Jackie Parry – author


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Migraine Advice Update Part 3

Great Migraine Advice

Tips on Combatting that Migraine

With the great advice and suggestions detailed in the previous blog, I’ve received more in-depth comments too.

“Foods that contain Tyramine, often fermented foods: Mature cheese, red wine, beer, sauerkraut, soy sauce (very high in salt as well, which wouldn’t help), vegemite and chocolate. Nitrites used in cured meat, Aspartame (there’s a reason why it’s not recommended for young children – it screws with your head!)”

I had to look up Aspartame and this is what I found:

From the NHS – UK Website:
Aspartame has been subject to more scare stories than any other sweetener, ranging from allergies and premature births to liver damage and cancer. Read more here.

Here’s a great article all about migraines, it mentions Aspartame as a possible cause.

It also talks about other triggers, many of which make perfect sense to me. What was most interesting that they say some women have a headache prior to their period. This was spot on for me too (see my previous blog here on combating my migraines).

This article talks about a study that “proves” Aspartame does not contribute to migraines.

However, despite mentioning a study that proved this fact, this is issued by the Aspartame Information Center.

More information on Caffeine

Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, so supposedly if migraines are partly due to vasodilation, it could be good. But it also increases blood pressure, so it might cancel that out. It increases cortisol levels – the stress hormones – so I’d probably steer clear of it.”

 “Chocolate has some caffeine, but more theobromine – a similar chemical. It is, however, a vasodilator. Although it contains serotonin, the feel good hormone, migraines are also partly caused by an excess of serotonin.”

Fabulous – yum – recipe! An alternative to Chocolate

I’ve mostly read that chocolate is a no no. I’ve had very little over the last month. Thank you, Simon Hugh

Thank you, Simon Hugh Wheeler for offering so much valuable advice and this recipe.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“An alternative to chocolate is carob. I know it’s not the same, but for example, I’ve made a microwave, 1 min mud cake with carob flour, an egg, some sugar and a touch of cinnamon and ginger which is gorgeous.”

Simon goes on to say, “Carob has no caffeine, no oxalates (if you have kidney or joint problems, that can help), but has fibre, calcium, magnesium and vits A, B, and D, amongst other nutrients. It also has antioxidants and Gallic acid which is a mild analgesic – it helps to reduce cholesterol too.”

Find out all about Carob here.

Needless to say, I will be looking into carob recipes further.

What now?

Well, I’ll continue on my quest to monitor what I eat to see if I can nut out what affects me.

However, as I am eating everything in moderation, it may take some time. If I don’t have a migraine within a month of this experiment, I will be ecstatic as I usually have one at least once a month.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I lose control and binge on something yummy (yes, it’ll be chocolate), then I’ll monitor the results.

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Simple Solutions

I hope to solve my problem with the simplest solution – and I fully intend to solve it – watch this space.

Update: My research has revealed some incredibly interesting triggers and things to avoid… all will be revealed soon. BTW – I am winning the battle!


4 Comments

Migraine Battles Part 2

Migraine Advice from around the world

On talking openly about my battle with migraines, I’ve received an amazing response.

As promised I’m going to share some comments, advice, and suggestions. My experiment continues and I’ll have some interesting results to share with you soon.

Praise

“It’s always wise to discover the cause instead of treating the symptoms” and “Good on ya!”

It’s lovely to receive positive encouragement

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Things to avoid

Cheese
Dairy products
Preservatives
Colouring
MSG
Artificial flavourings
Citrus
Chocolate
Wine
Too much meat

Replacing lost nutrients

Seeds and nuts

Good for migraines

Caffeine

Magnesium

Bad for migraines

Caffeine

Chocolate

Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What can be good for you

Dark Chocolate

Interesting remarks to ponder

“Sometimes people think chocolate is a trigger for their headaches as they have eaten it just prior to getting one, when really you’ve eaten it in response to the onset of a headache, (e.g. your body needs it).”

I found this interesting and this made good sense to me. It’s something I am keeping in mind as I go and monitoring my results.

