Mark Hyman starts off his post on migraines with two strong statements. The first is related to his success rate.
“…using Functional Medicine I have been able to get nearly 100 percent of my patients migraine free within days to weeks!”
Whenever I have spoken with different practitioners about their unique treatments and their successes a common success rate based on percentages is typically the same. This is usually not presented as actual data but their perspective of their success rate. The number I hear frequently is a “95% success rate”. Dr. Hyman is no different and one can infer that he is suggesting a 95% success rate.
Now lets say that these success rates, picked from the air and not measured scientifically, are actually true. Maybe their success is related to picking the right patients for the treatment? Success needs to be clarified and be consistent with the goals of our clients. A challenge to the medical community is to improve our tracking of patient goals and what success looks like, from a medical and client perspective. We should not leave this up to the insurance companies.
The second statement
“Migraines are no different from any other disease. It’s simply the name we call a set of symptoms that are common in groups of people.”
Here’s what I like about Dr. Hyman’s post. Migraines or headaches have many different causes. Sometimes treating one aspect of a headache problem can resolve the patient’s pain even though there are still underlying pathologies or causes that remain. This means that the resolution has been temporary and the cause can still
How many patients with headaches have you seen that initial treatments look good? Their pain is getting better, or even resolved, but after stopping care or visits the pain starts to return. Sadly I have seen this in my practice.
We need to ask the question ‘why’ and work together as practitioners to find treatments that can help with headaches but also determine underlying causes that are driving the problem.
Lets dig a little deeper and look at a headache patient that was diagnosed with ocular migraines.