Gut-brain therapy II

Hi dizzyinaz,

I was reading something today on MAGNUM (an American migraine awareness group) and they have the Foreverwell thing on the homepage as a possible avenue to explore in migraine prevention. As you know, Foreverwell hypothesise/promote the idea that neuropeptide/neurotransmitter production by the digestive system might be a possible root cause leading to migraine. I have no idea if this has any solid scientific basis and, unfortunately, the research paper they have up fails to adequately describe a mechanism. However, we all know that the gut appears to be involved somehow with migraine. Whether it is causative or a result of migraine I don’t know. There is at least plausibility here. The study they mention was the same one we discussed earlier which was weak unfortunately (it was “open-label” which means all subjects knew they were being given the treatment thus opening the door to strong bias by all involved and placebo effect).

Anyway, I’m bringing this up again because I’m wondering if you followed it up? I wish the company wasn’t charging an arm and a leg for their supplements as that always raises a red flag in this business. They also tend to use the fancy words to impress with heavy reliance on testimonials – more red flags. But given the gut-migraine link, I would really be interested to know if you thought it made any improvement. Perhaps the ingredients they use could simply be ordered on a site like without it costing the earth.

Scott 8)

I am always curious about this connection as I have had a life long experience with IBS (constipation) and motion sickness. Now that I am seeing all these things connect in my MAV, I would give anything to learn more. Even though the migraine program didn’t work for me, I firmly believe their belief that migraine cannot be cured if one is constipated. I would love to be involved with a study looking at this.


Hey Scott,

I actually never ordered Gut Brain therapy. I’ve been on Migrelief but it doesn’t seem to have helped so I actually ordered some migraine herbal remedy from It’s supposed to balance your hormones which in turn helps with migraines. It has a money back garauntee but the only problem is that you can’t take it with anti-depressants. I’m going to talk to my neurologist and he might recommend going on antidepressants so I’m not going to take it quite yet. My next step soon is to order gut brain therapy because like you and most people on here I have suffered from gastro problems for years and its only been the last six months where that has gotten a lot better. It seems like those were probably migraine related and now its morphed into this horrible vertigo. I used to get debilitating pain with my gastro issues, basically the same exact pain I experienced during labor. It was horrible.

Hey dizzinaz,

I didn’t realise your situation had started that way and morphed into what it is now. Mine started the opposite way and morphed into the addition of IBS which shows itself every now and then but is fortunately not constant. This condition really is something else. I was listening to the Carolyn Bernstein interview again and she does mention stomach pain and also makes the point about everyone’s “migraine brain” being a little bit different which explains why we all seem to share a similar set of symptoms but then it all seems to branch of into slightly different things. I think of it like a tree – we all have the same trunk but different branches. I’m going to try and work out what all the ingredients are from the Foreverwell formula and see if it can be put together another way. Even if it cut things down by 25% at best it would be worth it.


(NB from admin: this image links to a product this member has found helpful and at the same time helps fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More recommended products here. Thanks for your support!)

“The Migraine Brain”
More recommended books here

Very intriguing, I too suffered for years with IBS. Had many headaches but only 4 or 5 that were classic migraines. It would never surprise me if there were a true causal connection found.


I too believe there is some sort of correlation between MAV and intestinal issues. As soon as I started having MAV symptoms, I also started having digestive problems. Way too coincidental, as prior I had no problems. When I mentioned it to my neuro doc, he didn’t think they were related, but the more I read up on it, the more I saw (in literature and from first-hand accounts) that MAV folk tend to have digestive problems. When I saw a new gastrologist, he noted that if my tests came up negative (as in fine), he wouldn’t be surprised at all if my digestive problems have something to do with MAV. He noted they don’t know how the brain and the digestive system (run on a different wiring, but often called the "little brain) affect each other, but they can. Well my tests were fine. So there you go.

