This is for Jennifer Marble. You wrote to me a while back but I have not been able to get a message to you. For some reason my comp. won't deliver to your e mail address.
The address of the articles I read were: http://www.usdoctor.com/head2.htm
---Sue Conant email@example.com
I've been suffering terrible migraines for approx. 15 years. I am in some degree of pain every single day, and have major attacks about 2-3 times per week. Am extremely sensitive to barometric changes/drops in weather, particularly rain, wind, storms, and any change in my lifestyle such as traveling, staying up too late, getting too stimulated at party, etc. Since I live in a very rainy part of the country, I am taking Imitrex virtually every single day -- just to be able to cope for a few hours. This on top of my usual pain pills - Fiornal, and otc.
I've tried every single medication available, and treatments conventional and unconventional. The only modicum of relief I have ever received has been from Imitrex, but my migraine history is so continuous and intractible that I'm forced to use this medication almost constantly.
I'm wondering if others out there are in the same boat, and what, if anything, can be done for my case. I can no longer work, and these migraines have destroyed my life, my morale, my family life -- everything. Some days I get by, other days I'm crying, vomiting, and a screaming idiot from it all. Any thoughts? Thank you very much,
In November 1997, I stopped drinking black tea for the first time in 23 years. (I switched to green tea). A week later, I realized that I'd gone about a week without even a slight migraine and felt great. I'd usually woken up every day with at least some pressure up my neck or behind my eye in addition to days-long full-blown migraines at least twice a month. I wondered if I was doing something differently to keep the migraines at bay. Later that day, I read an article on the web about Michael Mather's suggestion that there may be a link between tannins and migraine. (I see he's since written in your journal -- Dec. 97, no. 6) Since I knew that black tea had a much greater tannin content than green tea, I said "aha!" and began to research what other food items contained tannin. Because the list of things containing tannins was very similar to the food items that I was certain or nearly certain triggered migraines in me (chocolate, walnuts, red wine, and beer in particular), I decided to cut as much tannin out of my diet as I could. And, two months later, I am happy to report that I have hardly had ANY migraines since. This is incredible and exciting to me, as I have tried many different migraine drugs, diets and other possible cures or preventatives over the last 23 years.
The few migraines I have had since November I've attributed to an abrupt decrease in caffeine intake, and to things that I later found contained tannins: Red Zinger tea, raspberry cookies, pecan pie, chocolate that sure looked to me like maple candy, and an herbal supplement of St. John's Wort that contained a base of alfalfa leaves.
Certain things that used to trigger migraines: stress, eye strain and weather changes, no longer trigger migraines in me. I suspect the tannin has to be present in my system for these triggers to trigger the migraines. I've had three menstrual periods since I stopped tannins, and two of those periods were migraine-free (!!); the other period started shortly after I'd taken the alfalfa-containing herbal supplements for three days, so I don't know if that migraine was more related to my period or to the alfalfa (perhaps a combination of both). I can't say (yet) that I ONLY get migraines when I've had tannins, but I can say I've decreased my migraines *dramatically.*
I have created a list of food items and herbs containing tannins, and have posted this on my website at http://www.widomaker.com/~jnavia/tannins.htm
I think that if I had read the article before I'd stopped drinking the black tea, I might not have paid it much attention. I may have thought, "My tannin consumption stays steady, but my migraines fluctuate in intensity all month long," and figured such a simple solution as cutting a few things out of my diet wouldn't apply to me. I had only been drinking one mug of tea a day, in the mornings, and would have thought such a little bit of tannins wouldn't affect me the next morning. However, I've found that cutting out this "little bit" of tannins, has indeed made a big difference to me. (But beware the migraine that's sure to come if you decrease caffeine abruptly!)
I guess my story is probably one you have heard one time too many. I am in my early 20's and began experiencing migraines at the age of 18. They have progessed so rapidly, that I don't think medicine can even keep up. For a month, I was having one after another after another. I was seen by my family doctor, urgent care centers, the emergency room, and a neurologist. All of them treating me with their idea of the best medicine. None of them worked. From Midrin to Morphine to Neurontin, I have had everything. Then some of my co-workers told me about Feverfew. It is a natural herb from the chrysanthemum plant. So far, it is the only relief I have found. My migraines have now decreased to once a month unless I go off the Feverfew then they increase. Feverfew dialates the vessels to allow proper blood flow. I don't know it it will work for everyone else, but if it works for just one person, then I'd say it's worth a try. Besides, when you feel like someone is stabbing you in the head, even the idea of eating a chrysanthemum plant doesn't sound odd.
This is to help me probably more than it will help anyone else. I say that only because I know from my suffering experiences that we are all different be it ever so slight. I also recognize how different we all react to medications. I felt the need to tell my story because of one element that I have yet to read, that is migraines caused as an end result of overheating. And overheating being a problem that occurs from just moving your body at times.
I am a 41 year old woman who has suffered migraines since I was a small child. I can't at this point say when they actually started, but I have no memory of life without them. As a child when I would get them it always was after I had played hard and would get overheated. I would go to my mom and cry and scream in pain and she would put me in bed with a cold cloth on my forehead and give me Darvon. I would scream until I threw up and then I would go to sleep. When I awoke I was usually just fine with a little headache left over.
