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Trooper
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Rhodiola Update
« on: Mar 25th, 2008, 8:35pm »
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Let  me start by saying that I am not a docotor nor do I have any medical training. I can not even compare my knowledge of medicine or CH to many on this board. I am here as everyone else to share and to learn all that I can in hopes of beating the beast.  
 
I read the topic on Rhodiola posted by Baul Bonero and decided I wanted to give it a try. I currently take Calcium, Magnesium and Taurine as preventatives and Imitrex injections as an abortive. There has been quite a bit of debate on Rhodiola so I would urge all to read up on it and consult with your docotrs.  
 
Here is my experience thus far:
 
I started at 300 mgs. of Rhodiola taken at bedtime on an empty stomach. For the frist two nights I still got hit, a little more frequently but nothing over K-7. I treid the 100mg. disolved in mouth but was not that effective. It did seem to keep the ha from progressing any higher on the kip scale though. By the thrid night I got almost a full nights sleep and the 100 mgs. disolved in mouth as abortive was working. Fourth night, no ha until I got up for work, K-6 and went away after 30 mins. without any treatment.  
 
My head felt clear as a bell! I started to wonder if my cycle was ending unseasonably early. No shadows, no stabs, nothing! I decided on the 5th night I needed to go without the Rhodiola to see what would happen. No pain no gain! Grin
 
At 2am I was hit with a K-8, tried the 100mg Rhodiola as an abortive but was no help at all.  At 6:30 am I was hit again with a K-7 Felt crappy all day with lots of shadows, stabs, and droopy eye Cry I could not wait to try the Rhodiola again that night.  
 
I was hit again that night, 3:00am with a K-8, used 100mgs. of Rhodiola but did not help. Hit again at 8am with a K-5, tried the 100 mg Rhodila again. It did not stop the ha but it kept it from progressing any higher.  
 
By the seventh night and last night I am down to one K-5 around 5am that is aborted within 10 mins. using the 100mg. disolved in mouth. I still am getting another one at 6:30 when I wake up for work but it goes away after abut 30 min. without any help. During the day my head is clear and no shadows! I even took a nap Sunday and Monday with no ch!
 
It seems to me that it took about 2 days to really make a difference. When I skipped one night, it still took two days to start really working again. I also noticed that using the 100mg as an abortive did not become as effective until I was on it for a few days. I will keep everyone posted if I have any changes, good or bad.
 
Thank you Paul for sharing your info with us. It may not be a cure but it has given me some reliefe and much needed sleep. Smiley
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Superdave
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25th, 2008, 8:47pm »
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Thank you Trooper for sharing your experience.
 
Pain free vibes your way!! Smiley
 
Superdave
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thebbz
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #2 on: Mar 25th, 2008, 9:58pm »
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The more you know. Cool
all the best
thebb
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sandie99
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #3 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 4:21am »
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Thank you for sharing that, Trooper! Smiley
 
Lots of PF wishes your way,
Sanna
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #4 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 12:01pm »
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Thanks for the update Trooper.
 
Keep us posted.
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MJ
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #5 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 12:27pm »
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Sweet success!  I hope it continues.  Thanks for the update  Cool
 
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Annette
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #6 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 5:57pm »
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Thank you very much for sharing.
 
If you can continue to keep a detailed diary of your trial and keep posting them here it would be a tremendous help to all.
 
 Smiley
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Trooper
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #7 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 10:21pm »
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Will do! If anyone is intrested I can put my ha journal on a spread sheet and e-mail it to you. I have a more detailed account but I was afraid the essence of the message would get lost if I put down each ha attack.
 
So far ther has only been one day that I have been totally ha free and that was on day four. I am still getting hit with a K5 or 6 in the morning but they only last between 10-30 min. Using the 100 mg. disolved by mouth either aborts the ha in 10 mins. or seems to stop them from progressing any higher. If the 100 mg. does not abort the ha, I have found taking 1000 mg. Taurine with coffee seems to finish up the job.  
 
Before I tried Rhodiola I was getting hit every night at 3 or 4am, usually with no less than a K-8. I would then get hit again right before I got up for work. Dealing with a K5 or 6 for 30 mins. every morning is great progress in my opinion.  
 
Due to the concerns many have voiced I have tried to use my Imitrex very sparingly until I can get in with my doc to discuss this with him. I am happy to say I have been Triptan free for 4 days now.
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MJ
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #8 on: Apr 5th, 2008, 12:23am »
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Any new news Trooper.
 
Good, bad or otherwise.
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #9 on: Apr 6th, 2008, 11:01am »
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MJ, You read my mind.  Cool I figured today would be a good time to update everyone on how it is going.  
 
For those who may be reading this for the first time here is a little background on me. I am an Episodic sufferer with about 98% of my ha's hitting around 3 or 4 am. My ha's are usually a K8 with a about three or four K9+ each cycle. My cycles run between 2 to 4 mos. max and I usually have about a 30 day period where I am hit every night with no less than a Kip 8. I am currently on no prevenatives as I have not found one that has worked since Depakote. Imitrex injections are the only abortive perscription that I currently use.  
 
