Hot peppers. As hot as I can stand them.
Asked my dr. if this was my imagination. She said, no they contain capstacin, which is used for arthritis pain. Now I also put Zostrix cream on my temples besides eating peppers. If the wonders of sapstacin are known, why in 15 years of seeking migraine relief, did no dr. ever tell me.
Like everyone else, I was glad to find your home page on migraines. I am 43 years old and have had Classic Migraines since I was 10 years old. Over the years I have discovered many things that trigger them, and my favorite cure. I wish that all migraine sufferers had doctors that would prescribe Fiorinal#3's (with codeine). No other kind of narcotic works..only makes me sicker. I take half to a whole Dramamine with it for nausea. I take two to four Fiorinal #3's every day. After a couple of days, they don't nauseate me anymore. (The dramamine helps the headache nausea too). I still get a migraine approx. once a month, but with the Fiorinal the pain is much less, and I don't have to go to bed and I can care for my one-year-old daughter. (at my age!)...I discovered this drug from my former husband, a dentist who gave some to me for a spinal headache (horrible) after I had my now 17 yr. old daughter. (With a spinal headache you can't sit up, but I could walk around, etc. while on Fiorinal#3). I soon tried it on a migraine taking one-half of a dramamine at the SAME TIME, and it worked like magic. When I have my most severe ever attacks, I take two Fiorinal #3's and a half to whole dramamine, and lie down for a half-hour or so and then I'm up and pretty happy again. I can not believe that I lived through all those years with no pain relief. I sometimes think of bad things when I'm in that much pain. Luckily, my General Practioner (family doctor) prescribed them for me...60 per month...I always ran out before the month was up though. She also tried me on MANY other drugs...Anti-depresants of all sorts, blood pressure drugs of all sorts, hormones, counseling, PMS clinics, etc., etc., etc...I finally just quit all those other drugs because I experience side effects from vertually everything. I don't even like Prozac!!! Last year when at age 42 I got pregnant, I thought I would go 9 months without a headache, but no, they got even worse, and lasted 4 days at a time. It was horrible. My ob-gyn ref'd me to a Neurologist who prescribed codeine for me. I couldn't believe that I could take codeine while pregnant. Yeah! Not codeine with tylenol (large quantities of Tylenol are worse for you than codeine!), and not fiorinal #3's (codeine with aspirin, caffeine, and butalbital). Just plain codeine tablets! Sure enough, I have a happy, healthy, super smart baby girl. The doctor prescribed 80 codeine tablets per month. Of course I don't recommend taking any medication while pregnant unless approved by your doctor. But this is something that I was glad to find out. That I could take a pain medication other than Tylenol that would not hurt my precious baby. I took such good care of myself when I was pregnant but really needed the codeine. I was so happy to meet this Neurologist because he did not view taking this quantity of pain meds as being a drug addict, unlike my family doctor that gave me my script every month but made me feel like a drug addict, and when my 22 year-old went to her for migraines (not nearly as frequent as mine), she was told "you don't want to start taking drugs like your mother"! I couldn't believe it. I was stereotyped by my own doctor!!! Anyway, I am so happy to be taking Fiorinal #3's (now in generic form) . They make me feel good, happy, and I don't have to be scared to death whether or not I'm going to have a headache tomorrow. I normally can't take long drives in the car because that too gives me migraines...because of fiorinal #3's I am able to drive a two day drive to New York to see my in-laws next week. My doctor understands that I need a few extra for vacation. He does not give me as many as I want every month though, and he keeps track of my health. ...Another thing, Fiorinal#3 causes constipation so I use something mild before bed...no problem, and not very often..A few weeks ago I saw on MSNBC that all kinds of doctors went to NYC for a huge pain conference. It was decided according to the doctor who spoke on MSNBC, that people are in general not given enough pain medicines, those who are taking pain meds probably need more, and that in general people in pain are ignored. Doctors should not have to fear losing their licenses for prescribing more pain meds than someone else thinks is appropriate..now for the triggers.
