Index of posts

I wanted to have a index of what I think are my most important posts.

This is the one I think everyone should read first:
I think I’m histamine intolerant so what do I do now?

The following posts are about olive oil and omegas, as well as adrenal fatigue and inflammation:

The final theory on why I’ve healed is an in depth discussion on what I’ve learned over the last few months and what has worked for me to lower my histamine levels and reduce inflammation in my body.

Omegas is the discussion on why I think an imbalance of omega 6/ omega 3 was causing a big part of my problem with inflammation.

Olive oil, cortisol, and adrenal fatigue is where I started to really have an understanding as to how olive oil could positively affect adrenal fatigue.

Olive oil, polyphenols, and healing is the post where I first started to really make an argument for how olive oil was helping me get onto the healing path.

More on why olive oil might help heal is about how olive oil might help with intolerance because it has the ability to help the intestines produce DAO, the enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine.

Adrenal fatigue, menopause, and histamine intolerance talks about the possible link between adrenal fatigue and histamine intolerance.

Do women really need to suffer? talks about whether women who are menopausal or peri menopausal need to suffer the “typical” symptoms, or can my findings make a difference to them too?

These posts are about the other issues you might not think of but can be causing you trouble, such as hot showers and razor burn.

Remember it’s not just food talks about how using products around your house that might trigger a reaction.

Give up the razor Shaving using a razor caused itchy legs for hours after.

Does your shower make you itch Hot showers can be a major hive trigger!

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Posted in olive oil, omega 3, polyphenols

The final theory on why I’ve healed

I feel like I’ve been putting a jigsaw puzzle together for the last three months. Everyday I snapped in another piece, until yesterday I finally put all the pieces together, stepped back and saw the whole picture.

Menopause triggered my histamine intolerance, but why and how?

As I said in my previous post, I think my histamine intolerance was triggered by the hormonal fluctuations of menopause. I now believe it happened because I already had an over-abundance of omega 6 in my diet and by supplementing with Evening Primrose Oil, thus creating a deficiency in omega 3. This caused my cortisol levels to rise and my DHEA levels to diminish. (The hormones released by the adrenal glands)

I believe my body was dealing with an inflammatory situation before menopause began.The drop in estrogen and progesterone basically unveiled the problem and had a direct affect on insufficient DHEA and cortisol levels produced by the adrenals, and the ensuing inflammatory response.The link between cortisol production and DHEA is an important one because, with long periods of chronically high cortisol levels, the ability to produce DHEA diminishes and your immune system becomes compromised. It’s that compromised immune system that then wreaks havoc with inflammation, and thus causes histamine intolerance.

In other words, one of the most significant effects of restoring DHEA seems to be the restoration of the normal balance between DHEA and cortisol. As DHEA levels increase, the propensity to overproduce cortisol is dampened—along with the spiral of symptoms induced by high cortisol.

In my earlier posts I thought it was the cortisol levels that were the direct issue, but now I believe ultimately it’s the production of DHEA. This has a lot to do with what olive oil has contributed to the big picture. The reason my body has begun to really heal is not due to the quercetin and other vitamin supplements, but is due to the omega 3 supplementation and the use of olive oil on my body and in my diet. Eliminating the Evening Primrose Oil, eating a low histamine diet, and the taking the other supplements managed my histamine intolerance, but I really believe the omega 3 and olive oil healed it.

What’s the olive oil connection? DHEA is the body’s natural cortisol antagonist and prevents many of the negative effects of cortisol. It is believed that olive oil helps the body absorb DHEA. Additionally, some researchers also suggest olive oil builds more healthy omega 3/omega 6 balance by displacing omega 6 acids.

I had stopped taking EPO and started taking omega 3 for about two months before I started using olive oil on my skin and adding it heavily into my diet. (I’ve always used olive oil but I started adding a tablespoon into my morning smoothie and taking a teaspoon before bed) My intolerance had been slowly improving, but once I started with the olive oil, it was within two weeks I became basically itch free. I also do not suffer from hot flashes or mood swings. Basically, I do not suffer from any of the “typical” menopausal symptoms right now.

I have to state one more time for the record that I am not in medicine and I am not dispensing medical advise. I am sharing a theory I have developed based on the results of eating a low histamine diet and my supplementation regimen, the research I’ve done, and how my body has reacted and ultimately healed from histamine intolerance.

I still maintain a low histamine diet and will continue to do so for quite some time. I also have added a list of “unsafe” foods based on their omega 6 content and their high inflammatory nature. I will also continue to supplement using my regimen of vitamins and other nutrients for at least the next three months. I consider myself healing, rather than completely healed and know that there are still some hurdles to jump. I probably won’t drink beer again or eat chocolate anytime soon, and still have not tried some of my biggest triggers like balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, or spinach. I also threw out all of my razors and will only use my electric razor and will only take baths. It seems too risky to change anything right now since everything is working so well for me. It is early into what I consider a healing body and I am wary about tilting the balance backwards.

