My Migraine World Summit Highlights

Wow, where do I begin? What a week it’s been. I don’t think that the Migraine World Summit could have packed anymore in if they tried. They covered everything from weather to cluster headaches, genetics, behavioural treatments, therapies for children, pregnancy, supplements, new treatments on the market, neuromodulation, mindfulness and so much more.

This being my first time to the event, I was pleasantly overwhelmed at the range of specialists that they had reached out to, to form the event. All of the speakers were at the top of their respective field and so passionate in striving to make a difference in the migraine world which I found touching to see. People out there really do care about migraine sufferers and sometimes that in itself is comforting to know. Carl and Paula the presenters also made an excellent addition to the summit as their understanding and their own personal experience of chronic migraine made the talks authentic and very relatable.


So I wanted to share with you a couple of my personal highlights from such an amazing and insightful week at The Migraine World Summit.

The first talk I found interesting was Recognising And Treating The Four Phases of Migraine with Dr Andrew Charles. Ok, so we know we have the prodrome phase, aura phase, pain phase and then the postdrome phase. What I didn’t know before is that the prodrome phase can actually start up days before the migraine attack and this can cause food cravings, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, irritability, neck pain and other symptoms. Now take neck pain for example, which I seriously suffer with. I always thought that if my neck tightens up it was my fault perhaps due to being too stressed or having bad posture for example but what I learnt is that this could just be the prodrome phase of the migraine beginning and that maybe I didn’t cause it after all. It was coming whether I liked it or not! So I guess it’s kind of like the chicken and the egg situation, what came first? Was it the neck pain that triggered a migraine or was it the migraine that gave me the neck pain? Interesting huh?

My favourite talk of the summit had to be Using Mindfulness To Fight Chronic Migraine. Vidyamala Burch’s story was truly inspirational and it just goes to show that you can find peace in any given situation and reduce your pain through various forms of meditation. What really hit home for me was when she said she realised that no doctor was going to be able to fix her and that she had to take responsibility for her illness. I went through the exact the same thing, at which point my healing truly began. Personally, mindfulness and meditation have completely helped to lower my pain during a migraine and have also reduced the frequency by adopting a daily practice, so I feel very passionate about the amazing work Vidyamala is doing for chronic pain sufferers worldwide. One statement that she made truly struck a chord with me and I am going to do my best to implement it into my life in the future.

takeabreakbeforeyou0aneedit-default.png pink

Another talk I found fascinating was Behavioural Treatment For Migraine with Professor Paul Martin. He talked about how a person’s characteristics, environmental factors and relationships can all impact tension and migraine headaches. He suggested trying natural approaches such as relaxation techniques, cognitive behavioural therapy and biofeedback. What I found truly astounding was the statistics that he presented from one of his trials. Dr Paul Martin found that there was on average a 68% reduction in headaches after using his natural therapies on his patients, as opposed to only a 27% reduction in headaches after treating someone with amtriptyline which is a very common drug used to fight migraine and tension headache. This is nearly 3 times higher that the pharmaceutical option! 3 times! I know the route I would choose if I saw these statistics. Further to that a year later when they revisited their patients, that percentage had risen to an incredible 77% of those whose headaches had reduced.

So moving on from this what I found so interesting during the event was how for the first time we heard from neurologists and headache specialists actually supporting the holistic and natural route in treating headaches. At no point did either my neurologist, GP or headache specialist at my worst ever, suggest these natural routes to help my migraines. It was only when I hit rock bottom and was told there was nothing left that they could do that I began my journey in discovering this for myself. So to see that doctors are now encouraging patients that they too can have an impact on their migraines due to migraine management techniques is a breath of fresh air to me. I particularly loved Dr Amal Starling’s acronym SEEDS during her talk Natural Methods for Migraine, as it encompasses a whole body approach to managing your condition. If you missed it then here it is:

S – leep management
E – at healthy and regular meals
E – xercise regularly
D – iary for headaches
S – tress management

And finally, what really touched my heart was how many doctors assured their listeners to never ever give up hope. Dr Peter Goasby said “You should be optimistic. Giving up means that the disease has won. If people with this problem don’t give up, then they will beat it” along with Dr Zubar Ahmed saying ” Not to lose hope. The patients that I see that improve the most are those who are persistent and do not lose hope and they are the ones that tend to do the best” which I have also personally found to be true. My unwavering faith that I WILL beat this condition I believe, has got me to where I am today.

