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Migraines/headaches

(90 Posts)
RubySlippers Tue 24-Jun-08 20:13:56

have had 2 migraines in the past week

today, i have had a headache that i cannot shift

i also feel sickly

i wouldn't usually post about health stuff, but DH is away tonight, and i just feel uneasy about not feeling well, if that makes sense blush

any tips?

lulumama Tue 24-Jun-08 20:15:39

oh nooooooooooooooooooooo

it is stress

you need a bath in lavender oil and a week of sleep

<<nods sagely>>

RubySlippers Tue 24-Jun-08 20:16:40

yes, am stressed ATM

have no lavender oil

<<are you all ok, DS was asking for you!>>

lulumama Tue 24-Jun-08 20:27:52

mine were asking for a swimming pool. grin

AtheneNoctua Tue 24-Jun-08 20:38:06

Oh no, I sympathise. Do you take any prescription meds? I swear by the triptans. And I am slowly becoming a fan of propranolol.

onepieceoflollipop Tue 24-Jun-08 20:46:03

Ruby sorry to hear about your migraines and now this headache. I suffer from migraines occasionally and it is not unusual for me to kind of recovery but have a lingering headache that is quite painful. Also if I lean over/bend down I have a dreadful pain at the back of my neck and feel dizzy.

It can take (for me) 24 hours or so to fully recover. I tend to keep taking regular pain relief (paracetamol generally) but it only takes the edge off. I know it sounds mad but sometimes fizzy drinks (especially with caffeine/sugar) sometimes help in the short term to boost the effect of the tablets and raise your blood sugar. My former GP suggested this. Also as soon as you feel able eat small starchy things every 2-3 hours, especially if you take my advice to drink Coke or similar. (otherwise you get a real sugar high then a slump).

Rest as much as you can. (easier said than done). Your body needs time to recover.

maidamess Tue 24-Jun-08 20:47:25

Ruby make sure you are drinking LOADS of water... dehydration always makes migraines 10 times worse. Hope you feel better soon, cos they are awful.

Buda Tue 24-Jun-08 20:47:33

Chiropracter can help greatly.

Magnesium supplements can also really help - 500 mg a day.

Horrible things migraines. Leave you feeling very weak.

PInkyminkyohnooo Tue 24-Jun-08 20:54:30

Ruby I totally sympathise-I get terrible migraine- esp. time of the month- I think you have probably still got number one migraine and it just got puushed aside for a bit and has come back. Migraines make me very sick too if they are not stopped quickly enough. Can you take some kind of paracetamol/cocodamol mix- if not, go for the codeine and try to sleep it off?

I can't do baths with migraine as I can't do the moving but find pressing my head against something cold and hard helps- put a lrge book at the head of the bed? Sounds mad I know but it helps me.

I would look for a trigger when you are feeling better- I changed my monitor to a CRT and cut my migraines by half.

RubySlippers Wed 25-Jun-08 07:48:51

thank you for all the tips and advice

i went to bed about 5 mins after posting as i felt so ghastly - feel better this morning, but slightly hungover (without the joys of having drunk a lot of alcohol!)

i am going to see the GP next week, and try to get something on prescription

my trigger definitely seems to be stressed related and flourescent lights

thanks again

AtheneNoctua Wed 25-Jun-08 08:18:31

Ruby, my trigger (the only one I can idententify in about 7 years of trying to work them out) is definitely a post stressful event. I've tried every natural remedy going and none of them have helped.

But the triptans are fantastic. They make the migraine go away completely. It does come back. But by then I can take another.

The GP has been trying to persuade me to take propranolol (a beta blocker) for some time and I always resisted thinking that heart medication was a bit too serious of a drug.

My migraines got more and more frequent. About a month ago, when they were weekly lasting for about 3 days on average I couldn't take it anymore and agreed to take the propranalol. Turns out it's a good thing. I'm not so keen on the side effects (reduced heart rate). It makes me really relaxed. DH and I call it the "chill pill" because if I take the standard dose I barely have energy to raise my arm -- forget about driving and certainly in no condition to go to work. So, I cut the dose in quarter. The GP laughed at me saying it was like taking almost nothing. But, it keeps the side effects to a tolerable balance and the number of triptans I have had to take in the last month is about 20% of what I was taking a couple of months ago.

These are some of your option:
Triptans (i.e. sumatriptan, naratriptan -- I prefer nara)
propranolol (if you get them frequently)
pizotifen (a preventative drug -- I haven't tried it)

You can find all this stuff on wikipedia.

kiddiz Wed 25-Jun-08 09:15:08

I've tried propanalol...made me really lethargic and dopey. Not safe to drive so no good for me.
Same side effect with pizotifen too.
I am now on a low dose of amitriptyline (sp) which so far doesn't appear to be making much difference.
Imigran really works well for me but I am having trouble getting my gp to prescribe more than six a month. I know this is because they are expensive but some months six just aren't enough.

RubySlippers Wed 25-Jun-08 09:18:59

Athene - thanks for all the info and it sounds like the propanalol has been a good solution for you

My dad used to take Imigran, but he also swore my feverfew, a herbal remedy (his seemed to be more food triggered)

Kiddiz - you have 6 or more migraines a month - that isn't good ...

onepieceoflollipop Wed 25-Jun-08 09:24:12

Re the pizotifen someone mentioned (iirc it is a preventative that you take daily). It made me absolutely starving hungry and thirsty (and often very drowsy) - also didn't help much with the migraines. I put on about 2 stone which I would have accepted probably IF they had been effective.

Tiredness is a big trigger for me, particularly in my younger wilder days...don't go clubbing much now. grin - it was the lack of sleep rather than alcohol I think in that situation.