I have quoted a few things from each of the following sites. If you want an in depth knowledge on the importance of DHEA on overall health, look here. If you’d like to read about cortisol deficiency, take a look at this site.

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Posted in olive oil, omega 3, polyphenols

Omegas

I’ve been wanting to write about Omega 3 supplementation for a while. It’s a really important subject when it comes to inflammation in the body. If you have too little omega 3 in your body and too much omega 6, you might have a myriad of health problems because your hormonal system, and therefore your immune system can be compromised.

It’s especially important to speak to vegans and vegetarians about it because it is a lot harder for vegetarians to get the proper amount of omega 3 if they do not eat any animal products. If you are eating oily fish or taking fish oil capsules, getting omega 3 is probably not a big issue for you. But please read on to understand the link between omegas and some of the oils you might be taking to control your menopausal symptoms. Evening Primrose, Borage, and Black Currant are the oils women take to head off hot flashes and mood swings due to hormones, and they are high in omega 6. Flax oil is known to have a large amount of omega 3, but it’s complex when it comes to how it is synthesized, so if you have a problem with omega 6’s flax might still be a problem.(I personally do not touch flax seeds or the oil. There are many hormonal ramifications to using it. I’ll address that in another post.)

A little backstory first: I’d suffered from PMS, migraines, and mood swings my whole life. Very early on, probably in my late twenties, I went to the local health food store, the place where only old hippies went because alternative healthcare was relatively new, and loaded up on books about herbs and alternative therapies. I started taking tinctures from the the brand Herbs of Light, that were dedicated to women’s issues; I think it was called Female Balance. The tinctures were always a mix of the most popular herbs for adjusting hormone balance: dong quai, black cohosh, vitex…

After years of taking herbs I decided I wanted to get off them and that was right around the time soy was earning a strong reputation as a healthy phytoestrogen. I did well with soy for quite awhile; less mood swings and no cramps, but still suffered migraines.

But then there was a big backlash about soy and I started to get a bit worried that it might not be the healthiest alternative, so I went back to the books and decided on Evening Primrose Oil. That I took for about four years which brings me up to September of last year, when I started to feel like I was occupying someone else’s body.

I was feeling so badly in so many different ways I started to try to figure out if I should be off the Evening Primrose Oil and everything else, or should I find another alternative. I was moody, weepy, and angry. I was fatigued and restless. I was so uncomfortable with myself.

I started reading about whether Evening Primrose was ok to take for years, and many people felt it was fine but a couple questioned whether you suffer a backlash from it, so I determined maybe that was the problem. I tried Vitex next. That herb you’re supposed to take for about three months before it might start to work, but I was feeling worse yet, so I stopped that after two months. I decided to go back to the Evening Primrose oil at the end of November.

About a month later, my period left for good, so far, and the histamine intolerance started almost simultaneously.

So what does this all have to do with Omegas and histamine intolerance? Well, the entire time I was taking Evening Primrose Oil I thought it was a good source of omega 3, but I was completely mistaken. It is a soure of omega 6. (Borage oil and black currant are also high in omega 6) You are supposed to have the right balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 to remain healthy. If you are taking in too much omega 6 in your diet, it is inflammatory. Considering most people who eat a western diet get way too much omega 6 already, supplementing with an omega 6 would not be a good idea.

So I worried that I had really thrown my omega balance off so much that I had caused the histamine intolerance. I stopped the EPO and started to research omega 3 supplements. I found an article by Andrew Weil, whom I really think a lot of, about what vegetarians can take for omega 3 supplementation.

There are relatively new supplements on the market that vegetarians can take. (Non vegetarians can take fish oil or make sure they eat oily fish) If you are vegan or vegetarian, look for an omega 3 that has both DHA and EPA. The Weil article is older and when he wrote it supplements with EPA weren’t available but they are now. (Nordic Naturals makes one and another is called Ovega3.) Also, you need to eat a handful of walnuts to get the third component, ALA.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this little nugget about my precious olive oil:
Some researchers also suggest olive oil builds more healthy omega 3 : omega 6 balance by displacing omega 6 acids. Olive oil is also a very powerful anti-fatigue remedy.

I am not sure whether stopping the Evening Primrose Oil and taking the new Omega 3’s, and olive oil, has helped control my histamine intolerance. It absolutely can be part of why my body seems to be going back to “normal.” I don’t know how long it takes for the EPO to leave the system. But I’m sure my omega balance is much better than what it was so it’s possible my body’s inflammation is lower. I also would have no idea how long it might take to “normalize” the balance after so many years of overindulging in omega 6’s.

My suggestion is to take an omega 3 supplement if you think you might have an imbalance. If you do have an imbalance, that’s only going to exacerbate your inflammation. And that’s not a good thing when you are histamine intolerant. You want to lower any kind of inflammation in the body.

