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Migraines, increasing in frequency and severity

(38 Posts)
monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 19:52:38

I started getting migraines a few years ok, they were sporadic and lasted maybe a day. They gradually became more frequent (monthly) and the dr's prescribed codeine which always helped. I don't get aura's with them and up until last year was never sick. Twice last year I was sick with them and since January this year I've started been sick with them every time.

What's really worrying me is since February I've been getting them almost every two weeks, they are lasting 2 or 3 days and the sickness on the first day means I'm good for nothing for at least 24 hours.

I have a Dr's appointment for next week but wondering what I can expect them to do to help. I've been looking into what can help and have read about acupuncture being helpful - anyone tried it with any success?

lougle Wed 29-Mar-17 20:11:50

Codeine is a really bad idea for migraines. It can give you rebound headaches. You might be best to ask if you can start some preventative medication.

lemonpoppyseed Wed 29-Mar-17 20:18:48

I had something similar a couple of years ago. I went from maybe one every couple of months to two or three a week. I had an MRI to rule anything sinister out, then was seen by a neurologist. We never did get to the bottom of the reason why they increased in frequency, but he did prescribe Imigran, which works maybe 50% of the time in warding off an attack. I have since moved country and need to follow up to maybe get a stronger prescription but haven't had a chance to do this yet. Interestingly their frequency decreased again, and now I am back to one every six weeks. Hope you get some answers.

MyBeloved Wed 29-Mar-17 20:19:17

How old are you?

Spam88 Wed 29-Mar-17 20:19:46

They might consider preventative medication with that frequency. I think the doctor said they'll generally prescribe them if you have three or more migraines a month, but I was getting one week long one a month which she felt met the criteria.

monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 20:28:33

Thanks for the replies. I'm 40. I hope they will consider something preventative as I'm retraining at the minute and it's really impacting my ability to attend lectures and placements when they happen.

The last few times I've avoided taking the codeine as I've felt too sick, plus I had read about rebound headaches so was trying to limit how much I take.

I wondered if it might be a hormonal thing as I definitely think I have some peri menopausal symptoms.

MyBeloved Wed 29-Mar-17 20:34:11

Ah op, mine got very bad around the same age you are now. I was told it is hormonal and should get better results after the menopause.

I ended up.being referred to a neurologist who prescribed a prophylactic called topiramate which works well for me. I still take the occasional triptan but nothing like the amount I was having to take before.

Good luck.

flowers

Mummysh0rtlegs Wed 29-Mar-17 20:38:19

I've just been to the GP about mine, mine are increasing in frequency and auras lasting a significant amount of time. I went to an emergency optician appointment and she told me I was having ocular migraines. So I had blood tests today as the start of investigations, sugar/cholesterol type things I think, I had to fast for them.

Robinkitty Wed 29-Mar-17 20:41:13

I take triptan for my migraines.
Have you looked into vitamin deficiency? I can't remember off the top of my head but I think I was taking vitamin d and magnesium. Worth a google?

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 29-Mar-17 20:43:33

Daith piercing worked for mine.

Sounds like bollocks and I'd be the first to scoff at acupuncture and similar but I've eaten my words.

Cost about £30 to do and is a tiny pinch.

monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 20:45:16

Bloody stupid sodding menopause! Good to know that might be the cause though. Going to keep a diary of how often they come and how long they're lasting.

My diet has been terrible the last 6 months so will get on top of that in case I'm deficient in vitamins.

Already under consultant regarding minor heart issue (SVT) probably be cheaper to put me down hmm

Note3 Wed 29-Mar-17 20:46:37

Vitamin b12 daily supplement is linked to reduced migraine frequency.

Daith piercing works for some to stop altogether or to reduce frequency.

Have a Google as there us definitely another supplement you can take too.

Start looking for triggers as there can be food ones as well as hormonal and environmental.

monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 20:47:17

I did wonder about the daith piercing KIngJoffery, tbh at this point I'll try anything! How do you find somewhere reputable to do it though? Don't fancy venturing into my local tattoo and piercing parlour!

Note3 Wed 29-Mar-17 20:47:32

And request an MRI when you see GP. They will likely try to fob you off but explain it's causing anxiety and you're worried why they frequency and intensity has increased and won't to rule out any internal concern.

DermotOLogical Wed 29-Mar-17 20:53:33

I'm younger and do get aura but had a similar frequency.

I tried acupuncture out of desperation and it has worked. I'm down to about 4 per year compared to every week at one point.

monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 20:58:59

Interesting that you found acupuncture helpful Dermot. I wasn't sure if it was case of have a few sessions and you're cured, but sounds like you need to keep it up long term. Not a problem if it helps. I'm now spending all my time worrying about when the next one will hit and having to take more time off and stress increases my SVT episodes so all in all a bit shit at the moment.

