Non Medication Solutions?

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Non Medication Solutions?

Post  Seaine on Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:28 pm

Hi everyone. Can you please tell me what non-medication solutions you have found help your migraines?

What tests have doctors run on your bloodwork? Vitamin levels? Hormone levels? Allergies? What results helped you?

What vitamins do doctors tell you to take, and which ones have helped? What foods did you stop eating, and then found you had fewer migraines?

I am just fed up with the neurologists I see always wanting to try me on new medications. Come on... after 10 different pills don't work, don't you think it's time to look into other possible solutions? I've never had anyone look at my blood levels of anything for migraines... ever!! What should I ask for the doctors to do?
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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  KnittingBunny on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:48 pm

Good question. I just posted a reply on a similar issue here:
http://migrainepage.forumotion.net/t3938-what-if-you-can-t-take-meds

Basically, the shortened version of what I wrote there is:

1) Quitting estrogen-based birth control pills for females is essential to reduce migraines and remove high probability of stroke. It reduced frequency and intensity of my migraines a little bit.

2) I'm looking into tinted eyeglasses - just posted a topic about that tonight. No idea if it works or not yet.

3) My GP let me take a B-complex vitamin in somewhat high dose. I'm far worse when I do NOT take it, but I am still pretty bad with migraines.

4) My neurologist suggested I try daily magnesium. Haven't tested it yet. Will do so.

5.) My neuro cited a medical study with favorable results from the herb Butterbur - without the complications prescriptions sometimes have. Haven't tried it.

That's all I can think of right now. Oh - except for getting into a routine with sleep, eating, etc., and also watching triggering ingredients in foods, avoiding bright light and all fluorescent lighting, strong smells, loud noises.

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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  Migrainegirl on Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:09 pm

I am doing well on natural supplements and hormones. Natural progesterone, vitamin D, and magnesium has significantly lowered my migraines for years. I'm now taking a natural estrogen, testosterone, 5-HTP, DHEA, thyroid and other supplements as well.

Start by seeing a nauturalpathic doctor. They do blood tests to see exactly how you are doing on various hormone levels and then carefully add supplements where needed. It takes about 3 months to get things on track.

I'm now a little over 2-1/2 months into this plan and am feeling great. Much more energy overall and less problems with headaches. I'm not ready to declare victory yet. I want to give it several months more to make sure it's working, but so far so good.
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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  mxgo on Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:59 pm

Me, I've had some success seeing an Osteopath that is certified in neuromuscular-skeletal treatments, along with "neural therapy." . He thought that my four way by-pass chest scars are pulling my head forward. Also also said that the surgery, disturbed the pericardium (sac around the heart) and the diaphragm muscles and contributing to the headaches. Sure enough, those are the areas that bother me the most.

Now, I am seeing a Cranial Sacrum therapist (recommended by my Osteopath PCP) , along with experimenting with a Chi Machine, that she borrowed from a friend of hers.

I've also been taking "Gab-Calm," at nights to get more than 4 hours of sleep. I still wake up after four hours, but then I take another half tablet, and sometimes I get another hour or so more of sleep. It also helps with the anxiety of having chronic headaches.

Since, I tried the above, my life has improved somewhat.

That is what works for me, everybody is different.

Martin
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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  Seaine on Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:45 pm

Thanks everyone...

KnittingBunny wrote:1) Quitting estrogen-based birth control pills for females is essential to reduce migraines and remove high probability of stroke. It reduced frequency and intensity of my migraines a little bit.

I used to be on birth control pills, and several months ago I switched to the mini-pill. The mini-pill is progesterone only; it does not give you any estrogen. I did not experience any change at all in my migraines. Did you try the mini-pill or did you just go to no birth control pills at all? My issue is with ovarian cysts, which I get when off birth control.

I work outside and I do wear sunglasses. It doesn't seem to make a difference with my migraines but I don't like bright lights so honestly I'd wear the glasses regardless of my headache status.

I am currently taking a B-complex. It did not seem to make any difference, except maybe more energy?

I used to take Butterbur and Feverfew years ago. It seemed to help a bit. After a few years on it, I stopped taking it and experienced no increase in my migraines. I remember it being expensive, too. Well, perhaps it is time to try it again.

KnittingBunny wrote:That's all I can think of right now. Oh - except for getting into a routine with sleep, eating, etc., and also watching triggering ingredients in foods, avoiding bright light and all fluorescent lighting, strong smells, loud noises.

What are your trigger foods? I am really looking into this right now and I'm considering cutting out dairy entirely to see if it helps.

Migrainegirl wrote:Start by seeing a nauturalpathic doctor. They do blood tests to see exactly how you are doing on various hormone levels and then carefully add supplements where needed. It takes about 3 months to get things on track.

