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Tag: migraines

electromagnetic frequencies - EMFs - experiment

EMF Exposure Experiment

Exposure = Physical contact or interaction with device (interaction involving contact, so not watching computer or TV from a distance).

As you can see, I had some trouble on the bookends of this experiment with limiting my exposure. :/ Even then, however, my interaction with electronics was generally significantly less than what would be typical for me – even on the worst days of 6-7 hrs.! :O

In the Activities column, most or all of my “writing” occurred on paper rather than on the computer.

I think most of the symptoms/improvements were recorded in the order in which they showed up within a day. ūüôā Yeah…wasn’t quite as scientific as I wanted to be here. Also wish I’d defined “deep sleep” a little more. ūüėÄ May not have recorded the hours totally accurately either, but they should be in roughly the correct ballpark – and the proportions of exposure between days should still be roughly correct.

Anyway, here’s the data. ūüôā

Day Approx. hrs. Exposure Symptoms/ Improvements Other Activities/Changes (Some activities left out or not recorded).
Day #1 6-6.5 Scrambled, tight feeling in head. More energy, less dizziness, clearer head Рless scrambled/tight. More tightness later. Slept deeply I think, but sleep was disturbed. Journaling, Writing, Watching YouTube videos on phone. Dishes. Piano. Watched video on Lyme disease (mostly at distance from computer). 
Day #2 5.5-6 hrs. Tight head later. Church, Dishes, Piano, Safeway, Weird car smell exposure.
Day #3 Approx. 3.5 hrs. Kidney pain (discovered this was likely from too much celery/blueberries and possibly blackberries – all high or moderately high in oxalates). Less head discomfort. Slept deeply. Earthing.
Day #4 1.5 hrs. A little more energy, some faintness, kidney pain gone. Some fatigue. Slept deeply. Dishes, Exercise, Earthing, Writing, Violin, Recording Music (didn’t interact with computer to record, brother did).
Day #5 1.5-2 hrs. Felt rested when getting out of bed. More energy, some faintness. Slept deeply. Writing, Dishes, Cooking/Baking, Earthing, Singing.
Day #6 2-2.5 hrs Some faintness, more energy. More balance later. Some tightness in neck/head. Exercise, Earthing, Writing, Dishes.
Day #7 Lost track of exposure. Probably 2.5-4 hrs.? (That might be low) Terrible migraine later. Social event/ceremony, exposure to fragrances, too much walking, loud noises, car fluid exposure (made migraine worse I think).
Day #8 6.5-7 (computer and phone) Migraine disappearing (eventually went away), some gut tenderness. More energy. Itching.  Earthing. Baking.

I do think that limiting EMFs in my environment made some difference in my overall wellbeing (energy, balance, sleep quality, perhaps aches and pains).

Earthing¬†for even a very short time (perhaps a minute or less per day) also seemed to improve my overall “feeling of wellness” (definitely helped with mood, although I didn’t really think to record emotional changes/differences).

Although this experiment wasn’t conducted as neatly as I would have wished, the improvements I experienced while reducing environmental EMFs were significant enough – and the health ramifications of EMF exposure are also significant enough – that I hope, in the future, to find ways to reduce my interaction with electronic devices.

As a blogger, that is quite the challenge, but writing my thoughts on paper has saved me some time in idly thinking of what to write with a computer in my lap.


Have you taken measures to reduce EMFs in your environment? How? What are some tips you’ve picked up?

Have you noticed any improvements since making that change?


Please see Disclaimer.

migraine pain - brain on fire - what it's like having a migraine

What It’s Like Having a Migraine

Ever had a migraine? Do you know a migraine sufferer?

A migraine is not just a common or severe headache. It is that, but much more. A migraine with aura means a migraine accompanied by sensory disturbances or odd perceptions or sensitivities to various stimuli. An aura is something that can show up for people before a migraine or seizure. However, I often experience mine during the migraine.

Everyone’s migraine experience differs in some way from others’ experiences¬†– in¬†the presence or absence of various symptoms, the severity and timing of those symptoms, and the triggers and remedies.

I’ve had migraines since I was six (or at least, I first recall experiencing them at that age), and only since radically changing my diet and lifestyle in recent years (especially the past year or so) have I seen major improvements.

I don’t get migraines very often now, but when I do, they’re still quite the nightmare.


Walking Through a Migraine

It’s 11:15 at night. You just got home from work, and you feel a throbbing pulse of knotted-up heat surrounding your right eye. You try to massage your head and dig at the deep pain, but it is too deep to reach, and it almost feels like any pressure you apply just pushes the pain deeper inside.