To this day I still suffer with the sensitivity of overheating. I do suffer migraines from many triggers but this one has been my biggest curse. I am looking for others that have suffered in the same way and for DOCTORS who are interested in the breakdown of symptoms of a migraine sufferer. I do have other triggers such as; barometric pressure changes, menstral cycles, foods, and the unexplained. I would also like to add that I had a Cryogenic procedure done for beggining stages of cervical cancer and that seemed to further complicate my migraine history. No one has yet believed me about that one. Sound familiar?
I am one of many people who have extreme medication sensitivities. I have a list a mile long no doubt like many of things I cannot take. I feel at this time it would be useless to list them all. But I think categories would be the best way to list. I have been on Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel Blockers, antidepressants, etc., etc. Of course I am helped also only by the use of narcotics. I have tried the use of the famous IMITREX by shot and orally but suffered long term chest and arm tightness to the point that the my physicians felt it was entirely to dangerous for me to continue. I did have some relief from it for migraines suffered when overheated but I was warned to never take it again. I also suffered severe bruising from the injections that also displeased my doctor. My case was reported to the drug company that manufactures IMITREX and it was they're suggestion as well that I should cease any further use. I would like to hear from anyone else that has had this experience also.
I am currently seeing a neurologist as well as my family doctor but feel that in reality I am wasting alot of money and time. So far they have been unable to do anything for me that had not already been tried. I do feel that it has put my family doctor at ease though for prescribing oral and injectionable narcotics. I only wish that for his sake things would not be so stressful for him.
I also feel it is important to tell of my Pain Clinic experience. I entered a pain clinic after having been in the hospital for 3 weeks strung out on Demeral. This was the responsiblitly of the physician who put me in and continued the cycle day after day. But I might add that I do know now that I should have been more knowledgeable about the course I was taking. I was grateful for the help that the in-house Pain Clinic provided me. They did unwind me gently and provided me with some useful tools. They taught me biofeedback which unfortunately makes my pain worse but that in my opinion is due to the relaxtion of muscles allowing your blood to move more freely. Perhaps some would disagree with me but that is how I see it. They then put me on medication that once released from the hospital I had a grand mal seizure from. The physician who ran this clinic I feel dropped the ball and left me alone to figure out what was wrong with me. He seemed so irritated at me as if I did something wrong (even asked me if I had the right pills from the pharmacy). In fact his suggestion to me was that my dosage probably should be increased. I did not follow that instruction after talking to my regular family physician. I had to go to my regular family physician at the time because I developed Hypotension and could not even stand without fainting (my husband had to carry me there). I feel that he did not trust in me after all I trusted in him. Doctors really need to feel trust in their patients in that they will do everything they can to follow all directions and possible treatments. I have suffered seizures from some medications since and have been placed on antiseizure drugs which I will have to take the rest of my life. I currently take daily meds twice a day of: 300mg of Tegretol (seizure meds), 20mg of Oxycontin (a long acting narcotic for those of us who suffer daily and weekly and cannot be helped with other preventative drugs) 20mg of Pepcid to keep my indigestion down from all of the drugs I do have to take. I also am given Mepergan Fortis (Demeral and Phenergan combined) as needed for pain. If I am unable to get my pain under control at home then I go in to my doctor's office for an injection of Dilaudid and Phenergan. I had a reaction to a Demeral Injection where I got a rash of sorts on my leg within minutes of the shot. I wondered if anyone else has had this happen. Since then my Doctor feels that I had a histamine reaction and will not give me another Demeral injection. Thus this is why I receive Dilaudid injections instead. I realize this seems extreme to some but when you are on the receiving end of a migraine it is not.
I would also like to let each and every reader of my message know that I too have suffered the humiliation of sitting in an ER awaiting my turn after hours only to be treated like a drug addict. What is worse is each doctor in there has their own set of rules for treating migraine patients. This I do not understand when they set up basic rules of treatment for most other illnesses or injuries. Personally I was told that all I had to do was to get a letter from my Dr. stating his usual treatment for me and stating that I was a legitimate migraine sufferer and not an addict. I did this immediately and updated it every 6 months. This worked maybe twice before I started getting flack and ER Dr.'s changing the treatment to things that at times I knew I could not tolerate. It is the most discouraging and depressing thing that one can do to a legitimate sufferer. After you reach the point where you know that you cannot help yourself at home and it is the weekend or weeknight, just where are you supposed to turn if you know that you only have one hospital in town and it has turned its back on you. I feel that Doctors for the most part are sympathetic to pain patients but really don't understand what we go through everyday of our lives living with the misunderstood treatment of migraines. There is no set thing for all patients of migraine it is strictly a hit or miss treatment. I wish all Doctors would try and understand this aspect. If anyone has any ideas for this please let me know.
Well enough said for now and I know that this is a bit longer that most letters I have read in your Migraine Case History files. I do hope if anyone can answer my queries, or if I can help them, then all this time spent here typing was worth it. Thank you for a forum to speak and you probably will hear from me again sometime after my next appointment with my neurologist.
Thanks for listening! Please contact my email address if you have any comments, answers, or questions.
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am just wondering if any of you have heard of a migraine vaccine? Apparently an American doctor just discovered it.
Has anyone heard of any new medications for migraine?