Sunday, December 18, 2011

War on Headaches readers, meet Ellie!

Hi, I'm Ellie and I'm a spoiled puppy!
Jonathan and I FINALLY found the perfect dog for us! We adopted Ellie 11/11/11, which is how we (Jonathan) came up with her name. She came from Saving Grace which is near where we live in N.C. They think her mom is a Sheltie/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix and they don't know what her dad is, but some people tell me they can see long-haired dachshund. She 3 1/2 months old and about 8 lbs. so she'll probably be a small dog (her mom is 16 lbs.) which is good because we're still living in our condo which isn't the largest.

The first weekend we had her, I got up about 3-4 times each night/morning to take her out, and she had diarrhea from giardia (parasite) so I had little sleep and lots of messes to clean up. Even so, I didn't have a headache the entire weekend. Unfortunately, after that they came back as normal and got bad for a while because I was under so much stress with final projects and exams. Now that the semester is over with, I've had fewer headaches although I did have one today that Aleve didn't help much, but walking Ellie in the crisp, fresh air did help!

Ellie has been SO much fun and definitely worth the extra work. I've been getting more exercise just from going up and down the stairs to take her out every few hours, which is good because I had been slacking ever since I had costochondritis.

Oh a quick update unrelated to my puppy...I was taking 5-HTP for about 3 months and didn't notice any improvement in my headaches/migraines, so I stopped it - gradually, of course. It did help my anxiety, but I don't feel like the anxiety is bad enough to require pills. I need to do more research, but a friend gave me an article from Prevention Magazine about melatonin helping migraines, so that's probably going to be the next thing I try. Have any of you tried melatonin for headaches/migraines?

More cute puppy pictures? Of course!


Christine said...

Hi, Heather. I've been following your blog for a couple of years and it has been both interesting and a comfort to me as a migraine sufferer. Thanks for sharing your journey!

I recently went to a neurologist for the first time and she recommended I try melatonin for my sleeping problems and st. john's for anxiety and dealing with stress (I'm a graduate student). The mel. definitely helps me sleep. It's too soon for me to see if it's contributed to fewer or less severe headaches, but my migraines have been a lot better this semester and the fact that I haven't had an incapacitating migraine at the end seems like a good sign. I look forward to hearing how it works for you. Congrats on the new pup; she's adorable!!

Caylyn said...

Cute pup! I haven't heard of melatonin for headaches, but I've heard of magnesium and vitamin B, and Coenzyme Q10 as supplements that can help. Haven't tried any of them on my own. I was just at an inpatient program for my migraines, and they gave me a few IV treatments of magnesium. My headache seemed to go down a notch after the dose, so maybe I should start magnesium supplements in addition to the drugs they put me on.

Migrainista said...

What an adorable little puppy! She must be so much fun for you both. I know our animals have been great for me both emotionally and physically. They get me up and moving when I just want to curl into a ball and hide. I hope she will be a blessing for you for many years to come.

Kelly said...

Congrats on your addition of Ellie! How adorable! We have three Cavaliers-two are rescues. I'm so happy for you! I have been on melatonin daily for sleep but never got help for my migraines. Best of luck, Heather! Btw, did you happen to read my post on captcha?

Sue said...

AW, so sweet!!

Jessica said...

Congrats on your new baby girl! She's so cute! =)

I have tried Melatonin for sleep...and it did nothing to help, but I'm not sure about it helping Migraines! Let me know!

Coyote said...

I have had migraines since I was 8 years old, suffered all my life, I am now 53. The latest thing I have tried and has almost completely worked for me is Carlsons Chelated Glycinate Magnesium (180ct) and Taurine 500mg (an amino acid) I take 4 total magnesium a day, 2 morning and 2 night and 2 total taurine a day (1 morning and 1 night). Magnesium can be depleted in us, it also can help you sleep better. This particular brand of magnesium/glycinate also can help with depression. All I know is I started on this and it took awhile, and it seemed month after month I was better and better and now I hardly get a migraine and if I get something its mild. Now magnesium can give you loose bowels, which is one side effect, but for me I would rather put up with that than a migraine any day of the week, I have not tried lowering the dose because I know this dose works and I don’t want to jinx it. I would start out on this dose and lower it after your headache free if you want. But, Im sure you can relate I just don’t want a migraine so I don’t go lower. Now I do work with my foods, I beyond migraines, made a personal choice to stop eating processed food, and no nitrates, I think that these processed foods have more crap in them that my also contribute to our cause. At least cut out nitrates, buy chicken apple sausages and organic luncheon meats. I do try and eat organic as much as possible. I know it cab be hard but educate yourself on processed foods and chemicals and do your best to start eliminating these foods. I am a food addict so I know how hard it is. I would love to hear from anyone who tries this (give it 4 months minimum) and does well (or not). I’m curious if this would help other people. I took all the drugs, they stopped working, but my mission at this stage in my life is to go natural in foods, herbs, vitamins, oils, etc. I research all the time on healing my own issues. Anyone wanting to write me: coyotewoman57@gmail.comis welcome. I have researched other things that I haven’t tried for migraines, that I haven’t tried that I could share. Migraines are a game of trying one thing at a time to find what works for you, and it took me a lifetime to find this, but hey, in my day we didn’t have all this blog and great internet research.