“Light jazz” music is on the radio when you walk inside. Normally, this type of music can give you a headache, but now, it’s¬†triggering feelings of nausea. The lights are too bright, and the smell of garlic bread and pasta seeps through your nostrils and pierces deep into your head, setting on fire your already inflamed brain. The pain intensifies and spreads. You wish your remedies could pervade your head this quickly, could heal the damage as fast as it’s inflicted.

You faintly, dizzily wobble up the stairs to your bedroom and lie on the floor in the dark.

It’s been a long day, but you want nothing to eat. Even imagining¬†food or the smell of it makes you sick.

You struggle to find a comfortable position.

Once you do, you don’t want to move. Doing so – even an inch – just reignites the fire.

Even the slightest motion is infinitely painful. It hurts to talk.

People visit and ask you questions. “Are you okay?” “What can I bring you?”

You attempt to respond as briefly and painlessly as possible, not speaking too loudly or moving your mouth too much. Which then prompts them to ask you to repeat your response, because it was not discernible the first time.

Inwardly annoyed – at your own hypersensitivity and pain more than anything – you muster the strength to speak more loudly (if possible), knowing that may set you back for the next several minutes or hours.

You know that they care and mean well, and you don’t want to ignore them. But it’s so painful to shout. You feel like you’re shouting. All sound is magnified. The vibrations of sound fuel the flames permeating your head. And it hurts to move your jaw. It hurts to think.

Your cognitive function is compromised, and it’s painful – if not impossible – to process thoughts efficiently or lucidly.

In response to your loved ones’ queries, you request a hot cloth to place on your face. This will aid in blocking the traces of light biting through your eyelids, as well as relaxing muscles and possibly clearing some nasal congestion, removing at least some pressure from your head.

After about five or ten rounds of heating and applying the hot cloth, you’re beginning to feel some improvement, but you know that your only hope for seeing the end of this migraine is taking pain reliever and trying to sleep it off.

But…nope. Unless you’re fortunate, it’s still there in the morning, if slightly less so. “Hey there!” it greets you. “Didn’t think I’d leave so soon, did you?” Your head feels like a block of lead weighing down your pillow, and you know you lack the energy or equilibrium to get out of bed uneventfully right now.

The pain has traveled since you fell asleep, radiating to other areas of your head.

Once you finally manage to safely descend from your bed to the floor, you attempt to rebalance yourself enough to make it down the stairs, and repeat the hot cloth procedure. You also prepare a cup of tea so that you can drink in the steam (and eventually drink the tea).

You finally feel like eating something mild, and after doing so – and continuing to apply other remedies – the final traces of your migraine at last begin to fade.


Migraines and the Workplace

In the workplace, staying home for a migraine is often viewed as a weak or unnecessary decision. As far as I recall, I never called out for a migraine (perhaps because I feared it’d be viewed as an “excuse” not to work), and so I remember dealing with them while working.

(The first manager I worked with there was pretty kind and understanding, and once he found out I suffered from migraines, he encouraged me to do whatever was necessary to care for myself, but he left soon after I was hired, and leadership changed a lot after that.)

I wonder how much the quality of my work was compromised, as migraines can diminish my thinking/processing ability, and also render me more dizzy and clumsy (I did spill/break my share of things at that job, a highly active and fast-paced position).

To make matters worse, at my first workplace, we were actually not allowed to have water bottles with us. We were only permitted to somehow carve out the time to walk far away from our work area (which was not always allowed) to drink water (laced with germs, heavy metals, and likely fluoride) from the water fountain.

If employers are going to “demand” that their migraine-suffering employees show up to work, they should at least make provisions for their staff that would aid them in coping with the pain:

An electric tea kettle.

A quality water filter.

Maybe some gluten-free tea bags with minimal ingredient lists.

Pain relievers (at least – or including – natural options such as boswellia and maybe white willow bark. Businesses should be able to get away with providing these if they label them as “food” and not “medicine”).

Slightly longer breaks.

Light sensitivity glasses (and/or yellow-tinted glasses for desk jobs), or allowing employees to bring/wear their own on the job.

If businesses are unwilling to make these accommodations, they should not expect employees to show up to work while suffering from migraines, unless they want to risk damage/loss in inventory, information, or labor processes and work quality due to clumsiness/dizziness, severe pain, and impaired neurological processes in their employees.

