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Heal Your Headache Paperback – August 12, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Although headaches are natural, they are not necessary, argues David Buchholz, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In his Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Headaches, Buchholz counsels severe headache sufferers to avoid quick fix painkillers, which can cause rebound headaches. For a more holistic approach, minimize triggers like caffeine, perfumes, certain foods and stress and, for hardcore cases, use preventative medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel blockers and others. Buchholz also discusses common misdiagnoses of migraine symptoms and challenges the myth of tension and sinus headaches (these are usually migraines, he argues).
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"If everyone read Dr. Buchholz's book, headache would diminish as a problem all over the world." -- Howard Kirshner, M.D., Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
"This book is clearly written, insightful and filled with useful tips for all individuals with migraine. A must read!" -- Ronald J. Tusa, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurology and Otolaryngology, Dizziness and Balance Center, Emory University
"This is a very useful book that provides a fresh and logical approach to the management of headaches." -- Roy A. Patchell, M.D., Chief of Neuro-Oncology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
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I started reading this book at home on a Saturday night of a week of bad headaches. I had taken 8 Maxalts the previous week (the label says take no more than 6 in a week, and Dr. B. says no more than 2 per month ultimately). Suffice to say, I was very much ready for something that was purporting to work, and without meds to boot. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I read the entire book that night, with tears streaming down my face. It all just made so much SENSE. I finally felt like someone out there believed what kind of pain I was in, in addition to 'odd' symptoms I was having (balance problems, inability to concentrate, bizarre feelings like my left arm was not part of my body, etc.). I was sold. I went off my meds immediately and started the diet that week as well. I have had 'headache control', as Dr. B. calls it, for the last 6 months. In that time, I have had some bad days (mostly during my period), but they were nowhere near as bad as they used to be. I have had more headache-free days than headache days. Now, because I've 'detoxed' off the Maxalt, I take Aleve for my headaches, and it has actually started working again. No more rebound headaches, no more crappy side effects from Maxalt. It is incredible.
The diet is not easy to follow - especially if you already have restrictions (I am a vegetarian). However, it only takes a week or two to figure out the dietary 'workarounds' and to adapt. Once you start feeling relief, you realize following the diet is not much of a price to pay for getting your life back. You just really have to discipline yourself. Also, I have stopped feeling angry at my body and at the world for this suffering I've gone through - which is a big stress relief in itself.
When he says go cold turkey off the meds, DO IT. I had an awful, splitting headache for a day, and then things improved. My cognitive functioning has also returned to normal. It's amazing how clearly you can think when the part of your body responsible for thinking doesn't hurt all the time.
I have been telling everyone I know about this book - and it turns out, almost everyone knows someone who is suffering from chronic headaches. Do yourself a favor - pick this book up, and stick to the plan. No whining, just do it. The longer you make excuses for why you can't do it, the longer you'll suffer.
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It introduced me to a whole new world.