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   Author  Topic: Calcium = demon?  (Read 5614 times)
Tom_D
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Calcium = demon?
« on: Dec 30th, 2003, 8:44pm »
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First off, I'm sorry to all that are "privelaged" enough to be on this website. Though I am glad to find that I am not crazy. I have suffered with this pain for almost 10 years and have received little emotional support from doctors, family or friends when it comes to this surprisingly little known condition. Reading the posts here inspires me a great deal. Thank you!
 
My analytical mind and fear of attacks won't allow me to stop trying to figure out what is causing this pain since the doctors can't. Maybe I'm off base, but I'm thinking that my body's inability to handle calcium is what's doing me in. Here's the deal...
 
I suffer from calcium caused kidney stones. Suffer about 1 a year when I become too busy to drink enough water or overindulge in the dairy. Hmmm...
Three days ago, I couldn't get enough of this new  banana orange juice (which I later found to be fortified with calcium). Drank a gallon over 2 days and wammo! My 2 year break from CH ended. Hmmm...
 
I suffered a sports injury 4 years ago which has left a sort of calcium "knob" at the base of my sternum. This knob tends to burn (similar to a heart burn) just prior to CH attacks. Hmmm... (My nuerologist poo poos the connection but I know by body pretty well.)
 
An attack several years ago came shortly after starting a daily vitamin loaded with calcium. Hmmm...
 
Has anyone else experienced this? Am I naive to think that I have nailed the cause of this pain?  
 
Always wondering / always hopeful,
Tom
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jonny
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 9:12pm »
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Welcome aboard.
 
But ill keep my cash behind the leading reasearcher when it comes to CH, Dr Goadsby.
 
Theres tons to read so get busy Grin
 
...................................jonny
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Charlie
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135447360 135447360   mondocharlie   mondocharlie
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 9:54pm »
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Welcome Tom, Glad to have ya.
 
I don't think I can recall a calcium connection. It would be terrific to be able to pin this horror on something this simple, but sadly I don't think so. As Jonny, I'll stick with our sometimes frustrating but current reserach.  
 
I belong to the school that thinks we're the victims of sloppy engineering. How lucky can we get.....
 
Here's Simon's letter that I'd print out and use to help others understand that CH has nothing to do with what is thought of as a "headache." It's damn good.  
 
[url]"http://www.ouch-uk.org/ch/note_colleagues.cfm" [/url]
 
Here is a technique that was very helpful for me:
 
http://www.netsync.net/users/charlies/
 
Good luck and I hope you stick around and let us know how you're doing.
 
Charlie
 
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Rick_K
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 30th, 2003, 10:42pm »
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Welcome Tom
 
I drink milk every day (in or out of cycle) has never bothered me.  Cheese is also a very good food item.  I have never had a problem with calcium bothering me but you will find what is a problem for one is ok for another.  I stay the hell away from MSG all the time but again thats just me.  
 
Read everything you can............
 
Good luck and welcome to the family
 
« Last Edit: Dec 30th, 2003, 10:45pm by Rick_K » IP Logged

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Giovanni
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 8:48am »
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Welcome aboard Tom_D!
 
Glad you chanced/lucked upon something that helps you.  Might be the combination of things in that coctail that made it work for you.
 
 Grin
 
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Paigelle
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 8:57am »
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Welcome aboard!  You are still crazy though, we all are.  Suffering from CH makes you crazy.
 
We all understand not getting support from anyone and that is why we are here.  You can blow of steam and make some great friends at the same time.  
 
Read everything and realize that we are still searching for causes.
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floridian
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 10:44am »
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Tom_D,
 
welcome, and I think your observations on calcium are based on a real biological response ....
 
One of the leading preventive medicines (verapamil) is a calcium channel blocker.  Magnesium, which some people here find helpful for clusters, also acts as a calcium channel blocker.  Your body needs calcium, but too much might be a trigger.  The first article below shows about 40% of cluster sufferers benefit from magnesium - not a magic bullet, but when it comes to clusters, no panacea has been found.  Magnesium is also safe and cheap - find a chelated form of Magnesium, and take 100-150% of the RDA.  The most common side effect is diarhhea, which is less of a problem with the chelated forms (Mg-citrate, etc). Cheaper magnesium (more likely to trigger D) is magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate (milk of magnesia) or a mix of chelate and oxide (which may be mostly oxide).  
 
Long term changes in any of the cation electrolytes (Ca, Mg, K, Na) can affect blood pressure, the heart, the kidneys, etc - so don't go overboard to "cure" clusters. Some people report good results, but others do not benefit at all. Take a moderate supplement.  
 
I love citrus, but some people just can't handle a lot of citrus.  If you have ever squeezed juice, you know that it takes a lot of oranges to make a glass of the stuff. To make a gallon of juice - wow, that's a lot of oranges!!  
 
Side notes: Kidney stones are less a function of how much calcium you take in than in how the calcium is solubilized.  An ultra-low calcium diet can actually worsen kidney stones - the blood needs calcium, and it will maintain blood calcium by pulling it from the bones, still allowing it to dropout in the kidneys. Magnesium also helps the body dispose of calcium, and prevents / minimizes calcium stones.  
 
Zinc is a third mineral that has to be present in a certain ratio to Ca/Mg.  If your calcium has been really high, your zinc might be low.  Careful, cause too much zinc can cause nausea and other toxicities.  (15-25 mg chelated zinc is probably plenty, but don't take it with calcium containing foods - it can form insoluble compounds).  
 
Search the archives for magnesium.  
 
Quote:
Headache. 1995 Nov-Dec;35(10):597-600.  
 
Intravenous magnesium sulfate relieves cluster headaches in patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels.
 
Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM.  Department of Neurology, State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, USA.
 
    Patients with cluster headaches have been reported to have low serum ionized magnesium levels. We examined the possibility that patients with cluster headaches and low ionized magnesium levels may respond to an intravenous infusion of magnesium sulfate.   ....
 
 Nine patients (41%) obtained clinically meaningful improvement. Spontaneous remissions and a placebo effect might have accounted for some of the improvement. However, this should have applied equally to all patients, regardless of the ionized magnesium level. Measurements of ionized magnesium may prove useful in elucidating the pathogenesis of cluster headache and in identifying patients who may benefit from treatment with magnesium.

 
« Last Edit: Dec 31st, 2003, 10:54am by floridian » IP Logged
Tom_D
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Re: Calcium = demon?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31st, 2003, 4:29pm »
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Thanks everyone! Your feedback is great. I'm really glad to have found this sight. I'm reading like crazy and hopeful that I can beat this thing!
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