If you suffer from migraines, chances are you’ve tried a million and one ways to ease the pain and discomfort they cause.
From trying home remedies like ginger capsules and peppermint oil, to placing your hope in expensive pharmaceuticals — there’s a lot that us migraine sufferers will do in pursuit of finding a solution to the pain.
But did you know that something as natural as CO2 can be used to treat and, in some cases, altogether stop the occurrence of a migraine?
Chances are you’ve probably stumbled across that fact before. But you might not know how it works, how easy it is to do and what the benefits are of using CO2 to overcome your migraines.
Therefore, this article will let you in on all there is to know about CO2 treatments for migraines.
Firstly, what exactly is CO2 treatment for migraines?
Essentially, CO2 treatment is about finding a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide to help decrease, and ultimately stop, the symptoms of a migraine.
During CO2 treatment, the patient will inhale oxygen and carbon dioxide together, via specialist medical equipment. Doing this triggers a response in the brain that helps to decrease the migraine symptoms or even stops them completely.
The science behind CO2 treatment suggests that inhaling a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide is most effective when it is used during the early signs of a migraine, and before the headache itself appears.
Because of this, CO2 treatment is ideal for patients who can predict when a migraine is about to happen, meaning patients with aura or other distinct warning signals before the headache sets in. As soon as you begin to feel these warning signs, inhaling the right balance of CO2 and O2 together could help stop the migraine from forming at all.
But how can CO2 actually help against migraine?
As you might imagine, there’s a lot of science and research that underpins the exact process behind CO2 treatment for migraines. So let’s break some of it down…
In 1950, a pioneering study found that CO2 and O2 — if inhaled together at the right ratio and during the onset of a migraine attack — can help to prevent aura symptoms, and altogether stop a headache from developing. More recent studies have developed this further, and found that CO2 really can be an effective treatment for preventing migraines.
But you don’t need to dive into the studies to understand how CO2 treatment works for migraines. It’s actually quite simple.
More often than not, migraine attacks are caused by a lack of oxygen and energy supply to the brain. This is the result of contracting blood vessels, which is what carbon dioxide and oxygen help to treat. The combination of the two is proven to expand and dilate those very vessels and to significantly increase the oxygen and energy supply to the brain again, helping to relieve the nasty symptoms of a migraine.
What are the benefits?
When CO2 treatment works to its full potential, it prevents both the symptoms and the pain of a migraine attack. But behind that process are a number of other core benefits that ultimately work together to achieve that end-goal.
We’ve already touched on some of them above, but let’s take a more comprehensive look at the benefits of using CO2 to treat migraines:
- CO2 and O2 increases the blood supply to the brain: This, in turn, is what relieves symptoms of a migraine through dilating contracted blood vessels and supplying the brain with fresh oxygen and energy — counteracting the drop in energy that occurs when a migraine is developing.
- CO2 reduces the sensitivity of the central nervous system: By lowering the pH level in the body, CO2 reduces the intensity and frequency of signals sent by the pain receptors in the brain, which leads to a reduced migraine headache.
- It also stops Cortical Spreading Depression (CSD): This is a powerful, slow-moving wave that is triggered by the lack of oxygen and energy supply and is responsible for the migraine pain, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, which develop as it moves through the brain. Stopping it can prevent a migraine from forming altogether.
- And CO2, finally, naturally reduces CGRP release in the brain: CGRP is a molecule in the brain which has been linked to the start of a migraine attack. Reducing it will decrease the chances of a migraine ever forming.
What about pharmaceutical treatments, though?
Of course, pharmaceutical products will always have their place in treating migraines. But more often than not, the side effects of medication can make you feel just as bad as the attack itself.
Some may make you nauseous, others may make you overly tired. So, in truth, finding the right medical treatment for migraines can turn into a real struggle!
That’s another reason why CO2 treatment is becoming so popular for migraines. It’s a 100% drug free treatment, and has no long term side effects.
But is CO2 really a safe way to treat migraines?
In short: yes!
Since we all exhale CO2 naturally, slightly increasing the amount in your body is a perfectly safe thing to do. It’s what will decrease your sensitivity to pain, and help to ultimately reduce the symptoms of a migraine.
But to use CO2 safely, you should always use specialist medical equipment that’ll help you inhale the carbon dioxide in a precise, controlled and monitored way while also ensuring that you still get enough oxygen.
And if you’re already taking medication to help with your migraines, consult your doctor before you consider seeking any alternative treatments.
How can I get a CO2 treatment for my migraine?
At Rehaler, we are experts in using and understanding CO2 treatment for migraines. And from years of research and study, we’ve been able to develop the perfect device for using CO2 to help and prevent the symptoms of your migraines.
Our Rehaler is a natural migraine treatment without any of the side effects of medication, and has helped up to 78% of its tested users.
Using a mixture of fresh air and the user’s own exhaled carbon dioxide, Rehaler is designed to deliver the right balance of the two gases to your brain in time to either reduce or altogether stop a developing migraine attack.
As soon as you feel a migraine attack coming on, all you need to do is unpack and unfold a Rehaler, attach the control unit (which measures your oxygen saturation during the treatment) to your finger, the nose clip to your nose and take a deep breath and exhale into the Rehaler.
Then, simply breathe normally through the Rehaler until your aura symptoms or other warning signs have disappeared (usually for about 20-40 minutes). No medication, no side effects and nothing too time consuming or complicated.
If this sounds like something you’d benefit from, you can take our quick test below to find out if Rehaler would be a good fit for you!