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saracidaltendencies
01-12-2009, 11:38 PM
Just wondering if anyone here suffers from migraines and, if so, what are your migraines like?

For a while now, I've been getting this throbbing achy pain on the right side of my head...Sometimes my right ear also hurts, a deep throbbing, sometimes stabbing pain.

In the past few months I've also had symptoms of a sinus infection and, just this past week have had horrible pressure in my sinuses but absolutely no stuffy nose.

I've been to my Dr. twice about this now and he's seen no sinus or ear infection and keeps telling me it's allergies and giving me allergy medicine, but it doesn't help.

I've been doing a lot of research online and have read that migraines can often be misdiagnosed as sinus headaches or sinusitis. However, the pain I've been feeling doesn't quite fit that of a migraine either. The headaches haven't been bad enough to keep me from doing anything either. Also, I've felt no nausea.

I've taken sinus medicine and that hasn't helped, I've taken Ibuprofen and that hasn't helped either. So far, the only thing that has helped get rid of the sinus pressure feeling and headache is taking hydrocodone.

Can migraines be mild enough to not interfere with your daily routine yet painful enough to be really, really bothersome?

I know I should go back to the Dr. but we can't afford it right now since hubby just went last week, my son went today, and, my daughter goes next month. That's already $60 on co-pays we have to put out.

Also, whenever I do get the chance to go to the Dr. I'd like to be able to offer up some info for him to consider since he just keeps telling me it's allergies.

Thanks!

scout52
01-13-2009, 12:18 AM
It sounds like to me you are having migraines. Not everyone experiences nausea or auras. You can actually have a migraine without any pain at all. It is a common myth that all migraines knock you out. Migraines also can occur elsewhere besides the head.

I have two types of migraines. One that allows me to function (though not at my best) and one that I'm out. One that is focused on the right front of my head is easier for me to handle and the one focused on the right back of my skull is really painful.

I've been having migraines since I was 12-13. I have been several different migraine regimes.

The most important thing is to figure out what your trigger is. For me, perfumes, wine, ice cream, certain fruits, peircing sounds such as a air horn. If a food is your trigger, just removing them from your diet will reduce your frequency. Also low blood sugar can be a trigger so eat something if you feel it coming on.

Also figure out if caffeine helps or hurts you. for some caffeine is a trigger, for others it actually helps relieves the migraine pain (closing the open blood vessels which is causing the migraine pain)

I used biofeedback which is kind of hard to explain but basically they teach you relaxation techniques to close the blood vessels with out medication. (it worked great for me for a very long time)

There are various medications that are out. One that is a daily does to reduce the amount of migraines you have or one that is only taken once you have a migraine.

I am on a daily does of topamax, just recently my migraines increased and we could not figure out my trigger. After a three week migraine I broke down and went back on medication. The topamax has been great.

Until you can see the doctor I would try a breathing technique similar to the ones in yoga, putting your hands under almost hot water (it moves the blood out of your head to your hands) and trying Excedrin instead of ibuprofen.

KnitTogether
01-13-2009, 12:32 AM
Me and migraines go way back. For me, there is a scale of bad to put me out of my misery, but most true migraines in me, left untreated, will get quickly to the put me out of my misery stage.

I have 4 types of migraines: allergy induced, hormonal induced, sleep deprivation induced and just for the heck of it induced. I have discovered over the years that the only thing that works (for me) is aspirin. Quickly as possible, no waiting - no telling myself this probably 'isn't' a migraine, and it will go away... and let's see how it is in 20 minutes because I hate to take an aspirin...

Over the years I have learned what it feels like when it is "just a headache" and when it is the early warnings of a migraine. I don't have some of the typical migraine symptoms, but often the night before I will feel a tingling sensation down my jaw line if I am paying attention.

Mine start between 4 and 6 am. If I am laying in bed, and feel that pounding sensation you describe, and if it is on one side, or in the center of my forehead, for me that is a migraine. By definition, if I am feeling it while I am still laying down, not only is it a migraine coming on, but it will be so much worse when I get up, stand up, move around and the blood starts circulating. During the times of my life when I had more of them, I would keep water and two aspirin laying next to my bed. If I woke up during those hours and felt the head throbbing, I took the aspirin. Period. No discussion, no talking myself out of it, since it takes 20 minutes to take effect. And, no turning on the lights or reaching into the fridge for a drink. A caffeine drink will speed that up (for me), so if hubby is awake he can bring me coffee or a diet coke. And then I pray I don't throw up the medicine. My best chance of not throwing up is to NOT MOVE. Just lay there, breathe, relax and wait for the aspirin to work. It does thin the blood, most aspirins also have caffeine in them, and if taken early on, they will nix my migraines. I will still feel a little soupy for awhile, but I won't be laying on the bathroom floor praying for death.

For me, the difference in a sinus headache and a migraine is just something I had to learn in myself over the years. For me, the migraine is more like my heart pounding in my head. Another test I can do is that if I have a sinus problem (even without a stuffy nose), and turn my head upside down, it will feel like I just got water up my nose... a burning sensation. So if I really don't know for sure, I take the two aspirin. My migraine will respond to the two aspirin; my sinus headache will mildly respond. If after 2 aspirin and 20 minutes there is no change, then it is time for me to take a decongestant. Another difference for me, is that a migraine is not something that I can ignore or leave untreated and go to work. It will get progressively worse, and rather quick, especially with moving around and getting ready for work, and I'll be back prone very quickly. A sinus headache I can still function, although not happily, but it does not progress to nausea. My basic only two symptoms of migraine are the headache itself and the nausea. I do have a slight sensitivity to light, but I don't see 'lights' or get sensitivity to sounds. I feel better with a cool pack on my forehead while waiting for the aspirin to work; my sister on the other hand needs a hot wash cloth on the back of her neck. It is unfortunate that we had to learn what worked for us with experimentation, but I think to a certain extent that migraines, and how they affect us, are somewhat unique to each person. My mom has migraines with all the symptoms except the headache...

