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  1. #41
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    Feb. 29, 2008
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    Oh, and Xpression, DEFINITELY tell your depression doc about your migraines. I have never paid any real attention to it, but especially if you take migraine meds, some of them can interact with with depression meds, very badly. Even if you just self-medicate with herbal remedies. I don't know what the connection is, but whatever (chemical) the migraine remedy works on, I'm guessing that somehow is involved in or acted on by the treatment drug as well. Your treatment drug triggering HA pain strengthens this suggestion of a link, and if nothing else may have implications for how its treatment is working. And besides, who needs to deal with frackin' headaches if they're already depressed!!!



  2. #42
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    Feb. 29, 2008
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    I question findings like that Ligonberry. I would fit that category, but if I don't push myself too hard physically, I would almost never get a really severe migraine. There's your "stress." But those are physical, environmental factors. Heat. Cold. Riding more than usual - like at a show. Lacking access to physical comfort zones, driving a lot, glare, weird meals, meal times, lack of sleep, blah blah blah. I think it's a REAL stretch to say that stuff gives some people a headache and not others because they didn't have a happy childhood. Why did I get the headaches and not my brothers and sisters? Doesn't work as a theory Also doesn't work that taking the "stress" away fixes the HA's. Rock on, for those that it does, but my life's been "fixed" for a long, long time. Trouble with avoiding the stress that I know actually DOES cause the migraines is - that's too circumscribed a life for me. I want to do more with my horses and my life...than this crap ailment currently allows me to do. Crap. Crap crap crap LOL!!!!



  3. #43
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    May. 23, 2009
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    MA
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    this is an interesting thread. I too am a migraine suffer. I used Imatrix, as an injection, for 11 months, then it stopped working.

    after that I was on cafergot for a long time. BUT, I had a stoke right after taking a cafergot dose for a migraine. I apparently have smaller blood vessels, and the cafergot closed down the blood vessels just as a clot passed thru.

    not good.

    I am on Topiramate right now. I don't care for it, because I feel it makes me stupid, but I take the majority of it at night.

    However, Most of my migraines were hormonal and once I hit menopause, a lot of them did stop. I do know that stress, and certain foods can trigger one for me.

    what is not mentioned, but can be found, is that migraine sufferers are more likely to have a stroke than non-migraine folks. I don't remember the %.



  4. #44
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    Aug. 14, 2011
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    Midwest
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    Mortebella, why are you overreacting?

    I'm not talking about someone with an unhappy childhood. Lots of people have unhappy childhoods. Heck, I had an unhappy childhood. I, too, get a lot of bad headaches, but the causes are known and mine aren't migraines.

    I'm talking about people who were emotionally, physically or sexually abused by their parents or other caregivers, who grew up in a (to them) incomprehensible environment where those who were supposed to be making them safe and protecting them were a source of the problem, and who may have found themselves in an abusive relationship later in life (because that tends to be a common pattern).

    Time passes and these victims develop somatic symptoms including migraines.

    They get out of that environment and the symptoms including the migraines resolve. Should they re-enter it, they come back.

    It's not one of the major causes of migraines but it is a cause and it is documented.

    You started the thread and if you're interested in setting out the possibilities, this one should be included.



  5. #45
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    Dec. 21, 2009
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    I've posted about this before on an OT day thread, but I'll recap it again here.

    I used to get horrible horrible daily migraines. I tried literally every medication and combination of meds, did experimental DHE-45 and Reglan treatments (which I had a horrible reaction to), did experimental propofol treatments, did trigger point injections with lidocaine (another horrible reaction there)...

    I was in the ER and ICU several times over the course of a couple of years. I was only a teenager through most of this and it was really horrible. I was doped up on painkillers a good portion of the time.

    Anyway, I ended up going into Tampa General Hospital's pain rehab program for a few weeks, and worked with a really excellent neurologist who I still drive down to see every 3 months. And the cure is Botox!