I realize I was taking the EPO for years before I ever had a histamine intolerance problem, but remember, everything about your hormonal system changes so maybe menopause was the trigger when it came to the balance of omegas. This is, of course, just a theory like my adrenal fatigue theory. I am not a doctor. But I have been working on putting all the puzzle pieces together, and I know it’s not just one thing that did it.

Many women are taking those oils to help control the symptoms of menopause. And many women have histamine problems during menopause. It only makes sense that this is one other issue to address when trying to minimize, control and cure histamine intolerance brought on by menopause.

This post probably isn’t written as elegantly as I’d like, but I’ve wanted to get this information up because I think it is really key to some of what we might all be suffering with. Until I update with a link to the information, google omega 3-6-9 to find in depth explanations.

Edit

This is a great article on omegas.

I’ve started to plug in the words omega 6 and cortisol into search engines and have come up with some fascinating information. This is another site that has a good explanation of what omegas are, what the balance should be, and what foods should be avoided.

I’m going to add to this list, but take a look at that article. Remember, when researching on the web you always have to take what you find with a grain of salt, so I don’t stop at just one site. And I tend to try to hit the medical sites like Webmd and the Mayo clinic’s site too. I always want to hear from all sides of the arguments. But the above site was pretty succinct and backed up the other things I have read elsewhere. Again, if the site is selling something, I do not have anything to do with it. I am not promoting other’s products or even their sites. I am just trying to disseminate information.

And I just found this statement on a website about menopause and cortisol levels:
Symptoms of abnormal cortisol levels become more evident in menopause, when the masking effects of estrogen and progesterone diminish.

I’m still very much thinking the connection between menopause and histamine has to do with the adrenals and the amount of cortisol circulating though the body. The supplements I’ve taken helped manage the histamine intolerance, along with the low histamine diet, but the omega 3 and olive oil might just be the things leveling out the cortisol, which would be the underlying issue for menopausal histamine intolerant women, which would mean we don’t have to live with histamine intolerance. It’s fixable.

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Posted in olive oil, omega 3, polyphenols

Let’s talk about soap

One of my readers the other day wrote about making her own cold processed soap and that one comment sent me on a new tangent. I’ve wanted to make soap, but I was always afraid of using lye. After reading on a soap site someone’s observation that driving a car is dangerous too if you do it wrong, I decided to finally try it.

There are two reasons I wanted to make my own soap. First, it’s really difficult to find soap without palm oil. (Palm oil is that controversial oil that is responsible for orangutans losing their habitats.) Second, I can’t find real soap anywhere that does not have additives. Actually, most soap you buy is really detergent. It has all kinds of stuff in it.

As you know if you are histamine intolerant, you have to be as careful with what you put on your body as what you put in it. At least I hope you know!

Anyway, it turns out it is not hard to make soap at all. It’s fun and easy and the results are great. I’ve used only one recipe so far that I want to perfect before I get all fancy, but it’s a great recipe. It is food grade olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and sunflower oil. That’s it. Distilled water and lye are also in it, but the lye disappears in the process. What you’re left with is a very pure product. And the smell…even without essential oils, the smell of just the soap is amazing!

Now I don’t expect everyone to go out and start making soap. But I do think using this soap could be a really good thing for a lot of my readers. I ultimately would like to start selling it in the summer when I actually have time to make it while I’m off from teaching.

I’m quite sure I will not get rich selling soap. That’s not really even my motivation. I want to sell it because I want people like me, who have histamine intolerance to be able to have access to a product that might help them heal, or at the very least keep them from getting worse.

So I’ll keep you posted when Bernard’s Soap Co. comes off the ground!

So why the crazy name?  Because I’m naming it in memory of my cat Buzz who I’ve written about in the past. Buzz had a major skin issue that I managed to heal the same way I healed myself. I used Quercetin, salmon oil (for omega 3), and B vitamins. His vet wanted to put him on steroids but I didn’t want to do that to him. So year after year, when May rolled around and everything came into bloom, the boy would break out into a rash that I battled and beat back.

December of last year he showed up with a swollen cheek. Antibiotics seemed to get rid of whatever was brewing. But it happened two more times and I knew I had to take him in, which I knew would be traumatizing to this particular cat. They had to use gas to even look at him and then did a dental on him. They sent me home with him and he seemed fine, but the next morning he apparently had a stroke. Two days later I had someone come to the house to help him pass peacefully. Trust me that’s the short version…

The soap thing is actually an offshoot of me trying to handle my grief with a new distraction. And the name Bernard is Buzz’s nickname. I religiously watched HBO’s Westworld and loved the way Anthony Hopkins would say the character’s name and I started calling Buzz: Bernard. He even started to answer to it.

He was my companion for fourteen years and I was completely grief stricken. I ate badly and struggled to find my footing. Along the was my histamine started to rise and I had symptoms of it getting out of control. But the human spirit is resilient and I managed to regain my equilibrium and get myself back into control. My body has responded and is healing, as is my soul.