In response to “Chocolate can be good for you,” one person commented, “I can’t eat dark chocolate at all, guarantees a migraine with vomiting.”

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Another friend mentioned their pain and suffering with migraines, “I’ve tried everything even Botox! I sometimes think it is hormonal and the Doctors don’t know what to do apart from tablets..”

I’d never ever do botox (botulism injected – yikes!) of course, desperate times calls for desperate measures and I know when I’ve been in extreme pain I’d pretty much take anything that would hold some hope. This is one reason I am avoiding Doctors for as long as possible – I don’t want drugs, I want to beat it myself.

Alternative Help

“I was advised that pouring cold water over your head can ease it, mine disappeared of their own accord.”

I do find that if I am too hot (working in that humidity mentioned in the last blog), I suffer, so this makes sense too. I have had a cold cloth on my forehead and the back of my neck before, if I remember to do it early enough – if I don’t, with a full blown migraine, nothing can touch my head. (I’ve done some interesting (self) research on this!)

Later, another person commented, “We have used ice packs around necks in ED to help the really nasty ones that meds weren’t budging with some success.”

I’ve taken note and will try to use this method in the early stages IF I get another migraine.

Image courtesy of Antoine Henrich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Antoine Henrich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More Technical Advice

Look out for Part 3 of this experiment which will detail some fabulous advice for those who have to take the next step – watch those chemicals! Read those labels!

And – a great alternative/recipe for chocolate…

It’s time for me to step away from the laptop to give my eyes a rest…. to much screen time could be another trigger!


7 Comments

Health and Monitoring Migraines

Accidental New Year’s Resolution

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Not usually.

I prefer to look back on the year and remind myself of all my achievements.

Quite by accident, on the first of January I decided to take action against my migraines.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Morphing Migraines

Over the years my migraines have changed.

  • They were a short burst (one day) of extensive pain and vomiting
  • Then the vomiting eased but the pain intensified – sometimes to a frightening level
  • Then the pain eased – so less pain but now they last 4-5 days
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I can just about function with these ‘new’ migraines but I don’t really like how they travel from one side of my head to the other – I can feel them creep across my brain!

Drugs

The other problem is that I am taking more and more painkillers. I’m avoiding prescription drugs, but this has to change because:

  • Right now I take codeine with aspirin and throw down some panadol if I need an extra boost
  • Codeine will become a prescription drug next year
  • I’m fed up with popping so many pills
Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Action

As of the first of January (quite by accident) I’m listing everything I eat and drink. I include the time spent on the laptop, quantity of sleep, level of stress, bed time and the time I wake up.

Boring Diet

Consequently, I am making other changes:

  • I am avoiding chocolate
  • I’ve cut right down on alcohol (not a drop during the week and a small quantity Friday and maybe Saturday night)
  • I am avoiding chocolate
  • I am rarely eating meat (well, I am consuming fish). As an A+ blood type, my body finds it easy to digest carbohydrates but hard to process meat
  • I am avoiding chocolate (total success so far, by some miracle).
  • Did I mention the chocolate?
Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How

  • The chocolate is hidden in the fridge. I’ve recently been told that Australian chocolate has additional preservatives to prevent it melting as quickly.
  • I’m drinking a lot more water – ensuring my intake is at least 3 litres per day
  • The less chocolate and meat I eat – the less I crave it. So it’s becoming easier.

Results so far

  1. I have loads of energy (driving hubby nuts)
  2. I wake up less grumpy (hubby happy)
  3. My digestive system is working a treat (everyone’s happy!)
  4. My head has been quite clear for a week (again – everyone’s happy)
  5. I’m losing weight (yay me!)
  6. My perpetually dry lips are starting to repair (whoop whoop)
I'm back to my old self - only a better version!

I’m back to my old self – only a better version!

Relapse

I know I will struggle at times (Noel ate a meat pie yesterday and my stomach growled in protest!). When it happens I will just revert back to the better behaviour the next day and carry on.

I’m looking forward to reporting how I do. AND – why is this subject on my author blog? Well, sore eyes and head are rather important to avoid if I want to write!