Oh and btw, I know it isn’t anything like a gall bladder issue, because I also had a gall bladder attack out of the blue months after the MAV started and had it removed. My first gastrologist (I didn’t care for him, so I switched to a better one), thought that 90% of my digestive/intestinal issues would go away once it was removed. Well they didn’t, so it wasn’t the gall bladder (but that did have to come out anyway due to the stones.) For a while I thought I had IBS -did lots of research, especially regarding constitpation, and found that while I do have some of the IBS symptoms, I don’t really fall under the “list” or pattern so to speak of IBS symptoms (thank goodness), so I don’t think I have IBS itself, but rather just a variant or digestive issues somehow affected by the MAV. Once I added lots of soluable fiber to my diet and drink peppermint tea and use gas-x pills when needed, I have felt a lot better (besides other dietary changes which also have to do with migraine). There are still food that cause me discomfort that never did before though, and I have yet to eat true red meat (like a prime rib), as in December when I did, that’s when I had LOTS of digestive pain. Eventually I will try it again to see what happens.

My husband sent me this link about constipation and some things that can be done to help it. Pretty interesting, maybe some of the tips can help someone who has this issue.

So I just got off the phone with my ex-GF who is a naturopath and mostly not into all sorts of the ridiculous “woo” that drives me crazy about of these alternative therapies (most of which I think are bunk). Her degree had a large component that was evidence-based although I had to bring her back from the brink when she started going down the homeopathy path. Anyway, we had a long discussion about this gut connection and migraine. She seemed to think that taking a big mix of some really good probiotics and some other healthy gut-promoting herbs :roll: could take the edge off of this migraine garbage (note: not a cure) on top of a migraine med.

So now I’m wondering if it’s worth trying this stuff from Foreverwell once to see if their formula is junk or not. And if there is a positive outcome, I could whip up a better mix here in Sydney (at cost via ex-GF) using higher quality probiotics to see if the effect is real and long-term and not some short-lived placebo or just the natural fluctuations of MAV. Buying high quality probitics is not cheap and is about on par with the Foreverwell thing. While I am highly skeptical, I wonder if this is worth a try.

What do you guys think? Is this a plausible treatment option here or is it junk science? Mikael, would you try this?

Their “open-label” (weak) study can be seen here (warning: there’s red flags in it) but they do report that there was no effect in some of the participants which gives it more credibility:

Scott 8)

Hi Scott,

Well, you’ve always been one to at least be willing to try things out of the box so to speak, so if you have the funds and support from the ex, why not go for it? It may be like everything else and not work, but at least then you (and we) would know. There is always a chance that something out of the relm of traditional medicine will work. I say try it if you want to (safely of course.)

Cheers, Bonnie

Hi Bonnie,

I decided to send the lead author an email and ask him some Qs first to see if I can get anything more out of them – I’d like to know why/where/how they put their hypothesis together when they say things like:

“We believe that underlying dysfunction in the digestive and elimination systems of the body results in the body not being able to make all the necessary neurotransmitters and hormones in the proper balance at the proper times.”

Sounds wonderful but on what do they base this? Is it simply a dreamt up philosphy or is there some preliminary evidence to back this up? They also say the following:

“We further believe that the human body is not only capable of healing itself, it is constantly trying to do so. Whether you believe in intelligent design or evolution simple observation leads to the conclusion that the human organism can only survive and thrive if it is designed to be healthy and well.”

The current thinking and evidence in evolutionary medicine does not follow this at all. We are often told that the body should be capable of healing itself no matter what the problem, that we should have perfect health – that it’s our God-given right, yet the evidence shows that evolution has produced a body that keeps us at our best until we reproduce (i.e. sometime in our mid-twenties or earlier was once the norm). Our current life expectancy which was only 30-40 in the early 20th century means that any extra mileage we get is a bonus and good health is NOT a guarantee on this extended trip. I would also argue that we still survive and thrive even when we are not 100% healthy just like the rest of the animal kingdom. Furthermore, our bodies are full of lousy “designs”. If you handed the blueprint of our eyes, for example, to an engineer he’d throw it right back and tell you it was poorly engineered. It works yes, but it’s full of design flaws – evolution just threw in some patches to keep it functional (and even then most people have lousy vision and need glasses).

Here’s a really great interview on this topic for anyone interested in learning more. Richard Dawkins does the interview:

— Begin quote from “scott”

Anyway, I’m rambling and you guys are probably sick of me being a science nerd so I’ll end it there.

— End quote

Never! :smiley:

Hi All , thanks Scottie good job again… :mrgreen: .