I live in a small town and there is only one naturopathic doctor here. I called her office and not only do they not take insurance, but when I asked what kind of things they do, the reply involved such strange things as using a device to test my body energy levels. I am not really into that kind of thing and only believe in science, if you know what I mean. Maybe I need to call some doctors in the next town over? Still, not sure how much I can afford right now since they don't use insurance. Is that standard- does yours take insurance? Do they do weird stuff like measure energy levels or are they more down to earth?

How much vitamin D do you take? Also, what kind and how much of Magnesium? I currently take 5,000 IUs Vit D and have not noticed any difference. I try to take Magnesium but I can't seem to tolerate much at all - I take 400mg Magnesium Citrate every other night, but each morning wake up needing to use the bathroom urgently.

Sorry for such a long post. Still would love more replies from others as well!
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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  mxgo on Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:33 pm

For non-medication solutions, has anybody seen the TV show called "The Food Hospital?" They treat different illnesses with foods, but they also tell their patients to still take their medications. It's comes from the UK. Here in my area, it is on the Food Channel.

It seems to me that, the two shows that I've seen, that they tell their patients to lay off sugars and wheat. I've been trying to lay off the wheat products and sugared teas and diet coke.

Also, my doctor, an Osteopath, recommended that I read "The pH Miracle" and try the supplement "Super Green Food." I've been trying the supplement, unfortunately, it gives me bloating. I am cutting back on the dosage and slowly building up to the full scoop. One thing the book mentions, is putting some fresh lemon juice in your water. Once it's in your system, it's alkaline. According to the book, our systems are too acidic.

As you can see from my previous posting, I am trying the non-medication solutions, along with regular meds, for my headaches and other illnesses.

Martin

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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  Seaine on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:07 am

Oh man, I want to watch that now!! I googled it and it's exactly what we're all trying to do. I tried to watch an episode but the website said technical difficulties so I'll try again later.
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Non-medication

Post  doximom on Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:36 pm

#1 for me is to get enough sleep, and it should be regular.

What has also helped is regular, vigorous exercise when I don't have a headache (makes it worse if I already have one). My exercise routine is strenuous because that's the only way it makes a difference for me.

I take a "twice daily" multi-vitamin and pine bark extract. Not sure why, but since I'm taking pine bark extract my headaches are not as bad.

Eat regular meals and try not to let your stomach get too empty.

I have tried acupuncture extensively, and chiropractic treatment. Both felt great, but did not do anything to help my migraines.

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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  Migrainegirl on Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:10 pm

I live in a small town and there is only one naturopathic doctor here. I called her office and not only do they not take insurance, but when I asked what kind of things they do, the reply involved such strange things as using a device to test my body energy levels. I am not really into that kind of thing and only believe in science, if you know what I mean. Maybe I need to call some doctors in the next town over? Still, not sure how much I can afford right now since they don't use insurance. Is that standard- does yours take insurance? Do they do weird stuff like measure energy levels or are they more down to earth?

How much vitamin D do you take? Also, what kind and how much of Magnesium? I currently take 5,000 IUs Vit D and have not noticed any difference. I try to take Magnesium but I can't seem to tolerate much at all - I take 400mg Magnesium Citrate every other night, but each morning wake up needing to use the bathroom urgently.


First on the naturalpath. That sounds pretty hokey. You need to look for one with some actual credentials. I'll post more on that in another thread. I am a scientist by training, so no I'm not promoting "energy levels" or anything like that. Mine tested blood levels of various hormones, thyroid, etc.... (same as my medical doctor) to see where I was low and where I needed supplements to increase them.

The main difference between naturalpathic medicine and regular western medicine, is they tend to emphasize natural supplements to get the body in balance rather than artificial synthetic chemicals that constitute most medicines. if you've had the bad time I have had with side effects to medicines prescribed for migraine, you will understand the appeal of this. Down side is most insurance programs do not cover it. But I can use my health savings account, so that reduces costs somewhat. If it works, it will be worth the cost to have my life back.

I've been asking 5000 mg of Vitamin D and 400 mg of magnesium daily for 3 years or so. My neurologist recommended I take the magnesium. It's done well in studies. While some people have problems, I seem to do okay on it as the migraines and pain meds tend to give me constipation so I guess it evens out. Try taking 200 mg in the evening and 200 in the morning rather than all at once. I've also been on 200 mg natural bio identical progesterone. These things brought my migraine rate down from 80% to 20-30%, so a big improvement.

In the end I'm judging by results. If doctors and neurologists had any answers we would not all be in this predicament.


Last edited by Migrainegirl on Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Non Medication Solutions?

Post  Seaine on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:44 pm

Ok thank you! I will save up some money and start calling naturopathic doctors in the next big town over.

As for the Magnesium... don't know why it didn't occur to me to cut the pills in half before! Hah.

I did end up watching an episode of that Food Hospital show and loved it.
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