Back Pain, Headaches and Stress

It isn’t very often that a true insight into our own health hits, but I believe I had one a few weeks ago. Long time readers of this blog know that I tackled and overcame my back pain issues years ago. After I admitted that I didn’t understand what caused my back pain, I did […]

My Last Post on Headaches

An interesting thing happened last week after my post Quantified Self and False Pattern Recognition. In that post I mentioned the benefit I have received from ending the daily tracking. I don’t think I’ve had a single headache this entire year that has woke me up in the middle of the night that was intense enough to […]

Quantified Self and False Pattern Recognition

I was watching Episode 3 of the new Cosmos show when Neil deGrasse Tyson said something that reminded me an awful lot of the Quantified Self movement.: The human talent for pattern recognition is a two-edged sword. We’re especially good at finding patterns, even when they aren’t really there — something known as “false pattern […]

I May Have Finally Found a Headache Cure

Last December I reframed my headache question. After almost 3 years of trying to prevent headaches, I decided instead to look into how to eliminate the headache once it arrived. The full list of things I’ve tried is on the post Headache Remedies That Work?, but the takeaway is that the things that work for […]

Candy Crush Headaches

I hesitate to post this, but I need to hear from others. As some of you know I sometimes experience night headaches that wake me up in the early hours of the morning. When I stopped quantified self, my rate of headaches dropped considerably. For a few months things were going OK. Then I read […]

Headache Remedies That Work?

Some of you know that I spent 2.5 years quantifying data to eliminate my late night headaches that wake me up. In the end, I was unsuccessful on finding a single cause, although I learned caffeine plays a role. During that entire experiment, I solely focused on preventing the headache, not on eliminating the pain […]

Life After Quantifiable Self

On September 1st, I quit my Hunting Headaches quest. After 2.5 years of tracking, I’m now 2 months free of the daily quantifiable self habit. Did taking my eyes off the data make things worse? Nope. I guessed that ending my daily data collection would have no effect, which is why I ultimately decided to […]

Hunting Headaches – Ending the Hunt

On March 24, 2011, I began tracking my headaches in a project I called Hunting Headaches. For over two years, I’ve started every morning by dropping numbers into a spreadsheet. Headache intensity, sleep quality and number of coffees. I also tracked numerous other metrics from shorter term experiments, such as weather and supplements. On September […]

One Confusing Month: My June 2013 Experiment Wrap-Up

A month ago I posted June 2013 Experiments. Using a few strategies my plan was to reduce headache frequency/intensity and lose 5-7 pounds. Well I succeeded on the first goal and failed on the second and I’m clueless to explain either outcome. This month has completely stumped me. Maybe you can help me make sense […]

June 2013 Experiments

When I’ve done experiments in the past, I focus on one thing. For June 2013, I’m going to mix some past experiments together to see if I can get a synergistic effect. I’m also going to try a new idea, which I couldn’t previously test. My goals this month: Reduce headache frequency and intensity. Drop […]

I Woke Up Today and Wished For Tomorrow

Slowly I could feel myself waking up. Yet another headache. And just like every other morning when a headache wakes me, I peek at my watch. I hope it reads 6 something. 5 something at the worst. This morning I wasn’t so fortunate. 3:40 AM. Intensity a 4 out of 5, which means falling back […]

Hunting Headaches – 2 Years Later

Two years ago I began tracking headache data. Fresh off of other health victories such as getting lean, curing my rosacea and ending back pain, I was confident that with enough data and experimentation I could eliminate or greatly reduce my night headaches. I never thought this experiment would go on for two years. The good news […]

Low Caffeine Weight Gain

Beginning in late September I scaled down my caffeine intake. Then in October, I went the entire month without coffee and 21 days without any caffeine. This month I have been on a very low caffeine intake, averaging just 1 cup of coffee a day. I covered that experiment in the article A Month Without […]

Hunting Headaches – A Favorable Trend

In the last installment of Hunting Headaches, I reported that I finally appeared to be making some progress on solving my night headaches. By wearing a mouth guard, I was able to reduce my headache intensity by 45%. For those new to the site, I use spreadsheets to track health metrics. This allows me to […]

Hunting Headaches – Progress?

