headaches, constipation

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headaches, constipation

Postby green » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:10 pm

hi :-D i've gone for a long time without talking to anyone about my ms-related problems, mostly because i was mentally better if i just tried to forget about it. I'm over that, partly because i've been doing really well. I just have 2 things i want to ask about. My doctor doesn't seem to really listen when i ask about it, the attitude seeming to be "well you can walk and talk, what are you complaining about?". Anyway, the most important one is headaches. I've had a headache for it seems like a year. Exaggeration? A bit, but honestly i've had a headache more often than i have not. I clench my jaw constantly, i 'click' my throat, and my head feels like it's under pressure all the time. I have to consciously remind myself to breathe properly, and i only remember to do that when i'm sitting by myself and there's nothing else going on. I would take advil all the time, as it helps a lot, but here's the part that pisses me off: Quite a while ago the doctor offhandedly suggests advil, writes me a prescription for naproxen, and sends me on my way. I'm on rebif, and so am getting blood-work regularly to monitor my liver/kidneys etc..

So a few days ago i see him to get the results of the latest tests. He tells me that my liver has taken a bit of a hit. He assured me it's not serious, but *maybe too much advil*! I hardly take any, when i'd love to take it 3 times a day. I take 1 naproxen, mostly to regulate my temperature and help the flu-ish aches and pains if the rebif gives me a bad night. So this tells me that he hasn't really been listening. What are your feelings on the benefits and risks of advil or naproxen? I thought naproxen was better, but then i read that it is really bad for your stomach. The other one if constipation. I asked him at the same visit about it, and i've asked him about it a few times before. Always the same answer, not listening to me saying that i've tried his suggestions numerous times. This time i was asking him if any of the drugs i'm on could cause it (rebif, naproxen, statin, wellbutrin, glycon, lomotrigine, gliclazide). He didn't really answer, just said the same as always. Suppositories. Don't work. (at least i'm assuming that after trying for a week). Diet. He told me not to eat "fine fiber" because it would make it worse. I eat insanely well, 20 times better than pre-diagnosis, and i was never constipated and had maybe 2 headaches a year. My iron is down a bit too, i don't eat tons of red meat. But broccoli, apples, bananas, celery, bok choy, alpen (pretty fibre-y cereal), fish sometimes. I don't drink dairy, i use almond milk on my cereal. I eat about 4 tablespoons of butter in a month. I've stopped using vegetable oil. Olive oil sometimes if what i'm having won't work with coconut oil, which i use for everything else. I don't smoke. I have maybe 4 pints of beer in a month. And so on. Pretty healthy diet, and like i said, i never had headaches or constipation before.

So yes, i feel blessed that the rebif is working so well for me, and these aren't super serious things, but it makes me sleep too much, i never feel like going outside because the light hurts my head. I can't concentrate as well. etc.. I feel like since i'm not progressive, and the rebif is working so well, i'd like to live my life more, but don't feel like i can.

Can anybody else relate? And any suggestions?
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Re: headaches, constipation

Postby jimmylegs » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:57 pm

sounds like you could start with boosting magnesium intakes. you can do it with food, eg add 1c cooked spinach or swiss chard (boiled 3min) daily. that would get you about a third of the way to your daily requirement. also - bran (1/2 c rice bran has all you need for the day), pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds (tahini too), brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, etc.
you can also take epsom salts baths to get magnesium levels up. epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. don't overdo though, just follow package directions.
the bran might help with the constipation on its own.. if not, certain kinds of magnesium supplements, ones that aren't good for absorption and use by the body, eg magnesium oxide, can help loosen up the GI tract. i'd say you shouldn't need more than 300mg of mag oxide to have a pretty strong laxative effect.
if you want to try a magnesium supplement that you DO want to absorb, look for magnesium glycinate. also just make sure you drink plenty of water.
so, water and magnesium, for the headaches, clenching, and pressure. i'm leaning towards it having something to do with the throat issue too, but can you describe what you mean by clicking in more detail?
try it out - when i had magnesium issues it took two days of supplementing for my problems to improve substantially. then it took ages for my body stores to build back up. if i stopped supplementing i'd feel it immediately. i can slack a bit more nowadays.

zinc for liver repair. definitely has been demonstrated to reverse cirrhosis. just will have to hunt around for the nature of the damage that may be done by the meds you're on, will check to see if there are any studies comparing extent of damage to patient zinc status, or anything like that.

hope that helps a little!
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Re: headaches, constipation

Postby green » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:45 pm

that helps way more than a little. Thanks so much for taking the time. I love spinach, but i always forget about it for some reason. Then when i remember, i stuff myself with it. And iron in that too, right? I do eat quite a few nuts.

The magnesium is really interesting, because my friend was talking it up, and insisting i take it, but didn't explain why (very busy guy). He gave me some liquid mag, but it made me super tired (?). Relaxed, but tired. I don't know exactly what it was. You gave very specific types, so i'll find them.

The throat thing... really hard to explain. It's the back of the tongue against the palette, mouth closed, with some brief suction. It makes a clicking sound. I don't do it on purpose, but for some reason my brain is making me do it. It's really weird, and embarrassing, and it makes me breathe improperly (or not at all). Zinc is pretty cheap, i'll definitely grab some.

Thanks again for the great info :!: , i'm really glad i remembered to sign up on a forum, finally.
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Re: headaches, constipation

Postby jimmylegs » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:19 pm

yvw! ha your busy friend will feel vindicated :) (assuming we are right and you get some relief!)

ok good description re clicking.. yes i think we could expect the throat to settle down too then... would it be fair to call the throat issue a 'spasm' of sorts? i had something possibly a little akin when my magnesium was down. my throat would stick mid-swallow, tongue against palette, airway closed, and i just couldn't finish the motion. it would just sort of decide on its own when i could keep moving and breathe again. more than a little scary.

when you go for the zinc, go to a specialty store and ask for the most bioavailable form. it's still pretty cheap no matter what, but some forms are better than others. look for something like zinc citrate, 50mg (balanced with 2mg copper - important!). i've heard mixed reports about zinc picolinate. might give that one a try myself to see. but ensure the copper balance is taken care of. you don't want the zinc intakes driving your copper status down.

question re the drugs rebif, naproxen, statin, wellbutrin, glycon, lomotrigine, gliclazide - i know what rebif is for, and statins, but could you tell me why you're taking each of these various things? there could be nutritional solutions for some of them. meanwhile, i can have a look to see if any of them are known to deplete nutrients. also niacin (vit b3) is a natural alternative to statin drugs, just fyi.

hope you check back in to let us know how you go :) ttfn
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Re: headaches, constipation

Postby milesap » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:38 am

Some people are helped by Milk Thistle a simple over the counter herb found in most drug stores. The attach site is from web md http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/milk ... de-effects which explains the benefits and side effects. Also please read the Wheelchair Kamikazi newsletter who had good results from it. http://www.wheelchairkamikaze.com/2012/ ... pting.html
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