Since I was 5 years old, I’ve had
1: Chronic constipation that seemed to coincide with restless legs syndrome.
2: Alice in wonderland syndrome… it’s a (migriane aura syndrome) without head pain.
3: Also fading out under fluro lights with confusion.

I had No dizziness until after an extended plane flight.
My Neuro said it looks like I have been migraineing (silently) since the age of 5.

In the beginning of my search for the underlying cause of my dizziness, I decided to do an elimination diet, believing it was possibly allergy based.

I started by dropping dairy, for a few weeks nothing happened.
So started searching for articles on gluten free websites that would explain some of my issues, and found out that (celiac disease) and or gluten intolerance and could cause problems with not only atrophy of the villi in the small intestine, but also is known to cause atrophy of the balance part of the brain the cerebellum.

So I cut out gluten to see if it helped at all, and I did have some god results, I went into remission, only to have the dizziness come back after drinking red wine with a visiting cousin, a month later.
I stayed on the diet for a year. And had varying results.
At the time I didn’t know I had migriane, the Drs neuro called it MDds, due to the air travel prior to my dizzy and ataxia probs.

Many years later…
I realized by eating gluten free, I had possibly rid myself of not only gluten but also many of the migriane dietary triggers, so that could account for the remissions or breaking of migriane cycle at the time…
If the gut doesn’t have anything to do with migriane cycle then why would we have food triggers?
It’s almost as if some migrianeuers have a food intolerance or allergy. NO?

So yes!!!
I will be “very interested” in hearing more about brain gut therapy.
And constipation has been a lifetime pain in the butt.



I could not agree with you more vis our poorly designed human bodies. What other species has to clothe itself to keep warm, gets sunburned on the bits that aren’t covered, has high rates of conditions like myopia, migraine, back problems etc. In short, we suck. Except for our brains. I reiterate again that I’m no scientist but it seems to me that our freakishly enormous (and crinkly) brains, which have given us conciousness (and subsequent fear of and therefore need to ward off and/or explain death) have allowed us to work around these woeful deficiencies. We invent glasses, drugs, back braces, physiotherapy, sunscreen, weaving, knitting, surgery and all the rest of it to allow us to stagger through life. And what other species has agonising, long labours like we do? We’re not “designed” to have babies, we’re capable of it.

I’ve got a really intersting book called “The Scars of Evolution”. Puts forward an “out there” but interesting theory that attempts to explain many of these evolutionary “deficiencies” by proposing that we developed from an aquatic (marshy environment, not ocean dweller) rather than savanah ape.

I’d like to think our bodies try to stay healthy but I’m not convinced. Mine seems to require a fair bit of out sourced help!

Sorry, I think I’ve out-rambled you here but, meh, what the hell.


Hey all,

I received a really nice reply from Tom Staverosky today who is keen to have a discussion about the gut-brain hypothesis behind migraine here on the forum within the next week. Tom is the founder of Foreverwell. Please feel free to ask questions about this and/or the evidence/plausibility of this approach if you feel like contributing when we get the new thread up and running.

Scott 8)

Hi Scottie,

“We believe that underlying dysfunction in the digestive and elimination systems of the body results in the body not being able to make all the necessary neurotransmitters and hormones in the proper balance at the proper times.”

would he be talking about gastric stasis :?:


— Begin quote from “MarciM”

— Begin quote from “scott”

Anyway, I’m rambling and you guys are probably sick of me being a science nerd so I’ll end it there.

— End quote

Never! :smiley:

— End quote

Exactly. :wink:
I love science.
Our bodies (as with all animals) are indeed flawed in oh-so-many ways, so if there really was a “designer”, he sure wasn’t very intelligent, if this was his goal… :wink:
(Why would migraine, or even disesase itself exist if the world was created for mankind?)
I hope I’m not jumping on anyone’s toes here, as that’s far from what I’m trying to say. Actually, I’m not trying to say much, so maybe I should shut up instead. :mrgreen:

Scott, do you know if dairy/soy/gluten-free probiotic pills are fine under the Heal Your Headache David Buchholz diet? Thanks! Thought you may know

I’ve tried searching everywhere on this site and google and found no answer

I ask as they seem to help me not get colds so much which helps me not feel so tired and able to function.