Hey Mle and JenniDawn,
There is sufficient evidence to say cluster headache (CH) is an autoimmune disorder just like MS. It also interesting to note that both disorders are highest among people who are vitamin D3 deficient... When was the last time you had your serum 25(OH)D tested? 25(OH)D is the serum level metabolite of vitamin D3 that's used to measure its status... The normal reference range for this lab test is 30 to 100 ng/mL... Unfortunately, too many physicians will interpret 31 ng/mL as "Normal." The real vitamin D3 experts say anything less than 50 ng/mL is insufficient and that 50 to 70 ng/mL is optimum for otherwise healthy adults... As a CHer, we need 80 to 100 ng/mL and some need even higher levels.
Both CH and MS respond to a regimen of vitamin D3 and the vitamin D3 cofactors/conutrients if the vitamin D3 dose is high enough.
I've been working with cluster headache sufferers (CHers) for over six years and have roughly 600 of them taking what I call the anti-inflammatory regimen with 10,000 IU/day vitamin D3, Omega-3 Fish Oil and the vitamin D3 cofactors/conutrients that include 400 mg/day magnesium 12 mg/day zinc, 1-3 mg/day boron, Vitamin B 100 complex, vitamin A (retinol) at RDA and vitamin K2 at 100 mcg/day. I also have a close friend and Vietnam buddy who's wife has RRMS. She's been taking the anti-inflammatory regimen with 10,000 IU/day vitamin D3 for over 4 years and has remained in remission the entire time.
You can download the latest version of the anti-inflammatory regimen CH preventative treatment protocol at the following link.
Be sure to share a copy with your PCP or neurologist. That way you're both singing from the same sheet music when you ask for the suggested lab test of your serum 25(OH)D, total calcium and PTH (Parethyroid Hormone).
You can also scan the following QR code with your smart phone and it will download a pdf copy of the treatment protocol to your phone as a ready reference. If you don't have the QR Code Reader App, it's free and It takes less than 10 seconds to download and install.
The really important news for you deals with the Coimbra Protocol for MS developed by Dr. Cicero Coimbra, MD PhD, a neurologist in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His treatment protocol calls for much higher doses of vitamin D3 plus the cofactors. Where the anti-inflammatory regimen with 10,000 IU/day vitamin D3 works out to 100 IU of vitamin D3 per Kg of body weight per day, the Coimbra Protocol calls for upwards of 1000 IU of vitamin D3 per Kg of body weight per day... For a sleek rascal like me weighing in at 95 Kg, that works out to 95,000 IU/day of vitamin D3!
What is also exciting is none of his MS patients on this protocol suffer from vitamin D3 intoxication/toxicity... There's a good reason for this... When MS patients start on this protocol, they need to avoid taking any calcium supplements and avoid calcium rich foods, i.e., dairy products... They also need to drink 2.5 liters of water a day to help their kidneys flush excess calcium from their systems. Nearly all of his MS patients find this a very acceptable trade off.
You can read about Dr. Coimbra's work with his MS patients at the following links. He and his team of neurologists have treated over 3000 MS patients over the last 10 years and 95% of them are in complete remission. Many have reported their existing MS lesions are shrinking or have disappeared completely.
There's also a very exciting study done by Dr. Jody Burton, MD et al. University of Toronto where she had 25 RRMS patients start an escalating dose of vitamin D3 from 4000 IU/day up to 40,000 IU/day and back down to zero on 6 week intervals for one year.
This trial concluded with an averaged a vitamin D3 doses ~14,000 IU/day/year and 32/52 weeks spent at doses ≥ 10,000 IU/day:
· • There was no hypercalciuria, hypercalcemia or parathyroid dysfunction
o No radiological evidence of calcification
o No clinical or biochemical adverse events
o Significant reduction in RR and EDSS
o Significant reduction in T-cell reactivity/proliferation
· • Vitamin D3 intake up to 40,000 IU/day and prolonged intake of ~ 10,000 IU/day appears safe and is associated with improvement in clinical disease activity and T-cell reactivity.
Take care and please let me know if this information is of interest.