Natural Treatments for Cluster Headaches

Water Enemas, Dietary Changes  

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Posted by S Hall (North Carolina) on 01/20/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I am with Pete A. St Paul, Mn on the GUT and toxins! I just noticed this a year ago. I would use the bathroom and magic it would ease up really quickly!

I have had Chronic Cluster Headaches for 22 years. I've been a human pincushion. They had a time with diagnosis of my Clusters. Even the Headache Center not naming any names but they are in the top 5 in the country tried to treat it like a migraine they had no idea what they were doing. They thought it was a tumor, allergies, foods..etc. I went through 10 years and 9 neurologists. I've tried everything. from regualar meds to herbal, oxygen and things like Acupuncture & Chiropractors. Nothing has helped.

I've found that a facial steamer, or warm vapor mist (cover the vaporizer and your head with a towel to hold in the steam helps quick.) Hot wet towels a hot shower beating on the pressure point also helps. Heating pads are ok but the moisture helps more.

Lay in the fetal position head down on the floor with your knees on the floor. Like you are praying. I think it is because it make the blood run to your head. I think if you just get your legs above your head slightly it works but it has to be face down. Lying on your back makes it worse!

Everything usually ends when you hit the right pressure point, get comfortable and you may break into a sweat and it will break and go away or you pass out for a bit and wake up ok.

Pete A.
09/21/2014 - your post was great!


Posted by Pete A. (St Paul, Mn) on 09/21/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered from trigeminal pain attacks for almost nine years now. At first they were diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia and did follow the symptoms pretty closely. Later they changed and became more like cluster headaches, with the drooping eyelid, red eye, nasal discharge, tearing, worsening when lying down, etc. A neurologist at that point diagnosed me with "trigeminal autonomic cephalgia, " which if you read through all the symptoms sounds awfully close to cluster headaches.

I am convinced these three maladies are all closely related. Maybe diff. versions of the same thing. At least, all are triggering off crazy levels of pain in the trigeminal nerves.

I am VERY surprised that I haven't seen others with these problems noticing that they may be intimately and profoundly connected to the condition of the gut. When searching for studies on TAC (my acronym for trigeminal autonomic cephalgia), I found one study showing a link between vaso-intestinal peptide and TAC attacks.

As a result, I tried taking a plain (filtered) water enema at the onset of TAC attacks (not easy to do when you are shaking badly with agony) and found that it frequently works like magic to completely halt the attacks. I have found that the water temperature has to be just right in order for most of it to go in easily. If it is too cold the body seems to repel it more, and if too hot it is probably bad for the gut tissue.

Also, I have found that while 1 bag usually does the trick, sometimes it can actually make the pain even worse at first and I have to use a 2nd, sometimes even a 3rd bag. When the bulk of the water coming out is clear or nearly clear, it seems to inevitably bring the pain to a halt. This makes me think the enema may be helpful more because it is actually clearing out toxins in the gut that may be entering the bloodstream through a too-permeable "leaky gut" or aggravating diverticulae or whatever--if the vaso-intestinal peptide is being provoked by this, it would make sense that ushering the offending toxins out would remove the need for the VIP increase.

I previously speculated the enemas might be somehow stopping the attacks in that they somehow sent a signal that subdued whatever was sending the trigeminal nerves into that insane attack mode, much like I have found that sometimes submerging my head into moderately warm water in the bath tub or standing in a shower with the same temperature of water over the entire head would magically stop the attack. But after a number of years of trying it, I am now leaning toward thinking it is the actual removal of toxic sludge from the gut. The stuff that comes out during an attack is invariably brown muddy water rather than mostly half-healthy looking material.

There were some writings online by TN sufferers about a diet in which eating very "clean, " mainly vegan in my experience and limiting saturated fat intake to no more than 10 grams per day, put a stop to TN as long as the diet was adhered to. I have found that if I walk a tightrope with my diet, keeping sugar and saturated and bad fats (trans-fats, etc) to a minimum, and avoiding all chemical additives (fake colors, preservatives, flavor enchancers, etc), eating just the right amount of total calories and bulk (not too much, not too little either), and sticking to a very regular routine, not eating too close to bedtime, sleeping at the same time every day, ... I can completely avoid attacks. But wow, this is difficult for me as I have a long history of eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted! Maybe that is how I got into this predicament.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who has found the gut to be a key factor in these problems, TN, cluster headaches and TAC. I should note that bowel conditions, frequency of bowel movements, composition of the chyme (ratio of soft to hard fiber, % of moisture, etc.) seem to have to be just right for me to completely avoid TAC attacks--most of the time. But other times of the year, I can get back into AWFUL eating habits, eating way too much sugar, bad fats, junk, too much volume...and yet have no attacks! Usually in winter. Some have observed that these conditions worsen when the days are changing from long to short or vice versa, in spring and fall. I have found this, too, and that is when I need to cool it on the wrong eating and get tough with myself to curb or control or stop the attacks. At times, easing into a 1- to 4- day total fast where I empty the gut first with the help of enemas and then take a total rest from all food (ZERO calories, use Dr. Joel Fuhrman's "Fasting and Eating for Health" book as a guide), has longer lasting benefits.

Finally, there were a number of times over the years that I suspected this condition was related to some kind of yeast or fungus. It has a number of times been set off initially by a sinus infection or head cold or simply spending too much time in a preschool where the germs felt like they were thick in the air and after which a spot under the left eye became super inflamed and set off the whole trigeminal pathway, attacks and long periods of just incredible pain. Recently I found an article online mentioning that some doctors treated these conditions with antifungals.

I found a number of times that when I did an antifungal regimen I got good results cutting down the attacks and pain. Fasting worked best of all for this. But it is again like a balancing act. Yeasts are a natural part of the human ecosystem. So when you go overboard clobbering them, things get out of whack and either they return with a vengeance or you keep teeter tottering trying to keep them in check. I tried diflucan at one point but found it was too harsh for me, made me so sick the cure was worse than the disease. Herbs like olive leaf extract and pau d'arco and thyme capsules are more friendly and work better long term for me. Oil of oregano was much too harsh by itself. Whole oregano in large amounts was okay.