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In 40 years of CH I have moved many times... sometimes to very different environments at long distance. The CH stayed the same every time. I went chronic slowly over 5 years, and moved 4 times during those years. I was in a different house for each of my super-clusters (episodes lasting 6 months+), and in yet another house when I finally went chronic. Environmental = triggers only... not cause. If you want my number one outside force that made me worse... pharma from the docs... specifically triptans.

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Hey Didg!

Like DM I have had CH as long as I can remember.  It really makes me listen when a small child is telling you that their head hurts, their complaints take me back to the day...but I digress, sorry.  Also like DM I have moved many many times during my life, product of being a military brat, and a military wife.  We had settled in Louisiana though for 12 years after my hubby retired from the Beloved Corps. I had always been episodic, until May 2013.  It came and never left.  The attacks vary, since stopping the trex and starting my customized mishmash treatment program they have gotten SO much better.

If you want my number one outside force that made me worse... pharma from the docs... specifically triptans.

I could not agree more.  Trex is all right for episodes that last less than a week or so, but any longer than that is just asking for it. Digression again, sorry.  Anyway we moved to Texas after 12 years in Louisiana, but since I went chronic before we actually moved I guess the change had no effect on CH.  I do know of folks for whom changes in weather/bar pressure is a major trigger though.

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so is this natures way of telling CH'rs its time to migrate south for the winter ?

Why Weather Triggers Headaches and Migraines

Headache specialists are still unraveling the mysteries of migraines and other headaches. Most believe a combination of factors is at play. Those factors range from genetics to neurovascular imbalances in the brain.

But what role could weather play? One leading evolutionary theory is that getting a headache is a protective mechanism against adverse environmental stressors. The theory goes that headache pain would cause someone to seek a safer, more hospitable environment. The fact that changes in weather and extremes in heat and cold cause headache, some experts believe, gives credence to this theory.

These experts also believe that people who get frequent headaches have a greater sensitivity to changes in the environment. They also have a lower threshold to the pain response. The reason for these things, the experts say, may be that people with migraines have likely inherited this sensitivity.

The survey cited earlier also found that two out of three headache sufferers had not discussed environmental triggers with their doctors. Nearly half of them, though, had been plagued by headaches for more than 20 years.

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NOW I feel like im getting somewhere ,,, heres a combo ,,, and it seems to fit .. pressure change ,,time of year ,, my sons laying down

Many scientists and researchers disagree on exactly why atmospheric pressure changes can instigate headaches. One theory is that the barometric receptors in the brain, which regulate blood pressure when one stands up quickly or changes position, might be affected by atmospheric pressure changes. A similar theory poses that a change in the atmospheric pressure causes small pressure changes in the fluid of the brain.

heres the link to this article 


so MAYBE the psilo shuts up the barometric receptors in the brain. so that blood pressure doesn't change from sitting to lying down.  As I have gotten older I started getting boughts of something called  "ortho-static hypo tension" ,, I would get a HUGE head rush and dizzy upon  standing ,, it didn't happen every time .. and it would come and go.  It was directly tied to my hormones.  hmmmmm

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Unfortunately, although numerous studies confirm what people have known for millennia ( i.e.that weather and altitude significantly affect living things, including causing headaches in weather or altitude sensitive people), at present, there appears to be no single and definitive explanation universally accepted to explain the precise mechanism and biological response to account for Barometric Pressure Headaches. Various explanations have been suggested which include the possibility that changes or fluctuations in barometric pressure are associated with:

•Alterations in oxygen levels that result in blood and cranial vessels trying to compensate by contracting (vasoconstriction) and/or dilating (vasodilation) in the head region. Pain is caused by swollen blood vessels pressing on nerve fibres in the brain as well as from swelling/inflammation of brain tissue from various chemicals released during this process. This was the most popular explanation of migraines from the medical profession prior to the development of modern resonance imaging techniques. These now indicate that migraines are not simply due to blood flow changes but are much more complex in nature involving various changes in the brain.