I used to take codeine for my migraines until I learned what it was for me that it felt like when one was coming on. Still, I have times when I talk myself out of it, and convince myself it is 'nothing' and it will go away, and I regret it every time. Once in a great while I will have to take a 3rd aspirin, but usually 2 will do it. But for some, aspirin does not work, and the good thing is that there are many other medication options to keep trying until one does work.

I feel for you - I've been there, done that, and sometimes I miss the warning and one sneaks up on me. Whether it is sinus or a migraine - it still hurts and it still not fun!

saracidaltendencies
01-13-2009, 12:53 AM
Thank you so much! I'm really starting to think what I'm feeling is a migraine.

I know of 2 definite migraines I've had in my life, one when I was a little kid and was at Six Flags with my aunt and uncle. I had a horrible headache and I did get sick. Another was when I was a teenager and it was New Year's Eve. I seriously wanted to go out and strangle the people shooting off fireworks...lol...even just lying on the pillow hurt my head.

From what more I've read tonight, online, and the responses so far here, my symptoms do sound closer to migraine than anything else I've read.

I've apparently been incredibly misinformed about migraines, thinking nausea was a definite thing.

I'm going to have to get to the store tomorrow or something, my head has been hurting so much and all our Ibuprofen are gone and we have only 1 aspirin left. I think I have one more hydrocodone which I'll take just before bed, the last one has worn off and all the pain is back :(

I've also had an incredibly stiff, sore neck...Everything is on the right side only though. Well, except when I was feeling the sinus like pressure, that was all under my eyes, in my forehead, my top teeth hurt, and the throbbing on the right side of my head and right ear.

Next time I see my Dr. I'll tell him I think my problem is migraines, not allergies, no matter how much he wishes to insist it's allergies.

Mike
01-13-2009, 02:31 AM
When I was a kid I would get a blind spot that would take over my vision.

They went away from about puberty to late 30's. They started with a computer game (Lemmings) and then started coming more and more often. I get them about once or twice a week now and sometimes clusters many days in a row.

Now I get all different kinds.
I get small blind spots that work into circles and trail off to one side or the other, off to the right and they're not that bad, off to the left and it's going to be a bad headache. These are my usual.
I get large instant blind spots, those are generally bad headaches.
I get little pink lighting bolts (I've been to an eye doctor to check that out, twice) and that means one is coming in a few days.
And I get my old blind spots (they differ from the small blind spots but it's hard to explain how other than they eventually take over half my vision instead of eventually trailing off).

My triggers are flashing lights, sparkles, bright lights, certain colors (primary red, and I love red yarn :( ), focusing too hard on certain things (crocheting black yarn), most optical illusions, getting too much sleep, not getting enough sleep and not eating.
I've tried to identify food triggers but no luck. I do need to drink a cup of coffee after waking up, even if it's from a nap.

I used to lay down in a completely dark room for 3 days because of them. But lately I've found if I take 2 Advil about 20 minutes into the blindness the headache isn't that bad (sometimes it needs 2 more later). If I lay down it makes the migraine linger longer so my best bet is to make the headache not be bad enough to lay down with.

I used to always barf but I've only had them that bad a few times since their return.
I generally get stupid where simple things make no sense or it takes me a while to think. Knitting or crochet while having a migraine usually means missed stitches.

Yes migraines can come in all forms. Some can be visual with no pain at all. You also don't need any visuals.
Not having sinus meds touch it and only heavy duty pain meds work does sound like a migraine.
You also have to find the right otc med that works for you. Advil Migraine does nothing for me. Excedrin, Tylenol and anything else like that does nothing. Advil caplets are OK but not great. Advil gelcaps or liquid caps work.
The only way I can tell a sinus headache from a migraine headache (sometimes I get the aura part in my sleep, I even have it in my dreams sometimes, since I didn't take a pill I wake up with the headache and it sticks around) is if the Advil works or not. If the Advil doesn't work I figure it's sinus and take a psuedophed.

Something that worked for me for about 6 months was mega-dosing vitamin B-2. I don't remember how much but you should be able to search it (http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=b-2+migraines&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz2) and find out, that's how I found out about it. I need to try that again now that I haven't take it for a long time, even if it only works for 6 months it's better than nothing.
Fish Oil (http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0geu9mbMmxJZ7oAyodXNyoA?p=fish+oil+mi graines&y=Search&fr=moz2&ei=UTF-8) is another mega-dose vitamin cure, if you can keep it down. Don't take them if the migraine is already there because they are terrible coming back up and one inkling of nausea with them in your stomach is enough to open the flood gates.

I don't know if it helped or was just something he could keep down but my dad always had Lipton Onion soup. I can't find Lipton but I do have some instant onion soup, I just keep forgetting (it's the stupid thing). I do recall something about onions and migraines.