I am currently taking 300 mg. of Rhodiola on an empty stomach at bedtime. I also use 100 mg. of Rhodiola disolved in mouth as an abortive. I do not take the 100 mgs. as an abortive more than once in a 24 hour period.
 
The Rhodiola is going great and I am very pleased with the outcome thus far. It has not been able to completely prevent my ha's but it has made quite and impact on my cycle. I am currently at 33 days of the constant hits but I have had 3 days during this time where I have not been hit at all. Since starting the Rhodiola my cycle has gone from the K8 every night to a K5 or 6 upon waking in the morning. These hits have been easily aborted with O2, Taurine caps, coffee or energy drinks. (DONT DO TAURINE & ENERGY DRINKS TOGETHER) For the most part my Trex is sitting on the shelf collecting dust!
 
Using the 100mg. Rhodiola as an abortive has been a crap shoot for me. Sometimes it works and aborts my ha within 10 mins. Sometimes it just seems to stop the ha from progressing any further. Sometimes it is of no use at all. If I do not get reliefe within 10 mins. I go on to something else. I must point out that thirty 300 mg. pills @ 18 bucks, makes it the cheapest abortive I have found thus far.  
 
I have an appointment with the Neuro on Tuesday and a physical on Friday with my PCP. I plan on getting both of their opinions on this. If anyone has any questions or concerns they would like me to address with the docs. Please let me know.  
 
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #10 on: Apr 7th, 2008, 9:00am »
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Thanks for the update! Smiley
 
Sanna
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #11 on: Apr 9th, 2008, 11:00pm »
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I went to see the Neuro yesterday. This was the first she has ever heard of Rhodiola but she thought it was great that it was working for me. I took a couple refrences with me that I had found on the web for her to review. She did not see a problem with it and said she thought it would be ok to continue using. The only issue she could possibly see with it would be concerning quality control. Vitamins and Herbs are not FDA approved, therefore they do not go through the same procedures/standards as RX drugs. She also pointed out though that even perscription drugs have had issues in the way of quality control.  
 
I go to my PCP on Friday and I intend on getting his feedback as well. I will keep you all posted.
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #12 on: Apr 10th, 2008, 9:43am »
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Glad to hear of your success, Trooper! Is anyone else going to give it a shot? I'd love to see a hundred people try it so we can get some solid info on whether this is a good, general treatment. I hope that it is.
 
So my cycle is over and I thought that I'd update everyone on how Rhodiola worked out. After much experimentation I ended up on a regimen of 300 mg before bed, another 300 5 hours later. This prevented the morning as well as the nighttime attacks. As the cycle abated I was able to reduce the dose for the last week till, finally, no Rhodiola and no headaches. Overall, once I got the dose right, I was headache-free.
 
A few weeks ago I went to get another bottle of Rhodiola (New Chapter brand) and found that the formulation had been changed. Instead of the chocolate-brown powder it was a tan powder. It was much less effective and took 2-3 times as much to be effective. The fella at the health food store said that supplies are tight since Oprah talked about Rhodiola on her show a while back. I took it back and got a bottle of 60 500 mg caps ($26.00) from Jarrow Formulas that contained the same chocolate-brown powder as had been effective for me. Cheaper, too. So be aware that the source of your Rhodiola can make a big difference to it's effectiveness. And consider trying a higher dose if it's not working for you. I've taken up to 2 grams per day. It has a low toxicity. I do think that it is the most effective if you take it during the times of day (or night) when your headaches come. Time off if it seems to enhance the effect when you do take it.
 
Rhodiola is really amazing stuff. I had been experimenting with it since last Summer prior to my headaches starting. It's called an "adaptogen," meaning it helps you acclimate to stress and change. I think that it enhances neural plasticity. I find it easier to change, adapt and learn using it. It's also shown to increase intelligence. I went up 6 points on an IQ test with it. It mostly effects my emotional intelligence. I'm more engaged and connected with people when taking it. Great for dating and business meetings. Seriously. People respond to me more favorably. It brings out my leadership qualities. Confidence. Forthrightness. Grace. Amazing stuff.
 
And then there's the effect on Cluster Headaches. Me and Rhodiola are going to be pals for a long time.
 
Paul
 
« Last Edit: Apr 10th, 2008, 9:45am by PaulBorneo » IP Logged
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #13 on: Apr 10th, 2008, 1:52pm »
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on Apr 10th, 2008, 9:43am, PaulBorneo wrote:
... The fella at the health food store said that supplies are tight since Oprah talked about Rhodiola on her show a while back...
 

 
Darn that Oprah!  Shocked
 
I guess in the long run, it will result in more production and better prices.  The Canadians are starting to grow Rhodiola on a decent scale.  
 
I'm out of cycle, but have been taking it just to see how I might react.  It's a slight stimulant at the doses I took (half the dose on the bottle), and seems to improve energy a bit after a few days.
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #14 on: Apr 10th, 2008, 2:04pm »
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Out of curiosity, I checked the rhodiola's availability back here in Finland. I found out that there are several brands available, which means that if I feel like giving it a go, it can be done.
 
