GABA, Feverfew, and other supplements

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Posted by Jonathan ( on July 21, 2000 at 16:10:24:

After three weeks of sporadic clusters, I broke down and went to the MD two weeks ago. Amerge, the triptan he prescribed cost $20 per tablet, the list of side effects was extremely long, and they provide only partial relief after I wake up with a splitting headache.

I had read that some people were using feverfew, and the fact that the triptans are also migraine medicine led me to turn to feverfew for prevention (and to suspect that clusters and migraines might be related in terms of their cause, if not in terms of symptoms). I also started taking turmeric capsules, which is a potent anti-inflammitory.

I was pretty much ok for a week, until my sleep schedule got messed up due to my spouses work related travel (getting up at 4:30 am to go to airport, followed by stressful day, followed by insomnia). Bang, they were back.

The next day, I went back to the health food store to get another brand of feverfew - I figured that I would alternate between brands because there is probably some variation in potency. The clerk at the health food store also mentioned that many people reported good migraine prevention with GABA - an amino acid that is also a neurotransmitter. Several of the anti-migraine medicines work by mimicking GABA. Since starting on GABA, I have been pretty much symptom free, but its too soon to say if it is the GABA, or just the end of the latest cycle. I take one 500 mg capsule divided through the day (~150 mg under the tongue three times daily) plus swallowing another 500 mg capsule in the evening an hour or so before bed.

Also, one of the articles on this great site mentioned the disruption to blood cell membranes, and the low choline levels in many CH sufferers. I am taking a tablespoon of lecithin each day for this, and taking my flax oil at the same time (similar to cod liver and salmon oils, numerous benefits in normalizing the metabolism).

I feel that this regimen is helping, but can't say so with certainty. Last summer, I took melatonin at night and the headaches stopped, but this year melatonin has had zero effect. Maybe last year's episode had stopped the day I started melatonin, or maybe disruption that causes CH is so F#$@$*^ complex that things that are truly effective sometimes are completely useless at other times.

Best wishes to all fellow cluster heads - I am curious to know if anyone else has tried GABA, and what results they got. I will keep you all posted.


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