The Functional Approach To Ending Migraine| Dr. Todd LePine on The Doctor’s Farmacy

Key Takeaways

  • “Just because you know the name of your disease, it doesn’t mean you know what’s wrong with you.” – Dr. Mark Hyman
  • Migraines are not one-size-fits-all
  • Some causes of migraines: gut health issues, lifestyle (high stress, lack of sleep), chemical sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, and deficiency in key nutrients (magnesium, B vitamins)
  • Women tend to suffer from migraines more frequently than men
  • Top home remedies for migraine relief: get into a good sleep cycle, supplement with magnesium, and try removing gluten, sugar, dairy, and processed foods from the diet


Dr. Todd LePine (@digitaldoc69) is a board certified physician and leader in Functional Medicine.

Many people suffer from migraines range from mild to nearly debilitating. In this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Todd LePine discuss potential underlying causes of migraine and the Functional Medicine approach to identifying and treating to root cause instead of migraines.   

Host: Mark Hyman, MD (@drmarkhyman

Background of Migraines

  • “Just because you know the name of your disease, it doesn’t mean you know what’s wrong with you.” – Dr. Mark Hyman
  • From a Functional Medicine approach, migraines are among the easiest to treat
  • There are many pathways to developing migraines and many different types ranging from chronic daily sufferers to infrequent bouts
  • Women tend to suffer from migraines at a higher rate than men
  • Symptoms of migraine: light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, pounding head pain, etc.

Causes of Migraines

  • The gut is connected to the brain – some people have abdominal migraines
  • Gut-related causes of migraine: food, what is in the food, how food is being metabolized
  • Often see leaky gut in patients with migraine
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction (mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell where respiration and energy production take place)
  • People who have migraines tend to have a higher incidence of seizures
  • Lifestyle causes of migraine: stress levels and management, lack of sleep
  • Stress doesn’t directly cause the disease but does turn the dial up on symptoms
  • Managing stress is crucial: some migraine sufferers have higher levels of cortisol
  • Chemical sensitivities that can cause migraines: glutamate, MSG, aspartame, artificial sweetener, nitrates in deli meats, sulfites added to vegetables, etc.
  • Hormonal factors: premenstrual migraines, estrogen detoxification pathology, estrogen-progesterone imbalances
  • Progesterone is women’s natural vallum – driven by sugar, stress, lack of exercise, dairy, weight, lifestyle
  • Key nutrients that are low in migraine sufferers: magnesium, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, CoQ-10
  • Magnesium is a calcium channel blocker in high levels; it’s a natural muscle relaxant

Functional Medicine Approaches To Treating Migraines

  • The simplest thing to do is an elimination diet of major allergens: gluten, dairy, sugar
  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Vitamin supplementation – particularly magnesium, B vitamins
  • Leaky gut and gut function testing
  • Stress testing to assess cortisol levels
  • Management and modulation of stress is a huge piece of treatment
  • Top tests: red blood cell magnesium, gluten sensitivity, intestinal permeability, gut microbiome, genetic testing (checking for mitochondrial testing), hormonal testing, cortisol testing
  • Top home remedies: get into a good sleep cycle, try removing gluten, sugar, dairy, and processed foods
Doctor's Farmacy with Mark Hyman, MD : , , , , , , ,
Notes By Maryann

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 35,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks