On-Line Migraine Journal

The on-line migraine journal is intended to be an area for migraine sufferers to post their migraine histories and experiences.

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Hi:

I am a female who has suffered with migraines since I was 13. I just turned 52. I have tried dozens of natural remedies and alternative medical help: Chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, message, biofeedback, aromatherapy,...etc, etc... Plus, the conventional medical field/medications: M.D.'s, Neurologists, Endochronologist, Neuro Surgeons, Imitrex, Maxalt, Renalt (sp?), something that started with an A, etc..etc...

The migraines were getting more frequent and worse recently, (2-4 per week) until I finally got some help from an orthodontist. He is treating my T.M.J. with an orthodic device and braces. I also discovered any type of tomatoe product (even smelling or touching them) or insufficient sleep will trigger one. I have to be in bed asleep before 9:30 P.M. every night. I also have to limit my consumption of alcohol to one or two glasses of wine or beer. These have really interferred with my social life, but it is worth it to reduce the frequncy of the migraines. Another problem I have is with my medication. Imitrex is about the only thing that will really help, but it seems to intensify the pain for about an hour before it eases it. It also gives me stomach aches. I feel like I have a rock in my stomach. And...I have to take more and more....I usually start with 100 mg, and have to take another 50-100 mg within a couple hours. If I take it any sooner, I get nauseous. Even though it is advertised to help nausea. Go figure? Sometimes I can get the initial pain under control with the Imitrex, then switch to low doses of Loratab later. But, I have to be careful with that too. It also makes me nauseous. I have to be sure to eat something when I take it.

I am convinced that most migraines are a combination of several triggers, usually not just one. It took me awhile to convince my orthodontist, but I think he finally agrees with me. He was sure his approach would stop them completely, but not so.

I wanted to post this to maybe help others who are not aware of these causes/solutions, and to maybe get some feedback from others using Imitrex.

Thank You,
Diana




Diana <dianahodges@hotmail.com>
Saturday, October 9, 2004 at 11:44:51



Hello,

At 36, I have been a migraineur for about 12 years. Mine started suddenly at age 24. It coincidentally? coincided with some chemical leakage into our office building from the adjoining fingernail salon. The best I have been able to figure is that the chemicals triggered my underlying condition which seems to be a hormonal imbalance.

The character of my headaches have continually changed over the years...most probably due to changing medication regimines. In short, I have experienced severe 2-3 times a day pounding headaches while at work (would go to my car or close the office door and take a shot of Imitrex) as well as currently much more mild symptoms (eye dialation, moodiness, irritability, central nervous system excitability, tiredness) which will sometimes result in a headache.

The interesting part of my story is that after having 2 children (6 and 1), my headaches are much more mild than they were previously (note I am not taking any kind of medication other than ibuprofen)and I didn't experience any substantial migraines during my pregnancies. I felt great once I got past the first 3 months nausea. Nevertheless, my headaches are still very frequent and chaotic during the month. I am taking Loestin 1/20 as recommended by by GYN for some of my perimenapausal symptoms (I am only 36 but have some symptoms resembling a much older woman...mostly forgetfulness, severe vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive, etc). The BCPs have been helpful but of course don't do enough.

I am wondering why I can't find a doctor to help mimic my pregnant condition so I can feel good again like a did while I was pregnant and nursing:(

Sadfully,

Becky Harrington
Marietta, GA

Becky Harrington <beckyharrington@comcast.net>
Sunday, October 3, 2004 at 21:30:02



Hi everybody.
I hope you are all doing better. I was watching X-Men 2 today and they have a device that enables the good guy to control the heads of mutants. This device is called Cerebro. When the bad guy gets his hands on Cerebro, he aims the technology to the humans on the world and they suffer from debilitating head pains. Maybe we are being attacked by a Cerebro...?? I don't mean to be flippant about a debilitating condition, but I thought it was an interesting allegory.
I just remembered something that my doctor told me a number of years ago: women who suffer from menstrual migraines should avoid rhubarb at all costs because it affects hormone levels. Also you should be careful of the food you eat whilst on particular medication, ie grapefruit reacts badly with some medications, so check with your pharmacist or GP. Also, women should avoid Gin, as it affects the lining of the uterus and may cause hormonal problems.

Take care everyone,

Emma.

Emma <emmaleahnorris@yahoo.com.au>
Sunday, October 3, 2004 at 10:04:28



It breaks my heart to read all these experiences with migraine that are far more frequent than mine. I typically have had about 8 migraines a month which I can usually successfully treat with one or two 50mg Imitrex. I have had severe headaches most of my life but I was not diagnosed with Migraines until about 12 years ago following a trip to the hospital ER due to extreme head pain, throwing up, and extreme sensitivity to light. Unfortunately, the ER doctor suspected Bacterial Meningitis so a spinal tap was done. That turned out negative, so they said I just had the flu and sent me home. Between the Migraine and the spinal tap, I was flat on my back for two weeks in with extreme head pain. There was no way I was going back to the hospital so I toughed it out. All of my Christmas vacation was spent incapacitated with head pain.

Prior to that, I had never asked my doctor for stronger medication. After a review of my history and symptoms, my family doctor diagnosed me as having migraine headaches. I was prescribed something stronger and ultimately was prescribed Imitrex. This works but my doctor has been trying for years to find a preventative medication. I have tried the works � antidepressants, beta-blockers, MigraZone and so on. I have kept a log for years to establish triggers. Have found chocolate, red wine, beer, weather changes, time/sleep changes, and strong perfume are all triggers.

Recently, I found another trigger. Humidity. I knew I would usually get a migraine when storms would roll in or when I left the windows open at night. I knew that hot, humid days would usually result in a migraine. What surprised me occurred after I purchased a digital temperature/humidity gauge (about $20 to $30 at Walmart or Home Depot). This gauge is so accurate and responsive that the humidity reading changes within a minute of a window opening or the air conditioning going on. When the windows are open, the humidity reading almost always matches the humidity reading given on the TV weather report. Anyhow, readings over 60% always result in a migraine as my sinuses would close down. Keeping the indoor humidity in the 40% range is like heaven. Open sinuses and only the slight background headache I have almost all the time.

It drives my wife crazy, but sometimes I have to turn on the air conditioning on humid days even when the outdoor temp is in the 60�s and the indoor temp is at 70. To bring down the humidity without making it too cold, I have to alternate between turning on the heat and turning on the air. It may sound like it is expensive to run the heat and air, but it is a lot cheaper than $30 for two Imitrex tablets. And I feel a lot better.

Now that I am controlling the humidity trigger, my migraines are down to 2 or 3 a month (compared to 7 or 8 before).

Hope this helps someone else.

Steve in Michigan
Saturday, October 2, 2004 at 20:54:24



My name is Becci and I'm 18 Years old. I've suffered with migraines since I was 16 although I had my first and what i thought to be my last at the age of 8.

Had a terrible migraine yesterday I just wanted to die. My boyfriend got upset when I said that but he doesn't understand me people who have never suffered a migraine think its just a headache. I try to explain but they don't listen they think I make it up. I wished that the pain would got away just for an hour to let me do things I want. Instead it gets worse and worse and worse until I'm curled up in a ball crying like a little girl.

I wish for a cure I wish for some relief. I took my pain killers the consultant prescribed they help and little. I use a cold compress and tiger balm on my temples but still there was still getting worse.

I gave up and when to bed only to wake every hour until 3am when I finally started to feel better. After that I sleep fine.

I now live my life around a migraine.

Rebecca Cowell <rcowell86@hotmail.com>
Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 06:30:57



It has now been close to 4 months and I have only had 1 migraine and only a couple minor headaches, which I withstood or caught with Indocin (my only pain med). I have been taking 2 anti-inflammatories and still take my beta-blocker. I have not taken any other pain meds. Also, I think a major key may be running. I now run 4.2 miles 5 days a week. On stressful days I can feel it in my shoulders, neck and occipital lopes on the back of my head; the running has almost eliminated this.
The doc I am seeing believed I was caught in rebound headaches, from so many analgesics, and it appears he may be right. The doc wants me to have an angiogram in Jan. to see if I have any obstruction in my arteries, if minor or little, he will let me take Imatrex. I may not go that route and stay with my new routine and drop 1 or both of the anti-inflammatories, too. I need more months to be sure the running and lack of analgesics is really working. I will keep you posted.

Dennis McCowan <dennismccowan@yahoo.com>
Monday, September 27, 2004 at 16:58:35



I've been in this migraine attack for 8 days now. I'm going to the neurologist today for a second nerve block. I also tried migranal last night and it did not work. I'm at my witts end!! I can't work and I feel that any day I'm going to get fired. It is such a catch-22! You have to work to have insurance so you can get help for these damn migraines!! How do you work when you are in so much pain??
It feels good to vent to people who know what I am talking about. It is difficult not to let migraines engulf your entire life. I just want to be able to feel good when I wake up in the morning. I've been a migraneur for 11 years now and not a day goes by that I don't think about ending it all because the pain is so bad and it doesn't go away...Thanks for letting me share!
Have a pain free day,
Rachel

Rachel <roodiec@yahoo.com>
Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 11:40:14



Hello everybody

I myself are suffering from migraine as long as i can remember. I had the first attack when i was 6 years old, according to my mother. My migraines did get quite bad, i had about 2 attacks a week when i was abot 10 years old. The doctor didn't want to give me anything for it, he said i was stressed and needed some rest. But after a year when i still had attacks that often, he gave me some anti migraine medicines and did send me to a psychologist. The psychologist was a great help to me, he told me that i wasn't different from all the other kids and gave me my self esteem back, which i had lost over the past few years.
I am 19 years old now and do still suffer from migraine attacks, i have abuot two attacks a month which costs me a lot of time but i have managed to cope with them and do still see my friends, go to uni and go out sometimes. I just try to live a quiet and regular life as it helps me to protect myself for some attacks.
My attacks are quite serious, i have to stay in bed during the attack, have to vomit, can't stand any noise or light and just want to be left alone. The attack mostely wears of after a day but it sometimes holds on for 3 or four days. I really get nackered from those long attacks, i need a few days to recover completely from those attacks.

Well thanks a lot for reading my story, this website gives me the change to show my feelings freely as people in my surrounding are a bit sceptic about (my) migraine, they often
think it's nonsens but it has cost me one year at school and i can't go out as often as i like but i can cope!

thanks a lot again.

sarh hemmingway

sarah hemmingway <sarahhemmingway@hotmail.com>
Wednesday, September 22, 2004 at 10:52:07



Hi everybody. I have suffered from migraines for over 10 years. I have finally worked out that I havr two triggers - Tresor perfume and HORMONES!!!
I have an appointment to see a (female) gynaecologist in a few weeks in the hope to br fitted with an IUD that releases progesterone into my system on a regular basis. The theory being that my migraines (not to mention my periods) will disappear for a while. I have run the whole gamut of medicationa and programmes available in Australia and whilst I have resigned myself to the fact that I get migraines, I do my best not to let them rule my life - as difficult as that sounds. I'll keep you posted in how the IUD works for me. Keep your fingers crossed for me. On the upside, my employer understands that I get bad migraines and she is very understanding, which takes a great deal of stress off me.

Emma <emmaleahnorris@yahoo.com.au>
Friday, September 17, 2004 at 09:21:48



Dear Lisa
My 11 year old had his first migraine attack at aged two and a half years. I thought that he had food poisonong as he had abdominal pain and was suddenly pale, sweating , vomiting violently and in distress. By the next day, of course, it had completely resolved. It was very different from my own migraine attacks which are longer lasting and although I am nauseous and vomit, the pain is centred in my head.
The paediatrician told me that childhood migraine is massively underreported and, interestingly, boys outnumber girls. Your boy is not alone. may I suggest that you look for triggers like tiredness, excitability and certain foods?
Pizotifen (I'm sorry, I don't know it's trade name in America) is effective for short tern prevention-for instance when Will is on Scout Camp but is problematioc for weight-gain if used long term.
Love from England
May

May <susanmsingleton@ntlworld.com>
Friday, September 10, 2004 at 15:12:05



In reply to the person that found that bought foods rather than making them from scratch made tham have migraines.

I get migraines but in addition I also suffered unexplained nausia and vomitting at times without a headache 2 or 3 times a week. I have now found that this is caused by a food intollerance ( while my migraines are mostly due to hormones eating the food I am intollerant to also causes migraines and makes them worse as well as the vommiting)

I now know I am intollerant to all 'turned' milk. By this I mean cheese, yogart, sour cream.

I now am totally without the nausia and vommiting as long as I leave these out of my diet

However at first even if I left these out of my diet if I ate convienence foods rather than making everything from sctatch I still got the symptoms.

For me I eventually tracked it down to whey solids they put in everyhting these days!

This is a by product of the cheese making proccess and as it is very concentrated it makes me very ill,. Food manufacturers do not know what to do with the whey mountain cheese production leaves so they dump it in tour foods!!

I have also hear that yellow food colouring produces migraine in some people.
You could have a migraine trigger that is only in proccessed foods or a food intollerance perhaps

All the best

veritee

Veritee Reed Hall <admin@pni.org.uk>
Thursday, September 9, 2004 at 06:20:44



Hi

Does anyone know anything about Migrane and Post Natal Illness?

