Just a note to suggest that you print out some of the medical articles I mentioned on the Internet, and take them to your doctor. I'm sure they become frustrated because migraines are so hard to treat. There doesn't seem to any one treatment that works for everyone. It will give him something new to consider and other doctors to consult.
Do as much research as you can on your own. You'll have to be responsible for seeking out the newest research. Few doctrors have the time to keep up to date on everything. Seek out a headache clinic if there's one in your area.
Start brisk walking 15 minutes a day religiously, and it will help both your depression and your migraines. Depression is also a side effect of many medicines, even anti-histamines, so investigate that as well with your physician.
Sit down with your physician after you've done your research and before your next migraine, and talk about how the two of you will handle things next time. Do this when you can think clearly and present your thoughts intelligently. Perhaps even have a suggested plan of action drawn up and present it for his/her input. It's hard for them when they only deal with you in a crisis mode.
Sometimes a good therapist can help for awhile-just to give you a place to talk and be understood, and to work on your depression and frustration. It's hard to live with a chronic medical condition. It's not a sign of weakness to go to a therapist, but a sign of strength-a sign that you want a better quality of life. It may even help to have family members join in the therapy from time to time because their lives are impacted by your migraines as well. It will help them cope and to understand you better.
You CAN control your migraines and lead a more normal life. Don't give up.
Here's an interesting case history that's typical of migraine. I had a constant mild headache, then every few weeks I'd have a migraine. I also had neck and back pain, cold hands and feet, and got dizzy when I stood up quickly. I was averse to glare and had problems remembering things. I had a stomack ulcer and spent 3 years swallowing Mylanta. I didn't sleep well as I had bad dreams. Then, I got CURED. Now I haven't had any of these problems for 7 years. Not one headache in all that time. Here's how to get the information that will let anyone get cured for life. Contact the DOFOS webb page that will open soon. It will show you the body fault that makes you have migraine. Then see how to get treated. No drugs, surgery or other therapy. A straight forward treatment that adresses the problem in your body. Now you too can be CURED.
---Dr Ren Newbury firstname.lastname@example.org
When my system is overloaded with meds I've taken to cope with a particularly bad siege of headaches and they're starting to come every day (analgesic rebound), my doctor finds it helpful to give me 50 mg of oral Prednisone all at once, then 25mg/day for 3 or 4 days while I stop ALL migraine meds, drink lots of water and get all the toxins from my system. Then I try to do something healthy like brisk walk for 15 minutes each day, and I strictly avoid all the things I know I should have been avoiding!
When I stop the Prednisone, my migraines again are less frequent. It gives me a breathing spell while I try to sort things out. It's impossible to sort anything out while you're in pain and a bit panicky because nothing is working! Afterwards be very judicious about taking medicines again-even Tylenol and Ibuprophen can build up and start perpetuating the headaches, and it becomes a vicious cycle.
It's important to use this steroid treatment infrequently and very carefully under a doctor's care. Consistant, long term use can have very serious side effects. But it can be a miracle drug when you have a migraine that comes back every day, or perhaps never goes away, and you're at your wit's end!!
Here's a list of the foods that the local headache clinic tells you to avoid:
All cheeses except cottage, cream cheese and American processed cheese. All alcohol
I have found that I just can't pretend that I can do anything I want when I feel better, and eat anything I want and keep my migraines under control. Migraines are a chronic condition just like diabetes, epilepsy, ulcers, etc, and you always have to be watchful and take good care of yourself and avoid the triggers.
Take care of yourselves!
---Lee Ann email@example.com
Here are some good Internet sites for women with pre-menstural migraines or menopausal migraines.
Also articles on analgesic rebound headaches, which are common causes of daily migraines.
Information from the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago-for Status Migraines (an acute attack that lasts for several days or weeks) says that the agents of choice are the corticosteroids. The intramuscular use of long-acting dexamethasone 16mg or methyprednisone 80 mg has been effective in treating patients with prolonged attacks. Your physician can always talk to someone there by calling 1-800-HEADACH. My physican (who also gets migraines) has treated me with these steroids when my migraine lasts for more than a day, or comes back after using Imitrex twice in 24 hours. It's out of your system in 6 hours, so no long-term steroid effects.