•Vasodilation of blood vessels in head due to barometric receptors in the brain being activated.

•Atmospheric electrically charged/ionization of air particles that trigger headaches. Positive ionization has been linked to the release of excessive serotonin into the bloodstream.

•Triggers involving changes in electrical activity within the brain.

•Triggers involving pressure induced chemical changes occurring in the body.

•Producing small pressure variations in the fluid of the brain that trigger brainstem migraine receptors.

•Changes in neurotransmitters of the brain.

•Differences in pressure concerning blood vessels, numerous tubes, cavities and sealed chambers filled with fluid or air in the inner ear, brain and head region. In particular, pain resulting from pressure differences between air trapped in the sinuses and the air outside (especially when barometric pressure decreases) which becomes exacerbated when the openings leading into the nasal cavities are blocked, is well documented.

Studies have shown many other factors may possibly trigger headaches and migraines through influencing brain patterns, nerves and body chemistry. Understanding the exact degree of association between the weather/barometric pressure and these factors is still to be determined:

•Environmental electromagnetism.

•Changes in the earth’s electromagnetic field during solar storms.

•Air-borne particulate matter and pollutants especially in cities.

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Spiny, Actually born and raised in Texas, lived in Louisiana longer than anywhere else though, yes hubby was/is a Marine, and now living back in Texas after his job transferred him. So hopefully we are here for a while (though I dont really mind moving).

Didg, You are SO organized, and present information so well.  I am jealous! lol HUGS! :)

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thanks Fab ,, (that was just a cut and paste actually) ,, I have a lot of "free time" at my job some days .. so go back and forth between researching Cluster Headaches for my Son ,,,, and sadly and more recently Lung Cancer Treatments for my husband,,, I'll just keep digging,  maybe theres a buried treasure down there somewhere !!

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I find that pressure changes are a trigger for me too - but only during the winter months - so from October through to March.

This was one of the first patterns that I noticed and fed back to my doctor 20 years ago... I remember saying to him -

'I know this will sound strange, but these attacks do seem to follow the weather, it's like I can tell when the weather's about to change...'

then followed 16 years of countless brain scans, eye scans and a septoplasty before I moved house and registered with another doctor who diagnosed me within 5 mins after I asked him for some antibiotics for my 're-occuring sinusitis'

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16 years - yes, but I'm only episodic - and I think that during that time there were a total of maybe 3 or 4 years where I didn't suffer (random years, not sequential) - but of course, also some terrible, terrible clusters too.

I knew that the pain I was feeling was not normal - and because the doctors couldn't diagnose it I simply assumed that I had a very unusual and probably terminal illness - I say terminal in the sense that I thought that there would be one episode so bad that something in my brian would just pop and kill me, either that or disable me in a sort of stroke-like way. I was convinced that my parents would find me dead curled up in my bed after letting themselves in to my house because they hadn't heard from me for a week or so.

Difficult to describe the combination of relief and anger that I felt after I was finally diagnosed having lived with those thoughts for such a long time.

One thing that I can say for sure though is that with Sumatriptain, although you can abort the pain - and I have to say I was like a kid with a new toy once I got my hands on it - it does seem to prolong the clusters and it gives me a 'dirty, murky' head.

With help from this site and the very kind people here I used RC seeds for my first bust 6 weeks ago - a few shadows here and there, but all good so far with my first harvest of MM safely dehydrated and in the freezer.

have also started the D3 regeme

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tangerine ,, that's very interesting .. some claim that it comes with the "equinox" or changing of seasons.. but if you have moved from one hemisphere to another and your pattern stays the same then the "changing of the seasons" theory might not apply.

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Hi Phil... so you are still episodic ? I am very interested then in how the busting affects you.  My son Is also only episodic .. and only so far (knock wood) gets < 20 CH's a year.  They just started for him about 3 years ago.  I am super blessed to google around and found out what it was within a month or two so he didn't suffer for years.  We did have a hard time with the first neuro ,, he wouldn't prescribe O's so we moved on.