Also fluorescent lights as you say - if you are anything like me you must cringe if you go into work (or wherever) and there is a fautly one. The flicker=instant migraine. sad

Bucharest Wed 25-Jun-08 09:25:07

Another fan of triptans here....sumatriptan has changed my life and given me back the 2 days a month (mid cycle for me) that I would be throwing up in a darkened room. As pp has said, the headache does come back usually, but then I have another, or it renders it just a usual headache....I also get through loads of those stick on gel patches which cool your head down. They're lovely. Boots own brand are quite cheap.

It really annoys me that the docs are so strict with sumatriptan/imigran. Mine made me feel really guilty and showed me on his computer how much they cost. Heck, it's the only thing I ever have on prescription and I pay my bloomin' charges.....grrr.

Buda- have you tried the chiropractor? I see one for my shoulders, but he's never specifically done anything for my migraines...I was also thinking of cranial osteopathy.....Do you take the magnesium every day? (sorry so many questions!)

RubySlippers Wed 25-Jun-08 09:25:29

lollipop - yes! a flickering flourescent light will set off a migraine within minutes!

my new office has flouresecent lighting <<shudder>>

they seem to have good diffusers but I will have to watch out

hayley2u Wed 25-Jun-08 09:27:47

do you have medication for yours , if not go te doctor and emand som then as quick as they come on they can come off. i get a verystrong migralive, but you can buy over counter too think smaller dose though.
get the very bad as my mum does. think theres somthing in the air as we have both swoke up ith them this wek

horrible horribel things

SaintGeorge Wed 25-Jun-08 09:33:20

I find with the flickering lights that they don't bother me as much if I can see them straight on, it is when the flicker is in my peripheral vision that I have problems. So if I can't avoid a faulty light, I will deliberately move instead so that I can actually see it better. Weird but it helps.

Another devotee of the triptans and I agree with onepieceoflollipop about the blood sugar boost to speed up whichever remedy you use - I try to keep a packet of glucose tablets handy.

I also have what I call migraine hangovers. For a day or two after an attack I feel lethargic and numb, my words get mixed up and I have short term memory black spots.

AtheneNoctua Wed 25-Jun-08 09:42:36

Kiddiz,
How strong were your propranolol. I'm sure they standardise these doses for male rugby players. Are you of a smallish build? I'm not particularly skinny -- probably averageish. But, drugs have always worked really well for me, and I'm sure it's because I'm 5' - 1" and have about half as much blood as the average rugby player.

Anyway, GP gave me 40mg pills. I took he first one on the weekend and went shopping. I could hardly walk and if someone had held a gun to my head and said give me your money, I probably would have have looked up and said "okay". (You will notice from my posts on this site that I am normally a tad bit feistier than this). So, I asked for 10mg pills and these seem to work well. I can't take them after about 12 noon on days that I go to the gym after work or my heart rate can't keep up with my legs on the tred mill. That was terrible feeling, not being able to breath enough. So, I normally take 10mg with breakfast, lunch and dinner, unless I'm goign to the gym. Sorry this is so long, but I just wanted to say that if you reduce the dose considerably you might find the side effects of propranolol are managable.

Mercy Wed 25-Jun-08 09:45:20

I always make sure I have some Migraleve in the cupboard as the usual painkillers don't have any effect (Migraleve doesn't always work but it at least it relieves some of the symptoms).

In my teens/20s I had to keep a migraine diary every day and was prescribed medication which really helped.

Are you on the pill? How is your BP?

AtheneNoctua Wed 25-Jun-08 09:48:06

Interesting about the blood sugar. I have trouble keeping mine up (always, not just during a migraine). What tipped me over the edge and made me go ask for the propranlol prescription was that I read that propranolol inhibits the secretion of insulin and I thought "Oh, that is the medicine for me!"

Interesting about glucose tabs. Maybe I should invest in some of those.

kiddiz Wed 25-Jun-08 10:19:08

I don't have 6 migraines a month just one horrendous premenstrual week where I may need more than one imigran to see off each migraine attack and make it possible for me to work
I had always avoided caffeine because I always thought it was a migraine trigger. But recently I have been drinking coca cola with painkillers and it does seem to work. Not diet coke either so that would go along with the blood sugar theory too.
Gp has assured me that he thinks migraines will improve post menopause but may get worse first...theres a comforting thought!!

Bucharest Wed 25-Jun-08 10:21:09

That's what mine said too. Prior to having dd I had maybe 3 a year, now it's at least monthly...

kiddiz Wed 25-Jun-08 10:23:04

I'm with Saintgeorge on the "migraine hangover" I have exactly the same.
Migraines are an absolute pita. I was surprised I managed to stop myself hitting a manager at work who described them as a "bit of a headache" when I had asked to go home because I felt so bad.

Rosylily Wed 25-Jun-08 10:26:09

I am not sure whether too much sugar triggers my migraine (along with stress and mid cycle hormones) or whether I crave the sugar because I have a migraine brewing.

But eating good food regularly is important for me to try and manage the migraines. I would feel faint if I miss a meal. I'm trying really hard now to reduce the sugar generally in my diet.

Also find yogalates brilliant.

I was getting more and more frequent migraines a few months ago and went to the dr who suggested a preventative medication compatible with breastfeeding -some sort of betablockers (forgot the name). I didn't want to go on such strong medication so am continuing to experiment.

Must try coke and feverfew!

I found out I'm perimenopausal and that my iron was low which would both exacerbate the problem.

Do people tend to get it on the same side?

I seem to get it on a different side of my head each time. Have vomitted with it only on occasion and am always spaced out the next day.

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