I have them so often I don't want to take any addictive drugs or ones that can damage your heart like Imitrex (plus Imitrex is expensive and taking them at the first sign would be a waste if it's one without much of a headache). I've thought about Topamax, I just haven't ever been back to a doctor.

evona
01-13-2009, 03:42 AM
I also get migraines. I get blind spots like Mike, but sometimes its just a kind of "fuzzy vision" in one eye (usually my left) - that's what I call it at least. Hard to explain. I used to get really debilitating headaches that felt like someone was trying to dig out my eye or the back of my head, but I have learned, like Mike, to go for the preemptive strike. Ibuprofen, like Advil and Motrin, is a vasoconstrictor and will tend to help with migraines. However, if I don't take the meds at the very first sign of a headache they won't work AT ALL!!!! Caffeine is also a vasoconstrictor, but too much can also cause bad headaches.

This is something interesting I just found out right now:

Cannabis

Cannabis was a standard treatment for migraines from 1874 to 1942.[80] It has been reported to help people through an attack by relieving the nausea and dulling the head pain, as well as possibly preventing the headache completely when used as soon as possible after the onset of pre-migraine symptoms, such as aura.[80]

I got that from Wikepedia in case anyone wanted to check their citations :teehee:

Mike
01-13-2009, 05:10 AM
I also get fuzzy vision and sometimes there's just something wrong with my vision. But they always lead up to some form of blindness.
Since it doesn't work if I take the Advil too early all I can do is wait and see.

Debkcs
01-13-2009, 06:55 AM
Cannabis works for migraines, I know this from personal experience. It won't work for everyone, but for some it will.

Haven't had a migraine strength headache for six years, for which I'm very thankful.

I hope you are able to figure out what triggers them, and what helps with the pain.

cftwo
01-13-2009, 09:46 AM
I get mini-migraines, and started getting them in my mid-30s. I usually get an area in my vision which is blurry and won't clear - that's my warning sign. The best thing to do is to head home and to bed for a few hours. The headaches themselves tend to be localized on one side of my head, but it's the vision mess-up which is most annoying. If I can't see, I can't work/read/knit/watch TV etc.

shelluie
01-13-2009, 09:53 AM
I have been suffering from migraines since I was in elementary school - I will be 40 next Month. My migraines start with seeing colored wavy flashing from one of my eyes. The flashing gets bigger, and bigger, until my vision is so blurred I can not see. Once the flashing is gone (it can take up to an hour) the headache sets in. It is a headache that is hard to explain. It almost feels like someone went into my head and knocked my brain around for awhile. It's very sore and it makes me nauseous. I have to be in a dark room, with no sound as light and sound make are amost unbearable. I sleep as long as I can when I get a migraine. The next day my mind will be almost like it's in a fog and I have trouble concentrating. Hope this helps you.

saracidaltendencies
01-13-2009, 10:06 AM
Man, I sure hope caffeine isn't what's causing this, I HAVE to have my coffee in the morning...lol...Last night I was really trying to think about how often this happens and I know for the past few months, when I've had my period, I get a lot of headaches. This past week has been the worst I've felt from it, and, (TMI? lol) I started my period yesterday.

So far today my head isn't hurting too bad, it just kind of feels like leftovers, if that makes any sense...lol...Can migraines also cause a lot of sweating? I woke up this morning, drenched with sweat, but, I never had a fever...at least not while I was awake.

I just want to figure out what this is so I know what to do. For a while I was starting to get really worried because of the recurring dull achy pain on the right side of my head. I was thinking I had like a brain tumor or something. By the end of the night last night, the pain eventually evened out and I felt it on both sides of the back of my head.

Thank you all for sharing the migraine info, as I said, I've been so misinformed, and I don't personally know anyone who gets migraines so I don't have anyone (here at home) to talk to about it.

KnitTogether
01-13-2009, 10:17 AM
My migraines definitely cause a 'fog' the next day or at least the rest of the day, and I will start sweating, just from the pain and nausea. The important thing is to find out exactly what is going on (of course), and then what works for you (as far as medicines, otc and otherwise) how and when to take it, and if possible, triggers. Caffeine (thank goodness) is not a trigger for me. If it were... I don't know where I would be. It actually makes mine go away quicker if I take the aspirin with a caffeine beverage. Thank goodness... sometimes red wine will trigger one in me, sometimes not. For me, there are various factors, and not always will one thing always be a trigger, so take that into consideration. A trigger for me is not getting enough sleep, but sometimes I can get away with it without a migraine, and other times I cannot.

Crycket
01-13-2009, 10:31 AM
I have had migraine...for a long while now...I am slowly starting to understand what triggers them....

I often get an aura first, which looks like someone took a pen and started drawing with TV fuzz, that starts in the middle of my right eye and moves to envelop my vision and slowly migrates to the corner...the whole process usually takes about half an hour....so I can take something, and head it off at the pass....then sometimes it comes out of the blue....sometimes I get nausea with it...sometimes I do not...

I find that certain lighting and caffine trigger mine, as well as red wine...so as soon as I recognized that...I could eliminate the latter two...unfortunatly with the lighting, it is hit and miss...sometimes the bright light reflecting off of something shiny will trigger an aura migraine... (unavoidable) and while I was working at the theatre, I was getting them on a weekly basis, simply because of the lighting in our office, which was dim and poorly lit...but I didn't figure that one out until we had a long lay off and I could tell the difference....

I take T1s....(tylonol with codine) to cope....and so far that has been good enough....I know some ppl who have to take immetrix and it still doesn't work...I consider myself lucky...for now....*smiles*

Mike
01-13-2009, 10:46 AM
I often get an aura first, which looks like someone took a pen and started drawing with TV fuzz, that starts in the middle of my right eye and moves to envelop my vision and slowly migrates to the corner.

I know some ppl who have to take immetrix and it still doesn't work...I consider myself lucky...for now....*smiles*

That's a good way to explain it, tv fuzz.
A friend has the migrating auras and hers work into a ring. When the ring connects her headache starts.

