Can Functional Medicine Manage Headaches? | Podcast #301

In this podcast, together with Evan Brand, we’re going to be talking about functional solutions to headaches. We’ll be looking deeper into what we can do to headache issues. 

Our diet can be the first one to consider and ergonomics to keep our body structures relaxed and align, therefore, maintaining our good posture. But how can these factors connected to headaches? Since many people are experiencing headaches, let’s talk about the things we can work on before we go straight to taking medications. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

On this episode, we cover:

0:59      Why Headaches Occur

4:27      Diets and Supplements

13:11    Possible Root Causes

18:52    Food Allergies

24:55    On Nutrition and Blood Sugar, Dehydration   

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. I am with Evan brand. Today we’re going to be talking about functional medicine solutions for headaches. Evan, what’s happening, man? How you doing?

Evan Brand: I’m doing really well, we were looking through some little papers here on headaches is a big problem. I remember when I was actually working out of a chiropractor’s office, which feels like a long time ago, and it was a pretty long time ago, there were so many people that would come in there, and they’d have headaches, and the chiropractor would lay the patient down on the table, and he’d do the adjustment and they’d say, Oh, my God, I feel better. But then guess what, they came back next week for the same adjustment for the same headache. And this guy never got to the root cause and then when I started bringing just simple nutritional strategies into the clinic, all of a sudden the people that need the adjustment every week for the headache anymore, and of course, that quickly affected his his bottom line, and he’s like, Hey, stop getting my people off gluten. You’re fixing their headaches, and I thought, Well, isn’t that the goal of what we’re doing here? So now funny little backstory on headaches for me. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It totally I mean, there’s definitely a mechanical structural aspect to headaches. So if the joints in the spine aren’t moving properly, if there’s a subluxation, or a fixation, they’re just not good movement. That can be a problem, right? Especially like if the, the Atlas that c one and C two aren’t moving properly, because your head sits on top of that, that can create a lot of neurological imbalances and muscular imbalances, of course, and then just people sitting all day, right, what does that do, that’s going to just create this forward head posture, and that takes these muscles here and makes them really tight. And then you have a lot of these muscles, they can create trigger point pain referral, up the side of the neck, so like trigger points in the SEM, this muscle here, the sternocleidomastoid, or the upper trapezius, or the give us plenty of capitas muscles in the back that go up and that hit right in the back of the occiput there. These muscles get tight or they have trigger points they can cause referral into the face so you have subluxation joint issues, and then those can cause neurological disturbances. And blood flow issues. And then of course all the trigger point referral from the muscle. So good chiropractic care can be helpful on the structural side. Ideally, you want a chiropractor that one can either do some kind of myofascial release or active release therapy, some kind of a soft tissue or refer out for it. And then also taking a look at the postural stuff like you mentioned, like making sure like I’m at a stand right now so I can stand half my day. I have a really good chair that has really good lumbar and cervical support. So you want to make sure postural is good. You can do good exercises like the foundation training. Eric Goodman does that he does a lot of these the founder exercises like this, I love-

Evan Brand: Cobra training is a game changer for the back. People that are on audio that they’re not seeing him the founder pose is pretty cool. You basically put your arms up like you’re praying to the sun Gods above your head and then you end up bending over and then you open your chest up and then you kind of stand up. It’s a very, very good. Oh, it feels great. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, basically, it’s just putting stress on that whole posterior chain and working that whole post. exterior side together in unity. So, some structural standpoint soft tissue, make sure joints are moving properly. And then of course, look at the trigger point referral, the adhesions. The problem with chronic muscle pain is you have poor movement, poor movement in the joints means poor communication to the brain. You have lots of postural disturbances and people sitting all day. And if you sit, invest in a good desk, a good good desk as well as a good chair, spend a couple hundred bucks, get a really good chair that has cervical and lumbar support. That’s huge. Don’t don’t get a cheap thing like that. And then also soft tissue chiropractic, and then good exercise support to really make sure that whole posterior chain is working well. 

Evan Brand: So you’re saying the the experience I was witnessing where the chiropractor was adjusting someone that could have been legit in terms of the therapy meaning if someone was sitting on a terrible chair all week, every week they come in Friday for their headache adjustment. The headache goes away for the weekend, and they’re back next week for the headache you’re saying yeah, look Gently that could have been a structural postural thing that he was addressing. But then at the end of the day, maybe it was the the diet piece. Like I mentioned, even just simply getting a lot of these patients off gluten, they noticed that they only had to come in every two weeks or every three weeks. So is it would you then say that the the food allergens were contributing to increased inflammation, maybe triggering these nerves to be more sensitive? Or what do you think the diet? How would that link into the structural components? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so the diet is two things right? The diet one increases an environment of inflammation, the more inflamed you get the the the the least amount of blood flow, less blood flow, you get to the muscles, less blood flow, you get to the nerve, so there’s going to be less communication, right? It’s like, it’s like you’re on a microphone and you start to get in your static, right and you start getting static. It’s kind of like that. So if we have a lot of inflammation, what starts to happen is the muscles start becoming more less pliable, more like beef jerky, versus soft and supple. And then that affects the nerves as well because the more inflammation there is that’s going to affect nerve communication. And then of course, the more inflammation there is. And if we have bad posture we don’t move, then the joints can become a little bit stuck, and maybe out of a line or subluxated. So it can aid to the inflammation, which then makes it harder for the muscles to work, thus harder for the joints to work and the nerves to work. That’s number one. And then number two things like gluten have shown to actually decrease blood flow to the brain to the frontal cortex. So you have blood flow up the garden hoses on the side of your neck called the carotid artery. And there’s studies on this talking about gluten decreasing blood flow and and creating inflammation in the brain. So one, it’s going to do it via structural mechanisms of the nerves and muscles and joints. From an inflammation standpoint, structural to it’s going to affect blood flow, and drive up inflammation to the brain which then can create more neurological activation, immune activation in the brain, which can create symptoms. Have head pain there too. 

