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Will you be traveling this fall? Check the migraine forecast for your destination. This issue of our newsletter tells you how. Plus, with school and extra-curricular activities in full swing, we offer natural ways to reduce children's risk of migraines. And finally, since supplements can be such an important part of natural prevention, readers want to know how to tell if a particular supplement is "any good." We checked the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements and we have some good guidelines to share with you.

And if there's anything you'd like to share with us, please do! We really enjoy hearing from you about preventives that do and don't work for you, and about topics you'd like us to cover in upcoming issues.

Sincerely,
Tina Sanders


Linpharma Customer Education

 

 

Nutrition-Based Prevention: How to Tell Which Supplements Are Any Good

Supplements can be an important part of migraine prevention for two reasons: First, supplements like butterbur and magnesium, riboflavin and CoQ10 do seem to reduce the severity and frequency of migraines. Second, because of this, they reduce the need to take acute medications that come with serious health risks. However, not all supplements are the same quality and so will not give you the results that were achieved in the research studies. Here’s how to find the ones that will.

Recommendations based on information from the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

  • Choose supplements from companies following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). NIH explains that the FDA has established GMPs for dietary supplements to help prevent the inclusion of the wrong ingredient, the addition of too much or too little of an ingredient, the possibility of contamination, and the improper packaging and product labeling. The FDA periodically inspects facilities that manufacture these supplements. Look for labeling or marketing information that refers to “FDA-inspected facilities” or testing by organizations such as NSF International, ConsumerLab.com or the US Pharmacopeia.
  • Check the label carefully. According to the NIH ODS website, all products labeled as a dietary supplement carry a Supplement Facts panel that lists the contents, amount of active ingredients per serving, and added ingredients. Check to see exactly what is in the supplement and compare the amount and variety of ingredients in seemingly similar supplements.
  • Consult your doctor. NIH ODS advises discussing any supplement with your doctor. This is good advice, especially since doctors can share their own criteria for deciding whether a supplement is “any good.” We typically find that there are four criteria that carry the most weight with doctors:
    1. Evidence that GMPs have been used in making the product — a good indication of a pure and standardized product.
    2. How the effectiveness is documented (e.g., clinical studies are more reliable than testimonials).
    3. The safety profile of the main ingredient and the specific supplement brand.
    4. How patients tolerate the supplement (e.g., is it easy to take, are the side effects mild, etc.)

These guidelines are excellent starting points for finding supplements that not only give you a particular ingredient, but that give it to you in the same strength and formulation that proved effective in research studies.

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Check the Migraine Forecast

Planning a trip? The best way to keep a migraine from spoiling travel is to plan ahead. Start by checking the “migraine forecast” for your destination!

You can find this forecast at the AccuWeather website. Or, just Google “AccuWeather migraine forecast” and add your destination (e.g., AccuWeather migraine forecast Tampa). The search engine should take you directly to a three-day AccuWeather forecast showing if weather conditions for migraine sufferers are likely to be beneficial, neutral or “migraine weather.” You can search local, national or even international destinations.

 

If weather might be an issue, be sure to pack the right supplies to help keep migraines from ruining your vacation! In case you missed the Travel Checklist we included with our May issue, here it is again—along with a few extra tips about watching the weather! Click here for the PDF

 
Reducing Kids' School-Year Migraines

About five percent of elementary school children—and about 20 percent of teens—experience migraines. Migraines are bad enough on their own, but they can also cause a cycle of stress as school kids build up absences and worry about seeming “different” than other children. It’s always important to let the teacher know your child suffers migraines and have an action plan ready if a migraine develops at school. In addition, there are five incredibly simple prevention strategies you can put into place at home:

  • Get organized the night before to reduce morning stress which can set the stage for migraines.
  • Turn off computers and mobile devices at least an hour before bedtime. Flickering screens can be a trigger. Plus, blue light interferes with sleep, and constant "pings" keep kids awake late into the night.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast to reduce drops in blood sugar which can pave the way for attacks.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine. "Energy drinks" are particularly risky for kids who get migraines.
    Don't over-schedule. Limiting after-school activities helps reduce migraine triggers like stress and fatigue.

Again, these five strategies may too simple to matter. But using them consistently can actually result in your child having fewer and less severe migraines throughout the school year.

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Dolovent™
nutritional supplement

All-in-one, clinical strength supplement for correcting Magnesium, B2 and CoQ10 deficiencies associated with neurological discomfort.

Dolovent.com
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Petadolex®
herbal supplement

Petasites butterbur extract manufactured in Germany and PA-free.

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