Another friend took Imitrex, the pills didn't work. I guess they also have one time use shots and those did work.

OffJumpsJack
01-13-2009, 01:19 PM
Ask for a second opinion! It is your right and even a good family doctor can't be a specialist in every field of medicine.

Allergy or Migraine? I have both, and the first can lead to the second but must pass through sinus congestion first! If you don't have other allergy symptoms, just try treating sinus congestion. Decongestant and drink more water.

You can have sinus congestion without a stuffy nose. Sore throat? That's a sign of post-nasal drip (Post as in posterior, back, or behind). But your congestion may be to thick to drip...

The headache could be from something else. I know chiropractic has helped me with some daily migraines I was suffering. A slight mis-alignment of the vetibra can cause pressure on the nerves emerging from your pine. The pressure is felt as pain but also disrupts regular nerve function like static noise on a phone call.

An ostiopathic doctor is a regular medical doctor that speciallizes in skeletal medicine. A doctor of chiropractic medicine also specializes in nerve location and function.

Sinus congestion could be from allergy, cold, infection, etc. but the allergy medicine probably doesn't clear the congestion (unless it has the "D" appended like Claritine-D or Coracetin-D etc).

I used Claritine before it became OTC and it work well until that time. :think: I didn't like Allegra so tried other OTC allergy meds like Benadryl and Chlortimetron (generic forms are good). I switch between these OTC to prevent sinus congestion.

For the congestion try Pseudophed (or generic) even though you have to go to the pharmacy window for this OTC it is worth the trouble. Other "PE" decongestants don't work as well. IMHO.

Important note!
Both Allergy med and decongestant will dehydrate you. Dehydration will make your congestion thicker and harder to drain.

1) Drink more water. Avoid sugary drinks and go with water. A Brita or similar pitcher styel water filter is a great investment if you don't have a filter on your kitchen faucet.

2) Try a decongestant you'll know in as little as 20 minutes if this is helping.

Google Neti pot for sinus health (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=Neti+pot+for+sinus+health), :eyebrow2: strange as it may seem you can comfortably rinse your sinus cavities with a mild salt-water solution. Messy but satifying! ;)

Unlike nose sprays, salt-water are not habbit forming (chemically). You may like the "clear" feeling enought to endure the icky messy process daily, or just as needed. Salt is healing too

If there is any buring with the mild salt-water solution, get to the Dr and tell her/him so! That would be a sure sign of infection and possible need for antibiotic Rx.

Good luck. Crossed Fingers

--Jack :guyknitting:

MoniDew
01-13-2009, 01:31 PM
For those of you with migraine and/or sinus issues, please check out how much moldy/fungus-y stuff you are eating!

Cheese, bread, beer, wine, chocolate, and anything else that has mold or fungus issues (dried beans, peanuts/peanut butter, corn, wheat). Or feeds fungus (sugar, dairy fat)

Try eliminating these for around 30 days and see if you feel better!

PS, if you are having deep pain inward from the ear region - get off the cellphone for a while and see if that helps. (Microwaving your brain never has sounded like a good idea to me.)

HOPE THIS HELPS! :muah: :hug: :heart:
Hope you feel better, everybody!

Sewing Angel
01-13-2009, 04:49 PM
A friend of mine just took her DD to the Dr. for migraines. They are trying a migraine free diet for 3 months. Some of the items were what Moni Dew said. Others I remember are raspberries, bananas, all processed meat and MSG (that was one they clearly said to avoid) I will ask her what else they said. She had been doing this for about 3 weeks and has not had a migraine in this time.
Another friend found her triggers were garlic, wine and caffeine. I hope you find something that works for you.

mare-nitt
01-13-2009, 05:44 PM
Migraines are awful. I have had them for 15 years and they are still going strong. It cost me 3500.00 and the loss of all the tips off the roots of my upper teeth on one side of my mouth, before a friend said, I bet you are having a migraine.
My teeth use to hurt so bad, I thought they would pop out of my mouth, so the dentist thought the roots of my teeth were too deep into my sinus area, so he went in and removed the tips of them. It was awful, and I still had the problem afterwards.
It turns out they were migraines, and they are hormonal migraines, I get them every month for 2-3 days and they start with terrible pain at my left temple and move to my teeth and then it is a migraine, the only thing that helps is Amerg. I can't wait until I outgrow them.
I hope you find your answers. But this thread should help you, because others can maybe trigger something that you will notice you may have experienced and can research it better with you doctor. Because I think migraines are different for everyone. Good luck.

WolfWalker
01-13-2009, 06:23 PM
I too have migraine syndrome, both classic and common. It can just come out of the blue without any warning signs at all, or at times I get a warning........auras of flashing light right dead center of my vision. This center of light will slowly start to spread out, forming a ring of flashing zig zagging light until it reaches just the very outer edges of my vision. Once it's gone that far I know within 20 minutes a serious migraine will hit me. Those with the aura are the worst for me, sound doesn't really bother me but any light is a problem. And, once that aura disappears I know better than to eat because I will be sick eventually.

They started back when I was 15 or so, and I used to get 2 or 3 migraines a week, but now that I take Neurontin every day (neurologist started me on this 9 years ago) I get maybe one migraine once in about 4 - 6 months, and these aren't the ones with the auras. I think the last time I had an aura migraine was probably ..........well, it's been that long I honestly don't remember!

Triggers for me are oversleeping, eating chocolate for 3 days in a row, allergies, and overstraining my neck.