Evan Brand: So if you want to be smarter and make better decisions, make sure you’re not eating gluten. That sounds pretty convincing to me. Also, let’s get into the nutrient deficiency piece. If you’re eating a meal, let’s say you’re eating pasta and chicken, you’re probably not going to be getting much magnesium. And you’re probably not going to be getting many B vitamins that are going to be essential. Magnesium is probably the most famous mineral for headaches and muscle cramps and things like that. And we could pull it up, but it’s very easy to find in the literature, the link between magnesium deficiency and headaches and of course, the muscle cramping too. So, I mean, that’s an easy one to from the diet perspective. It’s not just the inflammation piece, it’s the absence of the nutrition that you need to help, you know, fuel these these pathways and then also what about like fatty acids? So you know, I remember several people were all we did is give them a high dose omega three couple grams a day and their headaches were gone, just based on adding in some omegas. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so there’s a couple other components with headaches, right? So of course, like you’re just highlighting nutrients like your brain needs certain nutrients to run and function. So if you look at a lot of these migraine, these natural migraine supplements, you’ll see a couple of common things. You’ll see like B vitamins, especially like nice and in there, you’ll see things like magnesium in there, you’ll see B six in there, these are really important things. Also koku 10s very important for headaches and migraines. So just from a nutrient standpoint, the more nutrient dense anti inflammatory low toxin your foods are, the more these nutrients are going to be present. Okay. And the other component is, the more refined and processed your foods are usually there’s gonna be okay and then also the fat start fats are also anti inflammatory. So remember, inflammation affects the muscles, the nerves, the joints, and the more of an anti inflammatory environment you create with good fats like you just highlighted, that’s going to help. And the other component is blood sugar. So the more poor diet is, usually there’s more processed food, you’re lacking those nutrients but you’re also typically eating more processed refined carbohydrates and junky fats, which causes your blood sugar to go up and down. And these ebbs and flows of blood sugar, especially on the way down, can really create headache issues. So this reactive hypoglycemia kind of blood sugar issue response can create surges of adrenaline and cortisol and those things can definitely create headaches too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and that could be it could be shakiness, right. It could be irritability, there could be some mood changes, there could be possibly fuzzy thinking, you know, from a cognitive perspective, too. So people may not connect the dots like oh, I had oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. And now here it is. 10am Three hours later. My blood sugar’s crashing. Not only am I irritable and anxious, but all of a sudden I’m getting a headache. What is it? Is it the fluorescent lights in my cubicle at the office? Which Yes, it could be fluorescent lighting is a big trigger for headaches. So it could be some environmental cause too. Is it the moldy office building you’re sitting in is causing the headache maybe? Or is it simply just a blood sugar crashing and it could be all of it. So that’s the thing that you and I do really a good job at is we try to look at all the variables because if you go to like a conventional doc for a headache, maybe they give you an ibuprofen recommendation, or if it’s bad enough, they’ll give you some type of prescription medication, if it’s to the migraine level, like a topamax or something like that. And then you get stuck on these medications. There’s not really any sort of root cause game plan. But if they referred you out to possibly an allergist, if they thought that your headaches were from an allergy problem, the allergist is likely going to recommend some over the counter anti histamine or some type of drug like that or possibly a prescription. And once again, they’re not addressing any of the root cause stuff and you could have gone to several practitioners and no one brought up magnesium deficiency. No one brought up vitamin D, which is critical. No one brought up getting off gluten, getting off grains, getting rid of potentially nuts and seeds if you have histamine type issues. So it’s just amazing how far you could go down the conventional rabbit hole with this issue and still not even get close to the root cause. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s the hard part. Like any Functional Medicine world everything’s like three dimensional right? So you have medications that are like anti inflammatory you have SSRI medications that are affecting serotonin or dopamine or adrenaline. I’ve had really great success using amino acids for headaches too. Now, why are there amino acid deficiencies? Usually it’s a combination of stress burning up serotonin, and dopamine, or it’s a combination of not breaking down and digesting good amino acids, right? So you can see amino acids play a very powerful role. I think you also see it with DLP as well. And headaches. These are all amino acids and if we have poor digestion, and we have poor nutrition to begin with, we got one deficiency coming in, but we also have a deficiency on being able to digest assimilate and utilize these nutrients as well. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, so you’re typically going to be using like a complex right, you’re probably not going to spot tree where you’re going to come in with like just the LPA by itself. You may come in with like a, maybe a good quality protein or like collagen or some type of amino acid blend. When you’re talking about amino is correct? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, it depends. So if I have organic acid testing showing serotonin and dopamine is off, we may spot those with specific amino acids. And then of course, you got to have B six there with that and those other nutrients in the background. So, of course, we’re going to be doing a good quality multi, and then we’ll be hitting those amino acids up for sure, especially if we have lab data on it. But we’ll be like, we’re never going to go all in on one thing, right? We’re going to do a good history. And then we’re going to make recommendations. Maybe there’s some structural stuff we got to look at, maybe there’s some diet stuff we got to look at, maybe there’s some supplement stuff we have to look at. And we will kind of get a plan for all three of those things going at once. If we see those issues could be active. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, what we do is so fun. It’s not just fun. It’s very effective, because as you mentioned, we’re going to be looking at organic acids testing to try to investigate this issue. We may be looking at stool testing, too, because I know you and I both seen countless times where we’ll see gut inflammation, and that may manifest in terms of headaches too. So gut inflammation is not just Hey, my gut feeling inflamed or irritated? It could be the whole system. You could have headaches, you could have increased fatigue, you could have increased joint pain, and depending on what kind of infections you have, whether it’s I know when I had parasites and H. pylori, I had headaches. Now, what was the mechanism? Well, hard to say. But I would say one mechanism was my digestion was terrible. I had diarrhea, I, you know, you could diagnose me with IBS. That’s what the conventional doctor actually said was, Hey, this is just IBS. Of course, that doesn’t address the infection. So I think that’s one other thing that we should bring up is that if the diet style then we’ve got someone listening saying, hey, look, I’m doing paleo or autoimmune paleo or I’m doing magnesium supplements. My vitamin D is good. I’m off gluten. Why do I still have headaches? Well, you know, then I would look at the gut and then I would look at some of these environmental causes as well because we do know the toxins of various types whether it’s mercury, cadmium, aluminum, any kind of heavy metals, those can affect the brain. Those can affect headaches, mold, toxin, mycotoxins lines. co-infections them opening up a lot of can of worms here, but this is what we do, we try to get all of the potential puzzle pieces and then arrange those in the right order to get you feeling better. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally, totally 100% agree. So you got to look at everything kind of get to the roots. The root cause for sure. So very important. So in regards to different headaches, of course, we have like cluster headaches, we have regular headaches, which kind of you know, cause pain in the head, upper neck. Of course we have migraines, which are more going to be extremely painful headaches, right? Usually there’s gonna be more intense, there’s gonna be kind of that open book kind of sensation, maybe you’ll have a little bit of an aura, there’ll be some eye issues more intense. Obviously with women this can be a big issue when there’s ebbs and flows and estrogen in your cycle. Or you can see it premenstrual Lee, especially when there’s a big premature drop and progesterone or inadequate levels of progesterone. You can see it hormonally. So when you have headaches too, if you’re a female listening, make sure you see if you time it up in your cycle if it’s happening at around simulation, we’re at a specific time. Your cycle. Typically it’s gonna be preventively right before you bleed or right at around menstruation there’s probably ebbs and flows with the hormone. So, you know, we may use herbs to help modulate the upstream signaling from the brain to the ovaries. And we may use some specific hormones that kind of buffer out the ebbs and flows. And then of course, we’re trying to get the adrenals and the HPA g t access all better. So those symptoms are going to be less prevalent.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and you’re saying this could be related to the progesterone dropping too much or prematurely that would also then assume that that’s an estrogen dominant situation going on too, right. So maybe something like calcium D glucerate, which we use, not only for mycotoxins and other things that could also help with the hormonal piece and therefore potentially help with headaches. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, that’s correct. 