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Hi Didgens,

Yes - I am episodic. This is the first cycle/cluster that I busted. That was about 6 weeks ago now.

I got the tell-tale signs of an iminent attack and used RC seeds. I had purposely not started my verapamil the month earlier so was completely clean.

I used 50 RC seeds for each bust, crushed them to dust, soaked in water for 2 hours and drank it all. Best to do a couple of hours after food.

I started as I say when I started feeling he shadows, and repeated every 5 days for 30 days (6 in total) - I have since found out that I nneded only do three repeats.

I still felt the shadows until probably day 20 ish - but they diminished in severity, volume and logevity over time until none.

My last dose was 22/10. I'm now planning on using a preventative dosage (I have grown some MM since) of 15g (wet), approx 1.5g dry MM stating on 22/12 and will repaet every 60 days. I have a back-up of MM ini the freezer in case I need to bust again.

Reason for moving to MM is nothing more than I have grown them myself, thus I know the strain, stregth and how they have been looked after - thus they are as known a quantity as can be. Concern re: seeds was that I didn't know how potent they were or how well they had been kept.

I am also looking in to the D3 regeme - having busted - thinking about moving on to that and dropping the 60 day preventative dosage in may be a years time once I'm fully 'topped up' and feeling like it's a regeme that I can stick to (a lot of tablets every day - may be a bit of a hassle as I travel quite a bit with work).

Will obviously keep a stash of MM in the freezer in case I need to bust

Outide of that - I'm still off alcohol - have been since the beginning of the bust - so almost 7 weeks

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Phil: We all love success stories like yours!  :) Many use the D3 regimen year round and some still need to bust. It is a bit of a hassle to tote whole bottles around, but you can just pack enough for the trip in one bottle.

didgens: Solstice and Equinox are common start times for episodics. No matter if you are south of the equator or north, the same thing happens. Just that south the fall Equinox signals longer days coming, not shorter and the Solstice is reversed too. Maybe the Equator would be a good place to go!!!  ;D

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Hey didgens .....

As usual, another great topic that's got me further wondering, as I am also barometrically challenged.  Pressure drops are definitely a trigger for a lot of us, with flying, mountain traveling and storms passing that bring on the pain.

I get shadows while driving, and that's a really small drop in pressure.  Head to the hills or take off in an airplane almost guarantees the Beast will visit.

I wonder, since heat can also be a trigger for me (very warm days and sometimes with too many covers on the bed at night), I can quickly get some comfort by stepping outside or drinking cold water.  Too bad we can't easily alter the surrounding air pressure to test the potential for help.  Can just imagine stepping into a barometric chamber and cranking up the millibars as easy as grabbing the O2 and huffing for awhile.  This needs to be tested.

I've attempted to correlate atmospheric pressure drops with CH, as the resources are readily available to me for that data.  Have found that the rapid drops (>2 millibar per 3 hour period) have a 60% chance for triggering CH.  This is complicated by a lag time of 15-75 minutes after the greatest drop and the low pressure has been maintained.

There are weather websites, like Intellicast, that attempt to predict the areas where weather is likely to cause aches and pains.


They even have a Bad Hair Day forecast.  God knows what parameters they use to determine the likelihood of encountering your particular problem, but they may be on to something.  The pressure changes seem to be a secondary trigger that can easily push the primary triggers envelope into the CH range.

Knowing the chances for arrival of a barometric changing situation is as simple as looking at the weather map or wondering how many 1000's of feet you'll be climbing in the mountains.  Avoiding this position can be impossible and guess we just have to take whatever comes our way, Imitrex in hand.

We should all move to the Tropics, have luxurious homes on some beach and build an O2 producing machine.  Hmmm .... gets me thinkin.

weatherman  8-)

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