Monthly Archives: July 2014

10 Natural Ingredients that Help Migraine

While there is no 100% cure for migraines, a neurological illness, doctors agree on certain natural ingredients that help migraine headache sufferers reach their optimal level of nervous system functionality. The following herbs, vitamins, and minerals have been the focus of the most studies, and are highly recommended by natural migraine treatment physicians.

10 Natural Ingredients that Help Migraine

Please note that many natural supplements have powerful properties that can rival those of prescription medications. Please consult your doctor before taking any new treatment for migraine disorder.

Natural ingredients that help migraine

Here are some natural ingredients that are most often cited as beneficial for migraine headaches, nausea, stress, and other forms of chronic pain.

1- Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)

Butterbur root extracts have been featured in numerous scientific studies on natural migraine prophylaxis. Scientists noted optimal results when migraine sufferers used 75mg of safe, natural butterbur supplements each day for at least three months. Test subjects who also suffered from severe asthma and muscle spasms reported good health after taking butterbur daily. Note: Read the label when purchasing butterbur capsules- only use extracts free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA’s), which can have a toxic side effect. Look for “PA-free” on the label.

2- Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that aids migraine patients by supporting healthy blood flow to the brain, sustaining good circulation, regulating blood-sugar levels, and promoting normal cellular metabolism. Doctors recommend 60mg-100mg of coenzyme Q10 daily for best results.

3- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Practitioners of CAM (complementary alternative medicine) recommend taking 400mg of riboflavin each day for at least three months. Riboflavin helps to sustain ideal cellular metabolism, while also controlling the effect of oxidative damage that can occur with chronic migraines.

4- Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is a common trigger of chronic migraines, so experimenting with at least 200mg of magnesium each day is a good way to eliminate that as a cause of your migraines. Most patients do not need to exceed 1,000mg doses of magnesium, which is also naturally helpful for neurological functioning. Some migraine patients suffer from magnesium deficiency, a common trigger of migraine attacks. Health experts recommend beginning with 200mg of magnesium per day, to be increased to 1,000mg if needed. Magnesium helps to sustain health neurological functioning.

5- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-HTP is helpful for serotonin management. Doctors suggest 5-HTP as a natural ingredient for migraine headaches caused by vascular disorders resulting from low serotonin.

6- Coffee

Coffee can sometimes trigger migraines, but for many other migraine patients, a caffeinated drink can actually provide relief.

7- Valerian

Valerian is helpful for reducing stress that triggers migraine attacks.

8- Peppermint

If your migraine attacks occur with gut-wrenching nausea and cramps, then try chewing on a raw peppermint leaf. Or, sip a cup of healing tea seeped with peppermint.

9- Cayenne

Topical pain creams containing cayenne are helpful for neck stiffness, back pain, and sore joints that occur with migraine.

10- Kava

Kava contains therapeutic phytochemicals that promote relaxation in the nerves and muscles.

 

Can you add to our list? Can you recommend any other great natural ingredients that help migraine headaches? Please list below.

 

Image by Praisaeng


  • List of Medications that Trigger Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    A common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is long-term use of certain medications. Even if you don’t suffer from an autoimmune condition or have a family medical history for pernicious anemia, your risk for developing severe vitamin B12 deficiency are increased if you take any of the following medications regularly.

    List of Medications that Trigger Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Listed are drugs prescribed often for conditions such as diabetes, depression, GERD, or frequent infections that can, over time, impair your ability to absorb vitamin B12 properly from the foods you eat.

    Vitamin B12 malabsorption

    If you take vitamin B complex and eat a diet rich in vitamin B12, such as beef, fish, and chicken, then you’re on the right track to good health. Still, there are many risk factors that can lead to vitamin B12 malabsorption, regardless of how well you take care of your body.

    Vitamin B12 malabsorption is the inability to latch onto vitamin B12 molecules that enter your body and use them efficiently. Instead of being dispersed through your blood stream, essential vitamin B12 passes through your digestive system whole, unaffected. None of the important nutrients needed for good neurological health, energy, or red blood cell development reach their destination. As a result, over time, you experience symptoms of severe anemia caused by low levels of serum vitamin B12.

    What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Vitamin B12 deficiency most often occurs with pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition that attacks intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme needed for vitamin B12 absorption. Pernicious anemia can also result from damage to the parietal cells of the stomach. Patients of gastrointestinal surgeries for weight loss or Crohn’s disease are at risk and must supplement with non-dietary vitamin B12.

    If you follow a strict vegan diet, then you may be at risk for dietary vitamin B12 deficiency, as there are no rich natural sources of plant-based vitamin B12.

    Medications that Trigger Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Please note: Don’t stop using any prescription medication without permission from your doctor. If you use any of the medications listed, then you should check your vitamin B12 levels regularly in order to prevent developing severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

    The following prescription medications may trigger vitamin B12 deficiency:

    • Aminoglycosides
    • Cephalosporins
    • Chlorotrianisene
    • Chlortetracycline
    • Cholestyramine (Cholybar®, Questran®)
    • Cimetidine (Tagamet®)
    • Clofibrate (Atromid-S®)
    • Colchicine- (ColBenemid®)
    • Colestipol
    • Co-trimoxazole
    • Demeclocycline
    • Famotidine
    • Fluoroquinolones
    • Lansoprazole
    • Macrolides
    • Metformin
    • Methyldopa (Aldomet®)
    • Minocycline
    • Neomycin
    • Nizatidine
    • Omeprazole (Prilosec®)
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Oxytetracycline
    • Penicillins
    • Phenobarbital
    • Phenytoin
    • Potassium chloride
    • Ranitidine (Zantac®)
    • Sulfonamides
    • Tetracyclines
    • Trimethoprim- (TMP/SMX)
    • Valproic Acid (Depakene®)
    • Zidovudine

    Did we miss any?