Evan Brand: Glutathione’s have been very helpful for me. I don’t want to divert too quickly away from the hormonal thing because I think you brought up a big smoking gun for a lot of women. But you know, Glutathione did a lot of good for me when I first was dealing with headaches and it related to toxicity, just two to 300 milligrams a day, and it would significantly help However, if you do too much I know you remember that night I called you I’m like, Hey, I took a double dose of glutathione My head is frickin killing me remember that? Yeah, I was just experimenting and and I messed up and I mobilized too many toxins. So that could be something to talk with your practitioner about as well as, Hey, are you doing binders? Are you doing some type of collation? Are you doing Glutathione because if you’re pushing too much out, that can also overwhelm this detox system, and it’ll result as a headache.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. 100%. I don’t love like classifying a lot of these headaches because, okay, whether it’s a cluster headache or attention, headache or a migraine headache, it doesn’t really tell me a lot about the root cause, right? Like someone could have a hormonal issue and could have just a general tension headache while someone else could have like kind of a migraine headache, right. And so it doesn’t tell you like a whole bunch about the root cause. So like, I just kind of when I deal with patients I kind of make a note of what’s going on, I try to connect it to things that are happening day in, day out, like meaning if we see it happen like right after a meal, we may think blood sugar. If we see it happen at things throughout the cycle, it could be if we it could be more hormonally base. If it’s just kind of random. Then I’m going to be asking about physical what’s physical stress look like in regards to posture in regards to muscle tone in regards to seeing a chiropractor in regards to what your office life like is like, when you’re sitting in a chair, like, I’ll try to connect the dots with those things. But the kind of headache you have, for me, doesn’t matter as much, but try to connect it to the onset. For me, that tends to matter a little bit. But even if we can’t really get a big connection there, I just still do all these things that I mentioned and I still get amazing results. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s the fun thing is we kind of fix stuff by accident sometimes meaning we’re going to run you through our protocols and procedures to get a good workup on you and then oh Hey, by the way, look at these major deficiencies and B vitamins. Oh hey, look at these neurotransmitter imbalances. Oh hey, look at the hormones. Oh, hey, look at the gut infections. We need to fix all this and then boom, guess what? The headaches went away. Now I agree with your comment about we don’t really care about where or what the category or classification of the headache is. I would agree except for the occipital, the back of the head headaches because for me that definitely is 100% linked to bartonella which is a type of infection that you can get from fleas. So if you have cats, if you have dogs, if you’re not keeping up with their flea preventatives, and you get a flea on you, they do transmit bartonella mosquitoes, there is some talk about mosquitoes transmitting bartonella. And then, of course, most infamous, are ticks transmitting bartonella. And I can tell you on the back of the head, man, it gets really tender. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of issues of bartonella. And I will notice just it’s it’s tender back there and I haven’t really linked it to to anything else. No, maybe it’s structural. Maybe I’m talking to you, right Now and I’m kind of turtle heading forward by accident to make sure I’m talking into the microphone. But I think, I think part nail is definitely a big back of the head. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s good to know, it’s good to know that’s good to have that history. I mean, you could have back of the head issues, though just from, you know, forehead posture, and then these muscles, these capitas muscles that connect in the back could also get overly tight as well, just from poor posture. So it’s good, it’s good to kind of look at everything right? And then who knows, right? It’s kind of like with gluten, when you have an infection like that it can drive more inflammation, when there’s more inflammation, you’re going to have less blood flow to the muscles, the muscles are going to be less pliable, and they’re more easy to get, you know, taut and tender fibers and develop trigger points because of the inflammation. So everything’s connected, but I think it’s good. You know, it’s something that you add to like kind of your differential diagnosis as a clinician. Okay, good back of the habit. We’ll keep an eye out for co infections. We’ll keep an eye out for these underlying issues as well. I get smart. 

Evan Brand: Do you want to talk about any of the other food allergies I mean, we’ve seen people with like Nightshade issues where peppers tomatoes could cause some issues, potentially headaches. What about dairy? Do you want to talk on those at all? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I see dairy, I see potential nuts and seeds. I see all those things as as a potential driver. It’s unbelievable. Because like having done you know, this job for over a decade and seeing thousands of patients, you have common things that are just like the most common like gluten and dairy right? And blood sugar issues been there. Sometimes there’s just weird things like, okay, eggs, eggs cause a problem. While eggs are a really awesome kind of Paleo Food. You know, it’s sucks that you can’t eat eggs. But eggs are a great food. And that’s crazy that that’s causing your headache. Wow. Okay, so we’ll just keep an eye on that. That’s why, you know, we have a pretty strict elimination diet that we follow in the beginning just to rule out those variables. Because even things that I want that patient to be able to consume, and I’m like, and I wish I could have eggs, but sometimes they can’t. And that can get better over time as we heal the gut. And as the immune system gets better, and the gut gets better, so even that can still be healed over time for sure. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if you remember you and I talking about this, but For a while I was doing avocados like every single day. And then all of a sudden I just had major pressure in my temples. I mean, it was like my head was being squeezed in a vise I thought, oh my god, what is this? So I just went through the diet and started tracking things and discovered it was avocado. So I think I was just doing too much histamine. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you have you’ve tired mean stuffing is like chocolates and wines and cheese, right? The tire mean kind of amino acid compound can drive headaches in some people as well. Right? And so that’s where it’s nice to do that kind of investigation. Hey, is it connected to avocados? Is that a food allergy thing? Is it a histamine thing? Right? Could it be a histamine, right? We know headaches. You would think there’s a lot of constriction in the brain vessels, right? with headaches. It’s actually the opposite. There’s a lot of vezo dilation in the brain vessels and things like histamine actually Dr. Faisal dilation that’s why like when you bump your elbow, right, well, there’s a histamine immune response happening Well, does your elbow become more swelled or less well when you bump it or more swelling or Why is that? Because histamine is actually a strong vezo dilator. It opens things up to help get those immune cells in there to go after the inflammation. So, you know, if we see things like histamine being a driving factor, we’ll keep an eye on that. I mean that that’s important to look at. Anything else you want to add about there? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, let me comment on that. So that would explain why. Back in the day when my wife and I first got together, she had major, major headaches, you know, and we were trying to track it through the diet. And at the time, she was using the excedrin which was that pain medication with the caffeine? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, that cause constriction. 

Evan Brand: And that was the only thing that helped her with the headache. And then Luckily, she finally listened to me and we got her off gluten and got her diet dialed in and got her got taken care of and cleaned up all of her personal care products and Hooray, no more headaches. So.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So that’s a big thing. So if you’re doing caffeine and you have a headache, could it help? Yes, definitely could help may not be your root cause and it may be A palliative thing, right? But definitely can help.

