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My wife's incurable headaches
Posted by: John
Date: July 13, 2002 3:25 AM

My wife has seen her neurologist for about 2 ½ years. She is being treated for headaches which have gotten progressively worse in intensity and duration (about 10-12 hours/day), and for which no accurate cause or diagnosis has been attained. She has just had her 42nd birthday and is a former citizen of the Russian Federation. She is married, an American citizen, and has lived in the U.S. for 6 years. She is 5’7” and weighs 133 lbs. Both her mother and father have a history of migraines and thyroid trouble. She takes a small dose of Synthroid (0.025mg) daily. Before taking it (when she first came to this country), she had trouble with constipation and a general feeling of being fatigued. Her libido is also quite low. I am writing to you (and we live nearby) on the outside chance that what might be bothering my wife is something that other doctors haven’t looked at yet. For example, is it possible that hormonal changes could be the cause, and if so, are there specific blood or saliva tests (women’s hormones; thyroid assessment; bone resorption tests – her mother has had serious problems with calcium absorption/thyroid gland; cardiovascular assessment – Lena has a history of arrhythmia, that will help a specialist to diagnose her headaches.?)

There were 4 tests listed on a website that I thought might be useful:
1. Women’s hormonal health assessment
2. Comprehensive thyroid assessment
3. Bone resorption assessment (her mother has real problems with calcium and her parathyroids)
4. Comprehensive cardiovascular assessment (Lena has a history of arrhythmia)

We have a medical plan (Healthnet) which will pay for lab tests if prescribed by a physician in our IPA. If there are well known generic versions of these lab tests (above) that a doctor here can ask for – I would appreciate that.

J G

Medical Treatments

Three MD doctors have prescribed several medicines and suggested alternative treatments in order to discover a regimen that would reduce my wife’s symptoms.

o Medications
§ VIOXX, Darvasett, Nuerontin, Keppra, Stadol spray, Welbutrin, Zoloft (Sertraline), Zanaflex, Topamax, Maxalt, Amerge.
§ From Dr. K M, family practicioner: Isometh/D Chloralphenz/APAP; Vicodin, Immitrex injections
§ Dr C P, family practitioner: Meprobamate
§ Over the counter medicines: Advil, Excedrin, Tylenol, Aspirin, Aleve
§ From the emergency room at Marin General Hospital: Demerol Injections, Acetiminophen w/Codeine, Darvasett.

o Alternate treatments:
§ Acupuncture & Chinese herbal remedies (from certified ODs), massage, chiropractic, physical therapy.

o Tests
§ Cat Scan 10/99
§ MRI 9/01
§ Cat Scan 4/02

Thus far, she has shown no discernible improvement of her symptoms from these medicines or treatments.

A recent MRI shows that a vertebrae may be pinching and squeezing her spinal column in her neck. However, on viewing and testing by a spine surgeon (Dr. S) with fluorscopy, the surgeon ruled out that the nerve going through this area (C3,4,5) was causing the pain, even though there was a slight bulge in the disk. This headache pain has aggravated stress-related symptoms such as muscle spasms and depression that go with it.

Dr. M (nuerologist) intimated several times that he thought that the only thing that would work was complete rest in a stress-free environment over an extended length of time. When my wife quit her job, she began to have milder symptoms and there were times during the day when she was pain free, but the headaches have returned with a vengeance, and they are even stronger now in a completely stress-free environment.

The only thing that has worked to subdue her disability in the past has been complete rest, physical therapy, and a gradual retraining of her posture through strengthening and relaxing exercises. Now nothing works. She went to a chiropractor for a month long series of training exercises and adjustments, but this exercise only aggravated her condition.

In April 2002, Lena revisited her ear nose and throat specialist,who had successfully operated on her in 1997 for a severely deviated septum and blocked sinus glands (which he opened again). Her sinuses had been blocked for almost 20 years. He did a cat scan on her nasal area and could find no correlation between the headaches and her sinuses, which he said were free and clear.

In April 2002, Lena began to see a surgical spine specialist, Dr. E S (from a local Orthopedic Clinic), who has been doing experimental shots in her spine at the C-3, C-4 area to see if a nerve is being constricted. He has found one area that seems to bring her relief and is scheduled to do a nerve “ablatement” if and when we request it. We have seen him approximately 5 times, 3 of those times were at a Specialty Surgery Clinic in L, CA.

In June, 2002 we began seeking out doctors of alternative medicine in order to look for a diagnosis, and if possible, a cure. Once a week, my wife now sees a 3rd generation oriental doctor from San Francisco, a D.O., who has had 32 years experience in China and the U.S. He is also a well-know herbalist specializing in fertility (we didn’t know that when we went to him, it just worked out that way). He said that her hormones are out of balance and prescribed a thick herbal concoction which she cooks and drinks twice a day. He also does acupuncture treatments once a week. So far, no results.

We also have seen a homeopathic doctor, an M.D., who is both an internist and a classical homeopath for 12 years. He is a graduate of the Hahneman Institute. He has treated Lena with Rhus Toxicondron (2 weeks ago). So far, no results.

