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!


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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!


6 Comments

Shark Encounter That Changed My Life

Excerpt from This It It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat

Tahanea Atoll is part of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. For an atoll, it is large, measuring almost thirty miles in length; the maximum width is just under ten miles. There’s a narrow entrance and a wide lagoon to anchor within. It’s uninhabited but visited occasionally by islanders from neighbouring atolls for fishing.

We anchored in clear, turquoise water a fair distance away from shore and the other three boats already there. We declined the offer of joining the other cruisers on a shark dive in the passageway – sharks weren’t my thing; I noticed Noel wasn’t that keen, either.

‘They won’t hurt you,’ they said. ‘The sharks there have no teeth; they can only suck the flesh off your arm!’

We weren’t sure if this was a joke or reality; either way, the outcome wasn’t endearing.

Anchored off Tahanea Atoll (in the Pacific Ocean)

Anchored off Tahanea Atoll (in the Pacific Ocean)

We took time to assemble, pump up, and off-load our large rubber dinghy; we wanted to snorkel on a reef, but first, we had to float our anchor chain. Finding a sandy patch to anchor in was a little tricky; between the anchor and the boat, the chain would snag on coral heads. The sharp coral can wear chain over time but, short-term, the chain causes damage. Our boat fenders were ideal floats. Every five metres, we lashed a fender to the chain to keep it floating above the living structure of the reef and to prevent snatching where the chain had been shortened when snagged. I kept one eye open for sharks.

With that job done, we puttered over to a coral patch, where we thought we’d be safe. This is where I learned I could walk on water.

On our way to dive

On our way to dive

There we were, having a jolly good time drifting along with the gentle current, watching colourful fish flash alongside vibrant coral. Noel swam about twenty metres in front of me, and something made me turn around. As I swung my head over my left shoulder, I practically touched noses with a black-tip shark. A cold rush of terror gushed into my belly as if a sluice gate had been opened.

My mate sharky

My mate sharky

Noting its teeth and bulky length at almost twice my height, I screamed, spun around, and flailed my way towards Noel. Running on pure adrenaline, I didn’t make the decision – fight or flight didn’t cross the wreckage of my mind, but clearly, flight had won the day. I can be calm when in immediate danger; meeting a shark so intimately had proven this wasn’t always the case.

As I thrashed my way towards Noel, I forgot to breathe, but my mind conveniently decided to voice its opinion.

You’re never going to out swim a shark! My thoughts tormented me; they were at odds with my physical emotions as if they were sitting back in a deck chair enjoying the show.

Any moment sharky is going to be enjoying lunch care of your left thigh.

But I couldn’t stop. I had leaped into sheer panic mode. I had no control of my actions, and it appeared that I couldn’t control my thoughts, either.

As I flogged my way nearer to Noel, he was blissfully unaware of my stress as he silently snorkelled in peace. He jumped two foot clear of the water as I grabbed his leg, clawed across his back, and sat on his shoulders.

Noel having a nice peaceful time before I came along!

Noel having a nice peaceful time before I came along!

‘What the…. what’re you doing, gerrrooofff!’

He pulled me down beside him.

‘Shark, there’s a shark!’ I scanned the area. Sharky was hiding somewhere, clearly having a good titter at my expense.

‘It grinned at me. It was so close I nearly kissed it!’ I said breathlessly. ‘I think we upset him by not going to see him with the diving excursion, and he decided to pay us a visit.’ Fear makes me ramble.

Noel laughed. ‘It’s okay. Let’s go over there. It’s a bit shallower, and we can regroup.’

We stood on a reef, where the water came to above my knees. I peered at Pyewacket way off on the horizon.

‘At least the dinghy is nearby.’

‘Well, it’s a few minutes swim to reach it,’ Noel said. My heart did a little flip.

‘Will you let go of me now?’ Noel said as he tried to unpeel my arms away from his neck. I’d become a remarkable human form of Velcro.

‘Oh, that’s interesting,’ Noel muttered as he managed to free himself, and I turned to look. I knew his cool demeanour didn’t always mean the situation was cool. And I was right. My mate with the sharp teeth circled us, clearly revelling in our situation. He had us surrounded. Round and around he swam; his black beady eyes watching.

Then he started circling us!

Then he started circling us!

‘Shit!’ I can be so eloquent.

‘Let’s head back to the dinghy,’ Noel suggested.

‘And how do you propose we do that?’ I asked with my knees knocking. I had found the thing scared me silly. I didn’t like any of it – the thumping adrenaline or trembling limbs. Blind panic and tremendous fear wasn’t something I experienced often; now it was becoming frequent!

I searched around the area and found two three-foot sticks to carry. I am not sure what I could have done if the blacktip fancied a munch. Perhaps poke him a bit and give him the hump? But it made me feel better.

My defense!

My defense!

Much to Noel’s amusement, I swam back to the dinghy in circles, so I could keep an eye on anything that lurked behind me.

That moment changed my enjoyment of dipping in the oceans forever, but I didn’t know I’d be gleefully jumping into shark infested water again… soon.


For more stories on our current escapades and more pictures: click here.

Our boat is for sale: click here to have a good look at our 1920s Dutch Barge.

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

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Of Foreign Build:  viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa

This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit

Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr

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Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life! http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/69073/41215218