Evan Brand: On withdrawals too right caffeine withdrawals if you were on a bunch and then tried to get off caffeine that would also cause kind of a rebound headache as well. And then what about blood pressure? For a while, you know, I was noticing blood pressure spikes, and that was directly linked to headaches. I mean, that’s an easy one. If you’re walking around with 145 over 95 or higher as your as your blood pressure and you’re in kind of a stage one or stage two hypertension, that’s a big, big thing. And that’s easy, low hanging fruit to address as long as you can find the root cause of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yep. So that’s really important to look at. Also, um, just minerals like hydration and minerals are a big thing. I did a big long fast I fasted for two days, and when I was about 36 hours into it, I really had a strong headache like really bad headache. I was doing minerals, I was doing hydration. I was even testing my blood sugar like my blood sugar was around 80 By the way, but I personally Believe I felt an inner tremble and inner bit of jitteriness, so I believe my blood sugar was lifted to 80 by adrenaline and cortisol. So that’s the thing like fasting could create a blood sugar issue may not show on it like I got my keto Mojo, like meter right here. So I was like testing my blood sugar and I’m sitting around at like, that’s not like 60 or 50 like, and I even tested my ketones. My ketones were like around point five to one millimoles so that- 

Evan Brand: -was that was that where you would expect to be or the ketones lower indicating that the body with the stress response kind of kick you out or prevented you from being in a deeper? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think it kicked me out a little bit because I’m typically at about point five anyway without fasting. So and I tested you know, I tested every now and then I was at point 5.7 last week. Now I keep a very low carb high fat breakfast, right? And I’m typically around point five 2.7 and I was over a day in and I was around point five 2.7 I didn’t see a huge Drop. Now, in two days, I dropped six pounds of weight just from water and not having any anything on my body. So I was losing a lot of weight on that side of the fence. But in general, fasting could potentially be a blood sugar stressor, even if it doesn’t show up on the meter. Because you could have other hormones picking it up. Yes, and adrenaline and then that could potentially cause more issues. neurologically, 

Evan Brand: That’s a super, super good point that 99% of people don’t know. Hey, wait a second. I don’t have a blood sugar problem. But you didn’t see it. You didn’t see that on paper unless you had like a continuous monitor. Right? And then it crashed and then you saw the spike later. That would have been interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And I broke my fast with bacon and eggs and within one to two hours, headache gone. 

Evan Brand: Cool. So what do you think I will what what was the magic remedy and the bacon and eggs that cured the headache?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I mean, it’s gonna be nutrition and blood sugar. Yeah. I mean, it’s just stress response if your body isn’t getting nutrition for two days, like actual nutrients, your body’s gonna be like what’s going on here. So there’s gonna be a stress response there, especially when I’m used to having a nutrient dense diet. So just getting lots of good fats, lots of good proteins in there. Just stabilize things out. So that’s why if you’re going too fast, you know, if you’re going to do a fast also, I worked for two days when I fast it. So I generally recommend keeping your fast on non stressful days where you can relax and chill out. That way, you’re not under as much stress. And you’re not because the fast is already a stressor. So you don’t want to add more stress to that. And so ideally, finding days where they aren’t that stressful if you’re going to do a 24 or 36 or 48 hour fast, if not intermittent fast, are probably the best because then you can still get all your nutrients in like a six hour window and still have a lot of that those fasting benefits, which is probably better. It’s more it’s easier to do.

Evan Brand: Yep. And it would be nice if we could get everyone to somewhat of a stable level. have health because since fasting has become kind of a popular, I guess you’d call it a trend. I hate to call it a trend, but I guess it is. You’ve got so many people doing it as a starting place. Like they’ll go from a conventional diet and then they’ll just start doing fasting. It’s like, Ah, you’re already nutrient deprived, you really need to get like healthy with your diet first and then do it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, this is 100%. Like, let’s say the average person is eating this many calories, right? And the nutrient levels are here. So I’m kind of making hand gestures, high amount of calories, low amount of nutrients. What’s the easiest first step here is let’s just increase the nutrients right and balance the macros. Like why are we going to cut all the calories, aka nutrients down? If they already have a lot of calories, and they don’t have a lot of nutrients, but doesn’t make sense. It’s not the low hanging fruit. Right? It’s like taking someone who has an exercise in a while and just throwing them into a CrossFit class, but gonna be overly sore, overly achy, and they’re gonna have an aversion to it in the future. 

Evan Brand: That the aversion is key because then they’ll say, Oh, my God, fasting was terrible. It’s like damn, Well, how do you? That’s kind of you got to you got to break that down for me. What do you mean? What were you eating before then? What were your stress levels? Like you said, were you working? Was this on the weekend when you weren’t stressed? What was your blood sugar? Did you did you write before you fasted? Did you do a reset cup? You’re like, I’m gonna have one last piece of cake. And then I’m going to do a three day fast. I mean, what was it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I mean, like, my favorite kind of fast day in day out is I’ll have like a simple something kind of fat in the morning and then I won’t eat till like five or 6pm that night. And I’ll just do a little bit of bone broth at night or I in the afternoon. I like just something simple like that kind of rest my tummy for eight to 10 hours have a nice bigger dinner. So if I’m going to go out to eat, I’ll do a lot of that sometimes just so I can get my appetite up. And if I consume a little bit of extra calories at night, it’s okay because I’ll have a little more metabolic flexibility to handle it. 

Evan Brand: We’ll do a all about fasting podcast soon. If you have questions, specific concerns, experiences you want to share about those. Please if you’re watching on Doctor Justin’s YouTube channel, let us know. But we should do a whole thing on that because I think there are good ways and bad ways to do it. I think we have before but it’s always good to do to do updates on those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% totally agree. So blood sugar stuff. nutrients, right B6, B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, thionine, herbs, ginger, feverfew, we already talked about magnesium, I think. And then of course, things like five HTP and tyrosine can be really helpful, but again, not for everyone. Those are really good things out of the gates, kokyu 10s, and other important nutrient keeping the inflammation down via some of the bad foods. We chatted about gluten and dairy and refined sugar out of the gates and then look at some of the structural components, you know, is the structural component a root cause thing, or is it or is it an association with other inflammation stuff happening hormonally or in your diet, so you got to connect the two and sometimes you may have two issues you have to address at the same time. You may need to see the chiropractor or the massage or the soft tissue or make the postural changes while you change your diet and do other things. Sometimes you have to do both. So it’s never just like a one off kind of thing. It’s always good to do both, especially if you want results faster.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah, well said just a couple quick things, dehydration, I mean for all my clients out there listening that are doing binders, charcoal and seal lights and clays, whatever else. I mean, when you’re pulling out toxins, we you and I’ve said this a million times we’ll say it a million in one today the solution to pollution is dilution. So aka drink more clean, good filtered water, whether it’s a Berkey or ro with minerals, whatever you can do to get good filtered water, you got to drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, most people are chronically dehydrated. If you and I look at blood work, we’ll see this all the time. And then peppermint lavender essential oils, those are easy, low hanging fruits. I’m not one of those people that thinks the essential oils are going to cure everything. However, there were times in my life where I had miserable headaches and I would do a couple drops of lavender essential oil on my temples and it would help or I would do a little bit on the wrist and breathe it in and that would help or if it was a tummy ache and headache I would do a little topically on the stomach with the peppermint and that reduce the headache. So those things can be helpful too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% Yeah, totally appreciate that. So anyone listening to this, try to you know, grab hold of some of the simple actionable information that we kind of outlined off the bat. If this issue has been going on for a while, feel free to reach out to Evan, or Justin, got myself, Dr. J. at you’ll see scheduled links where you can reach out to both of us we are available worldwide to provide your functional medicine natural health needs. Also, if you guys enjoyed it, share it with friends and family put down below in the comments, your own experiences with headaches and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, what things that really move the needle for you. And we really appreciate a review and iTunes review from y’all. So, for review. That’d be amazing. And anything else you want to leave us with? 

