Life Extension Magazine December 2006
The Migraine Cure
By Sergey A. Dzugan, MD, PhD
For the first time, there is a safe, proven cure for migraine headache and its associated symptoms. I developed this treatment protocol out of a long-term clinical study in which all the patients—100%—achieved complete relief from migraine pain and related symptoms, including individuals who had difficult-to-treat migraine that had plagued them for more than 30 years.
Since that study, I have repeatedly achieved the same results with hundreds of men, women, and adolescents in the United States and around the world, regardless of whether they had been suffering episodes of migraine pain for a few months or for decades.
Excerpted from The Migraine Cure by Sergey A. Dzugan, MD, PhD (Dragon Door Publications, Inc., 2006).
Problems with Migraine Drugs
Millions of women and men who suffer with migraine are looking for relief. Migraineurs (people who suffer from migraine) generally are very dissatisfied with current treatment options, not only because they are not effective, but also because they are often accompanied by adverse effects. It is generally accepted, for example, that about 35% of patients who take sumatriptan—the most commonly prescribed medication for migraine—and similar migraine medications will experience another migraine attack within 24 hours of treatment.
When it comes to side effects, in one study, researchers found that 44.5% of the patients reported adverse events—including dizziness, headache, nausea, difficulty in thinking, fatigue, and tingling of the toes and fingers—after using various medications. Some patients are so discouraged by the side effects that they elect to forgo treatment rather than suffer additional pain and discomfort.
Indeed, the use of beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ergots, and even some over-the-counter non-narcotic painkillers can trigger migraines if they are used consistently.
An Effective Migraine Treatment Plan
The "Migraine Cure" is based on balancing the function of specific systems in the body, and tailoring the dosing of specific hormones and other natural substances to meet the unique needs of each individual.
If you want to eliminate your migraine, you and a competent health care professional need to identify your current levels of various hormones and nutrients, including calcium-to-magnesium ratio; establish the functioning status of your pineal gland and digestive/intestinal tract; and then choose which natural, biocompatible supplements you will need to restore all of your levels and functions to their natural, healthy state. All this is done without the use of drugs or expensive therapies.
Steps to a Cure
If I had to use one word to describe my approach to the successful treatment and elimination of migraine, that word would be "balance." The approach involves an orchestrated and synchronized adjustment of the components and functions of several systems in the body to achieve that goal.
Those areas are as follows:
I. At Home with Your Hormones
The linchpin of The Migraine Cure can be presented in one simple statement: If you do not restore your key hormones to healthy, balanced levels, you will never cure your migraine.
Before you can begin to balance your hormones, you will need to undergo a blood test to identify the levels of your basic steroid hormones. Once you have that information, you and your physician will have a reference point from which to begin restoration therapy. A lipid (blood fats) panel is also done at this time, to determine cholesterol levels. For women who are still menstruating, who comprise the majority of migraineurs, the optimal time to take the test is during days 19-21 of the menstrual cycle, as this is the time progesterone levels peak.
While optimal hormone levels are critical, so is hormone balance. Thus, The Migraine Cure strives to restore a balanced ratio between complementary hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, and cortisol and DHEA, rather than restoring individual hormones to absolute numbers. When we restore—not replace—selected hormones and achieve a hormonal balance that is specific to your unique body chemistry and needs, then we can eliminate migraine.
Cholesterol: The First Ingredient
The production of hormones begins with cholesterol. Therefore, having a healthy level of cholesterol is critical for adequate hormone production. Cholesterol levels that are too high or too low are unhealthy, including when it comes to balancing hormone levels. That is why when an individual with migraine wants to begin treatment, we always ask that he or she get a lipid panel (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) along with the hormone panel.
Pregnenolone is not only the most prevalent hormone in the brain, but is also considered to be a "grandmother" hormone, one from which all the human steroid hormones—including aldosterone, cortisol, cortisone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—are produced. (The term "steroid hormone" refers to a family of structurally similar biochemicals that have the ability to determine sex, reduce inflammation, and regulate growth.) Thus it follows that when levels of any of these hormones fall below normal, pregnenolone levels typically also are not normal, and vice versa.
Here are some of the properties attributed to pregnenolone and some reasons why it is such an important hormone in the fight against migraine:
Pregnenolone supplements are manufactured from wild yams (Dioscorea villosa) and are bioidentical to the hormone that your body produces naturally. Generally, the dosage is 50-200 mg daily, taken in the morning on an empty stomach, with the goal of attaining an optimal serum level (typical of a person aged 20-29) of around 180 ng/dL for men or 200 ng/dL for women.
Pregnenolone is considered safe even at high doses. However, because pregnenolone is converted into DHEA and progesterone, which are then converted into other hormones, periodic blood testing of hormones is recommended, as we do in The Migraine Cure.