OK, this is a very weird disease. It’s a surprise, and in my case it took about 2 years to diagnose. This is not unusual. People, the medical profession are not very familiar with this disease.
What is it? According to Gerald Lemole and Emily Lemole the first accurate description of trigeminal neuralgia was described in 1773, but it can be traced back about two thousand years. Basically it’s intense pain in the face, originating from the trigeminal nerve. This is the kind of pain that can take your breath away, it can be hard to hear others talk, because the pain is so intense. It’s hard or impossible to talk, smile or eat. The only experience I have with this disease is my own. I know one other person who has it, and her story, or pain, is very different from pain.
In my case, I have been very fortunate, and I wanted to share with others, what seems to be working for me. No, I don’t know if it will work for you, or how long it will work for me, but it is now and I’m usually in about 90% remission.
What does that mean to me? I can brush my teeth with little to no pain, I can wash my face with little to no pain, I can blow my nose with little to no pain. I can smile, laugh, talk, chew and totally forget this weird disease!
I have not found a “magic” pill, but I’m putting together pieces that seem to make a difference for me.
I was very fortunate to find a fabulous acupuncturist in Eugene, Oregon who was able to help “calm” down my nerves. That made a tenuous difference for me! I got relief!
Then I heard about a book called “Facing Facial Pain: Your Role in Ending the Pain” by Gerald Lemole, MD and Emily Lemole, MA, with a forward by Dr. Oz. I had to get it. Most of the books on TN that I could find didn’t seem to address the healing piece. They were about the disease and medical intervention, etc. Amazon link. (no, I’m not an affiliate, this link is for your convenience).
The book the Lemole’s wrote is wonderful! If you are looking for a self-help book, looking for how you can take responsibility for your care, this is a great place to start. They talk about food, and how the typical American Diet is lacking in nutrients. This is not new news; they just do a very good job at presenting the information, in a way that it’s easy for us to absorb and work with.
One of the pieces for me, in the book, is about nutrition and the Myelin Sheath. Since this sheath is what covers the nerve (short version), and my Trigeminal Nerve seems to be fairly independent (in a bad way) I figured that anything I could do to make the nerve relax or calm now, would be great. Our bodies are also so full of inflammation, from our lifestyles, the way we eat, the way our food is grown, stress, etc. that ANYthing we do to cut down on the inflammation is also a good thing!
I eat fairly healthy, and I have been taking an extremely high quality, and very “clean” (no toxins or pollutants) in the food supplements I have been eating for years, so I started looking up what else might be of benefit to me.
I take a high quality multi vitamin, but I figured I needed to add to that, since my body is telling me that we are out of whack. I was already taking a very absorbable vegetable protein powder daily, so I added Gamma Linoleic Acid (because the myelin sheet is made up of protein and fatty substances) which is an omega 6 fatty acid that helps the body to regulate many normal bodily processes. This formula also contains vitamin E, which helps protect arterial walls and supports the immune system by helping to maintain cell integrity. The Lemoles talk about taking alpha lipoic acid and turmeric.
I’m also using a positive mental attitude. I know this sounds funny, but when I know I’m healthy, when I don’t align with being “sick” and having a “weird” disease I feel better!
I have a Facebook “friend” who is fighting to get Trigeminal Neuralgia recognized by the World Health Organization as a disease. I have found that I can’t help her in the fight. For me, I need to align with health, with feeling good, with taking responsibility for my health.
I’m glad that she is doing this important work. TN can be such a debilitating disease for many, it’s an invisible disease, and there currently is no “cure” for it. You know, it’s the old saying, they can put a man on the moon but they can’t find a cure for ______________ .
Why am I writing this now?
I ran out of my GLA Complex. I figured that it would be fine, I had some coming in about a week… and it’s wasn’t fine. I started to have some pain. It was surprising, and not very fun. I was able to calm one instance by shifting my thinking to a great feeling event that had happened recently. I had been camping by a lake, and kayaking on the lake, and I was able to pull that visual up into my mind’s eye, and that helped to release the pain, at that moment.
Will what I’m doing work for you? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist.
Do we know that nutrition plays a tremendous part in our health? Absolutely.
Do you have anything to lose? Only you can answer that question.
Will this be an overnight fix? I doubt it. It has taken a while for me to be in remission…
If you are interested in the vitamins/food supplements that I’m taking, please contact me. This blog post is not a commercial. I wrote this after noticing my pain return, then again diminish. If this works for me, it might work for others.