Tropper & Paul, thanks for the updates & sharing your experiences! Smiley
 
PF days to us all,
Sanna
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #15 on: Apr 13th, 2008, 1:35pm »
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I went to my PCP for my physical on Friday and we discussed the Rhodiola. He said he had heard of it, though he could not remember where. He pulled out his PDR for Herbs, but there was no mention of it in there. He said he will get back with me if he comes across the info again. He did not see any issues with taking it and he was very excited that I was having such great results with it.  
 
Quote:
A few weeks ago I went to get another bottle of Rhodiola (New Chapter brand) and found that the formulation had been changed. Instead of the chocolate-brown powder it was a tan powder.

 
The first bottle I purchased was the light tan formula. When I went back and got the second (which was their last one) it was the chocolate brown. I have not noticed any difference in how they work but I though maybe the second bottle was defective or something.  
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #16 on: Apr 13th, 2008, 9:50pm »
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Thank you Trooper and Paul for sharing your experience, its very helpful  Smiley
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #17 on: Apr 16th, 2008, 2:13am »
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Yay for both of you!  It's awesome to have another gun in the arsenal against the Beast.
 
I just thought that CH is lie "The trouble with Tribbles" - you beat them back and the just keep coming.  The more options there are, the greater chance each sufferer will find their magic bullet(s).
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #18 on: Apr 16th, 2008, 11:59am »
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Thanks Trooper and Paul.
 
I am going to try this for the other reasons mentioned by Paul.  
I believe alertness is a powerfull tool against CH
 
 
 Leaderships not the problem I just need better followers.
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #19 on: Apr 16th, 2008, 7:58pm »
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Please keep us all posted on how it works for you. It may not have prevented my ha's but it is a heck of alot easier to abort a K5-6 than it is a K8+. I have saved alot of money and gotten alot more sleep thanks to this stuff.  Cool
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #20 on: Apr 30th, 2008, 10:57am »
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This messenger has bad news and good news. I started another CH cycle in my 64th year. I had my first in my 62nd year, going to the ER and seeing five doctors and using medical drugs --which I got sick as a proverbial dog over. At 63 I tried accupuncture, chiropratic and  new age stuff.  
This time I waited (and almost hoped) I could be a Rhodiola guinea pig. I have been a health food nut (and a lover of prayer) for years so I went to my arsenal of magnesium and Iodoral (potassium and iodine) and stepped up my salt intake. I AM one of those who has kept salt to a bare minimum for 30 years and wonder if that is really a good idea. Instead of paying big bucks for O2 I started simple breathing exercises.
RHODIOLA. it says on the NOW bottle, is an "adaptogen, a term which refers to any agent possessing the ability to increase the body's capacity to to adapt to stressful conditions." YES! --that is what I had said I thought before; it is not so much a creature stalking us as a condition we set in motion by our own reactions.
AND yes, so far so good, the CH has slowed and backed off... AND, as usual, I have some , like St Michael, praying for me... THANK GOD.
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #21 on: Apr 30th, 2008, 11:45am »
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on Apr 30th, 2008, 10:57am, danielpeterson wrote:
... it is not so much a creature stalking us as a condition we set in motion by our own reactions.

 
Or is set in motion by our genes, accidents, and other inescapable twists of fate. But I like to focus on the things that can be changed ... and some strategies do work.  
 
Glad it is helping you, thanks for pooling data.
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #22 on: Apr 30th, 2008, 6:21pm »
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Trying to keep a long story short.  
 
I have a friend who is well educated in homeopathics, and in turn has been pulling from her resources to try and help me control my chronic ch. She recently spoke with one of her mentors (a hypothalamus specialist  in the world of homeopathic medicine) about my problem. He has been researching clusterheadache and did have some input. Among other things he suggested me using a hypothalamus formula. I skeptically purchased a bottle for 43.00 (mainly to keep the girls happy!) of this all natural extract and received it in the mail yesterday.  
 
Its main ingredient is Rhodiola. Maybe Trooper is on to something!!
 
Quote:
it is not so much a creature stalking us as a condition we set in motion by our own reactions.  

I have to agree, my attacks always seem to be triggered by circumstance rather than substance
 
Superdave Cool
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #23 on: May 1st, 2008, 12:46pm »
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What was the verdict - is Rhodiola a MAOI or not?
 
I am sitting with 2 bottles of the stuff, but are scared to try as it may interact with the other meds I take...
 
Cymbalta , Verapamil, Epilim & Pur Bloka , of which only Cymbalta is working (for depression) at the mo!
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Re: Rhodiola Update
« Reply #24 on: May 2nd, 2008, 5:34pm »
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Well-l-l-l, all I know is that it seems to be working for me... not that I AM scot-free of pain but it seems to be working... And I AM somewhat anti-pharmaceutical, so wouldn't even guess about the arcane nature of drug interactions. TODAY I was having pain and I grabbed my bottle of Rhodiola and ate (chewed the capsule) it and I haven't had a pain since. (The pain was BIG and now it's gone.)  GOOD GOD!
Incidentally, there is a good book  questioning the impact of genes on our nature called The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. PAIN FREE TO US ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT...
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