Debra in NC

Marria
01-13-2009, 06:36 PM
I too have migraines. Sometimes I have an aura (my vision tunnels, or more weirdly, I get an olfactory hallucination that I'm smelling exhaust). Sometimes they knock me on my butt, sometimes they are fairly mild. The helpful thing is that I can usually tell when I'm getting one either by the aura or because I just don't feel right.

The two things that stand out from your post that make it sound like migraine to me is that it's on one side of your head and that it's a throbbing pain. Those sound like classic migraine symptoms to me.

One thing about medications--a lot of the meds they use now are triptans (like Imitrex). They work well for a lot of people, but I personally can't use them--they make my blood pressure skyrocket. There is another medication called midrin that's been around forever and that works very well for me. It's also quite a bit less expensive.

I would go online and get a list of the migraine symptoms and circle the ones you have to show your doctor the next time you go in. There is no reason why you should have to suffer with it, there are excellent treatments now.

ETA: I was also going to say something about triggers. Everyone who has mentioned that is absolutely correct. You should keep a "migraine diary" for awhile. Write down what you eat, how much you are sleeping, etc and any other environmental things you can think of, and also right down when the headaches are occurring. You might discover a pattern. I used to get 3 or 4 migraines a month, but now I only get them a few times a year and I believe it has a lot to do with learning what my triggers are. I've learned to avoid: red wine, any kind of meat with a lot of preservatives in it, cheeses that have been aged a long time (sharp cheddar), MSG, not getting enough sleep, drinking too much coffee (although a small amount of caffeine-about 1 cup of coffee actually helps my migraines).

kbagel
01-13-2009, 08:20 PM
I also get migraines. I've had them for weeks straight in the past. My previous Dr. diagnosed them as migraines but they started out as sinus headaches when I was in High School and gradually changed. Currently I have a cocktail of 3 meds that I take in different combinations depending on what time of day I get a migraine.

The first step to trying to get rid of them is figuring out what causes them. Here is a link to the headache diary that I keep every day. Whenever I get one I document it...http://www.montefiore.org/services/headache_center/new_patients/.

Also, I agree with OffJumpsJack that you need to see a specialist. I have no idea where you live but if you're in the greater NYC area I can't say enough good things about the Montefiore Headache Clinic. It's one of the best in country and the Dr's are awesome. (Not to mention my particular neurologist has a striking resemblance to Dr. McDreamy from Gray's Anatomy). The other great thing is they have tons of studies they need patients for which means you can go to the Dr for free! I'm taking part in a study right now where I take a 5 minute survey twice a day for three months. In addition to the free appt's I get paid $60/month and $100 per dr's visit.

The other thing is, there's no way you can take every migraine trigger out of your life. You have to target your approach and eliminate the offenders. For example, I know the only food that triggers my migraines is MSG so I eliminate that. But chocolate, cheese, etc. doesn't bother me at all. Also, if you drink wine at all, you should try to make sure it's a quality wine. I don't mean expensive just not "cheap." A friend of mine is a wine broker and she explained to me that the tannins in cheap read wine are generally the cause. In higher quality wines they decant the liquid more thoroughly before bottling.

One last thing, once you figure what causes your migraines there are a number of natural remedies you can try. For example, I get migraines around my period so I take 500mg of Magnesium everyday and up the dose to 750mg the week before my period. It takes a while for these types of things to work but it's finally started being effective.

You should also try yoga and other relaxation techniques if you can. The one thing that I found always helps for me is running. If I have a migraine and it's not debilitating I take my meds and head for the gym. It seriously always works and my dr's can't even explain why!

laikabear
01-13-2009, 09:53 PM
Wow, a lot of us get migraines! I've been trying to get rid of one for the past 2 days so this is a good thread for me. :)

I've had migraines since I was 15 (I'm 31). The thing I found that worked the best was Imitrex injectable. It had the most side effects (felt like an elephant was standing on your chest for the first few minutes) but it nearly always kicked migraine butt! Unfortunately I developed an allergy to the medication over time and can't use it. The nose spray and pill forms never really worked for me. Now I take Maxalt, which is a similar drug. It comes in pills and disintegrating tablets, but my insurance only covers the pills. It doesn't work as well as the Imitrex did, and I'm starting to get an allergy to it also (it gives me mild hives every time I take it now). The weird thing is that these drugs have been around for over 7 years but are still not available in generic. No one has been able to explain that to me! They are very expensive, even after my Rx plan pays for part of them. I pay about $8 per pill for the Maxalt, and I usually need at least 2 per migraine. I also take Excedrin at the same time, but it doesn't work on its own. For really bad migraines, I also have sleeping pills (temazepam), Darvocet, and Benadryl.

I've never had an aura. In fact I have trouble telling I'm getting a migraine until it's full blown, probably because I get them so frequently it just feels "normal." I never get nauseated, but I get very sensitive to light and sounds. I used to always get them on the left side of my head. Now they are more often on the right side, but they are definitely always on one side only. Ugh, I hate that throbbing, pounding pain that gets worse with any movement. :(

I have found that my triggers are wine (used to be just red but now it's white too), chocolate, certain cheeses, changes in my sleep schedule, stress, spending too much time on the computer, and air travel! I also get a lot more migraines when I have my period. Oh, and going to the movies. I can't go to a movie in the theater without getting a migraine. When I get stressed, the muscles in my shoulders and back tense up, and that usually will give me a migraine. The sleep schedule thing is hard since I work nights. When I get a few days off, I just want to sleep and sleep.

