For the past few months, I’ve been downing the same cocktail every night. It’s become a ritual, ever since it was recommended by my doctor. I take 400mg of CoQ10, 500mg of magnesium oxide, and 200mg of vitamin B2. Shaken, not stirred.
A couple of years ago, I noticed that I was getting terrible headaches that lasted for three days, every four weeks. Upon consultation with my doctor, I was informed that they were “menstrual migraines”, my body’s fun reaction to the monthly estrogen drop. (I have to pause here and ask: is there an uglier word in the English language than “menstrual”?? Maybe “blouse”, maybe “moist”, but I give “menstrual” the edge.)
These headaches are incredibly painful, and completely unresponsive to anything over-the-counter. I tried Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve, and Exedrin Migraine. Nothing helped in the slightest. Since the headaches last for three days, I dreaded their arrival. They also started popping up at other times throughout the month, and added sinus pain on the side of the face they dominated. I tried over-the-counter sinus medication, which also didn’t help.
There are many places I feel modern medicine still has a lot of work to do, but it seemed impossible that it had nothing else to offer for headaches. I decided to see a neurologist who specializes in headaches and pain management. He informed me that I have migraine headaches, and after ordering blood work and a brain MRI to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong, he prescribed a medication that works pretty well, called naratriptan. The problem is that it has to be taken during a short window before the headache really takes hold. If I miss that window, the medication doesn’t work. However, my doctor also advised that good sleep hygiene, running daily, and a cocktail of supplements had been demonstrated to help migraine-sufferers. My sleep hygiene is decent, I haven’t run in two years, but I’m a supplement-taking rock star!
While I was a little skeptical about the potential benefits of taking these supplements, I’ve definitely noticed a difference since I started. The frequency of my headaches has not changed, but the intensity has diminished greatly. I now experience them as more of an annoying, background pain that’s unpleasant, but tolerable. And since they come one-two times per month, and each last for three days, that’s a major improvement in my quality of life. Cheers!
What’s your favorite cocktail?