    I can't speak highly enough of what this has done for me. I do the injections every 3 months, and they are expensive (insurance won't pay but the industry is slowly starting to accept it), but it has been absolutely curative. It took maybe 3 sessions to really see the most difference, and it has to be done every 3-4 months. We tried spacing it out longer and I had a relapse of headaches, which sucks.

    I literally never get migraines anymore. Maybe an occasional one a few times a year, but nothing even near the scale I used to get them. I will occasionally still get minor headaches, but Celebrex is all I need and then I am fine-- no strong painkillers.

    Unfortunately there are not a lot of doctors who are really experience with Botox for migraines, but I think it is becoming more common than it was five or so years ago when I started. Most of the patients my Dr has seen have had great results, and I would consider it 99% curative and an absolute lifesaver, so I highly recommend it.



  6. #46
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    Mar. 30, 2011
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    I've had migraines for about a decade now. I know that they are triggered by lack of sleep, and definitely the barometric pressure in the air. However, they definitely come on quicker if I go too long without food,or if I eat a meal that is too salty, or if I get dehydrated. Not only do I get random migraines (maybe averaging 1-2 months), but I also get many,many headaches. People at my last barn actually would get sick of me complaining to be 'sick',but I just always felt like crap most of the time. Now, my doctor is finally trying me on a trial period of Propranolol to see if that will 'cure' the migraines. He says that the migraines and headaches are most likely due to : sinus malfunctioning, stress, and weather factors. My headaches sometimes make me feel like there is a metal vice in my head that is exploding at my jaw. Other times they are just a slight pressure in my head.Migraines though always involve a sensitivity to light, nausea (though I have Never, Ever thrown up with one), and a pounding head. The only solution I have to them is to force myself to sleep. I will wake up a few hours later, exhausted, but feeling less achy. I am just so afraid that I will one day get a migraine on a day that is very important. (ex. wedding day, graduation, etc). This lends evidence to the fact that my migraines may be stress related in part, since they tend to 'hold off' (ex. in college, I would get one AFTER the final exam was over). Is this just adrenaline?



  7. #47
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    Feb. 4, 2006
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    Interesting thread. Makes me feel better about the migraines I do get, as they are much less frequent than most people here seem to get them. I tend to get a severe one every other month, and for me, my triggers are a combination of hormones, stress (especially about money), and dehydration/low blood sugar . It doesn't seem to be linked to any particular food, drink, or alcohol, though it is that much more likely if I miss my morning double shot of espresso. For me, the above triggers on their own won't do it, but more than two (especially any fretting about money) and it exponentially increases my chances of getting one. I do agree with the poster that said that it's usually a big sign to me that I need to address some unrest/stress from a psychological standpoint. I hit any headache I get with a couple of advil, and if there's auras or light/sound sensitivity involved then I know it will evolve into a migraine if I don't wrangle it ASAP. Often will start behind an eyeball or at my temples. I can head them off or at least decrease their severity if I PAY ATTENTION to what my body is telling me.

    Usually I try to drink a glass of water, 800mg of Advil or Aleve and sleep for at least a few hours in a cool, dark, very quiet room. I become insanely sensitive to light and sounds - on a few desperate occasions I've even put a pillow on my head, ha. If I can do that I can usually knock them out in about four hours. I know there's probably also a genetic component, as my mom gets them too - though I don't know if her triggers are at all the same as mine. I feel very fortunate that mine are nowhere near as debilitating as some of yours and you have all of my sympathy.

    They are very strange. I've had a few minor hangovers since I began to get them and while they are no fun, they've never evolved into migraines...nor will any of my triggers on their own.



  8. #48
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    Mar. 30, 2011
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    1-2 migraines a month. NOT 1-2 months/migraine. HAHA oh goodness, that would be horrible!



  9. #49
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    Sep. 25, 2009
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    Colorado
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    Wow. This is almost encouraging to see how many other horse people suffer from migraines.

    I've been getting migraines literally as long as I can remember (never had a "normal" headache) which really freaked my parents out. Apparently, the first few times it happened I'd come crying to my Mom or Dad and they had no clue what was going on because I couldn't make myself understood.

