Friday, March 10, 2006

Worth a try for migraines?

…In September 2005, Health mag had a story on headaches.

…More than half of the 30 million Americans who suffer from the worst pain take over-the-counter remedies or tough it out on nothing.

…Some promising low-tech remedies (meaning no weird side efx) are at hand.

…Docs think people with migraines have low energy levels in their brains, leading to painful overreactions to light and sound.

…Riboflavin, a B vitamin, seems to help solve the prob. The recommended dose for a woman is 1 mg a day, but giant doses of 400 mg cut the frequency of migraines by 60% in one study. If you want to try it, give it a month. Check it out online first, of course, you know the drill.

…A lack of magnesium can also make the brain hypersensitive. Instead of 50 mg a day, study subjs took 800 mg a day, combining it with calcium to cut tummy upset.

…Butterbur is a European herb used to fight fever and inflammation. Some docs recommend an substance from its roots called petasites. Migraineurs who took 75 mg a day for 4 months, cut their number of migraines almost in half. More is not better—those who scarfed 50 mg a day had no improvement! This stuff can make you burp a lot, though.

…The anti-oxidant CoQ10 reduced migraine incidence by almost half in one study. The dose was 300 mg day for two months. This stuff is spendy, though!

…Botox is also being used to shoot up the scalp and block nerve signals from migraines. Oops. It’s a thou per treatment!

…Acupuncture is cheaper and has helped many migraine sufferers alongside their over-the-counter stuff.

…One caveat. Do not try all of the above at once. That would be like eating everything in the health food store. Sounds like a good idea, but is actually, what is the word—incredibly stupid! Naturally, the usual advice applies: Ask your doctor if you can get ahold of him or her.

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