How did you enjoy The Migraine World Summit friends and what were your own highlights? I would love to hear from you.



 #Migraine #Health #MigraineWorldSummit2017 #Headaches #MigraineAwareness


Do Not Miss The Migraine World Summit 2017!

Calling all migraineurs! Do you feel like you have exhausted all treatment options and you don’t know where to turn to next? That you want answers to the questions that plague you daily that your doctor cannot give you or do you simply need help in explaining your condition to loved ones and how best they can support you? If so then you don’t want to miss out on The Migraine World Summit 2017.

This is a huge event for the migraine community which is being held from 23rd to 29th April and do you know the best part? Oh yes, it’s totally free! When you sign up for your free ticket you will get access to over 30 of the world’s leading experts, doctors and specialists in the field of medicine, migraine, research and science. Many of these world leading experts have waiting lists that go for months and fees that are beyond the affordability or insurance policies of many individuals. Skip the waiting list and get straight into the room with these experts. Visiting dozens of specialists in one field would take years and cost an unseen amount of money, so this is an incredible opportunity to hear from dozens of leading experts in migraine for FREE! .

Ok so you probably want to know who these leading world experts are then and how will they be able to help you? The Migraine World Summit speakers represent world-class organisations from around the world. You’ll hear from speakers from UCLA, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard, John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Kings College London, Griffith University and more, also from patients who are winning the battle with chronic migraine and are committed to helping others. You’ll even hear from non-medical lifestyle experts whose insights can help people live better with Migraine.


Some of the topics they will cover include:

  • The top 10 migraine myths to bust
  • Navigating love, marriage and migraine
  • Best acute treatments you may not have tried
  • Breaking the vicious cycle of chronic migraine
  • New migraine therapies in development
  • Best and worst supplements for migraine
  • New devices that can ease pain
  • Neck and migraine: What’s the connection?
  • How to build a good relationship with your doctor
  • Using mindfulness to fight chronic pain
  • Weather related migraine
  • Natural methods for migraine control
  • Managing the excruciating pain of cluster headaches
  • Planning for pregnancy with migraine
  • Managing light sensitivity and migraine
  • Solving the puzzle of what’s causing migraines

And so much more! So all you have to do is click here to sign up today for your free ticket and you are all set for your front row seat at the world’s leading migraine event. It begins on Sunday 23rd April at 9am EST (New York time) and runs for a week.  There are roughly 6 talks in a day that are about 45 mins long on average. Once they are released they are made available to watch for up to 24 hours later, then the next days talks will be released. There are so many amazing topics being covered that it’s worth checking out the schedule for the week in advance so you can highlight your favourite and ensure that you don’t miss out. Click here to navigate to the schedule.

For those who cannot attend live, don’t worry! All the recordings and more are available to order, as well as the video, audio and transcripts on demand. Up to 50% of the funds raised from the Summit will go towards migraine charity partners who are doing wonderful work to help fund migraine research, support patients and advocate for migraine sufferers. To date, they have donated over $10,000 to migraine specific charities, groups and foundations.

So what have you got to lose friends? Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to discover the latest in migraine research, treatments and so much more. I’ve got my ticket, have you got yours?



#Migraine #Headaches #MigraineWorldSummit2017 #ChronicMigraine

Is The Sugar In Fruit Bad For You?

This is a question I seemed to get asked all the time. I totally get how confusing the whole sugar/fruit thing is. We are told all the time to watch our sugar intake but at the same time we are told to make sure we consume plenty of fruit to keep us healthy. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! So what’s a girl to do, eat fruit or not? I know, I know, its beyond confusing so I thought I would try to clear a few things up regarding sugar and fruit so that you can eat that fruit salad for breakfast without worrying that it’s going to send you into a sugar overload.

Ok, so to answer the question “Is the sugar in fruit bad for you?” the answer is yes, but bear with me here as I need to explain why. It’s not that the sugar in fruit is bad for you, it’s that the sugar in pretty much anything is bad for you. Sugar is sugar after all. Let me break this down for you.

There are two types of sugar. Glucose and Fructose. Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy that breaks down carbohydrate type foods to form glucose so that they can be used as energy. For example grains, sweet potato and rice. Fructose is naturally occurring in many plants, fruits and vegetables also found in items such as honey and maple syrup. So when you artificially combine fructose and glucose you create sucrose which is also known as table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. If you don’t already know, this is the most harmful kind of sugar and you can eliminate this from your diet by simply eradicating all processed foods. Easy.