    I think I was 4 or 5 the first time I remember being able to verbalize what was going on; I started crying (for no apparent reason) and my Mom asked what was going on. I told her something to the effect of "there are sparkly lights in my eyes then the monster is going to come and eat my head". Somewhat fortunately, my Mom gets migraines, so when I said that she figured out that I'd been getting migraines with auras and that I'd had enough to understand that the aura meant my head was going to start hurting. The lovely military doctors decided I was making things up but after I started to get a migraine *at* the office once, they told my Mom I could have a single ibuprofen if it got bad. I have lots of childhood memories of lying in bed with a bag of frozen vegetables on the side of my head that hurt, hugging my stuffed animals and crying into their fur while trying to not move or make any noise because that made it hurt worse.

    With my Mom's help, we figured out pretty quickly that lack of sleep, stress and dehydration were my main triggers. One of them by itself I can usually deal with, but two or more and I get a migraine. Right after puberty, processed sugar became another trigger, so while I eat tons of fresh fruits, I'm basically sugar free. Interestingly, dark chocolate (over 50%) doesn't bother me at all and actually helps with the post-migraine hangover feeling I get.

    Most of what I do for a migraine is preventative, because once I get one, I can't really do anything to make it go away. So, I make a point of exercising 5-6 times a week, don't eat sugar, drink lots of fluids and drink about 2 cups of green tea every day. High-quality green tea has made a huge impact on the frequency of my migraines - if I miss my tea, I'd better make sure to get 10+hours of sleep and drink a ton of water, or I'll get a migraine. Acupressure has also been very helpful!

    I definitely get an aura; exactly 20 minutes before I get a migraine, I start to see bright, sparkly pinwheels around the edge of my vision and get very light/motion/noise sensitive. (At this point, if I drink tea, take ibuprofen and lie down in a dark room, the migraine will only last about 4 hours.) After about 10 minutes I start having parts of my vision black out and start cross-talking really badly. This is my point of no return. If I can get tea/meds/dark room I'll be useless for the next 8-12 hours and have the weird fuzzy brain/hangover feeling for another 12-ish hours after that. But, if I can't get those, for whatever reason, my vision will completely black out and people can't understand what I'm saying. I'll be nauseous to the point of throwing up, hallucinating and extremely dizzy, the right side of my head feels like it's going to explode, etc. It if gets to this point, I end up splitting the next 3 days between my bed and the bathroom. I'll have the hangover feeling for a couple days post-migraine and have to be really careful about sleep/hydration for the next couple weeks or I'll trigger another one.



  10. #50
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    Jan. 12, 2011
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    I had a month-long migraine when mine took a turn for the worst. It was NOT fun.

    My mom always thought I had migraines, but no one believed her until I was 6 and they finally decided to do some testing. My list of triggers is a mile long. So I'm on tons of Topamax daily, and then when I get one I take Furoset and Relpax. Though these meds never work for long on me, so I've tried about every product out there! Haven't had to go to the hospital in quite some time.*knock on wood*

    I must say one of the BIG things I learned throughout this process is to NOT TAKE NSAIDS. They just cover up the migraine and don't "cure" it. So, the likelihood of it resurfacing is HIGH. Better, to get a prescription. t

    Quote Originally Posted by magicalrose View Post
    1-2 migraines a month. NOT 1-2 months/migraine. HAHA oh goodness, that would be horrible!



  11. #51

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    jconners, I have plenty of theories on your mirgraine but will need more details. I have become a layman's neuro since the beginning of the year when my former neuro decided to call me a hypochondriac. Turns out I was right and he's just an a-hole.

    I get several types of migraines and some that I'm not sure if they'd be considered migraines or cranialsacral fluid pressure induced headaches (aka pseduo tumor cerebri.)

    So, jconners, are you sensitive to chemical smells like cleaning fluids and perfumes? Do you have IBS like symptoms or diarrhea for no apparent reason that you can figure out? Or have your figured out that you have certain trigger foods? Have you suspected or even tested negative for Celiac disease but still seem sensitive to gluten? Does being out in the sun make you sleepy? Do you have face flushing (almost like a lupus rash) or other rashes and hives that come and go on your body? Do you keep getting freckles/moles/sun spots even where you don't get sun?