I read somewhere that when you are working through grief you should do what you love, and writers love to write. I tried writing about Buzz earlier but I couldn’t. Today the words came easily.

So there are many lessons in this one post. One of them is that you probably will always have histamine intolerance and even when you think you are completely healed it can make itself known if you are not careful. The other is you’re probably using inferior soap on your body. And the third is… well I don’t know what the third thing is.

Maybe I just needed to tell you about Buzz. And soap. And grief. Maybe this post is something I wrote for myself more than for you. I don’t know. I only know I will miss my boy forever. And the soap that bares his name is made with all good stuff. And mostly love.

I guess that was reason enough to write today after all.

Dale

 

Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, migraine, peri-menopause, Women's health

Should you be drinking Sole?

Ok so what’s Sole and why am I discussing it today? It’s a salt water drink that I think might help with a multitude of health issues. I say might because right now, although there is much written about it, I cannot verify it’s efficacy. I can only report on what I’ve read and why I think it’s worth a try.

I stumbled on Sole the other day when I was researching how to make my own mineral water. To give you a little background, I often go through short bouts of fatigue. When it happens I cannot attribute it to not sleeping well. I fall asleep pretty much when my head hits the pillow and sleep through the night. I might be roused by a need to pee, or a cat putting his pointy claw into my back, but I fall asleep right away after.

This fatigue is different. I know you understand because you’ve felt it too. If you’re going through menopause it’s one of the 34 symptoms. Crashing fatigue. Mine isn’t necessarily crashing anymore, but it is uncomfortable. It never stops me from doing anything for the most part, and sometimes it’s more like a passing thought in my head…”Geez I feel crappy…” but it’s a haunting issue. It comes and goes. I don’t have it all the time and drinking plain water and staying hydrated doesn’t “cure”it.

When I feel it I usually go out and buy mineral water. Gerlosteiner is the brand I buy because it’s supposed to have the highest concentration of minerals. What I am after is to increase my magnesium and other minerals naturally. Because of my extensive research, I believe the fatigue is directly related to a depletion in magnesium. If you research magnesium and fatigue you will land on many sites talking about it. And magnesium is one of those minerals that is really hard to get a lot of due to the depletion of minerals in our soil.

Magnesium is integral to many of the body’s functions. It helps regulate cortisol, which I’ve written about and it’s theoretical tie-in to histamine intolerance. It helps the body absorb and retain calcium. It plays a role in hormonal balance, which might explain why some people believe it can help reduce hot flashes. It might even play an additional role in migraines, and it’s known to help alleviate constipation (something a lot of intolerant people suffer from). These are just a few of the reasons we need to maintain healthy levels of magnesium.

There are different ways to get more magnesium into the body. Transdermally, through the skin, is one. There is something called magnesium oil, which is really not an oil, that you can spray on and let stay on your skin. I’ve tried it but really dislike how it feels on my skin. And we know if we don’t like it we won’t do it…

You can sit and soak in a tub of Dead Sea salt or magnesium citrate flakes. (Epsom salt is not the same kind of magnesium. It is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium citrate is much easier for your body to absorb) But I’ve never been one to soak in a tub. I’m a shower gal…

Or you could ingest it. Pills aren’t supposed to be very effective and Natural Calm, a powder version of magnesium citrate you mix into water, made me sick.

There are foods that are high in magnesium also, but it’s hard to eat enough of them all. Spinach is at the top with 40 per cent of your RDA, but it’s also a biggie on the high histamine list. And as I’ve mentioned, our soil is so depleted, getting a large share of vitamins and minerals from our foods is a challenge even if you eat every possible morsel.

That’s why mineral water turned out to be my go to thing. But I hated spending so much money on water and I really hate all the plastic bottles my drinking generated. So one day out riding my bike I wondered if I could make my own using celtic or pink salt, which I knew are rich in trace minerals. 84 it seems. Our soil might be diminished but our oceans are not!

When I got home from that ride I looked it up and that’s when I stumbled over Sole. What that is is water that’s been saturated with either celtic or pink salt, or a combination of both. Once you have the potion concocted, you take a teaspoon in a glass of water in the morning when you wake up before you have anything else.

I found the recipe and explanation on Wellness Mama, a popular blog that I find has a lot of really good information about a lot of things. If you take a look you’ll see her recipe makes an enormous amount of water. Trust me you don’t need to make that much to try it. I made a tiny little jar as a first outing.

Besides providing a good way to add trace minerals into your diet, it is supposed to help alleviate dehydration better than drinking that first glass of water in the morning alone. This blog explains it better than I could right now. Let me just state for the record that I cannot verify the claims right now as I have not researched this to death as I usually do. I don’t have medical abstracts to refer you to, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t valid, just that I’m not saying it’s the gospel. 