Evan Brand: No, that’s it. You did a great job. Thanks for the conversation. It’s always a blast and we’ll be back next week. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent chat. Give a good one. Take care. Bye.


Audio Podcast:

Get to the Root Cause of your Headaches | Podcast #246

Headache causes pain and discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. It  may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly and may last from less than an hour to several days.

Today’s podcast episode is one of the most common complaints that we experience in our day to day life. We are going to talk about different types of headaches,  what are the do’s and don’ts, conventional vs functional alternatives, and a lot more. Have an overview of this very interesting topic in today’s talk.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

01:15 All About Ibuprofen medicines

07:33 Other Migraine Medications

09:28 Food and Diet on Headaches

17:49 Electrolytes

21:20 Essential Oils, Effects on Technology


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house. I’m hitting record. Give me one sec and we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house really excited for today’s podcast. We’re gonna be chatting about headaches and natural solutions to get to the root cause of why you may have a headache. We’ll talk about different kinds of headaches– from allergies to migraines to cluster headaches and we’ll go from even from die off from killing gut gut bacterial infection so we’ll go over the gamut. Evan how we doing today man.

Evan Brand: I’m doing wonderful. Let’s begin this thing talking about the conventional solutions usually we do that later in the podcast. But let’s go straight to the crap, the stuff that unfortunately works but we don’t want to depend on like your ibuprofen is the brand name ibuprofen is it. Is that aspirin or is that Naproxen? I need to look that up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ibuprofen is basically going to be your typical end said right. That’s ibuprofen it’s also a Meloxicam I think as well. And then you’re gonna have like your Advil and then you’re going to have like your aspirin. Those are your big two or three right there there’s some different kinds I think Advil is the same as ibuprofen, Tylenol is going to be I think you’re acetaminophen. I’ll look those all up and I’ll get the all the typical common anti inflammatory is for headaches. We’ll dive in a little bit more specific on the on the medication side. We’ll go over the natural support side as well. On what’s typically used and we’ll go over all the root cause so in general we have a couple different headaches right. We’re going to have a tension headache which is a primarily happened with just stress and pain. A lot of these muscles here in the shoulder in the neck get tight and that can really cause trigger points and create headaches that are more musculoskeletal and soft tissue base. OK we’re going to have cluster headaches where you’re going to be really really severe you’re going to feel it behind the eyes. They’re going to be very very piercing pain and there’s different reasons for why those may happen. We’re going to have potential sinus headaches this can be from antigens or foreign allergenic material if you’re in Austin it could be Cedar etc. and this could get into the sinuses create inflammation and there’s different things that we do to it to decrease inflammation to decrease histamine and also flush a lot of this stuff out. And then we also have headaches that are more migraines based where we kind of have like an aura that open book kind of feeling we may be nauseous blurry vision and these could be hormone based. They could be blood sugar based as well and then we could also have different types of mixed headaches as well. So that kind of gives you a general idea of the different types of headaches and also know seeing patients in our clinic that we deal with mold detox or dealing with gut bacterial detoxification or gluten exposure we can see a lot of headaches from these aspects too as when we get rid of toxic debris a side effect could be headaches and we see that from time to time in the office too.

Evan Brand: Yes. So the prescription I was thinking of in my head it was actually a combo like Excedrin it’s a combo of acetaminophen and aspirin and caffeine. And that was the one where I’ve had many many people just dependent on the Excedrin. You know though even go for extra strength reliever for further headaches. I had one lady I remember I was actually when I was still working at the chiropractors office this lady said she had migraines headaches almost daily for 20 years she was pretty much debilitated by it and we were just getting into the very early stages of nutrition with her just getting her off gluten and dairy and that’s all we did and her headaches went away. I got anything after going to magnesium officially on all these supplements I thought we were going to do all we did to get rid of gluten and dairy and the headaches went away. She was like Oh my God I wish somebody would have told me it was this easy 20 years ago.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly right. Totally. So just to kind of give people a bunch of the different families of medications we have our acetaminophen medication which are primarily going to be like our Tylenol for instance and that’s going to be the acetaminophen then we have the solicit acid will be more of like your aspirin your baby aspirin that’s going to be white willow bark type of extract and then we have our various and says that are going to be ibuprofen Maloxica type of of medications that are more on the Cox 1 Cox 2 type of pathways that kind of gives you a pretty good idea. There are some medications that are more prescription based. All right. But those are the big ones that you’re going to see mostly over-the-counter Advil kind of falls into the same category as ibuprofen and then like you mentioned the other ones that are kind of combined with the caffeine that are going to be more of your migraines pain relievers typically they add the caffeine in there partly because migraines for instance part of the mechanism is Vasodilation and caffeine actually does create some vasoconstriction. And so you would think that more headaches are caused by vasoconstriction and that caffeine or stimulate would make it worse for most of the time it’s days of dilation and the caffeine actually does a little bit more constriction and does help with the headaches.

Evan Brand: Yes the drug that you’re talking about the prescription people end up on is called Topamax. It’s like an anti seizure medication but a lot of people end up using that for migraines as well and that’s what this lady this whole 20 years of migraines that’s what she was on I remember it like yesterday. She’s been on it and it helped her but she had a lot of side effects from memory issues and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’ll see whether or naproxen as well. Kind of similar things you’ll see you’ll see it with those as well some of the pain relievers that kind of have the ibuprofen slash caffeine kind of combo in there for sure and some of these medications work but they may not get to the root cause we really want to make sure we get to the actual root cause of why these medications are needed in some people they may need it every now and then as a quick kind of stopgap but if we can get to the root cause number one we’re going to need less of those medications because we know for instance ibuprofen does kill people 20,000 people a year on the low side. So we know it’s not going to be the best medication to use long term if it’s a short thing here or they are fine. So what we want it to be a kind of a last ditch stopgap measure not something that we’re using daily. And then number two you know other things like for instance Tylenol for instance you know it notoriously decreases glutathione as well where ibuprofen didn’t really decrease gut function and liver function to Tylenol will hit the liver as well. So a lot of these things really do play good at iron. So then if you’re getting exposed to mold, toxins or you just need your body’s detoxification systems to be upregulated to deal with whatever stress is in your environment. It’s gonna be harder to detoxify your body and get rid of these toxins.