santa barbara chiropractor - dr.zemella said...

People around the world continue to turn to chiropractic care for headache problems. It was estimated in 1995 by the National Institutes of Health that already about 48 million people in the USA used chiropractic treatment, and the numbers around the world are growing. A recent trial done for a PHD thesis at Macquarie University, showed that 60% of migraine sufferers had a reduction in their symptoms during the course of the treatment. They reviewed headache chiropractor and other chiropractic services since 1923, and found a success rate between 72% and 90%. The benefits at times seemed to last for years after the treatments.

Chiropractic services seem to be most successful in the treatment of back problems, headache and migraine. In a study published in 1995 that related to tension headache, in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. It found that headache chiropractor care did provide some benefits.

Chiropractic services deals with subluxations (misalignments of vertebrae causing nerve irritation) anywhere along the spinal column, not just in the lower back. Sometimes the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned or lose their range of motion for one reason or another. This misalignment puts pressure on nerves leading to and from the brain. A chiropractor helps put them back in place by using gentle and highly skilled adjustments.

Going to a headache chiropractor services is a safe and effective way to treat headaches or migraines without drugs. The idea behind chiropractic is not that the condition itself is treated, but that the body is able to heal itself. Some people have dramatic results, and become completely headache free. Some migraine sufferers find complete relief. Others find relief simply from some symptoms or after effects of the migraine attack. The best thing to do is find a chiropractor that you’re comfortable with, and track the results of the treatment over time.


There are three things to remember when considering headache chiropractor treatment. First, always talk to your doctor and let her know what you’re doing. You especially need to see your doctor if you’re having new symptoms. Second, choose your chiropractor carefully. Third, remember that headache chiropractor treatment is not a treatment of conditions. It helps the body heal itself. That means that chiropractic care often goes along with other treatments and general healthy living.

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

OMG - what a sweet puppy!!!.

I took melantonin for my headache disorder. My headache specialist recommended it. This is what I was told - there is no FDA regulation of the production of melantonin, so some brands contain little or no melantonin. She suggested I buy an assortment and see what worked best and stick with it. Melantonin works with the same brain chemicals indomethacin does. She also had me taking it in very very high doses, much more than recommended on the packaging. I would only do this under doctor supervision. The very very high doses give me tendonitis - which disappeared after I quit taking it. Some benefit to The Headache pain, but not much for me. Hoping it does the job for you!

Heather said...

Christine - I'd be interested to see how the melatonin affects your headaches. I hope it works for you!

Caylyn - You've been through a lot lately; I hope you're doing well! I'm sure you've heard this, but start the magnesium supplements slowly because they can cause diarrhea. I know this from experience lol. They didn't help me though, unfortunately.

Thank you, Migrainista! Ellie has been so great at helping me relax. :)

Kelly - I hadn't read your post yet but I just glanced at it and that didn't even cross my mind! I get spam either way, so I might as well turn it off. Thanks for the idea!

Thanks, Sue & Jessica!

Coyote - I do organic meats and dairy most of the time, but I need to cut processed foods completely. I decided (with advice from my therapist) that I'll wait until after I finish school to do this because then I'll hopefully have more time and money. I look forward to seeing how it impacts my headaches! Your last sentence is SO true btw!

Winnie, you're back! I missed you so much and I've prayed for you like crazy while you were gone! You don't know how good it is to hear from you. :) Go figure melatonin could cause tendonitis; side effects are always so random. That won't be good for my running, but honestly I've had to scale back big time thanks to the costochondritis. I almost always buy my alternative pills from Whole Foods; they're generally safe but I'll be careful and watch for side effects.