    Are you currently taking any medications that you feel have directly led to vitamin B12 deficiency? Please comment below.

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  • Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

    Many people today suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency that hasn’t been diagnosed. To cure vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to understand how you got it and which B12 supplements are the best to relieve symptoms and prevent pernicious anemia.

    Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

    1) Get a blood test- save results!

    Some of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are easily confused or misdiagnosed. Memory problems, fatigue, and depression are sometimes attributed to old age or mental illness without testing for low vitamin B12 levels; that’s why getting tested is an important first step in curing vitamin B12 deficiency.

    A simple blood test can determine if your vitamin B12 levels are at a dangerous low. This is important to know, because severe vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia) can lead to irreversible nerve damage, mobility problems, handicaps, and sometimes death.

    Once you get blood test results, save them in your personal files for future reference. You may need to repeat tests often, so it will help to have a record that you can use to track vitamin B12 serum levels.

    2) Know the symptoms of B12 deficiency.

    Sometimes, the symptoms you’re experiencing can speak volumes when blood test results show a “medium range” of vitamin B12 deficiency.

    In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to be turned away by their healthcare providers simply because their vitamin B12 levels were not low enough to qualify for supplementation.

    Common symptoms of medium-low range vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Forgetfulness
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
    • Slow talking
    • Brain fog
    • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands and feet)
    • Anxiety
    • Pale complexion
    • Electric shock sensations
    • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
    • Muscle pain and spasms

    3) Understand your diagnosis.

    What’s the cause of your vitamin B12 deficiency? Is it because you follow a vegan diet? If so, then you have dietary vitamin B12 deficiency, and any quality vitamin B12 supplements can help reverse symptoms.

    For many others, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption, the inability to digest vitamin B12 from food or dietary supplements. In such a case, the only cure for vitamin B12 deficiency is through supplements that enter the blood stream directly, bypassing digestion in the stomach.

    4) Get the right vitamin B12 supplements!

    Vitamin B12 injections and other forms of B12 that are absorbed through the skin are the only option for vitamin B12 malabsorption.

    The following are risk factors for vitamin B12 malabsorption:

    • Family history for pernicious anemia or intrinsic factor antibody
    • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Gastric bypass surgery
    • Medication for diabetes, GERD, depression, or frequent infections
    • Alcoholism

    5) Increase potassium and iron as neurological symptoms improve.

    During your course of vitamin B12 supplementation, you may need to increase your intake of foods containing potassium. First, ask your doctor to test your potassium. Then, eat more foods that are rich in potassium, or take supplements.

    6) Take as much vitamin B12 as you need.

    It can take a while to reverse the signs of prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency. Understand that you’re perfectly safe in taking as much vitamin B12 as you feel you need, and that according to the FDA, these are no side effects associated with “too much vitamin B12.”

    7) Take vitamin B12 supplementation into your own hands.

    Your healthcare insurance may only agree to cover a minimal amount of vitamin B12- enough to prevent nerve deterioration and death, but not enough to cure constant fatigue, memory loss, irritability, and that general feeling of being out-of-sorts.

    Many patients have to use over-the-counter vitamin B12 supplements, in addition to B12 injections that they receive by their doctor.

    Don’t let your healthcare provider dictate how much vitamin B12 is enough- if you need more than the allotted dose, then you may have to shop online for quality non-dietary vitamin B12 in order to really boost energy and fight fatigue.

    8) Make sure pernicious anemia is noted.

    If your doctor believes that you are unable to digest vitamin B12 from foods, and that you need lifetime vitamin B12 supplementation, then make sure “pernicious anemia” is listed in your health records.

    9) Check folate levels.

    You may require more folic acid, which works in conjunction with vitamin B12.

    10) Check iron levels.

    Signs of fatigue can also be caused by low iron, so make sure your doctor monitors you for low and hyper iron levels.

    11) Take more B vitamins.

    Vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 work together, so it’s a good idea to take B-complex vitamins along with your regular doses of vitamin B12.

    12) Be your own advocate!

    Unfortunately, many doctors refuse to believe that a set of debilitating neurological symptoms can be cured with a vitamin- even vitamin B12 deficiency! You may have to shop around for a more sympathetic doctor.

    Also, you can push for more testing- other ways of diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Serum MMA – (methylmalonic acid)
    • Urinary MMA
    • Active B12 (HoloTc or Holotranscobalamin)
    • Elevated homocysteine
    • MTHFR – methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (gene mutation)
    • Gastric Parietal Cell Antibodies
    • Gastric Intrinsic Factor Antibodies
    • MCV level (mean corpuscular volume)

     

    Do you have questions about vitamin B12 deficiency cures, symptoms, or diagnosis? Please feel free to comment below.

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