There is a small chance I may cry when I visit the Dr next week if they're not forth coming with meds and advice blush

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 29-Mar-17 21:01:23

Yes, tattoo and piercing shop is the best place.

People who work in those shops are always lovely and used to dealing with peeps who are nervous.

pinguina16 Wed 29-Mar-17 21:01:55

Hi! Yes, you should avoid opiates to manage migraine (ibuprofen taken every day is bad too- ibuprofen once in a while to manage crisis is ok).
Best article is Migraine management on patient.co.uk
patient.info/doctor/migraine-management
Once the attack has started, you can take 900mg aspirin to stop it. You can also use an anti-emetic. Triptans are good too.

If you haven't had an eye test for a while, it's worth doing to rule that out.

A diary of symptoms and possible triggers for 3 months is recommended. Some people end up finding out patterns and then can manage better.

Once you have an idea of how the attacks unfold you might look at prophylaxis. Beta-blockers are the first drugs they try normally and they can offer other ones if it's not effective.
If it's linked to your cycle you can discuss a change of contraceptive with your GP (switching from pill to coil for example). For years the pill did the trick for me. Not effective any more for me but was very useful whilst it lasted.
All the best

highinthesky Wed 29-Mar-17 21:09:40

Sorry to hear this.

I just wanted to express some empathy, I've tried everything possible and nothing shifts my chronic migraine (daily headaches, on top of a monthly cyclical migraine). Its been very debilitating and to a degree reflects poorly on myself that I haven't been able to manage it through the sorcery of medication blush

To my total amazement, I have been able to manage it daily with CBT. So whilst its still there, its also now bearable. CBT was my treatment of last resort and its gone up in my estimation now I've tried it myself!

DermotOLogical Wed 29-Mar-17 21:20:38

You do need to keep up with the acupuncture but only approximately 4 times per year. The first few times were much closer together to "cure" them then ongoing maintenance sessions.

monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 21:22:41

Thanks for all the advice, you've given me some hope!

I get my eyes tested every year as I wear glasses and contacts so fairly certain that's not the problem.

Interesting about the betablockers, that was one suggestion by the consultant for managing the SVT but I've been avoiding it for some time. If there is a possibility it could help the migraines it might be worth reconsidering as next step for SVT would be a catheter ablation which I don't want either!

At least I know there are a few avenues to explore that might help.

Thattwatoverthere Wed 29-Mar-17 21:24:15

I've been in the same boat and still am to a point. I have hemiplegic migraine so lose movement in my right leg however he most severe attacks aren't as frequent any more. I managed to reduce mine a lot by eliminating gluten but still had the odd one. I'm being tested for coeliac next week so am binging on bread etc in case I can never eat it again!

I've tried amytriptiline, propanalol, atenolol and a few triptans with no real change. Tried acupuncture which was great for relaxation if nothing else so worth a shot. The only thing I can do to make them at all manageable is 400mg ibruprofen at the very first sign and it means I have a bad hangover feeling rather than a full on 'can't get out of bed' episode. Luckily (?) I get an aura so I do get some advanced warning at least.

I got my daith pierced this week so am hoping that could help, if not I'll get the other side done too as it's meant to work on the side you get them most. Mine tend to alternate or be on both sides so at least if I don't get one on my right side next time I'll know it's helped. Won't lie, it wasn't all that painless but took no time at all and the piercer was really knowledgeable. Just feels bruised now but it's lovely so if it doesn't work I like it anyway.

Good luck and keep pushing til you find something that helps.

monkeywithacowface Wed 29-Mar-17 21:30:02

Thanks I'm going to book in for some acupuncture next week and bite the bullet with the daith piercing (DH will think I've gone bonkers!)

I really need to figure out the first warning signs as I definitely wait too long before take any painkillers as I'm always "is this a small headache or is it going to be a migraine"

It's always the same side of my head, across my face below the eye and down one side of my nose.

Note3 Wed 29-Mar-17 21:40:05

Yep definitely work out your warning signs. Once you know them they're unmistakable really. I wear glasses and I've noticed I take them off frequently and keep cleaning or moving then slightly as I keep thinking the glass is a bit smeary. After numerous times I realise it's my eyes not the glasses and a migraine has set in hmm I also get a strong ache at the base if my neck to one side as if I'm slept with a crick in my neck or strained a muscle. Another is a pulsing ache over on eye.

Some people get blind spots or other signs.

I'm now much better at recognising them and taking meds early and that makes all the difference.

DermotOLogical Wed 29-Mar-17 21:52:57

Note I get the same thing with my glasses. I also get very hungry before an attack. Occasionally if I eat enough starchy carbs I'd be able to avoid an attack.

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