Anyway, it all sounded like it is worth a try. It also appears to be a relatively safe thing to experiment with. Salt is no longer the bad guy it once was. Contemporary findings suggest no strong link between it and hypertension as once thought. And you need salt to survive. It helps to control fluid balance and the functioning of the muscles and the nerves. If you want to read all about salt and the body, take a look at this article.

Additionally, salt is an antihistamine. What do histamine intolerant people need in their bag of tricks to combat their high histamine levels? Right! A healthy way to get more antihistamines!

So then, how am I feeling you ask? Is it working? Well I really don’t know yet. I just started taking it. But I do have high hopes. The last few days I did have quite a lot of energy. But I am more rested having been away from the classroom for two weeks. And I don’t have a big problem with itching anymore so I cannot reflect on it’s impact on my histamine intolerance at this point. I am hoping for less migraines though, but that remains to be seen.

I can tell you, without going into detail, that my system is running well. And I am having crazy vivid dreams again, something that always happens when I use the transdermal magnesium. I actually have read that some people are plagued by nightmares when they take magnesium. Mine aren’t nightmares but they are borderline disturbing. So one of the things to cure insomnia is upping magnesium, but you might have nightmares while you’re sleeping better… Oh, and my skin looks great. I think I’m positively glowing! I say that only half-kidding.

I’ll keep you posted. I’m going to continue taking it and see how I feel. In the meantime, if you decide to try it, let me know in the comments section what you think.

And please remember,  I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.

Hope you’re all having a great start to the new year!

Dale

Next post: Olive leaf. I’ve been wanting to write more about it forever. I have a source for it and now literally buy the leaves right off the trees!

 

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Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, migraine, peri-menopause, Women's health

Am I crazy?

I know that’s a question you’ve asked yourself many times before you got to my site. “My doctors don’t think my hives and itching are related to menopause but I do.” Or “My doctors keep sending me to other doctors and no one thinks anything is wrong.” So then why the hell do you itch?

So that’s probably what got you here. And no, you’re not crazy.

But maybe I am.

I am embroiled in a fight with WordPress, the company that hosts this blog, over my blog stats. One day my overall hits were over 671,000 and the next day they were 371,000. I wrote to them to explain the issue and for the following week they’ve made me feel like I’m nuts.

Before I go on, the reason the stats are so important to me is that one, I earned them, and two, traffic is driven to a site that is already getting a lot of traffic. You climb up thto Google totem pole with them. Because my site helps people, I don’t want to lose those gains.

Now my visitors have fallen off dramatically. I know this can be for multiple reasons. I haven’t posted in ages. I had lots of plans to revamp the site and start a new one for teens but nothing materialized yet. Life gets in the way…

And it is holiday season. The days leading up to and on Thanksgiving, the stats were dismal. But the day after Thanksgivng was one of the best. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why! I had a migraine from the wine the night before. Plenty others probably itched and we’re wondering why.

Ok, so the point of today’s post is this. When I get on websites for information, I like to see how many hits they have because it tells me a couple of things. It shows they’ve been around a while, that they’ve worked on the site and information a lot, and that the information is probably good. Why would they have that much traffic if they weren’t doing something valid there. Although whether the information is good needs a lot of vetting, but this is just a starting point in a search. You get the idea.

My question to you is, have any of you landed on my site and looked at that number? It’s the blog stats number with the word hits after it. It would be on the bottom of the page on the mobile version and in the side bar of the full site version.

If you do remember seeing a number over 500,000 please let me know in the comments section. I need someone to tell me I’m not crazy! I do remember telling my friends and family I went over 500,000 and I do remember seeing my stats reach 671,000, but with no outside verification I have nothing but my memory to go on. And I really don’t want to sit down and count through almost four years of stats.

The WordPress people tell me they see no anomalies and that they have their engineers looking, but I’m not holding out much hope. I feel as if I just started itching again and don’t know why and I’m standing in front of a doctor who is looking sideways at me. You probably know the feeling. I know I’m not crazy, but I cannot prove it yet.

I’m really hoping one of you can help me prove I’m not delusional! Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email if you remember seeing that number.

In the meantime, I hope all are doing well and having a lovely holiday season, whatever it is you celebrate!

Dale

Posted in menopause, migraine, olive oil, peri-menopause, polyphenols, Women's health

Sorry if I haven’t written back!

This is just a super quick note to my readers, and especially to those of you who’ve sent emails, that my internet has been down for days. I don’t find it easy to respond to emails typing on my phone, so you’ll have to wait a bit until I’m back up and running. 

I was actually in the house when a huge thunderstorm moved in, and I was sitting only feet away when my router was hit by lightening. I saw the flash and heard the shock wave. It sounded like someone shot off a cannon! It rattled me to the core!

I’ve thought about it often and still marvel at the presence and power of Mother Nature in my house like that. But I’m going to ask that she keeps her fireworks outside from now on!