There are a lot of meds you can take daily to decrease the frequency of migraines. I tried propranolol (a blood pressure medicine), neurontin (anti seizure medicine), and Topamax. The first 2 didn't work and I'm very allergic to Topamax. I heard it works wonders for those who can tolerate it, though. In vet school I was getting a migraine a DAY, or maybe just a lingering one that wasn't going away. Now I get one every 1-2 weeks, but it usually lasts a couple of days.

Another thing that helps is regular exercise. Bikram (hot) yoga was the best. When I had the time to go a couple of times a week, my back/ shoulder pain was gone and I was hardly ever getting migraines. Getting a massage also helps, but I can't afford to do it nearly as often as I'd like.

Migraines tend to run in families. My grandma used to have them really bad, but they stopped once she went through menopause (guess that's something to look forward to). My aunt (on the other side of the family) also gets them pretty bad.

Well, I'm off to the gym to try and get rid of the little bit of this migraine that's lingering on!

saracidaltendencies
01-13-2009, 11:57 PM
(my vision tunnels, or more weirdly, I get an olfactory hallucination that I'm smelling exhaust).

You saying that just reminded me of something that happened to me the night before last, and, once before a couple months ago. I awoke in the middle of the night, from a sound sleep, because I thought I smelled a pizza cooking in the oven. It was that type of smell when the pizza has over cooked just a bit and there's that kind of burnt crust smell...I quickly sat straight up and started to get out of bed to rush to the kitchen and just like that, the smell was gone.

Thank you all again, so much. After everything I've read, I really think this is what my problem is.

I'm definitely going to start keeping a "migraine journal". Though, a lot of triggers mentioned aren't a part of my diet as is...I do drink a lot of coffee, but, I'm not a wine drinker, I rarely eat chocolate (or any sweets for that matter...lol), I don't eat meat (though I do eat a lot of meat substitutes like Boca Burgers and such for the vitamins they contain, and well, they're really good...lol), I've pretty much completely cut soda from my diet (I'll have one every once in a while), and upped my water intake.

It could be that I'm just not eating properly? Since hubby's pay cut a little while ago and the economy, we've had to scale back on everything including groceries. We basically have enough food for the kids to have breakfast, lunch, and a few snacks, and dinner for all of us. I've been getting by for the past year on coffee, cigarettes, and dinner...lol. And ya know, these pains in my head I know have started within the past year. Or at least the frequency has, I don't remember having pains this often at any point before the past year.

I'm going to track my activity too to try to see if there's anything in particular I do that "triggers" the throbbing pain on the right side of my head and in my right ear.

I know I get the sensitivity to noise though! Ugh, there are some days where it feels like if I hear another voice or the tv isn't shut off immediately I'm going to explode! I haven't noticed any light sensitivity, however, I've never liked a lot of light and during the day, no lights are on at all and at night, we use a small lamp when we're upstairs, and downstairs another lamp with a 40 watt equivalent CFL bulb.

Today the head pain hasn't been bad, a couple aspirin were able to knock that out but right now, the neck pain is what's bothering me the most.

I'm also going to pay attention to see how close to my period I get these pains. My "period headaches" have become more and more frequent and I know, during that 5 days, I'm popping pain killers like crazy. Maybe a mix of too much caffeine, not eating enough, and, the hormones going crazy?? Hmm, this may not be a bad thing after all; I might finally have an excuse to lie around on the couch for 5 days and let hubby take care of the kids! :teehee:

auntcrafty
01-14-2009, 12:10 AM
eta: Your migraines might be caused by stress and your body is begging for food. When we don't get good nutrition, our bodies let us know in unusual ways that we need to start paying attention.

I get migraines from allergic reactions (sulfites, corn derivatives, & soy are the biggest triggers) and stress. Mine usually start out as headaches, but then esculates to nausea, vomiting, and not being able to be in bright light. When that happens, I need to take my compounded tylenol & benedryl and lie down asap. My worse reaction was to medication they gave me in the ER after I had a reaction to my inhaler (all had corn derivatives in them).

I'm very careful about doing what I can to prevent reactions -- using Nasalcrom when I know I will be exposed to a trigger and avoiding the foods that cause reactions, but every once and a while I am exposed to something in the environment (paint, perfume/cologne, fabric softener, etc) that even with the Nasalcrom won't prevent and I will start getting a headache in the sinus area, which moves to the top of my head and into the neck area. I also get swollen glands in my neck.

I hope you feel better soon!

Crycket
01-14-2009, 12:10 AM
And ya know, these pains in my head I know have started within the past year. Or at least the frequency has, I don't remember having pains this often at any point before the past year.



Don't forget Stress...it does factor in....

saracidaltendencies
01-14-2009, 12:17 AM
Don't forget Stress...it does factor in....


Oh, indeed! Maybe I can boil it down to the kids being the trigger! :teehee:

TEMA
01-14-2009, 01:00 AM
In my early teenage years I started experiencing migrains. I don't get them at all now and haven't for a long time.
Medicine never worked on the pain for me. The only thing I could do was try, try, try to go to sleep so that the pain would end and be all gone when I woke up.
I couldn't see out of my eyes when the migraine was full on... only little bits here and there and so many lightning streaks... Ugh!
The memory of them brings me shadow pain. I often felt really cold on the side of my head as well.
It could be allergies but for me it was probably anxiety.
As everyone has advised, so do I. See your dr a.s.a.p.
TEMA

evona
01-14-2009, 02:23 AM
Stress and your diet is definitely a factor. Poor dear. I am worried about that diet of yours. It is not sustainable. Believe me, I've been there. I was doing the same thing when my kids were little and their jerk of a father wouldn't work. I would eat a few snacks during the day, stave off hunger with coffee and eat dinner with the kids so that my kids could have 3 square meals and snacks. I had headaches constantly. I was 115 pounds which is underweight for my height (5'9"). I was doing it for my kids, but I wasn't healthy - and the kids ultimately need a healthy mommy. Please take care of yourself :hug: :hug: :hug:

evona
01-14-2009, 02:29 AM
Oh - and BTW - Allergies can cause migraines, so your doctor may be right that you have allergies and you may be right that you have migraines. Interestingly, some decongestants, like Sudafed, sometimes help with Migraines as well. Sudafed has pseudoephedrin though so I would really be careful taking it when you are also taking in so much caffeine. I am very sensitive to such drugs and have not taken any medicines with pseudoephedrin in it since I experienced racing heart, racing thoughts and tense muscles for a full 24 hours after taking the recommended dose of an OTC allergy medicine with it