Chronic illness and autoimmune disease rates are only increasing, so the long-term solution is not simply to fire these employees and hire healthier ones.

The solution is to make our workplaces, homes, and environment cleaner, less toxic, and safer for – and more supportive of – those with chronic illness.


Triggers and Remedies

Some things that may trigger migraines for me (sometimes, they start out as garden-variety headaches and “transform” into migraines):

  • Dehydration.
  • Prolonged exposure to blue light or sunlight.
  • Crying.
  • Walking inside the mall (which I don’t do anymore).
  • Excessive physical activity.
  • Running, or lifting weights.
  • Eating dairy, eggs, corn, coconut, or foods high in various glutamates (tomatoes, grapes/raisins, black beans, foods [such as soups] with the ingredient MSG [monosodium glutamate]).
  • Eating foods high in refined sugars.
  • Eating foods containing dextrin, dextrose, or maltodextrin.
  • Exposure to gluten/wheat (sometimes even without consuming it).
  • Certain types of “jazz” or other “light music” (not quite sure how to describe this music, other than that it sort of tastes like peaches canned in pear juice).
  • Exposure to petroleum for more than a few seconds.
  • Exposure to synthetic fragrances (even briefly smelling them on other people).
  • Smiling for long periods of time (something I still have to work to do less, but often do because sometimes people perceive me as angry or upset if I wear what feels like a neutral face [I have deep-set eyes, so this makes me naturally look a bit more austere or intense when I’m not smiling]).
  • Staying at a party for more than maybe 1-2 hours.
  • Riding along in a car but not driving (in this case, I can usually only prevent a headache or migraine if I’m lying down or resting comfortably against something, or am riding along only for a short time). Additionally, the scents/smells of others’ cars often bother me and make me feel unwell.
  • Sickness.
  • Not taking magnesium.
  • Not getting adequate sleep.
  • Walking through a hardware store.
  • Walking through the laundry detergent aisle.

Some remedies that can help:

  • Being in a quiet, dark place
  • Putting a warm cloth on head
  • Steaming face over hot tea
  • Drinking water/tea
  • Taking natural pain relievers

If you are a migraine sufferer, what are some migraine triggers for you? What things help?


Please see disclaimer.


© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

magnesium, periodic table of elements, biochemistry, molecular biology, magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium forms, supplements, vitamins, magnesium salts, magnesium chloride, migraines, chronic disease, chronic illness, cancer, cardiovascular health, sleep, insomnia, electrolyte balance

Magnesium Deficiency – Approximately 80% of Americans

Magnesium is involved in over 300 reactions in the body.

It is estimated that approximately 80% (or more) of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be suffering from magnesium deficiency.

Some things that can deplete magnesium levels in the body include:

So basically all of us are being robbed of magnesium, in one way or another.


Potential Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is critically involved in cell energetics.

Magnesium Is Basic To Cancer Treatment – Dr. Mark Sircus

Magnesium Can Help Prevent Chronic Disease РLeah Shainhouse, R.D.

Magnesium – How It Affects Your Sleep – Dr. Michael Breus

Magnesium appears to play a role in the prevention and/or management of many chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

And if your liver detox pathways are operating at suboptimal levels like mine (this is actually not too uncommon, due to mutations on the CBS gene), then ammonia is likely building up in your system (ammonia is a byproduct of the metabolism of protein), as your liver is incapable of filtering it out quickly enough before it floods the bloodstream and reaches your brain. In this case, magnesium “shields” are extra important for your brain.

According to Dr. David Jockers, DNM, DC, MS:

Magnesium is also very important as it helps to stabilize the blood brain barrier.  When blood sugar is imbalanced it causes the body to use up more magnesium and leaves the brain vulnerable to ammonia toxicity.  Magnesium is also important for glutamine metabolism by activating glutamine synthetase, an enzyme that helps to remove ammonia from the cells.


Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

According to David Perlmutter, MD, magnesium deficiency symptoms can include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Anorexia
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

And magnesium-deficiency-related clinical conditions can include:

Dr. Perlmutter has also compiled a long list of drugs (including magnesium hydroxide, an antacid) that deplete magnesium stores in the body.

Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health

Magnesium is needed to stimulate the hormone calcitonin which draws calcium out of the muscles and soft tissues and into the bones. This helps explain why magnesium helps lower the risk of heart attack, osteoporosis, arthritis and kidney stones. РKatie Wells, 10 Signs of Magnesium Deficiency.

