Do you believe that Headaches Caused By Digestive Problems?
Do you have headaches every day?
How about constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or gas?
You might think these symptoms are not related to each other, yet they are.
This article is for those suffering from headaches every day and who might have the cause of digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea.
Headaches can be coming from the autonomic nervous system imbalance
In our human body, there are 206 bones, 600 muscles, 900 ligaments, 4,000 tendons.
And, approximately over 7 trillion nerves are connected.
One of the nervous systems is called the autonomic nervous system.
What is the autonomic nervous system?
The Autonomic Nervous system can be divided into the Sympathetic nervous system, also known as fight or flight response.
The parasympathetic nervous system is also known as the rest and digest response.
It is involuntary control of the body tissues, so you can’t control it.
It arises from the central nervous system, which is our brain and spinal cord.
What are the functions of the autonomic nervous system?
First of all, sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic nerves arise from the spinal cord segments.
The sympathetic nervous system prepares for activity.
Provide more glucose
Increases the heart rate
Dilates the pupils
Prevents activities for digestive systems
On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system conserves body energy.
Increase gut motility
Slow down the heart rate
A lot of parasympathetic nerves arise from the brainstem and the spine.
The Vagus Nerve is one of the major parasympathetic nerves.
It ritually targets most organs and tissues and carries information like pain, temperature from the throat, inner and outer ear, and near the back of the head.
It also receives information from the internal organ in the neck, chest, and abdomen.
And, it controls muscles in the throat that function for speaking and swallowing.
Tightening the airways
Slowing down the heart rate
Dilate intestinal blood flow
Thus, vagus nerves are easily affected by digestion or stress.
For example, when you are stressed out, anxious, or depressed, your vagus nerves get irritated, causing digestive problems such as stomach upset, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or gas.
How Headaches Caused By Digestive Problems?
As I said, the vagus nerve carries 75% of parasympathetic nervous function.
It travels from our brainstem to the intestines, including other organs and glands.
The Vagus nerve runs right behind the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and right in front of the scalenes muscles in the neck.
In addition, the spinal accessory nerve also goes to the SCM and upper trap muscles. Once it is irritated, it can cause muscle tightness.
Neck muscle tightness which is irritated by vagus nerves, causes headaches because a pinched nerve occurs when a nerve is irritated or compressed by the tightness of the neck.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Headaches Caused By Digestive Problems
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, the digestive system and headaches are highly related because the stomach meridian starts from the eyes and goes through the head and the digestive systems.
Pain is called stagnation of Qi (energy) and blood in the meridian and the channel.
When you have bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea, it affects the meridian that goes to your neck and head.
Blockage of the meridian also radiates to the head causing tension headaches.
The left side of the neck stiffness mostly indicates the digestion system because the spleen and stomach are located on the left side.
The pain on the left side of the neck is a sign that your digestion system is unbalanced or not working well.
That is why in TCM, we check your neck if you have bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea together.
How to treat Headaches from Stomach Problems?
Now, I would recommend you do these five things at home to get rid of the headaches.
Acupuncture point for Headaches
Firstly, there is an acupuncture point called PC6. This point works to regulate autonomic nervous systems and helps the digestive systems at the same time.
It is located 2 inches away from the palmer side of the wrist and finds the most tender spot.
Let’s press on the area for 20 seconds 3 times every day.
Secondly, The Autonomic Nervous system controls heart rate, blood pressure, and the mental response to stress.
Meditation helps our mind rest and reduces the feeling of anxiety.
Why don’t you meditate 20 minutes before going to bed?
Visit Calm.com, meditation.com to guide you on how to meditate.
Heat Pack on the neck for Headaches
Thirdly, to get rid of headaches naturally, I recommend you put a heat pack on your neck.
Heat regulates circulation and releases the tension of the muscles.
And, there is a microwavable heat pack that covers the base area of the head and shoulder muscle.
You can put it on the microwave, heat it, and put it on your neck and shoulder for 20 minutes each time.
Do it 3 – 4 times a day if you want.
Change your diet
Fourthly, eating well is one of the best remedies to become healthy.
Eating greasy, fried food and drinking dairy milk makes your stomach upset more.
They are not accessible on your stomach.
Eat more vegetables
Avoid eating spicy food
Avoid eating greasy fried food
Avoid drinking dairy products like cow milk
Eat more fermented food like tofu, miso, etc
Please make sure if you have bowel movements every day and stool suppose to be not too soft and hard.
Bloating and gassy stomach is another sign of indigestion.
Thus, make sure to be aware of your body’s signs.
