Typically, cluster headaches are determined as the headaches that occur in the frequent attacks called cluster periods and are considered one of the most severe types of headaches. Even though such headaches are quite rare, not every treatment can relieve the symptoms. Over the recent years, many patients have found psilocybin mushrooms effective in cluster headache treatment. Still, the question is, can psilocybin help people who are suffering from severe headaches? Keep reading to discover.
What are cluster headaches?
Cluster headaches mainly produce sharp pain in one side of your head, typically in or around an eye. This type of headache usually appears at night. The cluster periods, a consistency of pain attacks, can last for weeks or even months. Additionally, the remission periods mean headaches have stopped, and this state can last up to several years. The right medical treatment can relieve intense pain and reduce the duration and number of cluster periods.
When it comes to the symptoms of cluster headaches, the main signs are one-sided intolerable pain that appears around or behind one eye. They can spread to other parts of your head, redness of the eye, runny nose, swelling, excessive tearing, and sweating on the affected side. The headache might appear every day or several times per day during a cluster period, while an attack can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours.
What is the current treatment for cluster headaches?
Today, there is no cure for severe cluster headaches. However, some treatments are effective in relieving the symptoms. A range of current treatments for cluster headaches incorporates oxygen procedures, local anesthetics, an injectable form of dihydroergotamine, octreotide, and triptans. The surgery can be recommended for patients who haven`t found the previous treatments efficient in some cases. A surgical procedure is needed to damage the nerve pathways responsible for the pain to relieve the cluster headaches.
How do psychedelics treat cluster headaches?
The similarities in the biochemistry of indoleamine, like psilocybin, LSD, and ayahuasca, make it practical to deal with cluster headaches. In 2002, Bob Wold founded the nonprofit Cluster Busters after 30 years of suffering from severe headaches. He has found psychedelics efficient for pain relief and made the goal of his organization to spread the idea of psychedelic treatment of potent headaches.
Bob Wold and specialists from Harvard University have performed a study that incorporated 53 participants with a cluster headache diagnosis who have taken psilocybin or LSD. The researchers concluded that both psychedelic substances could help stop cluster attacks, prolong the remission between cluster periods, and prevent such attacks in most patients. Microdosing mushrooms for pain is helpful, too, as it doesn`t produce visible side effects.
The chemical structure of psychedelics is similar to medications used for cluster headaches, which is why many users find psilocybin and LSD helpful to reduce attacks. Besides, magic mushrooms for cluster headaches reduce brain activity in the hypothalamus. In patients with such a diagnosis, this area of the brain is typically dysfunctional.
Psilocybin and cluster headaches might be an effective healing combination, but more research is needed. Severe headaches are rare in patients, but magic mushrooms and cluster headaches can become truly promising alternative treatments.