Day by day, there’s probably no nutrient as actively involved in keeping your system running smoothly as vitamin B6. Technically an umbrella term used to describe three B vitamins (pyridoxine, pridoxal, pyridoxamine), vitamin B6 partakes in no fewer than 100 chemical reactions throughout the body. It functions primarily as a coenzyme, working along with other enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in cells.
Nearly every week, I get patients who assume that any time they have a really bad headache, it must be a migraine. Not true. In fact, migraines are a specific condition, with symptoms, causes, and treatments that differ from other headaches. To begin, what sets migraines apart is the throbbing pain–often on one side of the head–which can be intense and even incapacitating. At WholeHealth Chicago, we find a two-prong approach to migraines is often the most successful: Deal decisively with the pain of an attack (including using prescription medications, if necessary) and also find the best strategies to prevent these headaches from happening in the first place.
We doctors know it’s difficult to get our patients enthused about taking blood pressure medicines. Our plea that “this will help you to prevent problems in the future” doesn’t compel most people just struggling to make it through the day. And of course, it’s hard to convince someone to take medicines that often have unpleasant side effects to control a condition that has no noticeable symptoms. A lot of doctors acknowledge that high blood pressure is probably overtreated. Mild-to-moderate pressure levels (140/90 to 160/100 mm Hg) can usually be reversed by lifestyle changes alone. Levels consistently above these numbers do require medical treatment. However, despite the American Heart Association’s statement that blood pressure medicine is a lifetime commitment, if successful lifestyle changes create a new and healthier you, there’s no reason why (with your doctor’s help) you can’t begin to trim down your morning load of prescription pills–maybe even to none.