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123 Days PF And I Think I know Why (Read 163646 times)
Batch
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1025 - Oct 6th, 2012 at 2:34am
 
Kirt,

Great news.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

Regarding a cocktail test... I've never had any problems mixing alcohol with my cluster headaches so I may not be your best source of advice on this topic.  There have been a number of CH'ers on the anti-inflammatory regimen who have given this test a try with painless results...  On that count, I'd say Go for it...   You've likely built up enough 25(OH)D reserves to weather such a test... 

The best test would a single cocktail before diner on an empty tummy...  All things in moderation...

You can always play the odds in your favor and drink a half teaspoon of Arm & Hammer baking soda in a half glass of water first.  Drink another shot of the same mix just before bed to hold off any night hits.

It's been my experience that cluster headaches and the triggering mechanism are pH sensitive.  A low arterial pH (too much acid), triggers vasodilation so can cause problems making preventatives and abortives less effective. 

Moreover, it doesn't take much of a shift to a lower pH to start the ball rolling in the wrong direction with respect to cluster headaches.

For starters, ETOH is mildly ACIDIC with a pH range of 3.8 down to 3.2 so it can trigger vasodilation making the cluster headache triggering mechanism more effective and the pain of each attack more severe.

Our bodies normally maintain a serum pH in a narrow range of 7.35 to  7.45 through respiration and kidney output.  That said, if my memory of acid-base chemistry is not too far off the mark, an once and a half of 80 proof alcohol won't have much effect on overall systemic pH unless you're already at the tipping point with a lower than normal systemic pH.  In that case the baking soda should help neutralize the acidity of the alcohol.

The body also senses alcohol (ethyl alcohol - ETOH) as a foreign substance and poison, so tries to eliminate it as fast as possible.

It does this through enzymatic processes in the liver where alcohol is metabolized into compounds more easily eliminated by the kidneys.  The byproducts of alcohol metabolism include acetaldehyde and acetates...  both of which trigger vasodilation.

As the liver and kidneys are essential in metabolizing vitamin D3 into its active metabolite calcitriol, anything that stresses the liver and kidneys can interfere with vitamin D3 metabolism.

With that brief discussion of alcohol and vitamin D3 metabolism, the the choice is yours.

Take care,

V/R, Batch

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« Last Edit: Oct 6th, 2012 at 3:22pm by Batch »  

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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1026 - Oct 6th, 2012 at 5:19am
 
Hi,

A good argument for an increase in zinc supplement. I think that low level of zinc is a primary reasons for the development of CH.

Zinc Deficiency Mechanism Linked to Aging, Multiple Diseases
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1027 - Oct 7th, 2012 at 8:05pm
 
Thank you for that thoro explanation Batch. The baking soda sounds like a good idea if I decide to try and have a cocktail. I am enjoying being pain free during this cycle and really dont want to upset the apple cart.. Cheesy. Still pain free and brief shadowing..5 mins max with no need for abortive other than ice. Miracle if you ask me. I usually get hammered the first 3 weeks especially at night...with the vitamin regiment plus a melatonin before bed...nothing. Whoo Hoo. Thanks again for everything.
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1028 - Oct 7th, 2012 at 10:03pm
 
Damn Banger that's great news!

Joe
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1029 - Oct 8th, 2012 at 5:54pm
 
Kirt,

Try the Arm & Hammer baking soda anyway...  I think you'll find it chases away the shadows...  which are minor cluster headaches...

Take care,

V/R, Batch
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1030 - Oct 11th, 2012 at 4:45pm
 
Hey Batch,

On an alkaline diet forum, it's been recommended that you add a slice of lemon to your glass of water with baking soda so that the sodium is balanced to the lemon's potassium.

What do you think?

Brian
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1031 - Oct 12th, 2012 at 11:21am
 
Brian,

Sounds like a good idea...  even if just to add a different taste to the sodium bicarbonate tonic. 

