Tail wagging the dog

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on July 11, 2001 at 23:03:07:

In Reply to: Hormone Levels Revisited posted by ScottL on July 11, 2001 at 18:06:06:

Cluster headaches are a SYNDROME. That is to say, a COLLECTION of symptoms.

Sleep apnea, sinus congestion, mucus discharge, droopy eyelid, reddened sclera (white of the eye), digestive upsets, hypersensitivity to odors, tintinnitis (ringing in the ear), tendency to drink heavily and/or smoke heavily... all of these have been mentioned in addition to the biggy... the monstrous pain.

The serotonin-regulating mechanism (controlled by the hypothalamus) of a clusterhead is defective. Serotonin is the most versatile of the neurotransmitters, having receptor sites in nerve cells in the brain, the heart, even in the intestines. Many clusterheads have reported one of the most reliable precursors of an impending cycle is the change in how their digestive system behaves.

Serotonin plays an important role in the regulation of hormone production and re-absorption. It doesn't surprise me to hear a doctor claim that testosterone levels fluctuate for male clusterheads. That doesn't mean that the hormonal fluctuation is causing the syndrome. It is much more probable that the reverse is true... the SYNDROME is causing the hormone imbalance.

A personal illustration, if I may. I am not a chocolate fanatic. If offered some, I would eat it and enjoy it, but I would rarely will buy even a single chocolate bar of my own volition... EXCEPT when I was about to enter a new headache cycle. At these times, out of nowhere will come the urge to buy a big bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, or a bar of fine dark chocolate from France or Belgium. After a few cycles of CH, I made the connection and thought, "Eureka! It's the damned CHOCOLATE that is causing this torture. No more chocolate for me!"

You can guess the rest. I stopped eating chocolate for over a decade. The headache cycles came anyway. I still get the urge to eat chocolate just at the beginning of a cycle. When I am out of cycle that urge disappears.

"...touting success in treating CH with testosterone replacement therapy."

Are there clinically-controlled studies supporting his conclusion? If so, where? It seems you inadvertently neglected to include the link to the site. Can you post it for us, please?


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