MoniDew
01-14-2009, 07:14 AM
A friend of mine just took her DD to the Dr. for migraines. They are trying a migraine free diet for 3 months. Some of the items were what Moni Dew said. Others I remember are raspberries, bananas, all processed meat and MSG (that was one they clearly said to avoid) I will ask her what else they said. She had been doing this for about 3 weeks and has not had a migraine in this time.
Another friend found her triggers were garlic, wine and caffeine. I hope you find something that works for you.

Processed meats (luncheon meats in particular,) and MSG - TOTALLY avoid!!! those are some obvious ones! :duh:

Bananas are related to latex, for those of you with latex allergies, contemplate what that would be like internally! (aloe vera is also related to latex.)

garlic is sulphurous, as are many cabbage family plants. if you have sulfur issues, probably best to avoid those and dried fruit that has sulfur added.

anyone withdrawing from caffeine is gonna have a migraine! caffeine is a drug! once it's out of your system tho', you'll be fine - just don't do what I do and start drinking it again and have to go through the withdrawls again! LOL (tea vender, here - like, yeah, that's gonna happen!)

Sorry for overlooking the obvious. I should'a slowed down a little and thought that post through before posting, huh?

Mike
01-14-2009, 08:34 AM
Caffeine withdrawal has given me headaches but not migraines.

When I was trying to figure out foods I did think salted popcorn was one but it was hit and miss. I could believe MSG because of that, except jerky doesn't do it for me.

I even thought chocolate once because I started getting them after making chocolate chip cookies. But no joy there either. Worked for my grandmother.

I'm up right now because I got one as I was getting ready for bed around 4am (working late). Then I had to wait 30 minutes to take the Advil. Then it was questionable whether sleeping would make it worse, and I know getting back up at 8am would make it worse. So I decided to stay up until I could really sleep.

OffJumpsJack
01-14-2009, 10:42 AM
Oh, indeed! Maybe I can boil it down to the kids being the trigger! :teehee:


No, no. You are thinking of INSANITY. That is hereditary, you know, because ...

We get it from our children! :roflhard:

--Jack.

Spikey
01-14-2009, 11:21 AM
I have one thing to add to the terrific suggestions already posted.

My migraines can also be triggered by neck strain. Working in front of a computer for too long, monitor position too high, too much weight or pulling on my neck or shoulders (like from a heavy necklace or too small blouse). I have to be really careful about my posture and take breaks from the computer, even from knitting!

Before I was trying to get pregnant, I would take the prescription drug Zomig. It worked really well for me and is a tablet that dissolves right in your mouth. No need for water and it is absorbed and starts working much more quickly than pills that need to dissolve in your system.

Now all I can take is Tylenol, which is surprisingly effective, when taken early enough. I get tiny little "shooting stars" on the edges of my vision about a day before the migraine starts, so I start trying to ward it off then.

saracidaltendencies
01-14-2009, 03:48 PM
No, no. You are thinking of INSANITY. That is hereditary, you know, because ...

We get it from our children! :roflhard:

--Jack.


No way, I'm not insane! :eyes: :zombie: :wall: :hair: :waah: :drool: :teehee:

saracidaltendencies
01-14-2009, 03:57 PM
I have one thing to add to the terrific suggestions already posted.

My migraines can also be triggered by neck strain.

Ya know, that could very well be my problem. I notice, when I'm knitting, I usually hold the yarn relatively close to my face and have to stop myself from tensing up. I'll be knitting away and all of a sudden realize my arms and shoulders are as tense as can be so I have to stop for a bit and relax my arms before I start up again. And, I've been knitting like mad lately with all the Christmas presents I had to knit and finishing hubby's sweater.

I told myself I was going to take a little break from knitting after going just about every day for 2 months straight, but well, as with any addiction, I was suffering from withdrawal :teehee: I have slowed a bit though, really taking my time with my current project: a pair of socks for myself.

Today I'm doing considerably better; a small amount of soreness in my neck and grogginess from the hydrocodone I took last night for the neck pain, but other than that, much improved.

Thank you guys so much, you've really helped me out with this! :hug:

Arielluria
01-14-2009, 04:02 PM
My migraines can be just a bad pain over one eyebrow to full blown, can't stand daylight, a leaf falling sounds like a canonball type! It seems to be getting worse the older I get. HOWEVER, I now take prescription call Fioricet (it has Codeine in it, so make sure you're not allergic if you ask the doctor for it). I tried Immitrex for a while but it made my head foggy. I think Codeine tends to do that as well, but for me it doesn't happen that way, I actually feel energetic and talkative. :teehee: (Possibly due to side effect from another medication I take).

