How to Keep A Positive Mindset Despite Health Setbacks!

How to Keep A Positive Mindset Despite Health Setbacks!
This past week was a real do-sy when it comes to setbacks- 

I have chronic migraines but my head does not like the months of Feb-May! It’s like clockwork. My chronic migraines go from annoying to a level of “I want to curse someone out”. That’s pretty fun when you care for lovely folks for a living. 

Then to add to the fun I also deal with a condition called mast cell activation syndrome- and my most aggravating symptoms lately has to do with my breathing. This  past weekend while at the mall with my kiddos I decided to try a new tea (I usually get nervous trying new things because I never know if I will tolerate it) Well I’ve done pretty well lately since my new medication regimen has kept my symptoms fairly stable- keyword “fairly” within 10 minutes of drinking said tea I felt the all to familiar feeling of my lungs closing. Luckily my regimen keeps me from going into full anaphylaxis but I did have to run and use my inhaler a few times to open up my airways- something I have not had to do in awhile-

But that wasn’t the worst day of the week- 

Friday I went to the salon to get my hair done. I walked in with a feeling of dread. I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair for the last several years. My hair has been doing amazing for the last 3 years. It has felt thick and healthy and has been growing really well. About 4 weeks ago I felt the shift. When I started to comb it I noticed more and more hair coming out and the texture changing. I was hoping I was just imagining it but over the next few weeks the hair loss was very obvious.

  • So when I went into the salon, I knew I would have to cut a significant amount off-AGAIN! 
  • It didn’t make the moment any easier and as tears started to build up- I had to tell myself some things- and I will tell you the same if you are going through some health challenges or setbacks.
  • You are allowed to feel all the emotions in this moment
  • This moment does not define you
  • Better days WILL come-
Some things I do is:

  • Listen to my favorite music- music is food for the soul
  • Read my favorite book-nothing like “escapism” to list my mood and take the mind off current circumstances.
  • Stay away from the news and media- I find news can increase anxiety and during times of a setback, you want to keep your focus on the most positive things you can find- so no NEWS!
  • Try to connect with your “positive” people- this may not be family and that’s okay. The online support community has come a long ways over the years. Try to find a group that is focused on positivity-If you need one- I will post the link to mine Here
  • Use uplifting essential oils- citrus oils like orange, and lemon and bergamot are very uplifting and helpful in times of a setback. My favorites are here
Health challenges and setbacks will come-and then they will go! 

Find what works for YOU to keep in a positive mood!


Frequent Urination- A Migraine Aura????

Frequent Urination- A Migraine Aura????
Migraine is a common neurological condition that affects millions of people around the world. The majority of migraine sufferers experience an “aura” before the onset of their migraine headache, which can occur several minutes to an hour before the actual attack. While some of these symptoms are more common than others, such as visual disturbances or sensory changes, one lesser-known aura symptom is frequent urination. Let’s explore what causes this symptom and how to cope with it. 

What Is Frequent Urination?
Frequent urination is defined as needing to urinate more often than usual or having a greater need to urinate than normal. People who experience frequent urination in relation to their migraine aura may have an urge to use the bathroom even though they only drank a small amount of fluid or have just used the restroom recently. It is important to note that frequent urination alone does not always indicate migraine aura; this symptom could be caused by other medical conditions and should be brought up with your doctor for further evaluation. 

What Causes Frequent Urination During Migraine Auras?
The exact cause of frequent urination during migraine aura has yet to be determined, but experts believe it is due to changes in the brain chemistry during an attack. It appears that when certain parts of the brain become overactive during a migraine episode, it can lead to bladder dysfunction which can result in frequent urination. This dysfunction can also lead to feelings of urgency and incontinence during a migraine attack as well. 

How Can I Cope With Frequent Urination During Migraines?
The best way to cope with frequent urination during migraines is through lifestyle modifications and medications tailored specifically for you by your doctor. For example, avoiding diuretics like caffeine or alcohol and limiting intake on fluids can help reduce the number of times you need to use the restroom during a migraine episode. Additionally, if your doctor determines that medication might help alleviate some symptoms associated with your migraines (including frequent urination), they will work with you on finding one that fits your needs best.  