He sent Lena to a cranial sacral specialist, who indicated that her solar plexus and diaphragm area were blocked and that energy was not flowing through that area because of the constricted way she breathed. Another cranial sacral specialist said something similar about her upper chest area and again indicated breathing and energy flow. My wife did have lung surgery when she was a child for an infected lobe that was removed, and has some scar tissue on that side of her body.

Lastly, we recently had a phone discussion with a Dr, C (ND) from a clinic in Roswell, GA [www.healthyselftoday.com] who believes that heavy metals from the part of Russia where my wife lived - combined with the recent removal of her silver/mercury teeth fillings (replaced with composite fillings) - might have contributed to problems with blood flow to the head and extremities (a condition which my wife has). She suggested chelation therapy with D*** and Heperin, plus panels of hormone, CVC, and thyroid tests to see what is going on with her blood, including an ISAC test (Immune System Activation Coagulation, from Hemex.com). She wants us to come to Atlanta, but I am wondering if there is someone locally here who could do the same therapies. Your site seemed to indicate that. Also, we have several friends who are RNs. Is there a chance we can do IVs here at home with their help?


Medical History

Autumn, 1999. My began seeing an nuerologist for severe headaches at this time.

In September, 1999, My wife began having severe migraine headaches while working as an accountant at a Medical Billing company. The headaches were at first considered the result of stress.

My wife was home for approximately 2 weeks bed rest in October, 1999. Because of her recurring headaches, she returned to work in a part-time role - rather than full-time - on November 1, 1999. After 4 months she went back to full time work, but on November 15, 2000, she was forced to quit her job because of the extreme nature of the migraines.

She was treated on and off for two years, and had to leave a second job because of recurring migraines. On September 1, 2001, an MRI test was done which revealed a vertrabrae mildly pinching her spinal cord. Since then she has undergone physical therapy, and was showing slight, gradual improvement. Recent diagnostic work with a spine specialist produced a scant chance that this was actually causing the headaches.

From November 2001 to the present Lena has been seeing Dr. M (nuerologist) regularly, Dr. S (a spine surgeon), a Chinese doctor in San Francisco (Dr. K, OD), a chiropractor (Dr. RP), who has been doing some physical therapy. We have just begun to see a classical homeopathic doctor, RJ MD, who has prescribed Rhus toxicodendron for her condition, and a cranial sacral specialist

Emergency Room visits due to severe headaches:
October 21, 1999 Marin General Hospital
April 27, 2001 Novato Hospital
August 7, 2001 Marin General Hospital


Notes from a health questionnaire for my wife:

Headache Related Heart Lungs Other
Nausea Sudden racing of heart, rapid heart beat Difficulty breathing after mild exertion or stress Cold hands and feet General weakness and Fatigue, feeling of poor health
Depression, at extremes can feel hopeless and sad arrhythmia history of Lung infections Tightness in neck muscles Bone (joints) and back pain
Headaches and dizziness with confusion, difficulty speaking or finding right words, mental fogginess pounding heart Shortness of breath, shallow breathing Difficulty sleeping Can get swollen feet and legs if stand too long. Edema
Sparkles when headaches are severe Lack of interest in romance Sensitive to minor changes in weather or surroundings
Face feels like needles, a numbing feeling Difficulty in getting pregnant Feels ill in damp rainy weather
Feels like something is crawling around inside the head Susceptible to infections Catches colds easily
Feels like a cloud in the head, light-headed Dark circles under eyes Bruises easily and severely.
Skin turns grey Wounds heal slowly
Ears wet inside when waking up in the middle of the night Painful memories from the past, abandonment Neck injury when 13 years old

Please write to me at my email so that I can respond without anonymity. It may be best to speak briefly on the phone.

RE: My wife's incurable headaches
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: July 13, 2002 1:57 PM

I concur with the idea of mercury removal, testing and treatment for residual heavy metal body burden and yes that can be done here. There is no need to use IV chelation as oral chelation for heavy metals does just as well and a fraction of the expense. A consistent cause of migraine headaches has not been discovered and it undoubtedly is a combination of genetic susceptibility and toxic exposure. In other words some toxic element in the environment collects in a genetically susceptible person and when a certain level is reached the headache is triggered. This would be something most people would tolerate without difficulty. It could be heavy metals, and it could be something else. So, I concur with the idea of metal removal as a subset of detoxification in general. There are myriad toxins to consider, to many to go through one by one. I probably would end up recommending removal of them all with an intestinal cleanse program such as Arise and Shine along with a specific diet. This uses the GI tract as an exit route for toxins collected throughout the body. This would not handle heavy metals however as they remain firmly bound inside cells and therefore this approach would not exclude removal and treatment for metal toxicity. This all presumes basic health of the digestive system and if that is not the case, that problem would have to be corrected before the cleanse program could be instituted. Another item to consider is the element of hidden food allergies - there are blood tests for this element.



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