Nothing beats exercise and stress reduction in coping with migraines, but it sure takes will power!!!!
Take these articles and any other good medical articles you find on the Internet to your physician. They don't always have time to stay completely up to date, and migraines are very complex and often frustrating to treat.
My advice as a former nurse and 35 year migrainer-first eliminate the triggers-food, smoking, alcohol, etc then start exercising regularly and perhaps try Yoga or other gentle stretching, contemplative theraphy. Try to eliminate as many daily medicines as possible and drink lots of water. I even find that a chiropractor helps and is covered by most insurance. THEN go to medicines if you have to, but I bet you'll need less of them. You must take control of your health and educate yourself. Get on the Internet and read all the articles, ask for the inserts of the packages of the medicines you're taking (the pharmacy will give them to you) and be knowledgeable about side effects, etc. Be actively involved in your medical care. This isn't just true for migraines, but for any medical problem. Know all your options and get second opinions.
Hope this helps!
Almost 12 years ago when I was 17, I began to have excrutiating headaches every single day at the same time each day. The headaches were so bad that tears just automatically came down my face. I went through every treatment imaginable; I even had one doctor prescribe suppositories!
Finally, one doctor told me I had cluster headaches. My father had them for many years. I don't know if they're hereditary or not, but I do know it's unusual for a female to get them.
Suddenly, the headaches stopped. Or at least I thoght they did. I have a lot of allergies, so whenever I got headaches again, I just attributed the pain to sinus infections. I would go to a doctor, describe my symptoms: red teary eyes, runny nose, pain around my eyes. He would then prescribe antibiotics, or Sudafed, Benadryl, whatever. It seemed to work for awhile, but then the pain would come back. I kept telling doctors that I have severe headaches; they kept diagnosing 'chronic rhinitis' or 'chronic sinusitis'.
After I had my daughter five years ago, the headaches got worse--especially before my period. I get dizzy, I feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience, my speech slurs. I've been to gynecologists--of course they say it's PMS, prescribe birth control pills, and send me on my way. I thought the birth control pills were going to kill me!! I literally wished that someone would shoot me just to make the pain go away. The past six months have been pure hell for me! I stopped the birth controls pills which helped very little. I began taking more than eight aspirins a day, but it just dulled the pain. For some reason, I did not connect the fact that I was diagnosed with clusters with the headaches, I just kept thinking I had a killer of a sinus infection!
This past November, I got a second job. Around December, I noticed my eyes were really red, they looked like they were on fire. I'd go to bed with a headache, I'd wake up with one. My eyes were constantly red; nothing helped. I just figured I was really tired. I just went to the doctor the other day; he did not really believe me, he said I have tension headaches, but he prescribed Midrin anyway. The Midrin helps a lot, but I am still feeling like I'm going to have another episode. The thing that angers me the most is that I've been complaining and complaining about my pain, but the doctors keep giving me the same crap--sinus. I would think that after megadosing on antibiotics, Sinus Tylenol, etc., the sinuses would clear up! Then these idiots say stress is causing this! Well, if that's the case, everyone in the world would have a horrific headache. It angers me to think that all of the people around who think they have a sinus headache may really have clusters/migraines, and are not getting proper treatment!
I'm sorry this is so long, but I really needed to soundoff. I hope to see more about clusters and migraines in the mass media. Maybe if enough of us complain, we can get the recognition we need. Again, thank you for this forum, and it's good to know I'm not crazy, and that there are (unfortunately) others with this debilitating disease!
I accessed your page recently on behalf of my sister. She found some of the information really usefull. However, I wonder if you could help us find some advice relating to her specific problem.
For 12 years she has suffered chronic daily headaches. She is 36 now and if anything the headaches are getting worse. On top of this she will have a full blown migraine every three weeks or so. I dont think its overstating it to say she's at the end of her tether so any help would be gratefully accepted.
She's tried all sorts or remedies; diets, having old fillings removed, hormones, jogging (it made it worse!) no alchohol etc.
I'm not sure if you respond to individual enquiries- if not can you recommend any internet pages that would deal specifically with daily headaches?
Thanks for reading this.
---Fiona Robertson Fiona.Robertson@scotent.co.uk