I'll need to do some more reading to find the biochemistry and pharmacokinetics behind adding citric acid to a sodium bicarbonate tonic.

The anti-inflammatory regimen calls for a glass of lemonade with the calcium citrate tablets.  Citric acid in lemonade combines with the calcium citrate to form a buffer in the stomach that raises the pH of the stomach's contents.

On top of that, the pancreas dumps pancreatic juices high in sodium bicarbonate into the lower stomach to further neutralize the stomach's hydrochloric acid before the contents reach the upper end of the small intestine. 

The net effect of the sodium bicarbonate and or the calcium citrate - citric acid buffer is a slightly elevated arterial pH (more alkaline than normal) that appears to contribute to a mild vasoconstriction of the arterioles and capillaries in and around the trigeminal nerve making aborts with oxygen therapy more effective. 

Accordingly, my thinking here is a higher arterial pH helps reduce the frequency and severity of cluster headaches and in some cases, helps prevent them.

Without the pancreatic juices to neutralize the stomach's acidic contents, the small intestine would burn up from all the acid in the stomach contents.  Acidosis would set in and we would turn into a pickle... then die.

This isn't a wham bam process, and it can take place gradually when any number of underlying conditions or comorbidities affect the kidney's capacity to regulate systemic pH by eliminating excess hydrogen ions.  This condition is called metabolic acidosis.

If any one or more of these conditions are present, arterial pH drops.  If unchecked, this can lead to a low arterial pH (less than 7.35) and the condition is called acidemia.   If this occurs in a CH'er, it's likely none of the standards of care medications for cluster headache  intervention will be effective...  A possible reason for being refractory or resistant to cluster headache medications that are typically effective for most other CH'ers.

What I've found over the last few years using pH test strips to measure saliva pH is it appears cluster headaches are pH sensitive.

I used saliva pH as the pH of saliva, produced from arterial blood flow through the saliva glands, tends to parallel arterial pH...  only it lags any changes by 5 to 10 minutes  

What I found prior to developing the anti-inflammatory regimen with vitamin D3, was the lower the saliva pH, the higher the frequency and severity of my cluster headaches...

Moreover, when my saliva pH was high...  I had hardly any cluster headaches...  The few I did have, came while sleeping and were mild ≤ Kip-4.  They aborted easily with oxygen therapy or resolved on their own in less than 5 to 10 minutes.

I also suspect a lower than normal arterial pH is why some of the CH'ers are refractive to the standards of care medications for this disorder.  This may also be why there are some CH'ers who do not respond to the anti-inflammatory regimen.

If that's the case and my suspicions are real, following the directions on the Arm & Hammer baking soda box for the sodium bicarbonate tonic drink might just alkalize the CH'ers system enough to make the preventatives and abortives work more effectively.

Hope that makes sense...

Take care,

V/R, Batch
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1032 - Oct 12th, 2012 at 9:30pm
 
Batch wrote on Oct 12th, 2012 at 11:21am:
I'll need to do some more reading to find the biochemistry and pharmacokinetics behind adding citric acid to a sodium bicarbonate tonic.


Thanks Batch.  Yea, this is the part I'm wondering about.
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1033 - Oct 14th, 2012 at 1:21pm
 
Brian,

After 46 years, my degree in chemistry is a bit rusty... That said, the short answer from a chemical standpoint, based on the equation below, is you get a fizz of carbon dioxide…  when you mix citric acid (slice of lemon) and sodium bicarbonate in water… 

It's basically a poor man's Alka-Seltzer.  Baking Soda mixed with a weak acid like buttermilk will also make your pancakes rise…

3NaHCO3 + C6H8O7 --> C6H5Na3O7 + 3CO2 + 3H2O

(sodium bicarbonate) + (citric acid) --> (sodium citrate) + (carbon dioxide) + (water)

From a chemical and physiological standpoint, sodium citrate is also a buffer similar to the calcium citrate called for in the anti-inflammatory regimen.  As such, it helps elevate arterial pH.

