Did you know that suffering migraines can raise the risk of developing heart disease and stroke by 50%? And did you realize that heart-helping medications like statins and migraine-reducing drugs like beta blockers can deplete an enzyme that’s vital for a healthy heart—and brain? In this issue, we look at these and other dangers for migraineurs and we offer practical steps for reducing those risks.

Have you visited our new Facebook pages for Petadolex and Dolovent? We’re delighted with the chance to post the latest tips we come across and to share news about how these supplements work—and how they’re changing life for migraine sufferers.

Whether you connect with us on Facebook, or send us an email about our newsletter, please let us know if there’s something you’d like to know more about. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

Tina Sanders

Linpharma Customer Education



Migraines, Heart Attacks and Stroke: Reducing Your Risks

We know that research links migraines and cardiovascular risks. But what is the link? And, most important, how can we reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and our risks for heart attacks and strokes?

What the research says

In 2014, results from the large and long-running Nurses Health Study showed that women who suffered migraines were at 50% greater risk for blocked arteries, stroke or heart attacks than women without migraines. Female migraine sufferers were also more likely to die of cardiovascular causes. Those suffering migraine with aura were particularly at risk. Especially worrisome is the fact that the strongest association of migraine and stroke is in people who don’t have traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Today, physicians consider it wise to include migraine as a cardiovascular risk factor for women and for men.

The link between migraines, heart attacks and stroke

Researchers have not identified a definitive cause of migraine, so it’s difficult to pinpoint why people with migraines have increased cardiovascular risks. However, we do know that migraine aura symptoms can look very much like TIAs—transient ischemic attacks—which are known as “mini strokes.” Inflammation and blood vessel spasms are likely part of triggering mechanism for both migraines and stroke/cardiac events.

Some migraine patients experience “heart migraines” where vessels in the heart spasm the same way blood vessels spasm in the brain and lead to migraine. Blood pressure also fluctuates during a migraine.

Migraine remedies can become risks

Many migraine sufferers rely on OTC painkillers, including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The trouble is that NSAIDS— include ibuprofen and naproxen can raise your risks of cardiovascular problems. One NSAID-prescription drug (Vioxx) was taken off the market after causing 140,000 heart attacks. While ibuprofen and naproxen remain on the market, the FDA has strengthened its warnings about all NASAIDs, including:

  • Taking NSAIDs increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
  • That risk can increase even with short-term use.
  • That risk can develop within a few weeks of starting to take an NSAID
Because migraines already increase your chance of experiencing cardiovascular problems, NSAIDs can be a double whammy.

Practical ways to minimize your risk The American Migraine Foundation offers these tips for lowering your risk of stroke and heart disease:
  • Maintain a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, sleep 8 hours a night and get regular exercise.
  • Consult with your doctor about all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid estrogen-containing contraceptives (progestogen-based contraceptives carry lower risk.)
  • Avoid chiropractic manipulation of the neck.
  • Do not use triptans or other medications that constrict blood vessels if you have a history of heart disease or stroke or if migraine attacks include weakness on one side, vertigo or gait imbalance.
  • Use migraine preventive strategies. In addition to decreasing attacks with aura and headache, this may also prevent stroke.

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Action plan: Ventilation is key. At your desk, try running a small fan. Consider using an antihistamine to address allergies. Butterbur extract is a natural antihistamine that comes without side effects like drowsiness and dry mouth. It is also useful in toning the brain’s blood vessels so they’re more resistant to the headache-triggering spasms triphenyl phosphate can cause.

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CoQ10: Good for Your Heart and Your Brain

Many migraine sufferers take beta blockers. Many also take statins to reduce unhealthy levels of cholesterol. But did you know that both statins and beta blockers can deplete your levels of Co-enzyme Q10? That’s important because CoQ10 plays a vital role in maintaining the brain’s normal energy metabolism.

Studies show CoQ10’s supportive role in the brain may help with migraine prevention. Other studies suggest a likely benefit in taking a CoQ10 supplement in addition to statins and beta blockers. Since there is little (if any) risk in adding CoQ10 to your health regimen, it can offer you a smart way to help protect your brain and your heart. Even better, consider combining CoQ10 supplementation with other micronutrients like magnesium and riboflavin that are also essential in supporting both brain and heart health. Learn more about statins and CoQ10 in our PDF: Do Statins Cause Migraines?

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