    I'm asking seemingly unrelated questions to your migraine because I have won the rare disease and condition lottery. That means that I have become really good at pissing local docs off by being more up to date on their specialties than they are on certain topics. There is new (really new) clinical trials going on about how and why CSF can accumulate in the brain and cause migraines and structural damage to the brain. One of the reasons is from mast cell disorder or mastocytosis. It is a "very rare" disorder that most docs never expect to encounter. I know none of my docs ever put 2 and 2 together. It never mattered that I had a reaction to any wasp, bee, hornet, fly, that bit me. I can't be around cleaning chemicals, perfumes, and being out in the the afternoon sun makes me VERY SLEEPY. Turns out these are all symptoms of a mast cell disorder. I had a neuro tell me that my entire brain is now sitting lower in my skull and he can't tell me why, but I found a doc who shared an medical paper on organic brain disease and how mast cells can accumulate in the subarachnoid space above the brain in systemic mastocytosis. The treatment for me at this time? Zyrtec and Zantac 150 twice per day. Both block histamine receptors and ease mast cell/mastocytosis symptoms. The key is to find the right combo of H1, H2, and sometimes proton pump inhibitors that work for your body.

    The other thing that causes migraines in me is that it is highly suspected that I have craniocervical instability at C1 and C2 because of my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. (I have defective collagen in my body and one of the many things that happens is tendons and ligaments have stretched out over time and no longer work as they are supposed to.) That instability causes issues as well. Our heads are not meant to bob around up there.

    The other thing that I think of when someone tells me they have a migraine that starts in the back of their head and goes forward is chiari malformation. This is a condition in which the cerebellum tonsils have descended thru the foramen magnum and are blocking or obstructing the flow of CSF flow through the brain. Chiari headaches start at the base of the neck and go forward. The headaches are often described too as feeling like your head is going to explode (from the pressure.)

    Now, I am probably jumping to some really serious conclusions here. Migraines can also be caused by viscous neck spasms too. I know my migraines backed off significantly when I found a great PT who released some of the spasms that had been in my neck for years. I only mention mast cell disorder, chiari, and the like though because that's where my brain goes. (And it is not firing on all cylinders either, so feel free to tell me to get lost. I won't be offended because I'll probably forget in a few hours. )
    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann



  12. #52
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    This thread is a great example of why migraines can't really be neatly categorized or "boxed". Just waaaay too many variables. But from what I have also read I would like to comment that what a lot of people are describing is NOT migraine symptoms but other types of headaches: tension, etc. This is not one you want to self-diagnose or Google-diagnose.

    They run in my family, and I remember having them when I was a young teenager, long before the term "migraine" was ever talked about, even though my mom and sister had the same "sick headaches". That's what they were! Awful, awful. Usually menstrual around that age, but also many of the more common triggers as I got older: fasting, severe fatigue, muscle injury, etc.

    The advent of injectable and later oral triptan drugs were life-altering. Thankfully they work for me 100% of the time, and very quickly, so I don't need to really over-medicate or turn to other things (unless I've run out of Imitrex!) for a bail-out.

    Main things that have helped me (beside blessed, wonderful Imitrex) have been the BEST POSSIBLE mattress (for me a Tempur-pedic, YMMV), moderate caffeine use, paying attention to my posture and upper back "hygiene", and trying to eat at least a little bit at some point during the day--normally I am a "one meal a day" person but if I even sense a migraine might be coming I have to do better than that.

    When I was training there was a whole big bunch of "buzz" about congenital small residual holes in the heart and migraine, and I happen to be one of the 20% of people that has one of these little holes, but as of now--10 years later--that research has gotten nowhere and we are still virtually clueless about that connection.
    Click here before you buy.