I run a web site for PNI http://www.pni.org.uk with a forum http://veritee.proboards7.com and one of the symptoms I amd others suffer from is migraines. Below is an extract from my recent posts on tmy site :


'These headaches increasing or even for some starting for the first time with PNI is one of the reasons I think there is a strong hormonal cause of PNI. Certainly not perhaps the only cause for many - but that it plays a big factor.

Many working in this field disagree with me completely and some even feel that putting it down in part to hormones undermines women as it is like saying we can not help what we do or be in control of ourselves as women because our hormones make us act irrationally.

However as always as I am not a health professional I go on what I experienced and what I have heard from others who have been through this.

I suffered severe migraines a couple of times a month from a month before my first period until about 2 months after my last one. My mother also suffered from migraines and especially during pregnancy and menopause.

They were defiantly hormone based as 4 or so years on from my last period I have only had one.

I also had 2 ultra bad attacks during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The first indication that things were not all they should be was about day three after the birth when I had the most awful migraine- probably my worse ever and heard voices.

The voices never happened again but would you believe I called a nurse and she told me to go back and rest as I was over tired.
This was appalling as if a new mum says she has an overwhelming migraine and is hearing voices, the alarm bell should ring and I hope this would happen now.

Anyway when I got home I had appalling migraine headaches practically every single day for nearly 4 months and then after this at least twice a week for over a year.

In the early days I actually called my doctor out as they were so bad but never got any reaction to this beyond 'rest more' very unhelpful. I also find it interesting that it was when the migraines started to get less frequent that I began to really be troubled by bizarre and horrible thoughts?'
Anyway has anyone on your disscussion board suffered this

All the best

Veritee

Veritee Reed Hall <admin@pni.org.uk>
Thursday, September 9, 2004 at 05:31:00



I have a 4year old who has been suffering from migraines every 6 - 8 weeks and frequent headaches from just after her 2nd birthday. The resent break is the longest we've had -5 months!!!

After keeping a journal I found that tiredness, chocolate, excitement and the onset of infection such as a cold are all triggers. It was hard at first to change her sleeping habits but she is now usually asleep by 6:30pm and sleeps 12 hours we also avoid chocolate and work hard to eat well, have fun and keep life as stress free as possible. She has still been complaining of headaches but these have no inpact on her daily life. For now things are good.

My husband has a 1 - 2 migraines a year and my 12 year old daughter had 2 last year.

I would be interested if there is anyone else who's child has suffered from such a young age?

Lisa <shearersinusa@aol.com>
Thursday, September 2, 2004 at 14:58:14



I just started to get migrains again after not having them for over 20 years.I do a lot of cooking from scratch,and have noticed I am fine then. RecentlyI went to an Aldi grocery Store
it sell for much cheaper. I bought some Aldi chocolate pudding and the next morning I woke up at 4:30 in the morning with the wrost migrain , for the most part it is gone, but still hanging on.It has 6 days now.That was the only thing out of the ordinary that I ate . It does have and unusual preservative in it. It is not MSG. But still a preservative.And I know that it triggered my migrain.I don't like perscription drugs so I slept all weekend.Took only half a day off on friday. But went to work monday and have not taken any other time off. I am 47 and do beleive it is mostly the preservative that are in food that are giving us migrains.I also chew bee's wax to keep from getting sinus headaches.I am not a health nut. But do this scratch is better than easiest.
I enjoyed reading the other entries also
D Anderson in Indiana

D Anderson
Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 16:21:30



I have had migraines since I was 14, and though their intensity has decreased a bit with age their frequency has more than tripled. I can't remember the last day I didn't have a headache. I have tried so many different drugs and preventatives and stupid tricks and supposed solutions and nothing really seems to help. I have a new neurologist, but frankly I sort of gave up hope a long time ago that I would ever find some miracle cure. I just sort of live with them. The thing I hate is, they so define my life, I can't escape them, they invade everything. I feel very alone. I have learned that outside of maybe my mother, most people have only a slight tolerance for what the general population sees as a mere headache. As a result, I spent most of my life wearing this mask, pretending I feel fine when inside the pain is threating to tear me apart. I put up walls and barriers and pretend I am this super strong girl, because, well, I have to be, you know? I mean, what other choice do I have? The migraines can't win. I was reading all the journal entries on here and I actually started to cry because so many of you sound so much like me, and it is just so comforting to know that you are out there, these invisible faces, sadly linked by a common pain. I have no great advice or any new solution, I'm just another person who is in a similar place that you are.

Alisa Hubbard <flowersgirl18@hotmail.com>
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at 14:40:23


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