A buffer absorbs hydrogen ions to hold pH at a given range as opposed to an ant-acid or base that neutralizes acidic solutions.  There's a small difference in reactivity between the two citrate salts, but the extra sodium can lead to water retention…  another good reason to cut back on table salt when you're alkalizing with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

Some folks claim drinking a glass of water with citric acid and sodium bicarbonate improves physical stamina in distance runners…  However, there's a Level A double blind RCT on drinking this mixture before a marathon that found no measurable improvement.

Hope this helps.

Take care,

V/R, Batch
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1034 - Oct 16th, 2012 at 4:26am
 
So do you think the baking soda with lemon tonic would be less/more effective in elevating pH than just baking soda alone?  Or would you guess that they're about the same in terms of effectiveness?
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1035 - Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:02am
 
My husband is an has been on a long cycle of cluster headaches...10 weeks now.... has been on a regimen of 20 IU's D3, 2400 Omega 3, and 500mg of Calcium for 6 days... he is also taking Depakote at night and Prednisone during the day, coming down from 100mg a couple of days ago.  Last Wed he had a hit of a 10+ severity of a headache on a scale of 1-10 lasting for 2 hrs. After that one, he went 48 hrs no headaches, since then he has been getting headaches at varying times usually short duration 5-30 min and sev ranging from 4 to 6.  He takes an oral imitrex at the onset of a headache.  He is also taking 10mg extended release melatonin at bed.  Any thoughts, comments, suggestions to get the beast to finally stop and leave him alone for a while? 
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1036 - Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:53am
 
nomoreclusters wrote on Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:02am:
he is also taking Depakote at night and Prednisone during the day, coming down from 100mg a couple of days ago.
 

I take it pred was started a few days ago and Depakote is being used as a preventative to be worked in for when the pred taper ends.  A 100mg pred taper could be about a 20 day span.  When this ends, the effectiveness of the Depakote will be known.  This seems to be your doctor's preventive strategy.


nomoreclusters wrote on Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:02am:
since then he has been getting headaches at varying times usually short duration 5-30 min and sev ranging from 4 to 6.


I'd suspect the subdued hits are due to the prednisone.


Keep the D3 regimen going, but I could not attest to the effectiveness of the Depakote when the pred taper ends.  However, having the oral or pill form of Imitrex as an abortive is not an adequate abortive, which may be more needed when after the pred.  It would be a good idea to get a prescription from your doc for oxygen to cover the possible consequences of his preventive strategy if it should not meet his and your expectations as an adequate preventive measure when the pred taper ends.

Welcome


There seems to be an unusually common amount of doctor's prescribing Depakote around here lately. 
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1037 - Oct 16th, 2012 at 8:34am
 
Thanks for the reply Kevin M.  He waited until the cycle was becoming unbearable before reaching out to the Dr. unfortunately. 

This is an unusual time of year for him to have a cycle... 

Long story short, he reached out about 2 weeks ago but that Dr. was not his usual GP and was an $#%! Last Tues, it got so bad = 10+ sev that I (his wife) insisted that we do something and got a hold of his regular GP.  She is very kind and sympathetic, as well as acknowledging that she does not know much about CH.  She reviewed his chart and prescribed the prednisone and depakote based on them working in the past as an abortive.  She got him an appt with Neuro at Dartmouth but it is not until Jan (they have him on a call list if there is a cancellation).

He is almost out of the triptans, he said he tried O2 in the past and it gave him rebound headaches?... Dr shared that it may have been that it was not prescribed or used correctly..

I am insistent that he stay on the vitamins...just hoping that something works.  He had thoughts about taking his own life last week... He is feeling more positive today though he is scared to death to get another 10 sev CH and is taking the triptans at the first sign of a headache.  I think he should try not to take them but since they are oral, I know they are slower to respond and I don't have to deal with the pain so I hate to make that suggestion to him....  We have a couple injections of imitrex here but the side effects (rapid heartrate and rush) are too bad that he doesn't want it even with a 10+ sev.

