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Preventative Approaches to Headaches?

(27 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Sun 03-Mar-13 22:58:23

I, like my parents, have since my teens suffered with headaches and migraines.

I take anything from paracetamol, ibuprofen, lemsip and aspirin to the stronger stuff for migraines like Sumatriptan, Syndol and Imigran. All of these drugs work, most of the time.

However, I'd be very interested in hearing about any headache sufferers' success stories of using herbal remedies, massage, anything! As opposed to drugs.

I realise that my headaches are probably genetic. In fact, my mother's headaches disappeared when she reached the menopause, and my father's have declined since he's been in his 60s.

DH thinks I should get an allergy test?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 07-Mar-13 09:45:45

Tanins are one of my biggest triggers. So red wine and certain teas (china tea really bad). Since I stopped drinking red and made sure I only drinking Assam tea mine have been much better. Before I cut out tanins I was getting clusters I never get clusters now. Though stress is also my big trigger as it is for my DD (9).

dotty2 Thu 07-Mar-13 09:37:36

Oh yes - definitely no paracetemol or codeine. I find Ibuprofen Lysine more effective than straight Ibuprofen - it's what's in Nurofen Express but is much cheaper from Asda, where it's the active ingredient in their Migraine Relief tablets.

permaquandry Wed 06-Mar-13 16:52:04

I could have written your post, except I can't take the pil as I will had 7 days on migraine on my pil free week.

2 things have made a massive difference:

6 sessions of acupuncture over 3 months, now having 1 maintenance session every 6 weeks.

NO paracetamol, on the advice of my gp. I had cracking headaches whilst weaning myself off but it's made such a difference.

I now use only ibuprofen or sumaptriptan. I've gone from 14 days of migraine out of 28 to about 3-4 per month.

Good luck with it all. It's rotten.

dotty2 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:41:17

Would you consider stopping taking the pill? Mine have been much better since I did - I had lots at the beginning and end of my pregnancies, and when I stopped breastfeeding, so I think they were def linked to changing hormonal levels. Mine are also blood sugar related, so skipping meals, too much alcohol, MSG or too much sugar also caused mine.

I hardly ever get them any more but am not quite sure which trigger I have eliminated if you see what I mean. Or maybe I have just grown out of them - they were at their worst in my teens and twenties. Am 40 now.

BaconAndAvocado Wed 06-Mar-13 16:26:59

Wow! Lots of great ideas to try. Thanks all thanks

This may be the push I need to start exercising!!

WMDinthekitchen Wed 06-Mar-13 00:12:49

Coffee, red wine and chocolate can trigger my migraines. I need to eat regularly and not miss any meals.

dikkertjedap Tue 05-Mar-13 22:32:32

maybe join yoga course or buy yoga dvd

dikkertjedap Tue 05-Mar-13 22:28:27

Agree with others, it depends on the cause ....

However, the following may or may not help:

- limit the amount of coffee you drink to maximum 3 cups per 24 hours
- drink lots of water
- do some exercises to loosen the neck muscles, gently moving heat towards shoulder to the right, to the left, forward, backward etc.
- push with finger on pressure points [in between eyes, on temples, moving with fingers from inside eye top eyelid outwards over eyebrows sweeping over forehead outwards and upwards, massaging neck and shoulders etc.
- lying flat on back, cucumber slices or chamomile tea bags on eyes.
- fresh air (but not humid cold)
- stretching exercises (to encourage relaxation)
- warm but not hot bath with few drops of either neroli or green mandarin or rose (Butterbur and Sage are a good supplier of very high quality (prices to match) oils, if you have sensitive skin mix 4 drops in a little full fat milk and add mixture to bath or in a tablespoon vodka and add that to bath), alternatively Neom products are brilliant as well
- few drops of neroli on pillow (generally be careful with aroma therapy oils they are extremely concentrated and can make headache worse)
- make sure you get your five portions of fruit and veg a day (maybe up the fresh fruit juice)

CheeryCherry Tue 05-Mar-13 22:17:00

Oh and how could I forget, accupuncture has made a huge difference to my headaches, I was having 4 or 5 a week, now down to 1 or 2. Referred by gp so it was on the nhs. Definitely worth a try.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 05-Mar-13 11:52:29

Yes nooka I've been to the docs who asked me to fill out a headache diary and prescribed Sumatriptan.