Hope all is well with everyone. And please be patient. I’ll be responding to those emails as soon as I have service back. 

Dale

Posted in Women's health

This is not an abandoned blog!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I know I have a lot of teachers following and I’m sure they can relate when I say there is so much to do when you get close to closing school there is no time to breath. But now I’m on summer break and have time to do some writing, and hopefully refining, on the blog.

I have two goals for the summer. One is to refine the way new visitors can access information. I have an index of posts but haven’t kept up with it and haven’t made it easy enough to find. I also need a better way to direct readers to answers. I get a lot of emails asking the same basic questions, so I know I’m not organized well. (I’ve also thought about sifting through the site and taking the most important posts and putting them in book form that people can buy  on demand. Let me know in the comments section if you think that’s a good idea. It would be a lot of work but I can do it.)

But the second goal this summer is even more important. I want to start an offshoot of this blog for teenagers.

I have many kids who I know can benefit from the information here. They have issues very similar to the women who visit every day. I’ve seen skin issues, migraines, depression, OCD, PMS…all of it. I don’t offer advice often, but sometimes I will if the student seems open to it and I think I can really help.

One student in particular came back to me, after we had had a conversation about food and skin problems the day I saw her eczema scabbed skin, and asked what she should do. She lifted her dress to her thigh and showed me a huge angry hive. I asked what she had eaten for lunch, just ten minutes before, and she said pizza. Most of you know that pizza is on the list of very high histamine.

I had pointed her to my blog previously, and now she wanted to know about what she should be eating. She said she actually read quite a bit of it. I’m glad she did. But one of the problems directing a teenager here is that it’s about menopause and histamine. So even when I tell them menopause is just a hormonal issue just like PMS for them, they really just see it as an old lady thing!

Who can blame them?!

Thus the idea for a separate blog for teens. It will have virtually all the same information, but instead of menopause I’ll talk about shifting hormones in relation to periods. After all, if I’d known about this when I was younger I would have been a lot less itchy and irritable back then!

I figure there are two major issues to overcome when dealing with teens. Well, at least two… They won’t want to give up their junk food, and they are not in complete control of their diets. At home there are parents and guardians that need to be educated as well. And convincing a teen that going to the pizza place with their buddies might be the thing that triggers their problem will be a hard sell.

But if they are anything like me, and maybe you, they’ll look twice at that slice and think, “do I really want to break out into ginormous hives again?” I know that one student who came to me the other day is willing to change her diet to get rid of her problem, and I’m sure there are others like her. I think it’s worth putting the work in on it. If even one kid’s life is positively impacted then it’s not wasted energy.

I will need a name for the new blog, so if anyone has a good idea of what to call it let me know in the comments section. In the meantime, I hope all of you are on a healing path.

Take care and keep a watch out for new posts and the new blog. Let me know if you think a book is a good idea. I have a whole summer to get things done and am excited to get started.

Dale

PS: Around this time last year Buzz the cat was suffering from a horrible case of dermatitis brought on by the blooming season. This year he’s been on salmon oil and vitamins.  Every once in a while he has a small breakout and I reach for the quercetin. He’s never developed a full blown problem and I’ve been able to manage it. Last year he looked like a burn victim. This year he’s my beautiful boy. Maybe that’s a third blog! But for now if you have a pet with itchy skin, take  look at my past posts on this issue.

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Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, migraine, peri-menopause, Women's health

Follow up to the migraine cure post

I wanted to do a bit of a follow up to my “How to Cure a Migraine” post because I thought I left a few key points out.

First of all, if you think the conversation has deviated too much from the idea of menopause and histamine, I wanted to reassure you that I’m still talking about the same thing, only the allergy-like reaction is a migraine instead of an itch.  I believe that ultimately, the trigger for migraine is too much histamine and an intolerance to it. For years we’ve read that common migraine triggers are citrus, aged cheeses, wine, and chocolate. And guess what? Those foods are commonly found on lists of histamine trigger foods.

I’ve had migraines ever since I’ve gotten my period. I’ve also read, ever since then, that migraines can be triggered by hormonal fluctuations. This entire blog is about hormonal fluctuations and histamine intolerance. It’s not a big leap to put all these pieces together. It’s not the hormones causing the migraines. It’s the change in hormones raising the histamine levels that’s triggering the migraines. Histamine crosses the blood brain barrier. This is the post that goes into detail on what happens when your estrogen fluctuates and histamine rises.

I want to also talk about the difference between migraine with aura, classic, and migraine without aura, common, because there are some differences when it comes to how you know a migraine is coming on.

• Common migraines have three stages. Prodrome, pain, and postdrome.

The prodrome is the phase when you feel the migraine coming. You don’t have pain yet, but you know something is amiss. You might also feel depressed or irritable. This is precisely the time to go out and run or do something to avert getting a full-on migraine.