Chinese Herb for Headaches Caused By Digestive Problems
Finally, taking natural Chinese herbal medicine supports reducing pain in the head and digestive problems at the same time.
Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang
This formula treats digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea with muscle tension, especially neck, shoulder, and upper back, accompanied by headaches.
It mainly contains Bupleurum root, Pueraria root, and cinnamon twig.
Bupleurum root is a Chinese plant root and is famous for headaches and muscle tension.
Pueraria root is also known as kudzu that releases muscle tightness and headaches.
Cinnamon twig warms the channels and meridians for pain.
In conclusion, the vagus nerves and neck tension can cause bothersome headaches accompanied by digestive problems.
Autonomic Nervous Systems (Vagus nerves)
Firstly, understand the mechanism of the autonomic nervous systems.
Secondly, please try these remedies at home to see if your headaches go away.
Finally, I hope it helps those who are suffering from headaches from digestive problems.
In the previous blog, I talked about what Chinese herbs are excellent for constipation. So, in this blog, we would love to talk about how to solve stubborn constipation with some of the best Chinese herbs.
Is it true? Can Chinese herbs get rid of constipation?
“I don’t go to the bathroom every day.”
“I have bloating and gas all the time.”
I have heard these complaints from many patients who don’t have bowel movements regularly, especially women. Ultimately, getting rid of stool in your intestines every day is one of the most important aspects to become healthy.
The most common constipation treatments are a fiber-rich diet, hydration, and magnesium in the modern world.
However, even though people get these treatments, sometimes they don’t work.
One of the reasons is HEAT in the intestines.
How to check the Heat in the system?
Why don’t you look at your own tongue.
Red-tip of the tongue
Greasy yellow coating
Cracks on the tongue
If you have one of these signs, you might have heat in the intestines.
First, I want you to imagine that you are alone in the desert. Next, your body easily loses fluids and gets thirsty.
Eventually, you might not want to move anymore. As a result, heat dries out your body.
Thus, same thing happens in your intestines if you have heat.
There are two different types of Heat causing constipation in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Excess Heat in the intestines
Excess Heat is mostly associated with inflammation.
Other symptoms are red eyes, thirsty, dry mouth, bad breath, swelling, pain, burning sensation, dark-yellow urination, and irritability.
Deficient Heat in the Intestines
On the other hand, deficient Heat happens when lack of nutrients in the body, or essences. In traditional Chinese medicine, the body is balanced with Yin & Yang.
First of all, yin is like water, and Yang is like fire. When you are lack water, you get heat signs called Yin deficient heat because you have no function to cool your body.
Most likely, it’s a chronic stage when you have deficient heat. Other symptoms are night sweats, thirsty, fatigue, low appetite, and scanty urination.
Where is the Heat coming from?
I would assume you briefly understand how we diagnose the constipation.
You might wonder where is the heat coming from.
Several reasons why you get heat in the systems such as stress, diet, age, side effects from the medication, and lifestyle.
Stress (Liver Qi Stagnation)
Stress is always one of the main reasons why you get constipation. In traditional Chinese medicine, we diagnose Liver Qi Stagnation. As you know, Qi is the energy. Yet, what is the liver?
In TCM, It’s not the same as the liver in Western Medicine.
The liver controls the functions of the body like muscles and tendons, regulates energy (Qi). It is also associated with the autonomic nervous system (emotion). In addition to these, this organ also stores blood.
Why don’t you imagine that you have a soccer ball?
And, I want you to pump the air in it as much as you can until the air won’t go anymore. Because of the pressure inside the ball, it creates heat, then eventually it will be burst. the same thing happens in your body.
Once this phenomenon happens in your body, most likely you get irritability or anger as well.
Diet (Food Stagnation)
Of course, when you eat too much, food stagnated because you can’t digest food properly.
In addition, you might get other symptoms like burping, heartburn, bloating, and gas.
Age (Yin Deficient Heat)
Yin is like water. Water is the vital essence. As you age, you lose the essence.
Therefore, this is mother nature and you can’t avoid it.
How to solve the heat with Chinese Herbs?
Now, I would like to explain how to treat Excess Heat and Deficient heat with Chinese herbs.
Constipation from stress
Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang
Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang is a classical Chinese herbal formula used to clear heat and as a sedative.
It treats a variety of internal and emotional patterns, especially those whose symptoms are fullness in the chest, irritability, and palpitations.
This formula contains Huang Qin, a Chinese skullcap, which clears heat from the lower body. And, Da Huang is one of the major herbs for purgative.
