yeast overgrowth in their bodies essentially have a parasite that wants to be fed on a regular schedule. It appears that by similar chemical mechanisms that allow the yeast to cause cravings for fungus-feeding foods, yeast can in some people produce chemicals that cause discomfort and even pain when it is not fed.
Allergy. The longstanding presence of yeast in the liver will commonly lead the immune system to develop allergies. When allergies are aroused or worse, yeast is likely more active and may be causing the allergies and the headache.
Foods and preservatives. Neurologists, whose medical specialty includes the treatment of migraines, frequently give out lists of foods and additives known to cause migraines in some people. These foods include: wine and other alcohols, aged cheeses, gluten (a protein in wheat, barley and rye), peanuts and other nuts, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame. All of these foods are either fermented products, or foods that may contain fungal toxins. (There are several other common foods that can contribute to migraines in certain people. A more complete list is provided with the Candida Kit.)
Humid weather. Mold and yeast are well-known to grow well in these conditions.
One study in 1998 found nearly 16% of migraine sufferers in the study had yeast infections.1 Another study found that migraine sufferers display a definite decrease in monocytes, a key immune system cell type.2 This cell is commonly suppressed in people with long-term infections that affect immunity, such as Candida or viral infections.
Clinical experience with hundreds of migraine and other headache sufferers has shown that with effective Candida treatment, over 85% of patients find that headaches either disappear completely or are much reduced within five days of starting treatment. The following should be kept in mind regarding migraines and Candida treatment:
Ineffective treatment will make the headache worse, and because the yeast is only being annoyed but is not being killed, the headache may simply continue at a worse level. This is why the treatment program must be done properly with effective medication, diet and probiotics on the right schedule.
A headache starting on day 1 or day 2 of the program is virtually guaranteed, and it will last from a few hours to 3 days. This is a very positive sign, and is also nearly a guarantee that you will have much fewer headaches or none at all in the future. The initial headache is not generally worse than your usual headache, and can be treated with usual headache medications.
_____________________ 1 Robert Thiel, "Natural Interventions for Migraine Sufferers," American Naturopathic Medical Association Monitor 2, no. 3 (1998): 5-9.
2 V. Covelli, A. B. Maffione, and I. Munno, "Alterations of Nonspecific Immunity in Patients with Common Migraine," Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis 4, no. 1 (1990): 9-15.