Evan Brand: Yeah I remember when my daughter Summer she had a concussion and she you could tell I mean she wasn’t to the point where she was talking as good as she is now at age 3 but she you could tell right headache she wasn’t feeling well. So we talked to the pediatrician we go well what do we do. You know we don’t we don’t want to just depend on topical magnesium etc. Maybe she needs something a little stronger. And she said well go for ibuprofen because you really don’t want to take that hit. It’s like a 30 plus percent hit of decreased in glutathione with the acetaminophen. So she said you really have to choose your battles when it comes to pain relievers and Ibuprofen is generally the better choice over the acetaminophen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly yeah. And then also there are other ibuprofen or other let’s say I like Imitrex and there’s also other migraine medications that are SNRI medication that are selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors as there’s a lot of let’s just say data that dopamine and serotonin can play a big role with migraines so I’ll see a lot of people that have migraines that have issues with their serotonin doped me and we’ll work on supporting some of the building blocks of amino acids to boost up some of these precursor nutrients to make serotonin and dopamine in their brain. That’s a big one. Also stress depletes a lot of these things. So we want to fix the underlying stress that may be causing a lot of the neurotransmitter depletion. Then we’ll work out supporting some of these nutrients along with B6 as well and that can play a huge huge role. We’ll also do extra magnesium along with that because magnesium really helps with brain inflammation. Any of the micro glial cells that have an unregulated due to brain inflammation magnesium can really help relax them B6 is also very important too and we may also do herbs like feverfew and ginger which can really help attenuate and relax a lot of brain inflammation decrease headaches for sure.

Evan Brand: Good call in the amino acids. So in terms of a testing standpoint looking at inorganic acids of someone who has headaches can be very fruitful because you may see the B6 deficiency you’ve talked about. We may see low serotonin like you’ve talked about issues with dopamine and endorphin balance. We’ll look at vitamin C as in Charlie you’ve got B12 on there as well so there’s a ton of data that you can get that way you’re not just guessing and checking. We think it would be fine to just go and take some extra magnesium but if you don’t get better from that it could be an amino acid brain chemistry based problem or in my case it could be gut related. You know I had gut infections and I had headaches all the time and once I got rid of my gut bugs I think partly due to the liver stress that the gut bugs created I had headaches and once I got those taking care of supported deliver headaches were gone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep 100 percent. So there’s different medications that are out there there’s different nutrients that are out there. One of the big mechanisms that I see that are going to drive headaches is going to be gluten. All right gluten and grains there are some mechanisms out there that they can decrease blood flow to the brain. And if we’re decreasing blood flow to the brain we’re not going to have good oxygenation we’re not going to be able to carry nutrition and our frontal cortex and our brain needs oxygen to work. So it’s possible that decrease constriction or should they increase constriction which will cause decreased blood flow to the brain can really drive up pain in the brain and isn’t to make it harder to get rid of the inflammation and have healthy cognitive function. So getting the gluten and grains under control isn’t the big that’s an all out better perfusion or blood flow up the garden hoses on the side of your neck called the carotid arteries. That’s very important.

Evan Brand: Yep. Great call. How about we talk about maybe beet powder. I mean you you hit on this issue with blood flow. I wonder if you throw in some beet powder. I take it all the time so it’s not like I wait until I have a headache and then do beet powder but I wonder if beet powder could be a good solution if you had an acute headache and then you take some I guess I could experiment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah well there’s nitric oxide that can be increased from the beetroot which could definitely help with vatal dilation so there’s different data out there like migraines are supposedly caused by like I mentioned more days of dilation. Therefore some of the medications that have caffeine that cause more constriction can help with migraines and there are some headaches that like stress headaches they may already be more of a slow constriction there and some of these things may actually make it worse. So like I mentioned earlier that’s more for migraines with the vatal dilation but other more tension headaches. Could there it could be actually more constriction so that’s why magnesium things that help relax the body can be helpful. Soft tissue work especially in the area of like the skeletons or like the elevator scapula all these muscles in the back they all connect in the Oxo port area in the back of the neck the ligaments and nuke and just that that Nucor ridge in the back of your neck all those muscles attach there. So if it’s really tight you could really create a lot of tension and getting good cranial cycle adjustments could be helpful getting your C1 and C2 adjusted in the neck getting making sure your spine is moving well making sure postural things are good because the more your posture goes forward these muscles get really tight here. Is to create lots of stress down your temporals and your master part of your head which can then create trigger points and those trigger points can refer and create headache like pain in the referral process.

Evan Brand: People that are listening and don’t see the video. What he was doing. He turned to the side and he was doing this kind of turtle head forward. Like most of us do when we’re sitting on a computer on our smartphone. We’re kind of turtle head sticking out and you see the whole posture change just kind of falls apart. So you didn’t directly say it but you basically said hey go to a local chiropractor for headaches that can be very helpful too to get adjusted. I’ve had several different adjustments that have helped me with headaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Anything that’s posture related and or soft tissue related a good chiropractor up a cervical chiropractor or someone that does active release technique or a good massage mile Fascia release therapist or trigger point therapist can be really helpful on the structural side. Then we just kind of have the the more let’s say chemical based type of headache that could be from M.S.G or aspartame. It could be from mold exposure. It could be from breathing in a whole bunch of benzene exhaust products from petroleum byproducts. It could be from abnormal levels of estrogen and your cycle or a premature drop in progesterone. This is for female hormone female patients now so hormone imbalances can can really dry out especially if your estrogen is kind of up and down and there’s estrogen dominance that can really drive a lot of headaches too. And then of course we have nutrient efficiencies like magnesium and B6 and some of the serotonin and dopamine based amino acids like five HTP and Tyrosine and B6 can be really important for headaches too. And then of course anytime we have inflammation in the gut inflammation in the gut can create whatever inflammation we’re.