 In conclusion, while not all people experience frequent urination as part of their migraines, it is important for those who do understand what causes this symptom and how they can cope with it effectively. If you suspect you may be experiencing frequent urination as part of your migraine aura, talk about it with your doctor so they can provide you with helpful advice on how best to manage it alongside any other treatments you may be using for your condition. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to managing any kind of chronic illness!

Do you experience an unusual migraine aura? I would love to hear more!

Managing Mast Cell Activation Syndrome with Medication

Managing Mast Cell Activation Syndrome with Medication
If you have been diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), you are probably wondering what treatments are available to you. While there is no cure for MCAS, there are a number of medications that can help to manage the symptoms. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most common medications used to treat MCAS.

Cromolyn Sodium 
Cromolyn sodium is a medication that can be taken orally or inhaled. It works by stabilizing mast cells and preventing them from releasing histamine and other inflammatory mediators. Cromolyn sodium is often used as a prophylactic treatment, meaning it is taken before symptoms occur. For this reason, it is often prescribed to people who experience triggers frequently or who have severe reactions. Side effects of cromolyn sodium include gastrointestinal distress, cough, and headache. In my experience starting very low and slow is best with this medication. Patience is also required as it can take a bit to work.

Ketotifen is an antihistamine that can be taken orally or applied topically as eye drops. It works by blocking histamine receptors, which prevents mast cells from releasing histamine and other inflammatory mediators. Ketotifen is typically used as a prophylactic treatment, but it can also be used to relieve symptoms once they have started. Side effects of ketotifen include drowsiness, dry mouth, and fatigue. This medication is not available commercially in the United States- your provider will have to send the prescription to a compounding pharmacy.

Omalizumab (XOLAIR)
Xolair is the medication that was a game changer for me personally. before Xolair I was experiencing anaphylactic like reactions to almost everything I was eating. This medication literally gave me my life back. Omalizumab is a monoclonal antibody that is given as an injection under the skin. It works by binding to IgE receptors on mast cells, which prevents mast cells from releasing histamine and other inflammatory mediators. Omalizumab is usually reserved for people who do not respond adequately to other treatments or who experience severe reactions. Side effects of omalizumab include injection site reactions, upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. 

If you have MCAS, there are a number of different medications that can help to manage your symptoms. The best course of treatment for you will depend on several factors, including the severity of your symptoms and any triggers you may have. Be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor so that you can make the best decision for your individual needs.

The Difference Between Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance

The Difference Between Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
If you're suffering from unexplained allergies or chronic inflammation, you may have mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) or histamine intolerance. Both of these conditions are complex and little-understood, but there are some key differences between them. Here's a quick overview of MCAS and histamine intolerance, and how to tell them apart.

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a disorder in which mast cells—a type of white blood cell—are abnormally activated. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including hives, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and difficulty breathing. MCAS is often triggered by an allergy or an infection, but it can also be brought on by stress or certain medications. There is no cure for MCAS, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms.

Histamine intolerance is similar to mast cell activation syndrome in that it occurs when histamines—chemicals that are released by mast cells—build up in the body. However, unlike MCAS, histamine intolerance is not caused by an abnormal activation of mast cells. Rather, it is caused by a deficiency in one of the enzymes that breaks down histamines. This can be due to a genetic predisposition or acquired later in life due to certain medications or illnesses. Histamine intolerance can cause many of the same symptoms as MCAS, but these tend to be less severe. Additionally, histamine intolerance is not always triggered by an allergy or infection. Often, simply eating foods that are high in histamines can cause a reaction. Unlike MCAS, histamine intolerance can be improved by following a low-histamine diet. 

If you think you might have MCAS or histamine intolerance, it's important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. These conditions can both be debilitating, but with the right care they can be managed. And although they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between them. Now that you know a little more about MCAS and histamine intolerance, you'll be better equipped to discuss your symptoms with your doctor and get the treatment you need.

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