Thursday, June 21, 2012

How to get rid of headaches and migraines

Some of you may know that I am a breast cancer survivor.  This blog is NOT about breast cancer, but it is about health and how you can prevent or eliminate headaches and migraines from your life and start living.

You may also ask yourself what does breast cancer have to do with headaches and migraines? The breast cancer that I HAD was "Estrogen positive." Which means that my cancer was caused by estrogen. I had a partial hysterectomy when I was 38. My Dr left my ovaries because, as he said, "38 was too young" to go into menopause. I knew that I was having "periods" every 14 days for the better part of 5 years. Mainly due to the fact, that aside from the "normal" changes to my breast when my periods would have occurred, I was suffering from migraines every 2 weeks. They were my "blessing and my curse" in that regards.

I am going to begin with saying that diet IS a major contributor to headaches and migraines. Several years ago I learned that when I eat cold cuts like bologna or hot dogs that I would get severe migraines within 24 hours. They contain nitrates and nitrites. Certain cheeses also contain them. I also noticed that my "once a month" craving for Dorito's and salty snacks were also contributing to them. What ingredient does Dorito's contain that causes headaches and migraines in some people? Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG. It is a preservative that manufacturers add to their food to make it taste better and add to the shelf life. Some manufacturers are getting wise that some people are not purchasing their products that contain msg and have stopped using that ingredient. They are now substituting an ingredient called, "autolyzed yeast extract or yeast extract." It IS essentially the same thing as msg and also has the same effects on the body that msg does.

If you are looking for a delicious, healthy, all-natural snack that does not contain any harmful ingredients that are known to cause headaches or migraines, click HERE.
Eating too much sugar can also contribute to headaches and migraines. Consuming high quantities of salt, which has been proven to increase blood pressure can also cause headaches and migraines.

Some prescription drugs also cause headaches and migraines. I began taking one of those drugs in March to prevent my cancer from returning. I will be on that drug for 5 years. My headaches started coming more often and with greater intensity until last month. I will tell you what I did soon.

I also recently discovered that chocolate, which contains magnesium and is good for you, also contains copper. Some people are allergic to copper and are not aware of it. I believe that dark chocolate, which is "supposedly" better for you contains more copper than milk chocolate can also contribute to headaches and migraines. This is based on my own personal experience. I can eat milk chocolate in moderation, but dark chocolate, even in small quantities gives me migraines.

Now, back to my breast cancer story. When I went in for my follow up visit with my gyn, who removed my ovaries, I told him that my migraines were getting worse. (Which happens to about 50% of the women who enter menopause naturally or surgically). I asked him what I could do to prevent them. He told me "nothing," because my cancer was Estrogen positive. He also told me to do "what works for me." and walked away. It took me 6 months of trying different things before I came upon the solution.

I mentioned in my profile, that I collect books. I came across a book titled, "The Vitamin Bible" by Earl Mindell. It has been sitting on one of my book shelf's for at least 5 years. Most of the books that I use for reference material have listed magnesium deficiency as a possible reason for headaches and migraines. For several years, I have been taking 500 milligrams of magnesium and 250 milligrams of calcium.  I believed that I was, at the very least, minimizing the frequency and intensity of my symptoms. I was wrong. It turns out, that according to the information that I found in Earl Mindell's book, that headache and migraine sufferers can benefit from taking twice as much calcium as magnesium. I made the switch. I am currently taking 500 mg of calcium twice a day. Within 2 days, my headaches and migraines completely disappeared. I also take 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin D3 and a Super B-Complex every day. For the record, your body NEEDS magnesium and vitamin D3 to help your body absorb calcium.

The only time that I suffer from headaches and migraines now is when I "accidentally eat something" that triggers them.

Also, for tension headaches and for overall health, you can't go wrong by doing 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day. Adding a pilates, yoga or tai chi works great for preventing headaches and migraines as well.

If you found this blog useful and informative, please leave a comment and share it with your loved ones who are suffering from headaches and migraines.


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