Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Day 1090 - Sacrotuberous Ligament

"The sacrotuberous ligament is a slender, fan-shaped ligament of the posterior pelvis located on either side of the body. This ligament arises midway down the posterior side of the sacrum, which is located at the spinal base. It primarily comprises of collagen fibers, and is strong enough to support the sacrum and prevent it against moving from its position under the body weight.

The connective tissue in this ligament joins with various other tissues, particularly the biceps femoris muscular tendon, which is an important muscle of the hamstrings on the posterior thigh region. It is also a ligament of the sacroiliac joint, which is connected to the sacrum.

It typically receives stress during aggressive physical activities and sports that may cause the arching of the spine. If it becomes strained or injured, it may result in problems similar to those of a typical iliolumbar ligament injury. The ossified or bony sacrotuberous ligament may be one of the critical causative factors in different types of neurovascular compression syndromes. An anatomical understanding of this ligament may lead to effective treatments for this clinical disease."*


I went to see the kinesiologist again at the beginning of the month. He focused on my back during our session, in particular on the lower part where the sacrotuberous ligament is. He looked for a link between this, the TMJ and the temporalis fascia, which is exactly where my head pain is. He told me he had to work on my lower back for a few minutes. I could tell it was going to be painful but I hadn’t quite realised up to what extent.

The pain was excruciating. I felt my hands begin to tremble and suddenly tears starting flowing down my cheeks. At first they were tears of pain but soon, even when he completely stopped exerting pressure, I was unable to stop crying. I was overwhelmed with sadness; my body trembled and I sobbed and sobbed. I tried to hold myself but simply couldn’t. I don’t know what it was; the only way I can explain it is complete sadness, although for what reason I do not know (women out there may sympathise with those occasional moments when we just cry for no reason –men may find this impossible to understand).

The kinesiologist explained that when working on certain areas of the body blocked emotions can be released. These could be from traumatic events in childhood or other moments of extreme stress that one has had to deal with. It was hard to pinpoint an exact instance of this at the time.

Despite the feelings of despondency and confusion, I felt that maybe during this session we had another clue. It was the first time I had reacted in such a way during any of our appointments – the poor kinesiologist was surprised at my response to his work – and felt that maybe it was a sign we have found something.

Since then, the headache has been up and down – the first time in about a year that it has been up to 4/5 for longer periods – which makes me think that, despite the increase in pain, we may be one step closer to a solution.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 1060 - Propolis

"Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis, from the Greek word, "pro", meaning "in defense of" and "polis" meaning "city", is descriptive of the protection propolis provides the bee hives.

The main role of propolis is the protection of bees against disease. Bees coat every inch of the internal walls of their hives with a thin layer of propolis to sterilize the comb and keep their hives free of bacteria. The hive is an enclosed unit, it is hot and moist, the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms. Because of the propolis, the hive is virtually free of bacteria, mold and mildew. As a supplement, propolis helps provides your body the protection and healing properties that has allowed bees to survive for millions of years against many enemies. It is an excellent aid against bacterial infections.

The properties of the propolis depend on the exact sources used by each individual hive; therefore any potential medicinal properties that may be present in one hive's propolis may be absent from another's.

Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds. Propolis is also believed to promote heart health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the chances of cataracts.[14] Old beekeepers recommend a piece of propolis kept in the mouth as a remedy for a sore throat. Propolis lozenges and tinctures can be bought in many countries. Though claims have been made for its use in treating allergies, propolis may cause severe allergic reactions if the user is sensitive to bees or bee products."*


I started taking propolis in August. I hadn’t heard of it before so I thought ‘Why not give it a go?’. I came across it when I was in the Caribbean and met a beekeeper, now my boyfriend, who recommended taking it to improve my skin condition (I suffer from a mild form of acne where little pimples grow under my skin, making my cheeks a soft pink colour - nothing too horrific to look at but something that has always made me feel uncomfortable).

I was reluctant to tell him about the headache - I now hardly tell anyone about it, as I fear I may be judged or put in the ‘crazy’ box - but eventually I did. He was very supportive about the pain and enthusiastically told me propolis may well work against fighting it off. He has given it to various people in the past, always with positive effects. One of his friends suffered from bad acne on his back, and after just a couple of months of taking propolis his acne had completely cleared up. He has worked with bees since being a young child and explained the numerous healing properties of bee products to me - fascinating to think such little creatures to be so intelligent! What I found most interesting to learn was that propolis prevents putrefaction in the hive - if a mouse or a lizard finds its way into the hive, the bees sting it to death and seal the carcass with propolis, effectively mummifying it thus rendering it completely odorless and thereby harmless to their well-being.

