Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Hi all, I have suffered with bad headaches for years but in the last couple of years they have got worse!
I will often wake up in the night with them, but sometimes they start in the day. It’s always on the right hand side and it’s almost like I can feel my head pulsing! Pain seems to be linked to my neck. Sometimes I can get a stiff jaw/weird numb sensation across my face and ear. I can’t really describe the feeling, but it isn’t nice.
I keep a migraine diary and I can’t see a pattern regarding what triggers them.
Doctor has prescribed me 900mg of aspirin to take alongside sumatriptan but I can only take that x4 a month, and I usually get a headache or migraine a lot more than that. I also have anti sickness pills.
I may be referred to neurology at some point, but in the meantime does anyone have any tips or tricks? It is making my life really miserable. I am mid 20s - I don’t think it’s hormone related as they can happen any time of the month.
Do listen to the Heads Up podcast by The National Migraine Centre. I have learned so much about how to deal with my migraines.
I also take Sumatriptan but I deploy it more strategically since listening to them. So much information.
For me part of what helps is knowing triggers and acting against them as soon as I recognise it.
I have a fair number of triggers, but as far as migraines go, I don't get them terribly.
What I have found increasingly is that light at night causes bad ones. We now have blackout across the window, and even a little slit in the morning can set one off.
However I did find at one point a really silly thing. The neighbours come back from work quite late, when they come back, the sweep of the car gives just a brief moment where the lights go in through the glass in our front door, up the stairs, and flash into our bedroom through the glass above the door. Really stupid. Curtain on the front door now has solved that.
My triggers include:
Light, especially flashing, and even more so if it is sideways to my face
A sudden shock (like a loud noise)
Waking suddenly at night
Sleeping really deeply
Needing to wash my hair
Now I know these I can normally put a migraine down to one of them.
I have found taking painkillers asap when one is threatening. At one point I tended to hold off in the hope that I wouldn't need to. If I can get medicine quickly enough then sometimes ibroprofen is enough. That's only if it's at the really early stage though.
Can you ask for a blood test to rule out anything else that may be going on?
I’ve always had migraines. They were steadily getting worse about 2 years ago including being taken into a and e with a particularly nasty one. I had all the right meds but slowly they started not working and I was suffering badly. Every week I had problems whereas in previous years they were less frequent.
I had a blood test for a completely unrelated issue almost a year ago now. It turns out I have a thyroid problem and was put on medication for that. No migraines bar one in the last 11 months.
Also, ask your GP for preventers such as propranolol.
Your migraines sound almost exactly like mine. Pain in the right of head and tightness in the right of my neck.
My triggers include cheese and particularly alcohol.
Rather than stress, I think ‘lack os stress’ triggers mine. The often occur on a Friday evening after a hard week, and other times when I get to relax.
I haven’t found a way to keep them at bay. The way I cope with them is to take sumatriptan as soon as I feel the symptoms coming on. Thank goodness it works for me although I sometimes have to take more than one dose.
You are only at the start of you journey and certainly need a preventer as well. With triptans I was told not more than 2 in a week or 6 in a month. They are brilliant but I used to take more and then I got overuse headache which is the worst.
I initially thought I didn't have any triggers but actually I have loads - @MargaretThursday has a very comprehensive list
Mine is very similar:
Not going to bed at the same time
Not getting up at the same time
Tiredness/not sleeping properly
Having more or less caffeine than normal
Relaxation - eg weekends, going on holiday
As you can see there is a lot of overlap on that list. Some of those things I can't control eg the weather, but a lot of them I can control and it has made a massive difference.
Things like having a desk assessment at work, getting the dodgy light fixed, not going into a room with a reed diffuser are all little change that add up.
I do work somewhere where a lot of us have migraine and it is noticeable that if there is a big storm, the following day ALL of us will be off sick.
I have chronic migraine so have tried all the treatments. Probably time to start a preventative, there are loads of different types and it is trial and error. You dont need to be referred to neurology for this so might be worth having another gp appt.
Thanks for your replies! I am trying to find patterns but as of yet I’m not really finding any. However, the only one I can really identify with is lack of stress! Most times than not, the migraine/headache will come on the weekend, especially after a busy and stressful week at work.
I’d forgotten to say I’ve also tried preventative medicine, taken everyday for about a month but they never agreed with me and made me very sleepy at work, so it’s back to the drawing board.
I do try and sleep at the same time everyday, eat good meals, I drink normally 2-3L of water a day. I only tend to feel ok when I’m at home, in a routine but as soon as I go out for a late-ish night and my routine is messed up then I am likely to feel unwell (I guess that’s also one trigger).
I tried cutting out caffeinated tea gradually but the headaches got worse.
It is quite deliberating.
There are many many types of preventer so there will be one for you!
I tried amitrip - disaster, so drowsy couldn't get out of bed
Propranolol - disaster - affected my asthma
Topiramate - initially not that good, increased the dose and bingo. Have some side effects but worth it.
However other posters on this board have had completely different experiences and will say that amitriptylline was amazing, topiramate was the worst thing that ever happened to them and so on. It is absolutely about finding what is right for you, not somebody else.
I have a lot of success with 3 aspirin, a benedryl, full sugar coke & go to bed after when I have a migraine.
It was life changing.
Good luck finding something that works, it'll take time but keep trying!
Your migraines really do seem like mine.
I’ve tried the soluble aspirin in coke concoction but it doesn’t work for me.
I wish I had a cure, for both of us! As has been already said, it’s just a case of trying to manage the migraines by recognising your triggers, trying to avoid them, (more easily said than done) and trying to take your medication as soon as you feel them coming on.