Health & Fitness

Tale of Two Articles: Migraine and the Gut

Kristen Sparrow • February 26, 2012

Consider the article yesterday in the SF Chronicle “UCSF doctors see colic-migraine link.”
And an elaborate study out of China looking at different acupuncture treatment approaches for migraine prophylaxis. Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a randomized controlled trial (full text at link.)
What is of interest between the two? The UCSF study finds that mothers with migraines are more likely to have babies with colic. Of course, we still have no idea what causes colic, even though the name implies something to do with the GI system. But there is a link between migraines and abdominal pain in youths called “abdominal migraine.” Some children suffer bouts of nausea or dizziness before developing more classic headache symptoms as adults. There clearly is some link between the gut and migraine.
Then consider the study out of China. It compares classic treatment for migraine using Shao Yang points (Gall Bladder, lateral points.) And Yang Ming or treatment using stomach points. Though Shao Yang had slightly better results, both showed a decrease in migraines compared to controls (sham acupuncture.)
So wouldn’t it be fascinating, in light acupuncture’s effect on the gut, to compare different electroacupuncture treatments using acupuncture points for the gut for migraine prophylaxis? (Too many studies to do, too little time.)

I would also like to mention a fascinating anecdote related to me by a patient. Her horse had a common type of colic in which they get distension, bloating and obstruction. An acupuncture veterinarian put some needles near the nostils of the horse (Large Intestine Meridian) and the horse was cured. Maybe a clue for migraine treatment??

(More on my practice here.)