I took the propolis to the kinesiologist who tested me for it - my body strengthened which, according to kinesiology, means that I respond well to it. Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I take a small little ball of it. All I can do now is wait (yet again!) and see what happens.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Day 995 - Chronicity & Anger

"Just as sure as the sun comes up, a person living with chronic pain will have good days and bad days. The good ones are good but the bad ones,

...Oh Boy!

Chronic pain consumes your every thought, your entire being.

Nothing hardly can enter your mind but getting this beast under control. Control is what the chronic pain sufferer is seeking and nothing else.

You are desperate for others to understand what and why this is happening.

They think that you are faking or that you are seeking sympathy because you can’t be hurting for that long and have tried everything the doctor has given you.

It makes you feel lost, disconnected or even alone.

Chronic sufferers aren’t mad at you, it’s the pain they are angry at. They lose so much of their own identity."*


I cannot believe it’s nearly been three years.

In the past few days the headache has increased to a 4/5 out of 10. For the first time in months.


And as usual one forgets what a bloody nuisance it is having a strong headache. How you think about it every second and how it gets in the way of what you’re doing. How it makes you more tired. How you just want to lie down and close your eyes and hope the pain will go away. Hope that the bitch of a headache (excuse the language but this is what I refer to It in my thoughts) goes away.

I have tried being ‘nice’ to It, tried being ‘friends’ with It as I was advised to do a couple of years ago. ‘Befriend the headache!’ Well, I have tried and it makes no difference. It is driving me up the wall. I cannot stand it anymore. I hate it. If it were alive I would shoot it. Squash it. Kill it.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 950 - Vitamin B12

"Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin which is very important for a number of key biological pathways, including nerve function, cell growth, cell membranes and energy production.

It is an essential nutrient available exclusively from bacterial sources, ie in the diet, or through the action of gut bacteria. As Vitamin B12 is manufactured by bacteria in animal guts, you should be able to get it from red meat, fish and dairy products.

There are two main causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency – where the body can’t get B12 from your diet; and where the body can’t use it. Both can develop over a period of years or happen suddenly.

B12 is a robust molecule and survives cooking. One of the few things that can break it is a microwave oven. Even if you don’t use a microwave yourself, it’s possible that foods containing B12 have been irradiated to stop microbes growing, which might break down B12.

B12 deficiency typically makes you extremely tired (including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and can lead to depression; other symptoms include dizziness, hair loss, pins and needles, loss of memory, gastritis and constant headaches."*


I have been seeing the kinesiologist for about two years now. The last time I saw him my muscle testing showed that Vitamin B12 would strengthen my system. I am now on a rather high dose, at six a day.

I had taken these supplements already a few months ago but it appears that my body still has a deficiency in B12. I have done some research on this vitamin which, according to certain studies, a vast part of the population is deficient in. People who suffer from intestinal disorders are particularly at risk, as their bodies are unable to absorb the vitamin. Given that IBS, for example, is such a common illness, this to me could mean that a good part of the population may well also have a B12 deficiency.

Given my recent unsettled stomach and considering that I don’t particularly eat a lot of red meat or dairy products, let alone fish, lacking in B12 hasn’t come as too much of a surprise to me.

The headache is still hovering at a 1, which is perfectly acceptable to live with. When I think back at how bad it was at the beginning, at about 9/10, making me scream in agony at night and bang my head against the bed, I feel grateful not to feel like that again. And all I can do is hope it will not flare up to such horrid levels again.

The mystery remains as to what is causing it – even the kinesiologist, who is so passionate about his work and who is determined to find a solution to my headache, said to me the other day: ‘No wonder no one knows what your headache is - every time something new comes up!’. Even he is baffled as to what could be the underlying cause, but given the progress I have seen since my first appointment two years ago, my faith in curing my headache relies entirely on him.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Day 851 - Stomach Acidity

H. Pylori is easily inhibited by raising stomach acid, provided this is done before much damage is done by the bug, which is the reason why people with normal acid levels are generally asymptomatic and don't get ulcers unless they are on certain drugs or consume large amounts of alcohol. Coffee has been found to aggravate the symptoms of H. Pylori infections.

Unfortunately, people with reduced acid levels often times suffer from what they assume is high stomach acid (heartburn, bloating, nausea, frequent burping), and as a result frequently take antacids. By doing so, they encourage greater H. Pylori activity and thus increase the risk for ulcers or gastric cancers, with the bug also being implicated for heart disease, gum disease, asthma, rosacea, and chronic headaches or migraines as well. If patients had indeed high acid levels (as some physicians still have them believe), then why do symptoms quickly improve when stomach acid levels are raised?

