Posted by David Becker (18.104.22.168) on July 05, 2001 at 22:48:42:
I started getting cluster headaches when I was 19 - I am 33 now. As you can all agree, the pain is always excruciating. I have always had a sensitive throat/breathing system and often had a subtle, nagging cough that would come and go - not a cold cough. One Christmas my mother kept noticing my clear-the-throat cough and asked why I was clearing my throat, etc. After I drank a ginger ale soda I had a mild reaction; we both looked at the ingredients and realized that there weren't very many. Then a day later I drank the diet version of the same drink. What followed were some fasting and experiments that convinced me that allergies were a major part of my headache cycles and decided to avoid all corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup products. Since that learning experience I have only had a headache once in many years. Sadly, I remember walking to a university health clinic once and throwing up the whole way with a terrible headache. What I didn't know then was that I was trying to avoid dehydration with gatorade and that it had corn sugars in it. As a separate note, more and more products now are made without corn sweeteners, though I'm not sure why.
I also am allergic to mold and experience some irritation with dextrose and maltodextrin and various malt by-products.
I always tell people that cluster headaches (for me) are like water building up behind a dam. If I cheat and eat high fructose corn syrup products and don't sleep enough and don't eat healthy foods and endure too much stress, then the dam will fill with water and eventually burst. Then it takes at least two weeks for the cataclysm to subside. It's the body's way of purging and responding to the buildup of toxic chemicals, I think. Things get out of whack and the body protects itself in this way. My only comfort during those nasty cycles was that it would eventually end, though my mental normality (the mental draining of the experience) would take a couple of months to restabilize. Oh the horrors we could demonstrate if others could be in our shoes for even 5 minutes!
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