This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 17 years experience in helping people improve their health. I specialize in nutritional medicine, which is the secret of "true" preventative medicine. Yes, if I'm successful in getting people to follow my advice, I will put myself out of a job.
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Actually Treat Your Headaches Instead of Just Masking the Pain
Probably the most common "health problem" in the world is headache. Almost everyone in the world will suffer from a headache at least once in their life. (Are you as shocked as I was to discover that there are actually people who go their entire life without ever having one? Isn't that unreal? And definitely a small minority!)
Whether it's the more common tension headaches or you suffer with migraine headaches, the bottom line is that they're painful and they affect your quality of life quite significantly.
The problem with the normal treatment of painkillers is that they can cause their own problems- some pretty serious, especially if they're taken fairly regularly. Very often, they can even be the cause of the headache itself. Really! (I deal with this a lot in the pharmacy.)
Thankfully there are several natural, side-effect-free headache treatments. Of course, I'm all about correcting the underlying problem, rather than just band-aid symptom treatment, so first I'll give you tips on preventing them in the first place:
- Drink LOTS of water!
Almost all headaches have some root in dehydration- even mild dehydration can trigger a headache. And since most people are walking around slightly dehydrated... So make sure you drink lots of non-caffeinated, non-carbonated beverages (preferably water) all day long.
- Eat a low glycemic diet.
I've gone into much detail about low glycemic eating in past e-zines (check out back issues if you don't know what I'm talking about). Having your blood sugar drop too low (as it often does after eating a high glycemic meal) is a very common trigger for headaches. So yet another reason for choosing this healthy way of eating.
- Find out food triggers.
Some people have food sensitivities or allergies that come out as headaches when they eat that food. If you get headaches fairly regularly, keep a food diary for awhile and mark down when your headaches happen. After a month or two, you may see a pattern and then you'll know to avoid those foods in the future. (Seriously, write everything down. You think you would have figured it out by now, but it's not until it's in black & white that you realize it). If you can't figure it out, you may want to consider having comprehensive food sensitivity testing if nothing else is working and you get them often.
- Get your magnesium levels checked.
A magnesium deficiency can lead to abnormal blood vessel constriction and brain chemical imbalance, which can both cause headaches.
- Take a coenzyme Q10 supplement.
If migraine is your demon, up to 50% of people have found that taking coenzyme Q10 eliminated their migraines altogether. Get a good quality one though- there's lots of crummy ones on the shelves. Try Usana's Coquinone for good results.
If you've done all of the above and you still get a headache, there are some safe & natural treatments that can help. The earlier any treatment is done, the better success you'll have. (So don't be like my husband and suffer through your headache all day, hoping it will go away and then complain to your wife all night when it doesn't and nothing is working ;-)
Get some calcium into you.
See first point above if you've already forgotten why. Seriously, if you have a headache, you're most likely a bit dehydrated, so start drinking immediately.
Calcium helps relax your muscles and improves blood flow, so it can help treat the root of the problem. Kill two birds with one stone and hydrate yourself with calcium by having a glass of skim milk (or try calcium-fortified juice if you can't do milk).
Chill out- literally!
Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time to the back of your neck or the area on your head that is giving you pain (whichever feels better). It helps reduce inflammation to hopefully get rid of it altogether and it also dulls the pain.
Chill out- figuratively!
- Take deep breaths and concentrate on your breathing.
- Apply firm pressure to the pads of your thumbs.
- Give yourself a face, head and neck massage (my favorite that usually works). If you've never done it before, try this technique: Rest all four of your fingertips on your cheekbones, feeling the beautiful structure of your face. Press in--hard. S-L-O-W-L-Y drag your fingers toward your scalp, up over your ears, and come to rest at the spot in your upper neck where your spine meets your skull.Keep up the pressure, and bring your hands down the side of your neck, over your shoulders, and brush that stress off your pecs. Do this several times. (Try it right now and do it when you need a quick refresher- it feels wonderful! Especially if you've been sitting in front of this computer for long ;-)
So next time you get a headache, rather than reaching for the painkillers, try a few of these tips and get rid of the problem itself, rather than just masking it. Ever notice how you tend to have several in a row? That's why- you haven't gotten rid of the cause.
And if you're like I was and getting headaches almost daily, do the prevention tips and never have to deal with them ruining your day again. Top quality supplements have improved my quality of life in more ways than one...
Click here to order the supplements that have helped me.
Until next month... hope you're headache free!
Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...
In honor of Halloween
I know, these are real groaners (look the bad puns are starting already...) but they're clean so you can share them with your kids- they'll love 'em!
How do you fix a jack-o-lantern?
With a pumpkin patch.
What did the french fries dress up as for Halloween?
What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?
He is mist.
What do you call a monster with no neck?
The Lost Neck Monster.
What do you call dead cows that come back to life?
What is a witch’s favorite subject in school?
What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its radius?
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Antioxidant Discussion Forums
Create your very own webpage on my site! (Don't worry- you don't need to know anything about how to do it. If you can type, done!) If you have an interesting story to share or have a comment or question about a topic on the site, you can post it right onto the website. Read about how others have been affected by antioxidants, make a comment on someone else's submission or post your own.
It's fun. It's free. And you don't have to register for anything.
Click here to post your own story, comment or question.
Here are links to informative and/or interesting news articles on nutrition...
Dieters Fail Because Of Hormones Not Lack Of Will Power That's why you need the proper diet that fixes the hormones themselves (ask me about it. Wildly effective!)
People Pay Less Attention To Nutrition Labels Fact Than They Think They Do
Fizzy Drinks Linked To Teen Violence
Fearing Stigmatizing The Patient - Doctors Will Cite Alcohol As Cause Of Death, But Not Smoking.
Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease With A Probiotic
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Shown To Prevent Or Slow Progression Of Osteoarthritis
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!
See you next month...
Good Health to You,
Kristy Russ, BScPharm
Pharmacist and Health Consultant
P.S. Give your body the best nutrition possible. You'll not only feel better now, but you'll also have that quality of life in the future that you've always imagined for yourself. Click here to find out more.