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New Neurologist, New Possibilities

Having focused so long on my headaches without finding a successful treatment, I decided to visit a general neurologist and start from scratch. I brainstormed everything in my body that could possibly be a symptom, even ones I’ve had so long that they seem normal. I also took a list of all the medications and treatments I’ve tried for migraine and chronic daily headache.

I liked the neurologist off the bat. She went over my list symptom by symptom, asking lots of questions and making many notes. A comprehensive neurological exam, with toothpicks pokes, followed. We closed the 75-minute appointment going over the possibilities and planning follow-up steps.

I had blood drawn to test for adrenal problems and lupus or related disorders. Since I haven’t had an MRI since 2002, I had one yesterday. I also had an MRA, which lights up the blood vessels, to check for aneurysms. This afternoon I’m meeting with the neurologist to go over the results.

No one has mentioned adrenal or autoimmune disorders (like lupus) to me before. I’m intrigued. I could probably find symptoms to coincide with any disease, but my do mesh well with autoimmune illnesses. If the test for lupus is positive, I may have lupus. Or I may have one of a long list of other autoimmune disorders (also referred to as collagen vascular disorders). A positive lupus test will mean another level of testing.

I’ll let you know what I learn at my appointment. I really feel like we’re getting somewhere, but I’m trying to not set my expectations too high.

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Type of Magnesium Affects Absorbtion Rate, Reaction

After I stopped taking magnesium, the severe nausea diminished over several days. And the after-eating headaches that had ceased, slowly increased over those few days. Then I learned from a reader that the dose may not have caused nausea, but the type of magnesium. There are many different kinds; turns out I was taking one of the most difficult to absorb.

I planned to let my my system “flush” it all before I started again, but didn’t want to lose the progress I had made. Especially after I learned it can take three months to get the full effect. So I tried again with a lower dose of an easier-to-absorb type. On my new dose of 150 mg of magnesium glycinate chelate, the nausea is manageable and the after-eating headaches have yet to return.

Although about magnesium before I started taking it the first time, I was apparently unable to absorb the information until I was too sick to move. I have since re-read The Magnesium Solution for Migraine Headaches, a highly informative book. In addition to explaining the connection between migraine (and cluster headache) and magnesium, it shares the history of and evidence for using supplements of the mineral. Guidelines for taking magnesium are also included. If you’re thinking about taking magnesium, consider reading this short book, which is only $5.95 new and about $2.50 used.

The National Institutes of Health also has an excellent (and free!) overview of magnesium, including dietary sources, absorbtion rates and drug interations.