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Cluster Headache Help and Support >> Medications, Treatments, Therapies >> Rhodiola Update
(Message started by: Trooper on Mar 25th, 2008, 8:35pm)

Title: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on Mar 25th, 2008, 8:35pm
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! ;;D

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 :'( 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. :)

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Superdave on Mar 25th, 2008, 8:47pm
Thank you Trooper for sharing your experience.

Pain free vibes your way!! :)

Superdave

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by thebbz on Mar 25th, 2008, 9:58pm
The more you know. 8)
all the best
thebb

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by sandie99 on Mar 26th, 2008, 4:21am
Thank you for sharing that, Trooper! :)

Lots of PF wishes your way,
Sanna

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by MJ on Mar 26th, 2008, 12:01pm
Thanks for the update Trooper.

Keep us posted.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by DennisM1045 on Mar 26th, 2008, 12:27pm
Sweet success!  I hope it continues.  Thanks for the update  8)

-Dennis-

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Annette on Mar 26th, 2008, 5:57pm

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.

:)

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on Mar 26th, 2008, 10:21pm
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.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by MJ on Apr 5th, 2008, 12:23am
Any new news Trooper.

Good, bad or otherwise.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on Apr 6th, 2008, 11:01am
MJ, You read my mind.  8) 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.


Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by sandie99 on Apr 7th, 2008, 9:00am
Thanks for the update! :)

Sanna

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on Apr 9th, 2008, 11:00pm
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.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by PaulBorneo on Apr 10th, 2008, 9:43am
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


Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by monty on Apr 10th, 2008, 1:52pm

on 04/10/08 at 09:43:44, 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!  :o

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.  

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by sandie99 on Apr 10th, 2008, 2:04pm
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! :)

PF days to us all,
Sanna

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on Apr 13th, 2008, 1:35pm
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.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Annette on Apr 13th, 2008, 9:50pm

Thank you Trooper and Paul for sharing your experience, its very helpful  :)

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Crappy on Apr 16th, 2008, 2:13am
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).

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by MJ on Apr 16th, 2008, 11:59am
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.
;)

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on Apr 16th, 2008, 7:58pm
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.  8)

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by danielpeterson on Apr 30th, 2008, 10:57am
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.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by monty on Apr 30th, 2008, 11:45am

on 04/30/08 at 10:57:59, 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.  

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Superdave on Apr 30th, 2008, 6:21pm
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.

Itís 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 8)

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by EstieSA on May 1st, 2008, 12:46pm
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!

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by danielpeterson on May 2nd, 2008, 5:34pm
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...

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by danielpeterson on May 8th, 2008, 2:29pm
For what it's worth: after a week of sometimes tear-splashing pain, the CH has been gone for a couple of days. THAT is better than the other two episodes that lasted over a month. When I would get a hit I would chomp on (chew, eat) the Rhodiola. It is, after all, only a herb, apparently similar to ginseng but from an alpine region. (In fact, my old herb-user friend would say ALWAYS eat your capsules --and Rhodiola sure tastes better than Goldenseal or Echinacea).
On the other hand, I could have gone thru some sort of placebo effect, but since the Rhodiola was the only DIFFERENT thing I did it might be a Godsend... I ate right, slept more, took a liver-cleaner, drank plenty of water, PRAYED, stopped all caffeine, used salt, did the John Sarno exercises, took magnesium -- but the only truly difference was a couple of thousand mgs a day of RHODIOLA. THANKS.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Giovanni on May 9th, 2008, 8:44am
I found Jarrow Formulas Rhodiola at this site for $15.00:

http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/search/en/query.jsp?q=Rhodiola&intsource=main&x=23&y=14

Hell, I'll give it a try since I done everything except purple crow's feet from Tibet  ;;D

Off to the Lavatory

John :-X

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Garys_Girl on May 9th, 2008, 5:02pm

on 05/01/08 at 12:46:50, EstieSA wrote:
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!


