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Prescription migraine medications come with serious side effects and often don't work well. In fact, we just saw survey results showing that during attacks migraine sufferers reported taking acetaminophen in addition to Rx medications. That's a "double whammy" on the liver!

We know you're always looking for ways to keep attacks from happening in the first place. Readers have asked about an electrical stimulation device now marketed for prevention. In this issue of our newsletter, we help you take a look at this device so you can decide if it might be for you.

As always, if you have questions or a story you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you.

Amanda DiBenedetto

Linpharma Customer Education
Pros and Cons of the new "migraine headband"

For years, neurologists have offered transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) as an option for migraine sufferers. Recently, the FDA approved a home device for administering TENS. Our readers asked for more information and here's what we found:

What is it? The device is a battery-powered headband that, when worn, presses an electrode against your forehead. It sends a relatively low-voltage electrical pulse through your skin to stimulate the trigeminal nerve. The device must be worn for 20 minutes a day.

Is it painful? We haven't tried it, but the literature on the device says that while it isn't necessarily painful, the electrical sensation can be uncomfortable at first.

How does it work? Exactly what TENS does inside the body is not fully understood. It's thought that because the stimulation increases the production of endorphins, it alters and partially blocks the entry of migraine pain into the nervous system.

Is it effective? In the trial of 67 migraine sufferers, people who wore the TENS device took fewer migraine medications than those who wore a "dummy" device. In a survey of those who tried the headband for two months, there was about a 50/50 split on whether or not those users said they would buy the device.

What does it cost? The headband retails for $295. Electrodes used with the device cost about $25 for 60 treatments (about $150 a year, given the device should be worn daily).

Bottom line, the TENS headband offers a non-drug option, which is especially important for people who don't want to take-or can't tolerate-prescription drugs. Only about half of the people who used it said they'd buy it. But about half said they would. If you can make the commitment to wear it daily and wouldn't find the voltage uncomfortable, this may be an option worth trying, however more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of such a device.

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Migraine Relief Tip Migraines: Does Chewing Gum Help or Hurt?

A study recently published in Pediatric Neurology involved kids who suffered chronic or recurring tension or migraine headaches and who chewed gum daily.

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Study findings: When gum chewing stopped for a month, 63% experienced less frequent, less severe headaches. For 23%, the headaches stopped completely. When gum chewing resumed, the headaches returned.

What's going on: Researchers think gum chewing may over-stimulate the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
The Varying Quality of Butterbur Supplements

The butterbur herb has emerged as a promising option for migraine prevention. But all butterbur supplements aren't "created equal." Just-published research shows inconsistent quality among different brands - including harmful ingredients. READ MORE

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nutritional supplement

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

Let us know what you think about the Natural Migraine Prevention Report newsletter, our products, and topics you'd like us to cover in upcoming issues.

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herbal supplement

Petasites butterbur extract manufactured in Germany and PA-free.

In 2014, Botanics: Targets and Therapy published a review of Petadolex® brand butterbur extract by Jose M. Prieto from the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry at London's UCL School of Pharmacy. He analyzed 21 different butterbur-containing dietary supplements, including Petadolex®.

Here is a summary of what the quality analysis portion of his review revealed:

• The amount of butterbur extract varied widely among the 21 brands, with 6 products found to contain no trace of the active Petasites ingredient.

• Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) -liver toxins -were detected in 7 of the supplements.

• Of the surveyed products, only original Petadolex®-based products consistently passed the quality screenings.
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