Sometimes my migraines affect my stomach. They can make your stomach just shut down and not digest, so a pill is not digested nor effect. For that, there's an Immitrex nasal spray which is great!

laikabear
01-15-2009, 10:57 AM
Ick, I remember that nasal spray. It's just about the worst taste in the whole world (very bitter) and it will drip down the back of your throat after you use the spray. It never really worked as well as the injections did for me anyway, so I only used it a few times. That was years ago but I can still remember it!!

:ick: :ick: :ick:

Arielluria
01-15-2009, 11:47 AM
With me it's definitely hormonal, mostly my migraines come the week of and into the start of my period. Have you kept track of yours to see if it has that type of pattern? That would almost be a definite hormonal issue.

Arielluria
01-15-2009, 11:48 AM
Ick, I remember that nasal spray. It's just about the worst taste in the whole world (very bitter) and it will drip down the back of your throat after you use the spray. It never really worked as well as the injections did for me anyway, so I only used it a few times. That was years ago but I can still remember it!!

:ick: :ick: :ick:I never had the shots, I'd rather something that DIDN'T taste bad, but when I'm desperate I go for it.

saracidaltendencies
01-15-2009, 12:46 PM
With me it's definitely hormonal, mostly my migraines come the week of and into the start of my period. Have you kept track of yours to see if it has that type of pattern? That would almost be a definite hormonal issue.


No, I haven't in the past but I will start. I do know that my "period headaches" have become more frequent, however. I never before even thought of migraines until I was researching sinus pain...I assumed I was just having sinus infections that cleared up before I saw the Dr. I found out that a lot of times migraines can be mistaken for sinus headaches and that's when I decided to do more research on migraines. Will definitely start tracking now to see if I can find some connections.

Arielluria
01-15-2009, 02:28 PM
I too went YEARS thinking sinus headaches instead of migraines. Now I know I only get sinus headaches in the spring allergy season, so if it's March/April and I get a headache that doesn't seem to be a hormonal one, I take sinus medication instead. But otherwise I know. Of course, I can get the occasional migraine that goes with neck pain/strain/stress too.

Before I had my migraine prescriptions medication I got these vicegrip headaches and the only way I could get momentary relief was by having DH squeeze my head between his hands (like Rhett Butler did to Scarlet in Gone With The Wind....:teehee:). But as soon as he let go I was in agony again. I bet it looked pretty weird to anyone peaking in our windows.
:roflhard:

bailsmom
01-15-2009, 03:23 PM
I too went YEARS thinking sinus headaches instead of migraines. Now I know I only get sinus headaches in the spring allergy season, so if it's March/April and I get a headache that doesn't seem to be a hormonal one, I take sinus medication instead. But otherwise I know. Of course, I can get the occasional migraine that goes with neck pain/strain/stress too.

Before I had my migraine prescriptions medication I got these vicegrip headaches and the only way I could get momentary relief was by having DH squeeze my head between his hands (like Rhett Butler did to Scarlet in Gone With The Wind....:teehee:). But as soon as he let go I was in agony again. I bet it looked pretty weird to anyone peaking in our windows.
:roflhard:

OMG!! I do this too!! :roflhard:

saracidaltendencies
01-15-2009, 03:27 PM
I have too! LOL! I've had headaches that make my head feel like its pounding and the only thing that seems to make it feel like it isn't throbbing anymore is to squeeze my head...lol...

Arielluria
01-15-2009, 04:03 PM
I looked everywhere for a picture of that online, but I couldn't find it. :roflhard:

laikabear
01-15-2009, 08:07 PM
The vice grip thing is so funny. I started getting migraines when I was in high school and my mom used to sit with me and hold my head like that when I had a bad one! I still saw a pediatrician at that point and he was the one who recognized that they were migraines. I don't think I've ever had a doctor who was as good as him since. :(

The reason I started with the injectable version of Imitrex is that's the only way it came when it was first introduced (1992 or so). The nasal spray and pills came out later. I just never found them to work as well as the injections. The injection thingy is like a ballpoint pen, you just hold it to your thigh and press the button and it jabs you. :) I was already used to injections since I'm allergic to bees and have an Epi-pen.

It sucks you have gone so long not having a diagnosis, Demonica! At least with all the problems I've had, I know what is going on!

Crycket
01-15-2009, 08:25 PM
I have seen a few ppl mention migraines in connections with neck/shoulder/back pain...I get this too...I think they are actually tension headaches....that mimick migraines...

I also get migraines with pressure shifting in the atmosphere....

Sewing Angel
01-15-2009, 11:02 PM
I also get headaches when the atmospheric pressure changes. Its amazing how our bodies can pick up subtle messages.

saracidaltendencies
01-16-2009, 05:34 PM
I don't get headaches with the pressure changes, but, my knees begin to hurt terribly! Man, I'm only 31 and already a wreck! With the way I feel now, I'm not really looking forward to getting any older :teehee:

Mike
01-16-2009, 05:41 PM
My sister and I figured out that as you get into old age you either lose all feeling or you just don't care any more.
At the rate I'm going I'd be moaning just to take a breath by the time I'm 60.

saracidaltendencies
01-16-2009, 05:53 PM
:teehee:

Arielluria
01-16-2009, 07:01 PM
I'm still laughing at his signature line.:roflhard:

jamiejeans
01-16-2009, 11:30 PM
I haven't read through the entire thread yet, but you may be experiencing cluster headaches. Can feel similar to migraines but don't have the neurological symptoms and nausea that are often associated with them.
Also, frequent headaches can also be a sign that your blood pressure is high. Even pre-hypertensive pressures can cause headaches- and blood pressure ranges have changed as far as what is considered normal. Anything over 120/80 is now considered pre-hypertensive; 140/90 hypertensive and most providers will start medications.

Good luck!