Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Possible source of migraines

I have known for at least 20 years now that caffeine gives me migraines (as well as fast heart rate). I stopped drinking regular coffee when I was about 22 with this discovery.

Over the past 6 or 7 months, I have been taking "green tea extract", as per recommendation of my vitamin/supplement doctor, Dr. Litman. I ran out of the capsules about a month ago, and I also haven't had a migraine in a while. I don't know if it coincides; since we never thought of that, we weren't documenting anything. Robert made this connection. So he (Robert) looked up the caffeine content in the daily dose I was taking, and indeed it has 16mg of caffeine. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it builds up in the system and possibly could have caused migraines I had, for a while there, *very* often.

So I just wrote an email to Dr. Litman and I'm interested to see what he says.

These past two posts have been about Robert & I making connections between my symptoms and all the stuff I am taking, not only the medicine, but the vitamins, too. Well, not the vitamins themselves, but in this case, a byproduct of the Green tea extract: caffeine.

I am trying new approaches to my medicine that I suspect is causing my nausea. I am now eating before I take it. I hadn't been eating in the morning because I felt nauseous, and just wanted to make sure I take what I was supposed to take, including vitamins, but on an empty stomach. So, I started to make myself eat in the morning before I take the meds. I also am separating the meds from the vitamins/supplements, instead of taking them in one batch all together. Yesterday and today I was less nauseous, and have more appetite. How interesting. So simple, yet, nobody thought of it.

I have had two CT scans recently; one of my head to rule out a brain abnormality as a cause of the migraines, and one of my abdomen to rule out a zillion other things that may be causing my nausea. There was also an ultrasound of my abdomen to look at the post-surgical appendectomy area. (that specific pain, btw, has pretty much gone away. I still feel twinges sometimes, but my GP said it could be from adhesions forming with the scar). In the ultrasound a gall stone showed up, in the CT it didn't.

What is my point? That there are so many different possible reasons for symptoms. I am taking medication, and that always comes with a price. I tell my pregnant ladies that, too. You may get the desired effect of the medicine, but there is always a price to pay. You have to decide if the price is reasonable for you or not.

The body usually runs smoothly, like a well-oiled machine, if you treat it well. But once you start needing medicines things can get thrown off, and it has to be addressed. The medical establishment does the tests, that is what they can do. They make diagnoses based on the findings of the tests, whether or not the diagnoses match the symptoms (gall stone pain is *not* in the lower right quadrant).

My body, and my brain, got thrown off after the NF. My immune system took a big hit, and my physical body is a bit broken since then (that is what next month's surgery is supposed to fix). My brain got thrown off with PTSD afterward, and sleep problems. So, I take medicine, as well as vitamins and supplements.

The prices of these things I take are showing up. Do I want to switch meds to alleviate the nausea, at the cost of the nerve pain in my leg possibly returning? Do I want to cut down on the green tea extract at the cost of less "good-for-body" antioxidants? The answer to the first question is probably not, I don't think I will change meds again. I don't want to deal with alien brain abduction again, and the relief from the leg pain outweighs, for now, the other stuff, which I may be able to tweak to make it more tolerable (times of eating and taking everything). And as far as cutting down on the green tea extract, I think I will. But I am not *sure* if that has been causing the migraines, so I will consult with Dr. Litman. He probably won't know, either, though. It's just a theory... all this stuff is. That's what makes it hard.

(ps- Today Shifra had her test for hormonal functioning (in Soroka). Ovarian cysts at 7 is not a good thing. It went fine, and she was really good about having an IV in her arm for an hour. Results in a week-10 days.)

1 comment :

  1. This seems to have been an epiphanous moment for you. Hang on to this entry for future reference. Hope there's nothing to worry about with Shif. She's a doll!