Constipation from food stagnation
Bao He Wan
Bao He Wan is intended to treat acute upset of the digestive tract with belching, acid reflux, a full feeling in the stomach, bloating, nausea, abdominal cramping, and constipation from overeating, poor food, or hangover.
One of the chief herbs is Shan Zha which is Chinese Hawthorn fruit, and it has the function of dispersing and moving the stagnation of food, and clear heat.
Constipation from Age
Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan
Ba Xian Chang Shou Wan is for chronic disorders and aging marked by significant yin deficiency in the lungs and kidneys.
This formula nourishes Yin and the essence to lubricate the dryness in the intestines.
Its primary pattern signs and symptoms are accompanied by typical yin deficiency heat patterns such as weakness in the lower body, tidal fever, dry mouth, dry skin, dizziness, night sweats, hot palms, and soles, tinnitus, and constipation from dryness.
In conclusion, two kinds of heat can cause stubborn constipation that you might be suffering from a Chinese medicine perspective.
Firstly, Check your tongue and notice other symptoms associated with your constipation.
Secondly, please open your mind to utilize one of the best remedies from over 1,000 years of medicine from China.
Finally, I hope it helps those who are suffering from stubborn constipation.
What Chinese Herbs are excellent for Constipation?
Do You Know What’s The Best Chinese Herbs For Constipation?
Eat well, sleep well and poop well.
These are the primary keys to become healthy.
Without these, you won’t be able to live a good quality of life.
However, because modern people eat badly, sleep poorly, and don’t have a bowel movement every day, natural Chinese herbs have the potentials to help people suffer from this bothersome problem, called constipation.
Because the “gut” is the second brain, if you don’t go to the bathroom every day, you might get a foggy brain and be unable to concentrate, even giving you anxiety and depression.
So, your intestines have to be clean, and your gut bacteria need to be well-balanced, which is called gut flora.
More gut flora is in the small intestine than the large intestine.
In the stool, there is 30% gut flora contained.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, there are several causes why the stool is stuck in the intestine and won’t move.
There are two types of constipation like excess and deficiency.
Excess constipation happens in the acute stage.
However, deficient constipation occurs in the chronic stage when you lack something that you need in your life.
Qi, Blood, Yin deficiency
Because you have indigestion in your digestive system, the food you ate stuck in the intestines, and the intestines won’t move it.
There are several reasons you get heat in the intestines, such as stress, diet, etc.
Due to Large Intestine heat, stools get dried out, hard, and challenging to pass.
Deficient Qi, Blood, Yin (Essence)
Qi is the energy of the body and carries the blood.
If you don’t have enough Qi, you have no energy to push the stool and gives you bowel movement.
Yang deficiency (Cold-induced)
Yang is like fire, and yin is like water.
When yin and yang are balancing with each other, you are healthy.
However, when you are lack yang (vital energy), you will get cold-type symptoms like frequent urination, low energy, low back pain, and constipation.
Because if Yang-Qi is deficient, you can no longer warm the body fluids or moisten the intestinal tract.
As a result, Yin-Cold gels in the intestines get blocked the peristalsis movement.
Based on the Oriental Medicine diagnosis, we select the different herbs for constipation.
For example, when you have no energy to have a bowel movement, we prefer nourishing herbs.
On the other hand, when you are in acute constipation, we choose the purgative formula.
Niu Bang Zi
The English name of the Niu Bang Zi is Fructus Arctii, also known as Burdock seeds.
It disperses wind heat, benefits the throat, relieves toxicity, vents rashes, and moistens the intestines.
Wind-Heat toxins where there is also Internal Heat causing constipation.
Da Huang, also known as Rhubarb Root, is also called Greater Yellow Root.
It is a potent purgative to activate Blood Circulation and resolve stasis.
The action of this herb helps to drain Heat, purges excess, reduces Damp and Blood Heat, invigorates the Blood, and removes stagnation.
Fire dries out the intestine causing constipation, so this herb helps cool down the intestines – constipation leads to other toxic symptoms such as acne.
He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti)
He Shou Wu, also known as Fo-Ti, is a powerful herb to nourish Blood and Yin.
It moistens the intestines and unblocks the bowel so that it helps for blood deficiency constipation.
In addition, this herb also helps to replenish hair for premature gray hair and loss of hair because the blood is the nutrient of the hair.
Dang Gui is a primary Chinese herb for women’s disorders, which nourishes blood and yin.
It moistens the Intestines and unblocks the bowels.
Blood has a moisture function in the intestine, and if you have a lack of blood in your system.
It works for Dry Intestines due to Blood Deficiency.
There are more Chinese herbs for constipation. I want to explain more next time.