The confusion usually stems from the fact that esophageal reflux (GERD) causes heartburn, from acid getting up into the esophagus, which doesn't have the acid-protective mucus coating of the stomach. However, H. pylori reduces stomach acid.

The paradox IS that having enough stomach acid keeps the valve to the esophagus closed so it cannot be harmed by stomach fluids. Also when the stomach produces stomach acid it also produces bicarbonate of soda. Bicarbonate of soda is what protects the stomach lining from being damaged by the acid. Therefore, it stands to reason that IF the stomach isn't producing enough acid it also won't be producing enough bicarbonate of soda which also allows ulcers to form inside the stomach.

Low stomach acid can be a factor with headaches, chronic fatigue, non-specific aches and pains, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and other calcium metabolism-impaired problems -- all the way to various cancers.


I have been reading around on Helicobacter Pylori as my stomach has been playing up again as of late. I felt very weak and dizzy the other day, and slept for 10 hours – even when I woke up I was still exhausted. My body must have been fighting something off (yet again I wish I knew what..) – that total lack of energy must have been due to something.

I got tested again for Helicobacter Pylori a couple of days ago; the result was negative. Odd, given that I have not been feeling too well again, with a painful stomach coinciding with an increase in the headache pain. H. Pylori causes stomach acidity, which I am sure I still have, despite the bacteria having been killed off. As a consequence, I am being extremely careful with what I am eating.

I came across a Helicobacter Pylori specialist’s webpage with plenty of information on the bacteria and how it affects your stomach as well as other parts of your body. What I found very interesting was the relation between Helicobacter Pylori and headaches, as well as many other secondary factors it can contribute to, such as rosacea, sinus problems, sleep problems and cognitive and memory problems, and many more.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Day 746 - Helicobacter Pylori

“While "stress" was a popular basis for stomach ulcers years ago, Helicobacter Pylori has become a primary cause for peptic and duodenal ulcers since its discovery by two Australian doctors, Robin Warren, M.D., and Barry Marshall, M.D., in the early 80's.

Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium that lives in the stomach and duodenum. It used to be thought that the stomach contained no bacteria and was actually sterile, but Helicobacter pylori changed that.

The stomach is protected from its own gastric juice by a thick layer of mucus that covers the stomach lining. Helicobacter pylori takes advantage of this protection by living in the mucus lining. Once H. pylori is safely ensconced in the mucus, it is able to fight the stomach acid that does reach it with an enzyme it possesses called urease.

Another defense H. pylori has is that the body's natural defenses cannot reach the bacterium in the mucus lining of the stomach. The immune system will respond to an H. pylori infection by sending white cells, killer T cells, and other infection fighting agents. However, these potential H. pylori eradicators cannot reach the infection, because they cannot easily get through stomach lining. They do not go away either, though, and the immune response grows and grows. Polymorphs die, and spill their destructive compounds (superoxide radicals) on stomach lining cells. Extra nutrients are sent to reinforce the white cells, and the H. pylori can feed on this. within a few days, gastritis and perhaps eventually a peptic ulcer results. It may not be H. pylori itself which causes peptic ulcer, but the inflammation of the stomach lining; i.e. the response to H. pylori.

H. pylori is believed to be transmitted orally. Many researchers think that H, pylori is transmitted orally by means of fecal matter through the ingestion of waste tainted food or water."*


I had an endoscopy a couple of weeks ago and, sure enough, I have Helicobacter Pilori and bad stomach acidity. The gastroenterologist prescribed some antibiotics for two weeks, which I have just finished taking today.

The medicines have made me feel drowsy and have, on occasion, strengthened the headache. On the plus side, the severe stomach pain has gone, and now only a feeling of mild discomfort remains. I have also been prescribed some acid-reducing medicines which I need to take for the next few weeks.

Given that 50% of the world’s population is infected with H. Pilori and the majority are asymptomatic, I have no idea how long I have had the bacteria for. It may be that I have been harbouring it for months, or even years, and that it only started manifesting symptoms as of late.

I recently read that there is a connection between H. Pilori and headaches: “It is not clear how Helicobacter pylori infections cause headaches and migraines. However studies have shown that migraines can clear once Helicobacter has been eradicated. It is likely that immune responses, hormone imbalances and neural factors caused by Helicobacter contribute to the development of headaches. For example, digestive infections can cause low progesterone women and it is well known that progesterone deficiency can cause headaches, particularly during the second half of the menstrual cycle. In addition, food sensitivities, possibly triggered by H. pylori may also contribute to headaches and migraines.”*

In theory, the antibioitics should by now have killed H. Pilori which means that if the headache is in any way connected to the bacteria, then my headache should have gone (which it hasn’t). There is nonetheless a chance H. Pilori is still present and I need to get re-tested in three months’ time to see whether this is the case.