The next phase is pain, which if you’re reading this I’m sure you’re acquainted with. The throbbing, pulsing, nauseating moment you think you’d like to die is upon you. Good luck getting yourself out the door to run by this point! I am not sure it would help or hurt in this phase to tell you the truth. I haven’t let myself get there since using my exercise cure.

During the pain phase, there is such a thing as a silent migraine.This is a migraine without pain. I’ve had this a lot. This is when you think the migraine might be gone but you still feel like it’s there. Well, it is. It’s just not throbbing. But all the other dysfunctional things your brain is doing during a migraine are still going on. I found this was a real problem when I took medication. It would make the pain stop but not the migraine. This is actually a very important thing to realize.

The final phase is postdrome. This is when you feel as if a truck ran over you. This can last hours or days depending on your recovery.

• Classic migraines have auras. Auras are the sensory disturbances that happen right before the pain of the headache comes on. They manifest as light flashes, unusual tastes and smells, or even confusing thoughts.

Once the migraine really gets going, it’s very similar to a common migraine. And I’m quite sure you also feel as if you’ve been mowed down by a bus when it’s done.

The difference between the two might be what is actually going on across your brain. I say might because there are so many theories out there it’s hard to say anything definitively. The thinking is that the aura of the classic migraine  is a seizure-like phenomenon in the brain known as cortical spreading depression (CSD) and that it is the underlying cause of both migraine auras and migraine pain. This website has a great explanation. But I’ve also read explanations that used the words aura and prodrome interchangeably, and wonder if there really is that much difference between the two headaches. I also question whether the cortical spreading is a cause or effect of migraine pain. It is my belief that cortical spreading is the result of brain hypoxia. And cortical spreading causes aura, and or prodrome but does not necessarily cause the migraine. The hypoxia is the cause.

I’ve based my “cure” on the theory that brain hypoxia triggers migraine. The thing that triggers the hypoxia is low blood pressure which is triggered by high histamine. It seems to be, whether you are talking about a classic migraine or a common one, the difference is if you have an aura or not. And many people think the aura is triggered by the cortical spreading. But then what is the prodome? A psychic reading? No, it’s an aura minus the sensory showcase.

If you read this abstract, it backs up the theory of hypoxia as a migraine trigger, and basically says the hypoxia triggers the cortical spreading, not that the cortical spreading triggers the migraine. From the abstract:

“Spreading cortical depression, leading to the aura, is believed to be another consequence of brain hypoxia occurring in classical migraine. There are no other genuine differences between classical and common migraine, according to the cerebral hypoxia theory.”

The reason I am going on and on about what kind of migraine you have is because ultimately how you get rid of it is the same. You have to raise your blood pressure and oxygenate your brain. And you have to know when to act. If you are a classic migraine sufferer, you better start running when you see rainbows and unicorns. If you are a common migraine sufferer, you better act when you’re sitting around thinking, “do I have a headache?” Either way, if you don’t act on it, you’ll have a migraine. And from there, classic and common don’t differ. They both throb and make you vomit.

I also wanted to touch on just how much exercise you have to do to stop the migraine. I don’t actually know. I can only tell you that it has to be rigorous and sustained enough to make you breath hard for at least a few minutes. Without that, I’ve found the headache hangs on until I try again. What you do and how long you do it is dependent on how fit you are.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who have said they’ve used exercise to get rid of a migraine. The Low Histamine Chef even wrote-in backing up the idea of using exercise. But I can tell you if you wait too long to get moving, it’s way harder to get rid of the headache. You have to do something in the aura/prodrome stage.

Before I let you go I wanted to talk about one last thing. Ever since I decided not to medicate, I’ve had some interesting observations on the duration of a migraine. When I used Advil, I’d need to take it every four hours. I’d also have the migraine for anywhere between two and five days. Now, even if it comes back in the same day it started, it only lasts maybe twenty four hours. It’s never lasted more than a day. Even a really bad one that I couldn’t nip early. And trust me, that day was no picnic. I had bouts of throbbing I thought I’d have to give in and take something. But I refused. Then the pain would go away for a while and come back. But after the day, the pain was completely gone on its own.

This was interesting to me. I always thought a migraine was constant pain. But it isn’t. Not for me anyway. It ebbs and flows until it leaves. But with medication, it leaves and then comes roaring back four hours later when the meds wear off. And it lasts for days on end.

If you don’t already know, taking medication for migraine has a nasty effect of something called rebound. A rebound headache happens when you’ve taken medication for a while. When you stop you go into a kind of withdrawal that triggers another round of headaches. If you read a site like WebMd, it states that this can happen when you overuse or misuse pain relievers, or exceed labeling instructions, but I think that’s incorrect. I think it happens even when you use them as prescribed.

I don’t think a migraine is meant to last five days. I now believe that it’s the medication that’s sustaining the migraine. In layman’s terms it’s messing with the natural healing that would otherwise occur if you took nothing. I have no proof of this other than I know rebound headaches are real. I just can’t prove that they are result of taking medication for only a day. But I also know if I don’t take any medication the migraine leaves on its own within a day, not five.

