Posted by Kenn (184.108.40.206) on January 26, 2000 at 03:47:52:
I have access to a research data base of 290 CH patients through some past work I have done with physicians over the years, and have found three instances of "cures" or major relief through surgery. However, all three were the result of operations for other than headaches. One was a heart bypass on a fifteen-year CH sufferer (fifty year old male). Another was minor surgery for sinus problems and to set a broken nose, and the third was emergency surgery for an accident victem to repair broken bones in the neck and shoulder. All three reported relief from CH's after the surgeries, but their cases were not included in any medical report that I know of since none of them were under treatment for the headaches at the time. These are simply anecdotal reports out of OHSU in Portland but they hold some hope that there could be a way to solve these Cluster Headaches through medical operations. I would like to know of any other cases that can be verified -- Please contact me if you have info. I'm writing on the subject.
In the meantime, the following are some treatments used by the CH Treatment Group in Portland, Oregon:
ACUPUNCTURE -- Usually one treatment helps, but a series of them usually stop a series of attacks and can be permanent;
FEVERFEW -- This herb helps by aiding the regulation of blood surges in the system, preventing or calming the vicious waves of pain we all know and fear. The trick is that it must be taken pretty much constantly and takes a couple of weeks or more to begin working. It's worth it, and medical evidence supports its use. All Clusterheads should take it daily, even between series;
CHIROPRACTIC -- Some Chiropractors know how to stop CH's and some can make it worse. Find out if your chiropractor understands exactly how to do it. Two of the 4 I know who have tried it claim it "cured" them. I am going for it next week and will let you know;
LSD -- I know this is a "controlled substance" and I'm not advocating its use, but it is a fact that Migraines and Clusters have been stopped in minutes using small doses. In years past, LSD and other psychedelics (i.e., psylocybin mushrooms) have been used in legitimate pain clinics by medical professionals. In my own case, one small dose stopped my attacks for eight weeks (back in 1975). In fact, it was the first time in 17 years I had been free of all headaches;
HOT SHOWER -- Very hot water on the skin will cause blood to flow away from the brain to try and cool the outer body, thus relieving pressure at the headache site. The drawbacks...Even more lethargy, weakness and, as in my case, stupidity. Always rinse entire body well with cold water as soon as the headache breaks. This is an ancient hydro-therapy treatment for general well-being. Experiment with it;
REIKI -- Used in conjunction with other treatments, Reiki can and will produce unexpected help for probably all sorts of ailments. I have the advantage of having a couple of Reiki masters in the family, and our experiments during this recent series of attacks have yielded results above and beyond the ordinary. I may be able to relate some of this by email but I won't go into it here;
EXCEDRIN MIGRAINE -- On a more accessible level, this relatively new over-the-counter medication is simply a more potent and patentable blend of Acetaminophen, Asperin and Caffeine which I'm sure we have all tried. But there is little doubt that the combination in this pill helps reduce the intensity of the attacks in most people. For most of us, just to experience a little less of that pain is worth it. Stomach aches and shakiness are common side effects.
I know there are dozens of other treatments we could mention. Most of them including these have been covered on this site and others already. The biggest trick for us is to get our doctors to take the malady seriously. However, I know of no pharmaceutical treatment that works perfectly and that does not produce unwanted side effects.
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