From what I can find, it seems to be an MAOI, but I'd love input here as well.  If there IS anyway to find out definitively, I haven't found it.

Laurie



Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Giovanni on May 9th, 2008, 9:23pm
Laurie,

I found this on the internet..........you might want to further investigate.

In a nutshell there is concern with taking this with an antidepressant, ie prozac, but other sites says no know drug reaction--ambiguous results here.

http://www.goodhealth.nu/News_Articles/rosavin5.htm

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/alter/20071031/msgs/803912.html

http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=3956007

John

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Garys_Girl on May 11th, 2008, 12:48pm
John, thank you for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by sandie99 on May 12th, 2008, 9:43am
Rhodiola users.... have you noticed any side effects?

Thanks for the updates,
Sanna

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Giovanni on May 16th, 2008, 8:23am
Just started my yesterday with one in the AM and another before bedtime.  I had no shadows during the day, but one at 7:30 PM and several during the night.  I'll give it this week and see what happens.

I saw in a previous post on Rhodiola of not using it with taurine.  Is there a conflict with this and say Red Bull???

John  :D

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on May 17th, 2008, 12:57am
I only took 300 mgs. at bed time on an empty stomach and then I would try 100 mgs. disolved on tongue as an abortive. I have not read any thing about Taurine and Rhodiola but I will look it up being I was using Taurine with coffee to chase away the shadows in the morning.

The only side effect I noticed was that I was having problems keeping my blood sugar regulated. I am not diabetic but I could possibly be hypoglycemic. I had a full physical while on Rhodiola and I discussed the blood sugar issue with my doc. Because not much is know about Rhodiola at this time, I took some info on it with me to the appointment. He read over the info I brought and he does not believe that this would be what was causing my issue. (blood sugar would rise and drop very rapidly)

I am now out of cycle and med free. I am planning on trying Rhodiola again while out of cycle to see if I start having the same issue. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by sandie99 on May 17th, 2008, 5:07pm
Thanks for the updates. :)

Sanna

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Annette on May 17th, 2008, 8:20pm

on 05/17/08 at 00:57:58, Trooper wrote:
The only side effect I noticed was that I was having problems keeping my blood sugar regulated. I am not diabetic but I could possibly be hypoglycemic. I had a full physical while on Rhodiola and I discussed the blood sugar issue with my doc. Because not much is know about Rhodiola at this time, I took some info on it with me to the appointment. He read over the info I brought and he does not believe that this would be what was causing my issue. (blood sugar would rise and drop very rapidly)




From my latest research Rhodiola replenishes adrenal glands and stimulate endogenous cortisol release, the body's natural steroid. Its like taking "natural" prednisone. Thats how it helps CH considering how much a prednisone taper can help.

That also explain the problems with your sugar level. Cortisol affects levels of insulin, adrenalin and noradrenalin and its quite cyclical in nature so it will make your sugar level go up and down.

I am not sure whats the long term effect of rhodiola on the body considering its agonist effetcs on the adrenal glands. I am still looking into this.


Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Giovanni on May 17th, 2008, 8:59pm
So far I'm having luck with much dimished daytime shadowing.  No luck so far with the night time minor hits.  Today, I've upped the dosage to 3X (500mg each) per day including my nitetime pending dosage. Hoping for a good nite sleep for a change.

I've cut my red bull usage to about 1 per day now versus 2.

John

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by beachmusic on May 18th, 2008, 7:16am
Wishing you the very best with the Rhodiola, John!  Please keep us all updated  :) Mary Ann

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by Trooper on May 21st, 2008, 7:14pm
Annette, thank you sooooo much for the info!!! this is awesome to know!

Title: Re: Rhodiola Update
Post by cluster on May 23rd, 2008, 3:25am
Here is some more information about Rhodiola rosea:

http://content.herbalgram.org/abc/herbalgram/articleview.asp?a=2333

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodiola_rosea


pf wishes,
Friedrich





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