So that’s it for the follow up…for now. My last post was the most popular one I’d ever written. I’d gotten over 12oo views on that post alone. So I know migraine is a big thing with a lot of people. I know it is for me. I figured the more information I can disseminate, the better, and the more people might be helped by this kind of forward thinking.

I just think we can’t curl up in a dark room taking pills like our mothers did anymore! We have to take hold of our healing and run with it!

Dale

 

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Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, migraine, peri-menopause, Women's health

How to cure a migraine

I’m going to tell you how to avoid getting a full blown migraine when you feel one coming on and you’re going to think I’m crazy. But I know it works. I haven’t taken anything for a migraine since November. And that’s not because I haven’t had the opportunity more than once. I’ve actually had several moments when I thought, ok, today is the day I’m going to have to take Advil, but then I didn’t have to because I know what to do to stop a migraine in its tracks.

So what’s the secret cure? Vigorous exercise. I need to run at least a half mile. Or climb five flights of stairs. Or ride a mile and a half on my bike. Yes it’s true. Vigorous exercise stops a migraine cold.

Now before you unfollow me permanently because you think I’m nuts, because when you have a migraine coming on the last thing you want to do is walk up five flights of stairs or run a half mile, hear me out. You have nothing to lose because you’ve never been able to get rid of them before. You’ve only gotten them to abate for a while until they come roaring back and you have to medicate again. I know. I’ve suffered with migraines for 45 years.

A few months ago, when  I turned my researching prowess onto curing migraines, I came up with many theories. One theory,about brain hypoxia  in particular, lead me to create an essential oil blend I thought would work based on that theory of what a migraine is. In a nutshell, the theory is that the brain is having a kind of electrical storm because of a lack of oxygen. Based on that research, the essential oil blend I came up with is meant to raise blood pressure and help oxygenate the blood in order to stop the storm.

So there I was, sitting on the couch on an evening I usually run, having a migraine, thinking, well, if I think the essential oil blend works because it raises blood pressure and oxygenates the blood, then running should really get rid of a migraine. I dragged myself up, got changed, and went out to run two miles.

I have to tell you those first few steps almost put me out! The throbbing with every step was pretty bad. But pretty quickly the throbbing stopped. I still had a migraine, but I could keep running. And then, about a quarter of a mile in, the pain started to lift, and by the time I reached a half mile, the migraine was gone. And I do mean gone. Not just hiding like when you medicate and it goes away until it comes back, but really gone.

I tried this again and again and I can tell you it works. I was at school one day with what I call a “hot head.” It’s a feeling that my whole head is on fire and it is the precursor to a major migraine. But instead of resorting to Advil, I quickly walked up five flights of stairs in the parking garage. By the time I was sitting in the car, the headache was gone.

Riding my bike for about two miles yields the same results. And in a pinch, when I can’t get out, I find a quiet spot and do a minute and a half of a plank pose from yoga. That will make a headache go away, but it might still come back because it’s not prolonged enough. But a second one later will usually work.

So why does exercise work? Because you are doing three things that impact that electrical brain storm: you are raising your blood pressure, raising your heart rate, and oxygenating your blood.

I’m sure my theory flies in the face of everything you’ve ever done to get rid of a migraine. It did for me. If you’ve learned how to deal with migraine like your mother did (this is how I learned) then you probably start medicating the minute you feel it coming on and then sit or lay down in a dark room and wait for it to go away. And it never does. It recedes into the background so you can be semi-functional, but it comes back, again and again for the next four days.

There is one more interesting thing that makes me sure I am on the right track. I do believe that high histamine is a trigger. When I was trying to get rid of a migraine by trying to lower my histamine level, I tried using olive leaf extract, one of my favorite rescues. But it didn’t work at all. It actually seemed to make the headache worse. I’ve recently done more research into olive leaf and discovered that one of the things it does is lower blood pressure. So based on my theory of brain hypoxia, olive leaf would make the headache worse because it’s doing the opposite of what you need it to do.

You don’t have to take my word for it. You can try it for yourself. I can only tell you that it works. I had a big nasty rum mixed drink when I was out with the girls Friday night  (it’s true I never learn) and felt like crap within an hour of having it and woke with a migraine the next day. I thought, well this will be the day I’ll need to take something, but I dragged my raggedy butt out the door and road my bike down to the bay. Two miles in on my ten mile jaunt, the headache was gone! I still felt like crap from the histamine horror overload, but I didn’t have a headache.

So the next time you are on the verge of a migraine, instead of pulling out the Advil, pull out the bike and get going. You do not have to live with migraines. Whatever your fitness level, find that threshold when your blood pressure and heart rate rises enough to oxygenate that stormy brain and get rid of that headache!

Try it!

Dale

 

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Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, migraine, peri-menopause, Women's health

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