BDNF, FKBP5, Migraines & Stress

Written by Youssef Merhi | Last updated:

My name is Youssef, an employee at SelfDecode. Today, I’d like to give Joe a little break and take over. It’s for a good reason, I promise.

I want to share with you my story of discovery, an epiphany if you will. What I thought was going to be a small journey to fix a health issue that I presumed to be so minuscule, turned into a huge chain of events that ended up making me feel the best I’d ever felt in my life.

For a while now, I suffered from frequent headaches and occasional migraines. It wasn’t unusual for me to message the Slack group and take the day off due to a headache. (I wouldn’t be shocked if my co-workers started placing bets on when “headache” day would take place😂)

Migraines were especially bad. When I’d start seeing an aura, a sense of dreadfulness would come over me, knowing that I’m about to experience debilitating pain. Anyone who’s ever had migraines could relate to this.

Initially, my thought process was that everyone gets headaches so it’s not that big of a deal, and maybe I just ate something that I shouldn’t have and that’s what triggered it.

Little did I know that SelfDecode’s newest Headache Report would change my life.

As a SelfDecode employee, I was able to get early access to the report so I’ve been implementing my recommendations for awhile now. I learned about all the genes that impact not just the frequency, but also the severity and duration of headaches and migraines.

The craziest part is that the genes that affected me the most also played a huge role in managing stress, another health issue I was having trouble dealing with. By implementing my personalized recommendations in my Headache Report, I solved so much more than anticipated.

BDNF, Migraines, and Stress

The BDNF gene helps decrease your susceptibility to headaches and migraines by regulating pain response. But, it also plays a crucial role in stress!

If you have high BDNF levels, your vulnerability to headaches decreases, and your body is able to deal with stress more easily and effectively. That definitely wasn’t the case for me.

My body certainly did not handle stress well, as I would feel it take a toll on me physically and mentally. My results for my BDNF gene reflected that as well.

The sad face is an accurate representation of how I felt when I saw that. Because of the negative variant, I wasn’t getting the benefits of high BDNF activity.

But by understanding that I don’t naturally produce BDNF efficiently, I was able to take action. When I started taking one specific supplement to increase BDNF, I started seeing a massive decrease in my frequency of headaches, plus I was able to manage my stress so much more efficiently.

Another Connection Between Headaches and Mood

After I started applying my recommendation for my BDNF gene, I saw incredible results on both my headaches AND my mood, so I had to dive in more.

Similar to BDNF, the FKBP5 gene has a correlation to both mood and headaches.

The negative variant produces higher than normal FKBP5 activity, which reduces the body’s ability to recover from stressful events and increases your susceptibility to chronic pain.

And like BDNF, I had the negative variant too. But using the Personalized Genetics Blog, I got a list of personalized suggestions that helped me decrease FKBP5.

One Small Thing Lead To A Massive Change

What started as a journey to fix my minor headache issue turned into a life overhaul.

Not only did I effectively decrease the frequency and severity of my headaches, but I also managed to fix my stress issues!

I think that’s a hidden benefit of SelfDecode that no one really knows about. You can start with fixing one health problem, and you’ll end up solving so much more.

We’ve just released our Headache DNA Report! This report analyzes over 19 genes to give you prioritized recommendations that can help directly solve your headache and migraine issues, and indirectly solve so much more.

I urge you all to get a SelfDecode membership to experience a health journey like I did. You’ll go in solving one health issue, and end up completely optimizing your health.

Like always, with each SelfDecode subscription, you’ll receive:

  • All of our SelfHacked articles, ad-free. There are over 1500 science-based articles written to help you understand your health on a much clearer level.
  • Our SelfDecode Personalized Genetics blog, a place where you can analyze your genetic data and get to the root cause of your health concerns.
  • In-depth Personalized DNA Wellness Reports that cover topics including headache, mood, longevity, gut health, sleep, and much more.
  • The Lab Test Analyzer tool, which allows you to upload your lab data and learn how to make sure your values are in the optimal range.
  • And much more!

I hope my story helps you to push yourself even further to get the health and life you envision.

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