Why do you think that the current headaches may be a result of the prednisone?

I appreciate any and all input...  Thanks!  Lynne
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1038 - Oct 16th, 2012 at 8:51am
 
nomoreclusters wrote on Oct 16th, 2012 at 8:34am:
Why do you think that the current headaches may be a result of the prednisone?


You mentioned these hits are shorter and less severe:

nomoreclusters wrote on Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:02am:
since then he has been getting headaches at varying times usually short duration 5-30 min and sev ranging from 4 to 6.



The pred would not seem to cause these headaches, that would be the CH's.  It is working to prevent them temporarily, but apparently not fully.  Without the prednisone, they might probably be longer and more painful.
 

Quote:
I'd suspect the subdued hits are due to the prednisone.


They seem subdued, shorter and less severe than they could be, due to the prednisone.

Welcome, Lynne.     Smiley
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1039 - Oct 16th, 2012 at 9:47am
 
Thanks Kevin!  This group has been a tremendous resource... 

It helps to know that we are not alone...

It is pretty sad when your first thing that pops into mind when blowing out your birthday candles for a wish is for your husband to not have any more CH...  Cry
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1040 - Oct 17th, 2012 at 5:18pm
 
nomoreclusters wrote on Oct 16th, 2012 at 7:02am:
since then he has been getting headaches at varying times usually short duration 5-30 min and sev ranging from 4 to 6.


This was my exact experience with the D3 regimen. Was the only thing I was taking as my Neuro appt. was a month out. A few days after starting the regimen, CHs came at varying times (as opposed to the atomic clock-like precision they had previously), were less in duration and severity.

Stick with it!
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1041 - Oct 20th, 2012 at 7:30pm
 
Hey All!!
Day 5 of excellerated dosing of D3 at 50,000iu daily and had the 2 best nights sleep i have had in years!! I seem to be working for me and I am being followed by my Neuro and he is "ON BOARD!.......Johnny Smiley
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1042 - Oct 20th, 2012 at 7:40pm
 
Clusterman59 wrote on Oct 20th, 2012 at 7:30pm:
Hey All!!
Day 5 of excellerated dosing of D3 at 50,000iu daily and had the 2 best nights sleep i have had in years!! I seem to be working for me and I am being followed by my Neuro and he is "ON BOARD!.......Johnny Smiley


Wow...50,000IU seems like a lot.  Glad it's working for you though.
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1043 - Oct 23rd, 2012 at 3:45am
 
Hey Johnny,

Outstanding news...  I'm particularly pleased your neurologist is on board with this regimen even at 50K/day vitamin D3.  That's roughly equivalent to the cutaneous vitamin D3 developed naturally from a little less than an hour of mid day sun clad in a bathing suit without any sun block...  and a lot safer...

The more neurologists willing to try this alternative cluster headache preventative the better.

Take care and please keep us posted.

V/R, Batch
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1044 - Nov 8th, 2012 at 3:34pm
 
Hey all Been taking the D3 treatment for 26 days now and have been pain free for 23 strait days and no shadows either!!
I started with an excellorated dosing schedule of 50,000iu daily for 2 weeks and then down to 20,000iu daily just got my labwork done and I was in the target range of 60 ng/ml to 80 ng/ml at a 68 ng/ml level where I am perfect.
I will get another lab test in 30 days and see where i am and adjust accordingly. I also have been taking the calcium citrate 1000mg daily and 2400mg fish oil daily.
THIS REGIMEN WORKS!!!!Thanks to Pete Batch!!!..Johnny Wink
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1045 - Nov 9th, 2012 at 2:54pm
 
Johnny,

Thanks for the wonderful update.  For those of you who haven't followed Johnny's posts, he's kept his doctor in the loop from day one...  and his doctor is becoming a believer in the anti-inflammatory regimen...