Magnesium deficiency can also lead to low serotonin levels (magnesium aids in the conversion of tryptophan to the neurotransmitter serotonin).

Magnesium is also critically involved in the activation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the main source of cell energy). ATP must be bound to a magnesium ion to be biologically active.

Even as I write this, I’m realizing I probably need to take more magnesium, as I still have several symptoms of magnesium deficiency (though fewer than I used to).¬†Right now, I typically take 450-750 mg/day, which is more than the recommended daily amount, but then,¬†celiac disease can lead to magnesium deficiency¬†(as it reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients). Maintaining adequate nutrition is a particular challenge for me, especially as I can’t eat most high-magnesium foods:

  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado
  • Figs
  • Yoghurt/Kefir
  • Banana

Yep, none of those. ūüôā

Tiger nuts are a decent source of magnesium, though, and thankfully, that is a food I can tolerate. But I still have to supplement with magnesium. And I don’t even drink city water. If I were regularly consuming fluoride-rich water, I’d need to supplement with more magnesium yet (and purchase a water filter)!

The Best Water Filters For Removing Fluoride


Best Forms of Magnesium

The “right” or “best” form will depend on your individual health needs. However, there are some forms (like magnesium oxide) that offer poor bioavailability and/or are basically junk.

I’m a fan of magnesium malate and citrate.

Dr. Traj Nibber, on magnesium malate:

This less well-known combination has been studied for use in fibromyalgia. Since malate is a substrate in the cellular energy cycle, it can help improve ATP production; there is some preliminary evidence that it may reduce muscle pain and tender points in fibromyalgia patients.

And on magnesium citrate:

A commonly used form that has a good bioavailability compared to oxide. It is also very rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract but it does have a stool loosening effect. This form is found in many supplements and remains a solid option for delivering magnesium into the body.

Check out the full article here, where Dr. Nibber discusses several forms of magnesium, and the possible benefits or side effects of various types.

In addition to researching and choosing the best magnesium compound for your body, you also have to decide what form(s) – such as liquid, capsule, powder, and/or bath salts – work best for you.

Katie Wells (blogger at Wellness Mama) uses topical magnesium (magnesium spray), and recommends this for better absorption. I personally have found that magnesium spray causes my skin to itch (though perhaps a different form/brand would work. Not sure I’ve tried the brand she recommends). However, I can tolerate magnesium chloride baths, another method for topical absorption.

These are the salts I use:

Life-Flo Health Care Living Pure Magnesium Flakes, 44 Ounce

I also take magnesium in capsule form. Of the various brands and forms of magnesium I’ve tried, these are a couple that have worked well so far (both mag citrate), and my favorite is the one I’m using now by Pure Encapsulations (simple ingredient list, and doesn’t bother my gut to the degree that the mag citrate powder by Natural Vitality did).

Pure Encapsulations – Magnesium (Citrate) – Hypoallergenic Supplement Supports Nutrient Utilization and Physiological Functions* – 180 Capsules

Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium Anti Stress, Original, 16 oz

With all the toxins and environmental issues/stressors to which we are exposed today, our magnesium need is likely to be much higher than it used to be. The RDA (recommended daily amount) may not be enough (I’m already taking more than the RDA for my gender/age, and it seems that even that may not be enough [although I definitely notice a difference when I do – or don’t – take it. If I skip magnesium for very long, I feel extremely achy, tired, and weak, and my face begins to look more aged.])

Magnesium helps relieve muscle aches (at least to a degree) for me, improves sleep quality and energy levels, and aids in the process of skin repair.

Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame.

– Dr. Mercola – Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health


Magnesium Products I Currently Use

Pure Encapsulations РMagnesium (Citrate) РHypoallergenic Supplement Supports Nutrient Utilization and Physiological Functions* Р180 Capsules (caps)

Life-Flo Health Care Living Pure Magnesium Flakes, 44 Ounce (salts)


See Also:

Magnesium Stearate: Does Your Supplement Contain This Potentially Hazardous Ingredient?

10 Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Why Do We Need Magnesium? (this piece also mentions some drugs that could interact with magnesium)

Magnesium Deficiency. Causes and Clinical Implications.


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional. Just someone who’s had a lot of health problems, done a lot of research, and has been gradually learning/discovering solutions (read more about my health journey in #myjourneytorecovery). Please do not treat any of this information as medical advice, and consult your physician regarding any health concerns and before trying any products or remedies.

Please see full disclaimer.


© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

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