I haven’t posted about my night headaches since May. There are many posts about headaches on this site. When I started the project in March 2011, I was confident that I could figure it out quickly. But I didn’t. I tried many things and nothing seemed to help. Thousands of words have been written so […]

The Migraine Solution

Last week the book Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain had me rethink the root cause of my headaches. It made a strong case that the roots of my headache were migraine. So I decided to read up more on migraines. I selected the new book The Migraine Solution: […]

Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain

I just finished reading a book that provides a new framework for understanding my headaches. Since March 2011 I have been diligently trying to track down the cause of my late night headaches. I’ve had them for many years, but only recently decided to seriously pursue their cause. I’ve done many tests and tried numerous supplements, but […]

The Low Histamine Diet

Well the day finally arrived. Yesterday morning my refrigerator had no ferments at all. For the past few weeks, I have been finishing up all my sauerkraut and kimchi in preparation for my latest dietary test. For the next 30 to 60 days, I will go on a highly restrictive low histamine diet. I’m trying to determine […]

Chlorine Shower Filter: 3 Month Update

Back in February I started a test I called Chlorination Elimination Experimentation. I wanted to see if using a shower filter that removed chlorine could positively impact my skin. I was a bit skeptical, but it was too cheap of an experiment not to try. So do I have the skin of angel now? Nope. Everything is […]

Hunting Headaches – Xylitol Hell

It has been a few days since my last post. I have tons of ideas for blog posts, but I’ve been in headache hell since March 24th. That is when I started putting Xylitol up my nose. Let me back up a little. For those new to the site, I often get headaches that wake […]

Hunting Headaches – Side Sleep

One of the jobs I had in college was loading trucks for UPS. It was the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. It made Army Basic Training seem like working at a library. One night I came home so worn out that I couldn’t even turn to my side to go to sleep. After an […]

Hunting Headaches – Shampoo Up My Nose

It is time for a status report on my Hunting Headaches project. For the new readers, almost a year ago I started a quantified self project to track down the cause of my late night headaches. Many ideas have been tried and so far the headaches continue. A few months ago I got an idea […]

Hunting Headaches: Remaining Suspects in Early 2012

Last March I decided to finally figure out the cause of my late night sinus headaches. I started a headache journal, ran numerous tests and tried several supplements. Nine months later and I still haven’t figured it out. The good news is that many of the things I suspected might be an issue were cleared. […]

MacGyver Humidifier

During my trip to Ohio, I noticed an interesting pattern regarding my nighttime headaches. When I stayed with my mom, with the exception of the gluten poisoning night, I didn’t get headaches. When I stayed with my sister, I got headaches. My mom runs a humidifier in the house, whereas my sister doesn’t. Sounds like […]

Healing Your Sinuses

I wrote this post in August, but for some unknown reason, I didn’t hit the Publish button then. I started tackling my sinus headache problem back in March. My early strategies were based off article I read on various websites. Nothing too scientific. Well, I figured it was time to do something I should have […]

Slicing the Coffee Data

Ever since I started collecting data to track my headaches, I have not seen a connection between coffee intake and headaches. Seven months of data and no relationship. Until now. I think I see a pattern and it isn’t what I expected. The table above shows that low coffee intake actually results in a slightly […]

Hunting Headaches – Trying Acupuncture

A week ago someone that I really respect convinced me to try acupuncture as a strategy to address my headaches. Until that conversation, I didn’t have a high opinion of acupuncture. Back in my Florida days, I had an acupuncture student work on me to address back pain. It provided zero relief. If I was […]

Why I Distrust Doctors

In the post Hunting Headaches Take 3, I wrote this: I know we live in a fear mongering climate, but I do not consider my headaches to be an emergency situation. Ive had them for many years and all other aspects of my health are stellar. So, I’m not surrendering to medical professionals. At the […]

Hunting Headaches Take 3

This has been a rough summer for me. Things haven’t turned out like I expected. In addition to personal and financial setbacks, I still have not solved the riddle of my headaches. When I began actively researching a solution to my headaches back in March, I had high confidence that I’d figure it out. After […]

Is Liver High in Tyramine?

As I embark on my latest strategy to eliminate my headaches, the one thing I see repeated over and over is that liver is to be avoided, because it contains high levels of tyramine. Tyramine is a known trigger for migraines. After searching for several hours on this one point, I believe the recommendation to […]

Hunting Headaches Take 2

In the post Hunting Headaches, I shared my headache journal and my inability so far to solve my headache problem or even isolate what type of headaches I’m getting. In the comments, I got a lot of good ideas for things to try next. I created a brand new tab on my headache journal spreadsheet. […]

Hunting Headaches

In the past three years, I’ve solved a lot of health riddles. I’ve gotten leaner, cured my rosacea, discovered the root causes of my back pain and I almost never get colds anymore. However, one huge mystery remains and it has me stumped. For over 15 years, I will often wake up around 3 AM […]