Johnny has also had labs done for 25(OH)D, calcium and PTH.  These labs are important in order to understand the relationship between serum concentrations of 25(OH)D and a vitamin D3 preventative response to cluster headaches.

These labs are also important because Johnny is also using an accelerated vitamin D3 dosing schedule to elevate his 25(OH)D serum concentration faster than at a vitamin D3 maintenance dose of 10,000 IU/day.

Simply put... keep your doctor in the loop if you're taking the anti-inflammatory regimen to prevent your cluster headaches... You might even want to let your neurologist know if this regimen is working to prevent your cluster headaches...  It never hurts to keep the clue bird hovering low over his or her head...

Take care.

V/R, Batch

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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1046 - Nov 15th, 2012 at 7:30am
 
An interesting article on how genetics may play a role in vitamin D absorption and metabolism:

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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1047 - Nov 15th, 2012 at 9:18am
 
Hi Brew,

Those variation within genes in the VDR, is most likely due to zinc deficiency.

Vitamin D Receptors (VDR) are a bit like sensors attached to genes. These VDRs wait for Vitamin D to attach and instruct the genes what to do.

Recent research has now identified 2,776 binding sites for the VDR across the length of the human genome.

At the base of these sensors is a zinc molecule. Vitamin D cannot function properly if you are zinc deficient. Zinc deficiency, by changing the activity of VDR, changes the protein expression of VDR, and thus affects the transcription of the target gene.

The list below outlines the main roles of zinc in the body:
◦      Zinc is needed for DNA synthesis, RNA transcription, mitosis, and cell activation.
◦      Zinc-dependent enzymes are involved in metabolism of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.
◦      Zinc plays as essential role in cell membrane integrity.
◦      Zinc helps manage insulin action and blood glucose concentration.
◦      Zinc has an essential role in development and maintenance of the body's immune system.
◦      Zinc is required for bone and teeth mineralization.
◦      Zinc is involved with normal taste and wound healing.
◦      Zinc is required for the synthesis of various biological markers of nutrition and of collagen.
◦      Zinc is essential in regulating gene expression.
◦      Zinc has long been considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.
◦      Zinc containing enzymes such as carbonic anhydrase and lactate dehydrogenase are involved in intermediary metabolism during exercise.
◦      Zinc is particularly important for cells that are rapidly turning over such as those in the immune system; as well as in the maintenance of the central nervous system

Regards Niels
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1048 - Nov 15th, 2012 at 9:52am
 
...which is why I take 50mg of zinc every day.  Smiley
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Re: 123 Days PF And I Think I know Why
Reply #1049 - Nov 19th, 2012 at 9:56am
 
Started this D3 regimen on Wednesday the 14th as I realized that my clusters were starting a clusterperiod     (Im episodic) rather than just the random cluster that pops up now and again. I was having them one in the morning about a kip-6 and one in the evening kip-9 but when I started to wake up in the middle of the night I knew the BEAST was back for good. Well day one on the D3 program I started to feel much better, no shadowing and no attackes for 4 days which was great since my cycle usually increases up to 6-8 headaches per day. Well then Saturdat night woke up with a Kip-5 or 6 took some more D3 and calcium citrate and it went away in about 10 mins only to come back in about 2 hours. Used redbull and knocked it out. Sunday night same thing no headaches during the day feeling great and then woke up by a Kip-6, redbull slowed it down but took a hit of nasel zomig and it was knocked out. So far I really do think this D3 thing is working keeping these clusters down in both kip-scale and numbers, if I could only get rid of these nightly visits by the Beast all would be well. Taking between 10,000Iu - 15,000IU D3, calcium citrate 600mg, 50mg zinc, magnesium citrate and or magnesium oxide. Think I need to take a one time large dose of the D3 and load then scale back to 10,000IU. Maybe Ill try the 50,000IU D3 today and Ill also try the baking soda and water before bed. I also take verapamil 180mg. Thank You Pete for all the research and info awesome, awesome, awesome!
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