Puzzle piece number two, a mineral, no really.

Late last year I went to a new doctor and had my thyroid medicine switched from synthetic to natural.  It has helped me immensely but not as much as adding one little mineral to my daily routine has.

The doctor and I talked about my daily routine, how much I work, how much I exercise, how much stress is in my life and then she did some blood work.  She noticed, as I always have, that my calcium tends to run on the higher side.  It’s not too high but it’s in the upper limit and it always is.

She then explained to me that having a higher calcium level means that your magnesium is probably low.

yeah obviouslyExcept it wasn’t obvious to me because no one ever mentioned it to me before.  She suggested that I take a magnesium supplement daily and then she explained why.

Most of us do not get enough magnesium from our foods but we get too much calcium because it is added to our dairy products, dairy alternatives, processed foods, and sometimes orange juice!  When your calcium levels become high, magnesium levels can fall. And you can have a whole host of issues if you are deficient in magnesium, such as anxiety and depression, muscle spasms and cramps, high blood pressure, calcification of the arteries, low energy, problems sleeping and it even affects your bone health.

give me the magnesiumSo, I was like, give me all the magnesium!

For my age my body needs 320MG of Magnesium daily so the doctor suggested I take a supplement which provides 250MG daily via two pills because magnesium is found in some foods and you don’t want to take too much.  Then you could have issues related to too much magnesium, (like diarrhea).  The key is balance.

She did however suggest that if I had a day when I binge on sweets or on days when I do a long run I should take one additional pill which would mean taking 375MG for that day.  The reason is because sugar depletes magnesium and also there have been some studies that show that magnesium supplementation has helped patients who suffer from migraine headaches.  I was skeptical but I started taking the magnesium as she instructed.

skeptical

OMG, it worked!

Guess what?  Yep, I was able to run long without migraines.  And if I was unsure whether or not the magnesium had anything to do with it, I got my answer a few weeks ago.

When the kid was in town we were really busy going to the cabin and to the other house and I was trying to stay on top of work so that I could spend all my time with him and I got lax with my medications and especially my magnesium.  I didn’t take it for almost a week.

That Saturday when I ran 12 miles, I got a hellacious migraine and the only thing I could attribute it to was magnesium. I started taking it again and the next few weeks I ran 13.1 and 15.25 miles with no migraines.

If you are curious about how much magnesium you need or the symptoms caused by the lack of it, the NIH has a great article here.

That was the second piece of the puzzle in helping me run headache free and so far it’s been working.

Do you take any supplements?

What and why?

It was bittersweet but they’ve been reunited.

We grew attached to Baby P.  I knew we would.  When I came in from working in the yard and saw MacGyver sleeping on the sofa with him and Hank I knew it was just like when we found Woody all over again.

Baby P

So, as you can imagine, it was bittersweet this morning when I found Baby P’s momma and we reunited them.  I may have even cried a little.

Momma and her chicks

We watched them for about a half hour or so.  Baby P is a little bigger than his brother, probably because he’s been eating pretty well, thanks to me.  He may end up coming back when he realizes the food supply ain’t so great out there in nature.

I got my laptop fixed!  I had to order a brand new top part with the keyboard built in.  MacGyver had to take the entire thing apart and rebuild it basically, all because a few keys on the keyboard didn’t work, but he can fix anything.

fixing computer

I’m back in business now.

After a full week of no topirimate my migraines got really bad again.  I only ran 8 miles on Saturday and the last two I walked and I didn’t run at all on Sunday.  I did manage to run five on Monday but I took the day off today to reunite Baby P with his family.  Running seems to exacerbate my migraines for some reason so I have to ease myself back into it.

Here’s the funny thing, I’m going to be taking the topirimate again.

How Absurd

Yes, I know, it does seem absurd but here’s the thing.  I took topirimate for months with absolutely no issues at all and it was the only thing that helped me.  When I ran out my doctor wrote another prescription for me but instead of having me take two fifty mg pills at night, she wrote a prescription for one 100 mg pill and I had it filled at another pharmacy and that’s when the twitching began and the eye issues.

I am going back to two 50 mg pills and I am having the prescription filled at the old pharmacy because it turns out that medications are not all created equal.  My old medication was from a pharmaceutical company called Zydus and the most recent one was from a company called Unichem.  Both the pharmacist and the Doctor feel that it could be the additives in the medication that caused some of my problems so we are going to try the old medication to see if I can take it without experiencing any side effects.

If I experience anything weird at all, I’ll immediate give up on it.  What kills me is that when researching all of this, I found out that there are 17 manufacturers of Topirimate.  SEVENTEEN!  You really have no idea what you’re getting when you get a generic version of a brand name drug because according to the FDA Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand name product.  It’s a wonder I’m not blind.

Did you know that there were so many manufacturers of generic medications?

Have you ever had side effects from any of your medications?

And just when I thought it was over……

On Saturday I ran 10 miles on the Legacy Trail and ended up with a mid-level migraine that ended up lasting for the entire freakin weekend.  It sucked.  This is what I get for playing doctor and not taking my thyroid medication for almost three weeks because now the long run migraines are back and I’m sure it will take a few weeks to get rid of them again.

migraine easy

Oh, if it were only this easy….

The bad news is, I might have finally solved the mystery of the eye twitch and it has absolutely nothing to do with the thyroid medication and absolutely everything to do with another medication I was sure I needed and it’s the only thing that got rid of my migraines when everything else failed previously.  It turns out that the twitch could actually be caused by the topirimate!  The blessed Topirimate!

oh god noIn case you’re wondering, I’m not going to play around with my medications this time, I’m going to make an appointment this week and talk to my doctor about it, but since the ‘twitch’ started around the same time the doctor increased my dose of topirimate, I’m pretty sure that’s the culprit.

I don’t know why I never considered it before.  As it turns out problems with the eyes are a known side effect with topirimate.  Go figure.  So much for my miracle drug.

I still managed to rally on Saturday and have a little fun.  We went out on the boat and had dinner with the in-laws.  We also went swimming and I found out that my Fibit Charge HR is definitely water resistant.  I’d almost go as far as saying that bitch is damn near waterproof.  I mean, I know it’s not, but it certainly seemed like it when I was showing off in the pool.

Swimming MacGyver was showing his dad how to execute the perfect swimming stroke.  Is that even what you say?  I don’t know because I obviously know absolutely nothing about swimming but that didn’t stop me from jumping into the water and showing off my perfectly imperfect breast stroke while forgetting to remove my Fitbit Charge HR.  Yeah, I did that.

And then I swam across the pool a few more times.  And then, I remembered I had it on.

Still worksIt still works!

I slept in on Sunday morning and I slept a lot of the day on Sunday too but I could not get rid of the migraine.  It just did not want to go away so I finally just gave in and decided to rest.  For some reason that’s a hard thing for me to do.

This morning I was rewarded for it because I woke up migraine free and I was able to run again.  It wasn’t a lot of fun though.  If you follow me on Instagram or facebook you may already know why.

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything exciting?  Did you know the Fitbit Charge HR was water resistant?