So far, the diary hasn't shown any patterns.

Will def look into magnesium too. Is it something you take every day?

nooka Tue 05-Mar-13 07:03:03

My dd has very bad migraines, and has been put on magnesium (she's 12 so they are reluctant to try anything more serious right now). I'm interested in the teeth thing, as she grinds her teeth in her sleep. I might ask her dentist about that.

The doctor said there were lots of things we could try now and if the magnesium didn't work she would refer her on to a specialist. Have you been to your GP recently about your headaches - it might be worth it.

I found this site useful when we were researching recently: www.migraine.org.uk/

CheeryCherry Tue 05-Mar-13 06:48:27

I read too that when one is starting, to drink a really strong caffeine drink/coffee. I haven't tried it though. Mine are mostly tension migraines, I try neck exercises, stretches, get someone to press hard underneath the back of your head. End up taking syndol usually. I need proper sleep too, otherwise feel lousy. Wish it was as 'simple' as a food allergy!

YouBrokeMySmoulder Tue 05-Mar-13 06:19:10

Yes but not over 4 a day or more than twice a week. Apparently.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 04-Mar-13 20:07:58

I see....

Is it ok to take 3 aspirin?

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 04-Mar-13 19:27:45

Its something to do with the opening of the blood vessels, as thats what the sumatriptan does. I assumed it was more the aspirin than the coke though, thats probably just the caffeine.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 04-Mar-13 19:05:13

Full fat coke?!?! I'll try anything!

What's in coke that helps?

YouBrokeMySmoulder Mon 04-Mar-13 17:25:02

yes full fat coke and 3 aspirin does the trick if I have run out of sumitriptan.

NotTreadingGrapes Mon 04-Mar-13 13:41:05

Strangely, full fat coke, and those Lucozade glucose tab thingies.

Austin7 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:05:33

Hi I've had migraines on and off for years. They got really bad and imigran stopped working. My dentist thinks a lot of its due to jaw clenching partic when I'm asleep, as I often used to wake up with migraine. He made me a special device to wear on front lower two teeth to prevent me from clenching. Two months later loads fewer migraines. I'll check the name of it and post it later. No nasty side effects either - except I look like Bugs Bunny in bed!!

BaconAndAvocado Mon 04-Mar-13 12:47:28

Thanks all.

Think I will try the all bran and exercise approach. I need to exercise and to become more regular! All bran is pretty disgusting tho!

magnet I'm on a contraceptive pill that means I don't get periods, although on the past the migraines have been hormonal.

I think tension/stress may be a trigger but I don't know how to counteract that!

Ginebra Sun 03-Mar-13 23:44:46

ps, i also tried liquorice root capsules from the health food shop and they worked for the first couple of months, then stopped working. then after a break i took them again and again they worked for a while. so your body gets used to them. the all bran and running is what works best.

Ginebra Sun 03-Mar-13 23:42:46

low gi, lots of all bran, and lots of exercise. i don't fancy huge bowls of all bran once or twice a day but .... well it works for me.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 03-Mar-13 23:40:53

Sorry for ipad typos.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 03-Mar-13 23:40:14

Hi, i have both hormonal migraines and tension headaches from bad posture and use sumatriptan when they are really bad.

Inhave found themonly things that help are routine sleeping and eating and more exercise. Exercise because I think it helps my spine andmposture, ie pilates and routine sleeping and eating lessens the frequency of my headaches.

It is a work in progress though.

shitmagnet Sun 03-Mar-13 23:33:13

It depends on the root cause - is it classic migraine with aura, are there food (for me it's MSG) or hormone triggers? Eating a clean diet has really helped minimise migraines. An elimination diet (challenge) takes around 6mo, but much less time if you are going to avoid numbers anyway and just want to test natural food chemicals. Allergy testing could be useful, but tests for intolerance are unreliable, elimination diet is the best way.

I have also used a roll-on peppermint/lavender oil in the past which was nice and helped a bit. I also take Magnesium daily-ish, as this is linked to migraine (there is a sharp drop in levels in the brain during a migraine).

I also get pain from my right shoulder, right side of neck, into head and behind the right eye, related to tension/posture I think. My grandmother bought me this fantastic pillow which helps with that, you are only supposed to spend around 20min per day on it.

Good luck, hopefully more success stories will be along soon!

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