My triggers are: 1) Before, during, or immediately after my monthly, it changes from one to the other every few months. 2) Drinking ANY alchoholic beverage, 3) NO Crying ever!! 3) Stay cool, hot and or humid days are for air conditioning, or, take your fiorinal first 4) Do not stare at or be facing (in a restaurant, etc.) sunny windows, flashing bright lights, t.v.'s (Do not watch t.v. for long periods of time. Do not watch two movies in a row. If you're going to anyway, get up and get away from the t.v. for a couple of minutes here and there. 5)Low blood sugar (I read one ladies letter where she suspects this as a trigger. If you suspect it you are probably correct.) I make sure that I always have access to food and never let myself get very hungry. Don't have any sugar for breakfast. Eat very little sugar and have your sugar treat immediately after a meal for best results. I drink water 95% of the time. I just forced myself to get used to it and now I love it. I drink ice tea every once in a while, but drinking a whole coke or pepsi would kill me!...Now for foods to (cry, cry, cry) eliminate: Chocolate-not one bite (I break this rule sometimes, and sometimes I pay dearly for it the next day), Chocolate is the absolute worst thing I can possibly eat. Candy-no more than one hard candy, or like 1/3 of a pecan roll, etc. No more than two cups of tea or coffee per day (no soda pop) and those should be a few hours apart. I also avoid or eat very little of because I suspect something and have read that they can be triggers; cheese, fish, nuts, and strawberries. I am moderate in salt and fat intake although I do not eat low-fat foods, I'm just moderate. Thank God for Fiorinal 3's and for doctors who prescibe them. Oh, and by the way, I don't believe that they are terribly physically addictive. I go without any very often if I take my months supply in less than a month, and I do O.K. Just don't feel super energetic for a couple of days, but no side effects.
To anyone who has to go to your local Immediate Care Center like I have , or to the hospital, tell them to give you codeine, preferably in Fiorinal, but two Tylenol #3's should take the edge off, but you'll need to take at least two more that day if you have one bad enough to go to the hospital - ask for a prescription...That Demerol Drip that I read about in a couple of your letters would only make me sicker. Codeine is the absolutely only thing that cures my migraines. The only time it doesn't work is if you don't take enough of it (like two at once) ...don't be afraid...what could be worse than a migraine??? I don't like to give much advice, but here's some! If you don't ask your doctor for something you won't get it. Ask around...see what works for other people. Book research isn't really helpful when it comes to the mysterious migraine. Ask your doctor for what you want (codeine?) and when they refuse, dump them and find someone who cares about you or insist INSIST on seeing a specialist.
Just a note about holding a job when you suffer from migraines. I've had many jobs, and always, bosses and workmates think that you are too stupid or something to go to a doctor and get the right medicine to "cure" you. You are always afraid to call in sick and saying that you have a migraine because you know what they are thinking! Even though your workmates stay home twice as often as you do and for more days in a row for allergies or a runny nose or because their kids are sick, etc. Again, what could be worse that a migraine, but don't expect any sympathy from your boss and only jealousy from your co-workers for your time off with a "headache", and don't expect a promotion. People with migraines are sort of looked down upon unless of course they are professionals. I thank God that I can stay home with my baby right now, and I hope that I can start my own business one of these days. Good luck to you all. Holly Keller: Gkeller@Iquest.net
My physician recently prescribed a beta blocker (generic: atenolol) although it is too early to tell the results. I usually have the full aura and have experienced word finding difficulty (1988), tunnel vision (1990), etc. At one time my headaches were fairly consistent ie. aura, pain, feeling jittery after etc. Now, however, each one is different.
I am interested in knowing the prognosis for us as we age. Any thoughts? Feel free to email me at
Looking back at my life, I try to be philosophical. I wander how I did it. I was fortunate to be able to maintain employment. The psychological impact of not understanding the cause of my symptoms, or what had happened to me at 17 had a devastating impact on the quality of my life. (especially on my ability to project a positive outlook, necessary in facilitating relationships, making committments, assuming responsibilities.)
This history may seem to be more about mental illness, than migraine headaches. I guess it is important to note that psychiatric illness is neurological illness, and that there is significant co-morbidity among symptoms of neurological illness.
The information that I am able to find today, did not exist in 1971. It makes such a difference just to know that you are not alone, and that others can relate to your symptoms. Today we can talk about migraine headaches, and no one thinks were crazy. Maybe tomorrow....
Today, I am philosophical about my life. I'm not disabled. I have a home, a job, a supportive wife, and good friends who don't mind that I suffer from mental illness.
I have read the report of the national institute of mental health to congress, on the decade of the brain, and am optimistic about the future. Hey, If I do end up as a casualty of mental illness, I won't be alone. The center for disease control is predicting that Depression will be the number two killer in the USA by 2020.
Over the last several years, I have become active as an advocate for the rights of the mentally ill,(particularly education and appropriate treatment) and currently chair the Virginia Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness advisory council. (PAIMI is a federal statute designed to protect the rights of individuals institutionalized with mental illness.)
---Megan Archer HecOnWeelz@aol.com