Hi lebrett -
I'm sorry you're struggling with this - headaches can be tough to figure out - so many different possible causes. Here is a breakdown of the different types of headaches I would develop and what seemed to cause and/or solve them. You might want to take notes when you develop them and try to track down any noticeable patterns or triggers.
And - snce you've already been down a road of discovery and have narrowed it down to possible Lyme, I would try to focus on brain and gut detox.
And hopefully, others will be along with their experiences to draw from:
Over the years I have been able to determine what kind of headache I have and pinpoint MOST of their causes. Takes awhile.
Generally - mine are caused by:
lack of caffeine
yeast/fungal overgrowth/die off
Lyme & co and/or tx causing die off
swollen lymphs (mainly at the nape of the neck - cervical nodes)
So I would do the following to cover your bases:
- Start rehydrating ASAP - water only.
- Try caffeine pills or concentrated tea - the caffeine can help dilate the blood vessels so there is less pressure. Coffee or other caffeinated drinks probably aren't the best to drink in case you're dehydrated.
- Detox the gut with a binder - often problems in gut and brain are related due to the gut-brain connection (neurotoxins can travel through the connecting blood vessels.) Remember the time buffers necessary with binders (take binders 2 hrs before and after ingesting anything else) and continue to rehydrate. Also try full body soaks. Coffee enema is good for detoxing but not because it's coffee - so it won't address a headache like drinking caffeine would - the caffeine doesn't work that way with an enema.
- If your lymph nodes are swollen (could also be swollen in the neck) red root is helpful as well as dry brushing, lymph massage, warm compress.
- Yeast/fungal overgrowth AND the die off after you start on antifungals can cause off-gassing including ethanol and other toxins. So antifungals are helpful and so is increasing detoxing (particularly binders!) while you're on them can help reduce the toxins.
- Many of us here take a brain detox herb or combo - I like Nutrimedix Pinella and Burbur (I double the dose on headache days)
- And I cool off with a cool shower if my headache is heat-induced, particularly letting the cold run on my scalp. Cold compresses help, too if you're not up for a cold shower.
Here is some more good info from another member -
Remember that iron is absorbed better under acidic conditions in the stomach. Throbbing headaches are often caffeine withdrawal headaches which is often from BHMT mutations. Migraine headaches can occur due to methylation pathway dysfunction. The dysfunction can occur at several places along the pathway and if you don't know your genes, you need to try to bypass the problem spots one at a time.
The first spot you need to try to clean up is in the Ornithine Cycle. Since you are eating a lot of red meat to build up your iron levels, this seems like a plausible culprit. Protein (nitrogen) is broken down in this cycle and turned into urea and eliminated. If adequate H20 isn't available or too much NO is present, then ammonia (NH3) can be produced. I would even guess that a depleted blood volume would have an effect on this as well so make sure you drink plenty of water and have sufficient sodium levels. Iron level restoration will take time and eating too much protein right now could be causing your headaches. There is a fine line between too much and not enough protein. I err on the side of lower protein but that is just me. This is a major part in producing oxidative stress and neuronal damage and it starts with something simple like brain fog.
The second place that could cause migraines is in the Neurotransmitter Pathway (Biopterin Pathway). If you are low on BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin), you won't be able to produce serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, GABA, and norepinephrine. If this was causing your headaches, you would have other problems like sleep disturbance, mood swings, depression, anger, and possibly be aggressive. Supplementation with BH4, tryptophan, tyrosine, melatonin, or GABA are options. With a high pathogen load, this pathway takes a huge hit and seems to always function poorly. Mg, Cu, and P-5-P are all substrates in this pathway so you could be low on one of those and supplementing with them could be beneficial. I've found copper to be extremely beneficial.
Connected into the BH4 pathway is another cycle that can be the culprit of migraines. The Foltate producing pathway of the Methylation Cycle can be blocked and you have a reduction of B-12 and Folate production. Genetic mutations or metal accumulation often block this cycle and supplementing with methyl folate, methylcobalamin, and Vitamin D can help this pathway function more efficiently. Most patients with Lyme have problems with this pathway and it's due to mutation and Vit. D levels. My thoughts are the Vit D level is reduced due to an increased immune response but that it is often also blocked which is an interesting concept to study.
The Methionine Pathway can also be the culprit of migraine headaches when it doesn't function properly. Mutations and Vitamin D deficiency contribute to this pathway as well but so does caffeine. If you have one or several of the BHMT mutations, this pathway can almost stop or run with very little efficiency. Methionine comes from the meat you eat and from homocysteine conversion and it is converted to SAMe, which is converted to homocysteine. If you have joint problems like stiffness, pain, arthritis, this cycle most likely isn't functioning properly. You could supplement with SAMe but it wouldn't be high on my list of supplements even though it is greatest methyl donor in the body. Mg and Zn are both substrates for this pathway so their supplementation may be beneficial.
The Transuluration Pathway can be the culprit of migraines. It can lead to the production of ammonia as well so knowing if you have a CBS699T mutation would be important to know. Sulfites can be produced so this could be a situation where you need to limit your cysteine and sulfur intake. Knowing the genes is important for this pathway. The CBS699T with BHMT mutations is more of an issue because the cycle can't replenish the B-12 or methionine. What you eat can play a bigger role in headaches for this pathway. Mg, Mb, and P-5-P are substrates in this pathway and supplementing with them may be beneficial. I take Mb.
If you are deficient of some of these substrates, your pathways will not function correctly. They are often overlooked and are not supplied in sufficient quantities in our diet.
The key to treating migraines is to determine what is causing them. This can sometimes be achieved by doing weekly experiments limiting what you eat, drink, or limiting exposure to triggers like Bounty dryer sheets or similar objects. Other times, you must supplement deficiencies. Using the cocoa butter example above, it could be methylation issue because of the caffeine or the trace amounts of theobromide that are in the cocoa butter. If it's caffeine related, it can be a methylation issue which often goes back to heavy metal blockage of the pathway. Over time with observation, migraines can be limited or eliminated. This was one of the first things I had to do when I got Lyme. I did the same thing with my kidney stones. Careful observation with experimentation can lead you down the right road.
(ETA: info about
Post Edited (Pirouette) : 10/6/2017 3:40:19 PM (GMT-6)