Evan Brand: Definitely in the brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And the brain. Yeah and that’s part of the reason why I think Ginger helps or curcumin helps serve as various relief and help anything they can pour CBD oil can help anything that can really help drive down inflammation really makes a big difference the difference is some of the over counter over-the-counter medication like your Tylenol or your Advil or your acetaminophen or your solicit gas and like aspirin some of these things have side effects that you have to weigh out the side effects and it’s always better doing something more natural even if it’s not getting to the root cause because at least it’s not going to have side effects that will increase your chance of dying in the future or decreasing your body’s ability to make load of iron which is your master antioxidant and help a detoxification.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So let’s just paint a picture of how you could go down that rabbit hole robotic as you mentioned toxin exposure like car exhaust mold exposure you’ve got all these toxins. So then you take acetaminophen for your headache you deplete your body’s ability to detox the chemicals that cause the headache in the first place. You see how you can get stuck in this loop because now you’re just trying to manage the headache you’re further depleting yourself depleting yourself becoming more toxic and more toxic. Getting rid of the hormone you need the antioxidant you need to detox it gets nasty. So in some cases extra glutathione could cause headaches too. If you move out too many toxins I know when I took a double dose of glutathione I remember I called you one night it was like 10 o’clock. I’m like dude I messed up. You like what you do. Like I took a double dose of glutathione my head is killing me. And so eventually it settled down after a few hours so you got to you’ve got to have somebody helping you with this because you could just take magnesium and maybe it goes away but if you’re having a recurring problem like this there’s probably a root cause that hasn’t been addressed. So getting the testing done like the organic acids getting a stool test done to look for these gut infections like you mentioned SIBO can’t eat or overgrowth parasites all these bad guys are going to release toxins into the bloodstream to make you feel bad so that they can still feed on your food and then when you try to kill them they may release more toxins and create this die off. And that is designed to make you feel worse. So you stop using the herbs that are gonna fix the problem but so it’s always a matter of balancing killing versus supporting deliver the lymphatic the adrenal. It’s kind of this seesaw balance that we’re always trying to work on with people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly and let’s kind of review the medications one more time the conventional ones are gonna be your Tylenol which is your acetaminophen and that’s going to have big glutathione decrease with it then you’re going to have your more ibuprofen. This could be like the Meloxicam or Motrin or Advil and these are worked very well. But you know long term they’re going to have negative impacts on the gut alterations in your liver. And then we have Aleve and the proxen which are kind of very similar to ibuprofen and these could help with migraines to again similar side effects. And then we have your your bufferin or ascriptin which are essentially very similar to aspirin. And then we have your more migraines ones which are the aspirin acetaminophen and caffeine combined. So it’s kind of like your tylenol with your aspirin in caffeine and that’s like you’re Excedrin and that’s going to induce the vasoconstriction that we talked about because a lot of migraines are driven by these are violations of the caffeine added. So it’s basically a Tylenol and aspirin and caffeine to create the constriction which will help with the migraines which are typically associated with these vasodilation the brain opening up.

Evan Brand: Yeah. Let’s go back to diet real quick. We’ve talked about gluten we talked about dairy being an issue. I think we should also mention nice shades just as a whole. Tomatoes peppers potatoes those can sometimes be issues with headaches high histamine foods can be issues as well. So like fermented foods in some cases can be a problem. Kombucha can be a problem for some people. Avocado. You know I love avocado I did one every day for a long time and then I started to get migraine headaches from it. I stopped the avocados for about three to six weeks. I added them back in. No more headaches. So I think it’s important to look at a high histamine food list like coconut Amino so. Very good option as opposed to soy sauce but super high and histamine. So you may need to try a low histamine plan for a little bit to see if that can Congress symptoms down way of working backwards.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100 percent. Also alcohol can be a big one. So anytime you drink alcohol you’re going to inhibit ADH. ADH is your anti pee hormone. So when you have when you have anti pee hormone that means you’re going to pee more. Right. And you have less of your Anti pee you’re going to pee more so then you lose a lot of your minerals. And that’s why I’d recommend always having one glass of alcohol to one glass of a Topo Chico or a Pellegrino to get the minerals in there and you can always add some minerals into your water like a Redman’s Real Salt. Those are excellent ways to get the minerals and because minerals are part of how your nervous system works and if you’re sodium potassium pumps aren’t working adequately and then your cells aren’t going to be able to communicate and have adequate action potential to work neurologically. So sodium potassium magnesium chloride very important minerals and they will get more depleted with alcohol.

Evan Brand: So I’ve got some electrolytes in my mason jar here. That’s what I was drinking since I went out this morning in the sunshine and I started to have a headache come on maybe my electrolytes are imbalanced. So it’s not going to hurt to play with this and hopefully that will help me to replenish myself.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, with you being on the boat and being really hot it just probably some mineral issues. Your body’s probably just sweating a little bit and you’re losing a lot of those minerals and you probably just needed to bring on board some extra water with with extra minerals on there. So it’s good that you’re on top of that question came in right now what’s the best way to cure your headaches. Should you do something like Gatorade. Here’s the deal guys what you see right now with Gatorade over the counter is just a commercial version of how it actually came to be. I think it was the 1969 or 1970 see their Orange Bowl or Rose Bowl. Right. College football championship. And I think it was the Florida Gators. This is how we got the name Gatorade. I think it was someone in their science department created this electrolyte formula and it honest to god tasted like rat piss. It was really bad it was actually called Gator lights gator lights not Gatorade. And then I think Pepsi or Coke bought it then 20 30 years later made a marketable drink out of it. That is nothing like the original formula. But basically it was just loaded in a hope we had it loaded in electrolytes and they weren’t that nice tasting they added them to the water and then neurologically and muscular wise they could just perform way better because in that kind of heat you’re just losing so many electrolytes and they had a huge advantage. So what you’re seeing now has lots of excess fructose lots of excess food coloring and dyes and more than likely a lot of GMO corn as well. So you’re much better off just getting those minerals in your body by itself. There are different formulas that are out there that we both use. I mean you can do a Redmond’s real Salt’s great trace mineral formulas makes a couple one called Endura one called forty thousand volts. That works could we use another product called potassium HP and then obviously I’ll use nuke salt and Redman’s real salt and we’ll work these in as well. These are great first steps and then also making sure we’re getting enough potassium on top of that avocados to be your best source. If you don’t the histamine issue we can also do a lot of green vegetables. We could do sweet potato squash etc..

Evan Brand: Yeah the potassium huge I think I probably still don’t get enough. I try really hard. But you said the RDF potassium is what like close to four grams around four grams for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Forty five hundred forty seven hundred milligrams today. So it’s hard to get enough. You need one full avocado six servings of vegetables and maybe one piece of squash or sweet potato when you’re close to it. Right. Cause you at about five to seven hundred milligrams a serving of each of those of you doing six times five for vegetables around 3000 an avocado you’re at 1000 if it’s a good size one maybe a sweet potato squash around forty seven hundred. So that kind of gives you a good step in the right direction and then if we need we just would add in some new store that would add in some of these trace mineral support formulas that we use.

Evan Brand: Well you want to talk about essential oils for a minute. I have essential oils on hand. I put them in the diffuser. I’ll put them on topically. I’ll mix them into epsom salt and put that into a mineral bath. Lavender is my favorite. So what we did is we just got fraction a coconut oil mixed it with some lavender and put it into a little roll on. So we’ll just keep it in the backpack with the kids. So if something happens to them or something happens to us could just be anxiety. Rub it on the insides of the wrist or if it’s a headache you know you could just rub that roll on the temples or on the back of the skull. It’s a Band-Aid but it’s a pretty darn good one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I mean with headaches I mean essential oils we can do peppermint really anti inflammatory can do Rosemary which is very high in vitamin E we can do a lavender which really helps relax the muscles. We can do eucalyptus or chamomile and a lot of teas before beds so we can easily do that. There’s some good blends out there by essential oil companies. But you know just kind of one off thing. That’s kind of how you can do it and you can delude it in a carry oil or MCT or a little bit of coconut oil you can rub it on your on your temples or on the back of your neck wherever it feels tight and that can really help relax the muscles and help relax your nervous system too.