  13. #53
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    I too agree with DW that the causes are almost as individual as the person who gets them. Imitrex did NOTHING for me. So far fiorcet works the best but it's definitely a lot of trial and error.



  14. #54

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    I am on multiple preventatives and have Imitrex. It doesn't seem to touch the migraines I get now. I suspect most of what I am getting is because of structural and/or CSF issues. I have the Imitrex just in case though. Every once in a while I take it to see if it helps. What used to help with previous migraines was Excedrin Migraine taken with a BIG Red Bull. That doesn't work anymore though. The CSF pressure ones though have to just wait for the pressure to die down. That involves sitting as still as possible in my recliner or trying to sleep it off. The ocular migraines I try to sleep off too.
    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann



  15. #55
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    Mar. 30, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkStarrx View Post
    I had a month-long migraine when mine took a turn for the worst. It was NOT fun.

    My mom always thought I had migraines, but no one believed her until I was 6 and they finally decided to do some testing. My list of triggers is a mile long. So I'm on tons of Topamax daily, and then when I get one I take Furoset and Relpax. Though these meds never work for long on me, so I've tried about every product out there! Haven't had to go to the hospital in quite some time.*knock on wood*

    I must say one of the BIG things I learned throughout this process is to NOT TAKE NSAIDS. They just cover up the migraine and don't "cure" it. So, the likelihood of it resurfacing is HIGH. Better, to get a prescription. t
    I'm sorry; I wasn't saying it lightly. I feel for you.



  16. #56
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    Aug. 17, 2006
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    ONTARIO CANADA
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    A trigger i have is chocolate oh and new one? Trying a nsaid for ra badd reactionn now inluding a migraine. Im starting to think low dose codiene for my ra would be safest, im tired of the medication guessing game my migraines are also gentic.

    Sorry if there are misspellings im slightly doped up
    Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching
    www.facebook.com/btrparadressage

    Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!



  17. #57
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    Aug. 9, 2011
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    Australia
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    Well, I posted that I was waiting for mine to arrive. It came Friday, I slept it off in the afternoon, fine by evening. Saturday morning went to the gym, planning to ride in the afternoon, and ended up with a stonking pressure headache which developed into a migraine. No riding for me. Sunday fine, yesterday, same thing and then this morning the same thing, but its only a headache today. I'm going to the doctor - I suspect a virus of some sort.
    Riding: the gentle art of keeping the horse between yourself and the ground.



  18. #58
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    Jan. 21, 2008
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    Dexter, MI
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    Default Great thread!

    I'm an Imatrex junkie - love the stuff, and thankfully it works for me! I can head off all of mine so far (crossing fingers and looking furtively over shoulder for migraine shadow to approach...).

    I'm so impressed by the folks on this thread that "power through" and keep going when they get migraines. I can't imagine doing that!

    Jingling for everyone that their particular brand of relief is found soon, and that it works for a long, long time!
    "Imma snap youuuu! - with a shout out to Wildlifer



  19. #59
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    May. 17, 2003
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    I have a buddy who is a cardiologist who does a lot of PFO closures, and tells me he sees a significant decrease in migraines amongst his treated patients. Do you think this is coincidental, DW?

    I've had two migraines, or whatever they were, in my life, within a week of each other, 25 years ago. No obvious trigger, just out of the clear blue at work one day, auras, loss of vision, intense pain. Scared the daylights out of me. I'm happy to say I've never had another one. I feel great sympathy for those of you who live with this problem.



  20. #60
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    Oct. 13, 2003
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    What dose Topomax do you all take?

    I'm/my Dr. is trying to get my dose up but the brain fog . . . and I take it at night. I've not gotten used to it and it's been about a year. I do hope the brain fog goes away when you stop taking it . . . scary thought, eh?

    Also, turn down the brightness on your computer screens a little. I find bright lights, noise, commotion, sets them off.

    If I feel one coming on, I go out walking if I can, for at least 1/2 hr. It seems to quash it. I guess it changes up the vessels in the head. Outside, in the cool/cold air, no hat works the best (yes, not an option in the summer).

    Feel better, all.



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