Migraine prophylaxis stack (supplements)

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Leisurely Duchess
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Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/7/2014 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Just going to share my supplement notes and maybe someone else can pluck an idea from them to help themselves with. It's a culmination of a few years of focused research, trial and error, and determination, after a decade of misery, isolation and ignorance. It's worked so well for me that I have trouble believing it won't help anyone else.

Notable vitamins and minerals

B vitamins with emphasis on thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine

Notable amino acids

Taurine (this is NOT a stimulant)
Beta alanine (ATP, GABA, dopamine support, higher doses used by bodybuilders not necessary, as with creatine)
Methionine (or SAMe)
Creatine (not an amino but made from aminos, use differently than bodybuilders, small doses daily around 1 gram, no cycling needed, micronized preferred) (ATP support)

Notable herbs/roots/seeds/berries (some are vasodilators and may not be suitable for all, introduce slowly at lower doses)

Butterbur (PA free only)
Schizandrol A (or schizandra) (helps prevent glutamate excitotoxicity via calcium channels)
Mucuna (full spectrum, no high l-dopa extracts @ 60%, 98% or 99% -- 15% okay for long term use)
5-htp (will downregulate serotonin with regular use)


CoQ10 (ATP support, among other things)
Alpha lipoic acid (100 to 200mg doses a few times a day, don't take a 600mg capsule)
EPA/DHA (not ALA by itself, it will not get you enough EPA or DHA)
Edamame or soymilk

Notes on the migraine brain that I kept for myself:

- maintaining energy for cells to use is more important than avoiding any food triggers. When cells run low on energy it triggers a cascade of events resulting in migraine symptoms

- food trigger avoidance can backfire if overdone, a little like overusing analgesics or caffeine, by causing nutritional deficiencies which will only make you more susceptible to migraine and other health problems including psychological. Migraineurs avoiding many otherwise healthful foods because of the presence of a trigger may need to consider dietary supplements, much as vegans need to supplement to make up for the necessary nutrients only found in adequate amounts in animals and fish. It's important to note, however, that no supplement is superior to actual food.

- establishing a regular sleep schedule is more important that avoiding food triggers, in fact think of irregular sleep, inadequate sleep and oversleep as triggers ... because they are. Your brain cannot keep your neurotransmitters balanced if you do not get proper sleep, not only does this mean more migraines, but likely depression, anxiety, related issues like poor cognition and memory. There is no supplement, no substitute for sleep

- chronically low *dopamine*, rather than serotonin, is a major underlying mechanism (not trigger) of a lot of migraine, particularly migraine without aura. Avoiding high phenylalanine and tyrosine (which eventually make tyramine) foods make you even more likely to be too low in dopamine and make your migraines worse because you *need* phenyalanine to make tyrosine to make l-dopa to make dopamine (and to make norepinephrine). Cutting out vast swatches of foods high in phenylalanine and tyrosine typically means you need to find another way to help your body make its own dopamine, options for doing that include foods and dietary supplements that are good sources of l-dopa and EPA/DHA

- if one of your underlying causes of migraine is a difficulty with clearing glutamate (very common and runs in families, is genetic, but can also be caused by poor diet), then you must take steps to assist your brain in clearing glutamate INSTEAD of avoiding glutamate like the plague. You need glutamate and glutamate is not the devil, trying to cut it out of your diet is likely to cause a host of problems in the long term, not least of all in cognition, mental energy, general intelligence. Even mental health, as glutamate is critically involved in a cycle with glutamine and GABA. The terrifying sounding "glutamate excitotoxicity" is not usually caused by ingesting too much glutamic acid or glutamate, but by that person's poor ability to clear glutamate, and often by their own levels of GABA and dopamine (both too low). Dealing with this can cut back migraines and severity by more than half, as well as allow you to expand your dietary habits, which can help you maintain a balance of nutrients from a greater variety of sources. No one is "allergic" to glutamate. MSG is a SALT, however.

- unless you have a medical condition which requires you to be on a low-carb diet, don't do it, just don't. Eat complex carbs as part of a balanced diet. Carbs are brain food, though binging on simple carbs may cause headache from surge of serotonin (this is why stuff like 5-htp can *trigger* and *exacerbate* migraines in some people)

- No regular consumption of caffeine, dairy milk, high gluten or high aspartic acid food and drinks (avoidance of high aspartic acid has less to do with artificial sweetener and more to do with high protein sources such as whey, hemp, pea, protein energy bars, etc ... someone who has trouble with glutamate will probably also have trouble with aspartic acid and related aminos because they all act as excitors at glutamate receptors)

- drink water

- drink more water

- butter is brain food. it's the overdoing of salts that is your enemy

- chocolate is not a trigger. Chocolate craving (and carb craving, other cravings) is part of the migraine prodrome where your body tries to get things that may help restore a chemical balance that was thrown off. PEA is a trigger but the amounts even in pure cacao are not really enough to be a trigger, and is offset by the other chemicals in cacao which are beneficial. Additives in milk chocolates may be triggers, and white chocolate is not really chocolate. Pure cacao or dark chocolate that is more than 70% cacao has nootropic effects and may be beneficial

- migraineurs tend to have lower antioxidant levels in the brain, and higher oxidation
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