Evan Brand: Yeah something to have on hand. You know we always keep like a bottle of adaptations a bottle of some sort of essential oil and a bottle of enzymes enzymes that I say enzymes first enzymes essential oils can adaptogens. Those are the three things that we carry and travel with no matter where we go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent. I love it. Very good. I think we’re hitting some really good aspects and then also a lot of patients that see us we’re maybe in the middle of a detoxification protocol or we may be doing some killing gut issues or see bar bacteria sometimes headaches can happen from that and if that happens it means you’re going to fast slow it down a little bit. We may also add in some binders so we can taper things up a little bit better. You may also add in things like glutathione and or ginger tea to help one with you know the effectiveness of the killing what to to help with the limb and three to help provide extra anti inflammatory support as well.

Evan Brand: How about heavy metals we didn’t talk about that but we should mention that heavy metals could be a cause or source of mercury lead cadmium arsenic. We’ve done many things with binders and chlorella and other things to move metals out but mercury can be a big trigger of blood pressure problems headaches ears ringing et cetera. So you may need to investigate heavy metals and then EMF You know it’s not super common that we have someone that says hey I’m actually sensitive to EMF but I had a woman in London who she found out that her Wi-Fi router was causing her headaches. And how do we know. Well because when she turned off the router at night the headache would go away. And so I said well let’s just try putting hardwired in and get rid of that Wi-Fi completely and the headaches were gone. So she had mold in a bunch of other issues as well. But I think the EMF for someone who’s already compromised could be enough of a trigger to cause headaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah possibly could be. I mean I have to jump to that extreme ongoing hardware I just put your put your wireless your Wi-Fi on a Christmas tree timer. So it goes off maybe around 11 or 12 whenever your bedtime is and then it goes on maybe when you get up or a little bit later that way you kind of have your whole entire night without any EMF gone. That could be a good option to me.

Evan Brand: When my wife first got pregnant with our first daughter we did the timer thing with the Wi-Fi. Then I started sleeping better and I thought well if I’m working from home during the day what am I missing out on or what am I sacrificing in terms of like focus and clarity. I didn’t really need Wi-Fi which is convenient. So we just went all hardwired and and I don’t miss it now that it’s gone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I mean it just depends on how sensitive you are with today’s day and age. I mean you can go to your Wi-Fi network especially if you live in a big area you’re going gonna have Wi-Fi and 5G and 4G everywhere. So I don’t know how much you can get away with it now but the key thing is the healthier you are the more nutritionally fed and rested and you take care of your body the better chance you have to adapt to it. So the people that are more sensitive you know do your best to limit your exposure. But in the end, right now it’s really impossible to get away from it just make sure you’re not living next to a cell phone tower or one of these new 5G towers is to do your best and keep all your antioxidant reserves and you’re good at glutathione and your nutrition up as best as possible.

Evan Brand: Yeah and there are canopies too. You know there are silver canopies you could sleep in there’s like some sleeping bags on the market bed canopies that look like a mosquito net that can protect you if you’re into super urban area. Luckily my my closest neighbor and they probably use Wi-Fi but it’s maybe like five or six hundred yards away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I haven’t thought about how sensitive you are. Right. Most people I find they aren’t that sensitive or if they are once they fix their diet and they fix their gut they become less sensitive to it. Very rare that I find let’s say EMF is the root issue. Yeah it’s usually one of those things lower on the list that becomes bigger when everything else is an address. But when the top things are addressed then it becomes less of an issue.

Evan Brand: Yeah totally. So that lady once we got her on some binders and detox mode the sensitivity went away she said she was able to go back into town and go to the grocery store where they have Wi-Fi blasting. And she did not get headaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah yeah that’s good. Most important is you know these try to control it when you sleep. That’s a pretty good way to do it. And then next is just do all the nutritional things and mentioned earlier we talked about heavy metals and headaches. The biggest thing with headaches and heavy metals is get your gut work and don’t come in and go after heavy metals until you know your guts working. Work with a good functional medicine doctor tend to do things to help bind it up and to give you nutrition help support phase 1 and Phase 2 maybe give you some extra glued iron support as well just to make sure that we’re collating things in a very slow methodical way and the guts working well is we’re not reabsorbed a whole bunch of toxins deliberate.

Evan Brand: And if you’re someone who went and got your Mercury amalgam fillings removed by a conventional dentist assume you have mercury poisoning and you need to get that taken care of. If you did not go to a dentist who does the smart protocol to safely remove the amalgam that’s silver quote which is 50 percent or more mercury got drilled out and you breathed in the vapor and it’s in your brain and it is in your bones. It’s everywhere. So it takes a while to get it out so zeal light other binders can be used. We had some lady like send us an email like oh my god you said zeal I don’t you know zeal light increases aluminum in the body. No it doesn’t. That’s not true. There’s plenty of data on companies using professional zeal like clinically we’re testing and retesting aluminum levels and they only go down not up. So natural binders are very very helpful for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I haven’t seen zeal like go up having tested this I have not seen aluminum go up with Zola. But again you know it all depends on the quality. This probably cheap zeal like you can get from China that may have aluminum in it. Right. So just try to make sure you have good stuff. And also we would never just gives the lie by itself abysmal lighting and some other things as well and we’d be supporting glutathione and we never would just go all in on one thing.

Evan Brand: Yep exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. Anything else you want to dial in or kind of reassess today?

Evan Brand: I would just tell people to get some information get some data. If we always say if you don’t test you’ve guessed. So could you take magnesium and lavender and feverfew and B6 and trip the fan. Yeah you could but do you know what you’re doing do you know what you’re going after what’s your goal what are you what are the puzzle pieces get the puzzle pieces you’re going to save money and you’re going to save time by getting the data upfront and if you want to reach out. Justin I work with people around the world we can help you get some of these functional medicine tests done on yourself so we can get to the root cause. So Justin’s website is My website is We love helping people we’re grateful to be in the position we are to help change lives. So please share the podcast. Send it to somebody you know I guarantee somebody you know has headaches and they could benefit from this podcast more than the new advertisement on the nightly news that says hey here’s this new medication for headaches this is better content than that advertised.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One hundred percent that we’re really working on the root cause. Hope everyone enjoys it. And if you do put your comments down below what have you all done to help improve your headaches or improve anything related to your neurological health. I’m just curious to know what supplements what natural strategies we want to be able to share that with the listeners. Would love to respond back. And if you guys are enjoying this. Sharing is caring. We’re gonna have a good MP 3 audio version as well. Click below to get the podcast version with a real high quality audio and transcription and if you’re listening to us on the podcast and you want to see the video version that will be down there below. We really appreciate you guys being participate you know the kind of engaging. We get a lot of questions coming in we try to wing it kind of add in some of the questions into the Q and A here that come from that like you and I. Which is wonderful. And if you guys enjoy it head over to or to write a review as well as getting reviews out there really help our kind of rankings in the podcast world that go up which then allows more people to be able to see our information and then they get help as well. Evan and I always thought that 99% of the people that hear our message never actually see us which is in some way amazing because they are getting great information and improving their health. And then if they want to get to the next level this information down below. Hey Evan great podcast today man. We’ll be in touch. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: Sounds good. Have a good one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You take care bye now.

Evan Brand: Bye bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.


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