Ok so we know we don’t want to eat sucrose right? Great, but what is the difference then between glucose and fructose and why is fructose worse? In very simple terms glucose triggers the release of hormones that tell your brain when you are full, whereas fructose doesn’t. This means your appetite is never appeased when eating fructose (fruit sugars). Also 80% of glucose is utilised by the cells whereas fructose only converts this into harmful triglycerides which only promote fat formation. We also don’t obtain any energy from fructose so we find ourselves eating more of it to give ourselves that boost we need.

17838702_10210788713526838_212412646_oSo this might be a good time to explain why eating too much sugar can make you fat. If we eat too much fructose and our liver gets overloaded with it then it will turn to fat. The fat ends up in our blood and converts into the bad cholesterol we don’t want. This then lodges in our blood vessels and causes plaque and contributes to heart attacks. Yikes! So fat doesn’t actually make us fat, it’s sugar that makes us fat! Crazy huh? That’s why going for the full fat option in the shops is normally a good idea as the low fat option will normally have been replaced with sugar to make up for the loss of taste due to the fat being taken out. Anyway I’m digressing here.

Now you are probably thinking to yourself that you are never going to touch a piece of fruit ever again at this point. Well hold on just a minute, now I’m going to tell you the benefits that you gain from eating fruit. Yes fruit containing sugar! I know, it’s confusing. Nutrition is funnily enough the only field whereby you can get opposing studies on a subject that can both be true.

Ok so eating whole fruit has the following benefits:

  • Phytonutrients that help your body fight disease and maintain cell health.
  • Antioxidants which balance out the harmful free radicals that roam your body.
  • Fiber which helps to protect against heart disease and lowers your bad cholesterol.
  • Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, D K, potassium and folate just to name a few.
  • Overall, eating a fruit filled diet can help you to maintain a healthy blood pressure, reduce your risk of a heart attack, reduce your risk of a stroke and even protect you from certain types of cancers.

When fructose in fruit is consumed moderately (1-3 whole pieces of fruit a day) most people can break this down easily due to the fiber in the whole fruit so the health benefit coming from fruit outweighs the worries about the sugar in it. You have to look at the bigger picture, it’s the added sugars that we need to worry about, not the sugar in fruit, this is unless you have a diet extremely high in fruit and not much else. I’ve had people ask me before “Can eating too much fruit cause you to develop diabetes? In actual fact yes, it can. This is caused by too much sugar in the blood which leads to insulin resistance which can then be a precursor to type two diabetes. Anyway this is only in extreme examples so nothing for you to worry about.

If you are interested however in how much sugar is in certain fruits (as it varies a lot) then I’m going to briefly introduce you to the glycemic index. So the glycemic index is the effect that a carbohydrate containing food has on your blood sugar levels. (Fruits and vegetables are actually classed as carbohydrates). So some fruits are low and some fruits are high. The higher the number on the scale the higher the sugar in the fruit and the higher your blood sugar will rise. So here are some examples to give you an idea:

  • In at the lowest we have cherries at 20 and grapefruit at 25.
  • In at the middle you have apples at 37, nectarines at 43 and berries generally between 40-50.
  • And right at the top you have papaya at 59, pineapple at 66 and watermelon at an astonishing 72!

The bottom line here is, yes fruit does contain sugar and yes in very high doses it could17858604_10210788713606840_1604457501_o be harmful to your body but isn’t that the case with everything? We need fat in our diet as without it we wouldn’t be able to absorb nutrients properly and support cell growth, but if we eat too much of it then it can be harmful to us also. Thats why as a Health Coach I promote a healthy balanced diet full of whole unprocessed foods. Try and make sure your diet consists of a combination of healthy fats and protein, good carbohydrates and a variety of whole fruit and vegetables. That way your body will get exactly what it needs in order to thrive.

Remember though friends, healthy sugars such as fruit, honey, agave and maple syrup are still sugar at the end of the day so next time your cover your healthy, vegan pancakes with a pool of maple syrup and a mountain of fruit, just be mindful that it’s still sugar. Just like everything in life, it’s all about balance.

So how much sugar do you think you eat in a day and was this helpful in clearing up the confusion around sugar and fruit? I would love to hear from you.

#Fruit #Sugar #HealthyEating #Nutrition #HealthCoach #Fructose #Glucose