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Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) or Vestibular Migraines. How Can a Nutritional Therapist Help?

Updated: Feb 23

Migraines are complex neurological disorders, and certainly not just a bad headache! There can be many symptoms associated with migraines and can manifest differently for each person and triggers can be individual for each person.

Migraine-associated vertigo (MAV), also known as vestibular migraine or migrainous vertigo, is a type of migraine that involves dizziness and vertigo as prominent symptoms. It is considered a subtype of migraine that affects the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation. Individuals with MAV experience recurrent episodes of vertigo or dizziness that are typically accompanied by migraine headache symptoms or other typical migraine features.

Symptoms of Migraine-Associated Vertigo

  1. Vertigo: A sensation of spinning or the feeling that the world around you is moving or tilting.

  2. Dizziness: A feeling of lightheadedness or unsteadiness.

  3. Migraine Headache: Many individuals with MAV experience migraine headaches, but not all episodes may be accompanied by a headache.

  4. Sensitivity to Light and Sound: Like in typical migraines, individuals with MAV may be sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia).

  5. Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting can be present during episodes of MAV.

  6. Visual Disturbances: Some people with MAV may experience visual disturbances, such as visual aura, blurred vision, or difficulty focusing.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing MAV can be challenging because its symptoms can overlap with other vestibular disorders and migraine types. Treatment for MAV aims to manage both the vestibular symptoms and migraines. Traditional treatment generally involves medication.

How can a Nutritional Therapist Help?

My journey to becoming a Nutritional Therapist ultimately began when my own health deteriorated. My body started giving me many signs & symptoms such as digestive issues, food sensitivities, hormonal issues, fatigue, headaches & vertigo. Sadly for me traditional medication did not help me understand my symptoms or were able to manage my symptoms long term, so I totally understand first hand how this condition can totally rob you of the life you once had. The good news is for me Functional Medicine and Nutritional Therapy got my health back and once again I was able to function. I still have to work to keep my symptoms in check, which maybe supporting my hormones, supporting my detoxification, ensuring my nutrients are sufficient for my needs, aware of my food triggers and inflammatory drivers for example.

Naturopathic Nutrition's holistic approach to health & wellness recognises the interconnection between diet, nutrition, lifestyle & overall wellbeing to support the body's natural healing processes & provide necessary nutrients to help you optimise your health, & feel your best! As a migraine nutritionist I am to help you amnage and raise your migraine threshold.

Our approach may include the following, and a whole lot more!

o Food sensitivities: Certain foods or food additives may trigger migraines in susceptible individuals. Common trigger foods may include processed foods, aged cheeses, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, MSG (monosodium glutamate), and artificial sweeteners. Identifying triggers foods can be tricky and methods such as elimination or testing can be helpful. It is important to note some triggers may take up to 5 days to present so it is often tricky to detect via a food diary alone.

o Environmental triggers: These may include exposure to certain chemicals, pollutants, allergens, strong odours, bright lights, loud noises, and changes in weather or altitude. Identifying and minimizing exposure to environmental triggers may be recommended as part of a naturopathic approach.

o Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances are potential triggers for migraines, particularly in women. Fluctuations in oestrogen levels during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause may trigger migraines in some women. Hormonal balancing techniques, such as herbal supplements, lifestyle changes, or other natural approaches to help regulate hormonal levels.

o Nutritional deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies, such as deficiencies in magnesium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and coenzyme Q10, as potential triggers for migraines. Addressing dietary changes or supplements to address these deficiencies or looking deeper at nutrigenomics testing maybe beneficial.

o Stress and lifestyle factors: Stress, poor sleep, lack of physical activity, and other lifestyle factors as potential triggers for migraines. Stress management techniques, relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene, and lifestyle modifications may be recommended as part of a naturopathic approach to managing migraines.

o  Epigenetic's & Nutrigenomics: Epigenetic's and nutrigenomics offer promising avenues to understand and address migraines. By studying how gene expression is influenced by lifestyle and nutrition, personalised interventions can be designed. Tailoring dietary choices based on individual genetic factors may provide insights to manage and prevent migraines effectively.

o  The role of the gut, histamine, inflammation and neurotransmitters: In migraines, inflammation and histamine levels play a pivotal role, often linked to gut health. Imbalances in the gut microbiome can trigger inflammatory responses, influencing histamine release. Understanding and addressing these factors through personalized nutrition and gut health interventions may offer relief and reduce the frequency of migraines.

o  And a whole lot more! Each person's situation is unique, and a personalised approach to managing MAV is necessary for the best outcomes.

I am a Nutritional Therapist offering one-to-one, in-person, or online consultations.

My Specialist areas include:

🥦 Menopause & Perimenopause

🍎 Female Hormonal Health

🥑 Migraines & Headaches

🫐 Digestive & Gut Health

🍋 Food Sensitivities & Special Diets

🍉 Energy & Vitality (including fibromyalgia & chronic conditions)

Naturopathic Nutrition's holistic approach to health & wellness recognises the interconnection between diet, nutrition, lifestyle & overall wellbeing to support the body's natural healing processes & provide necessary nutrients to help you optimise your health, & feel your best!

If you would like to find out more, book a free discovery call to find out how I can help you optimise your nutrition and help you feel your best.

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