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Any help for migraine please?

(21 Posts)
hammouhouseofhorror Sun 26-Oct-08 20:53:07

Have had a dreadfull weekend. Had violent stomach cramps on friday with nausea, which by mid-day had escalated to a full blown migraine. Spent lots of time in bed. Up most of the night and have felt 'hungover' (I don't drink) all sunday with some residual nausea and milder stomach cramps.
Used to get regular milder ones, but on medication for something else they became less frequent but worse.
Any help appreciated, especially non medical solutions (i.e homeopathic)

CapnJadetheKnife Sun 26-Oct-08 20:56:57

make sure you eat and drink regularly and often enough (don't skip meals and make sure you don't get dehydrated).

Take painkillers as soon as you feel the first signs of a migraine attack. Pref with fizzy or caffinated drink (or cola to get both). It is more likely to stop a migraine in it's tracks this way and stop you having to take more painkillers. The nausea/stomach cramps are a sign of your digestive system shutting down. Taking painkillers in the middle of a big migraine is pointless - you are unlikely to digest and therefore absorb them.

Keep a diary of everything you eat/drink/smell, what the temperature is, what the weather was like, how much sleep you got etc to pinpoint triggers so you can learn to avoid them.

SOmething like meditation or some other form of relaxation can help as they can be caused or at least worsened by stress.

harpomarx Sun 26-Oct-08 20:57:37

have not experienced migraines myself, hammou - but I grew up with a dad who had horrendous migraines. I don't think he's still sure what stopped them but I do know he stopped drinking red wine. I think he also cut down on cheese. Think you're supposed to stop chocolate and coffee but I guess you know all this. He did try acupuncture, such was his desperation, don't think it helped sad but guess it must help some people...

I do sympathise with you though, have memories of one particularly bad Christmas spent in near silence as my dad groaned in bed sad

harpomarx Sun 26-Oct-08 20:59:24

agree with CapnJade - I never had full blown migraines myself but was very headache prone and could guarantee I would have a headache if I didn't eat breakfast for example. I always drink loads of water if I feel myself getting dehydrated.

VeniVidiVickiQV Sun 26-Oct-08 21:06:44

Eating and drinking regularly is v important, yes.

Painkillers never really work when I'm launching into full migraine. I always take some anyway - just in case (Have stronger, co-codamol to take from gp which help a bit).

The best things I've found for the headache is to breathe into a paper bag for 5 minutes. THe reasoning behind this is that breathing into a paper bag means that you are gradually breathing in more carbon di-oxide rich air. This causes your airways and blood vessels to expand more to allow oxygen to get around your system quicker. Migraines are thought to be down to blood vessels clamping down in the brain.

The method i use every time now is heat. I used to use a hot flannel that I had on both my face (all over my face as hot as I could take it) and on the back of my neck. THe problem was having to constantly replenish it under the hot tap. So, I use a hot water bottle. I put 1/3 cool water and 2/3s hot so it's not boiling. I put it on my face and round the side of my head that is in pain. I move it every couple of minutes to the back of my neck and then again after a few minutes back to the side of my head. It's like magic.

I still get the groggy, spaced out feeling for up to 24hrs afterwards though. But I can cope with that as long as the pain has gone.

hammouhouseofhorror Sun 26-Oct-08 21:06:53

Eating and drinking is a problem..a bit like morning sickness, you know you should but don't feel like it because of nausea..but I always drink plenty. I am sure they are aggrevated by stress, but the diary is a good idea.

fymandbean Sun 26-Oct-08 21:16:14

soluble painkillers as soon as you think you're starting a migraine - a pharmacist told me that anything else won't digest in time as your metabolism shuts down (as others have mentioned here). Have to do it though at the fisrt sign - I find soluble paracetamol best (as well as being ok when pregnant!!) but go for whatever works for you.

try to keep a diary of the triggers - I thought for 10 years that mine were random, then finally worked out when TTC and charting my cycles they were menstrual cycle related...hmm

Buda Sun 26-Oct-08 21:21:59

Try taking 500mg magnesium for a couple of months. It is really supposed to help.

(Have recommended this on here so much now I should do a survey to see if it actually does work!)

ShePeeTeePee Sun 26-Oct-08 21:44:37

Oh, you have my sympathy.
I can't really help on the preventative, or homeopathic front, but have you tried any of the triptan medicines to treat an actual attack? I take sumatriptan/Imigran, and it can actually stop an attack within an hour. (It's not a painkiller, so it doesn't just try and cover it up). It is a strong drug, so a sympathetic GP would be the best starting point. There are some pretty good resources on here too:

Hope you get it sorted one way or another.

colacubes Sun 26-Oct-08 21:56:22

Poor you, I suffered badly as a child, they would literally knock me off my feet, I was on prescribed meds, but what I remember was the absolute fear of knowing what was coming, and I am sure this made it worse.

So my peice of probably useless and impossible advice would be, as soon as you know its coming, take your meds drink fluids, and go to a dark quiet room, and rest, sleep through it, be prepared, have a box of everything you need there ready so you can act fast. And try to somehow meditate through it, accept it dont fight it, im sure the fear makes it worse.

moosemama Sun 26-Oct-08 22:05:24


I suffered from serious migraines for most of my adult life. They often went on for up to 7 days at a time and were totally disabling.

If you are looking for an alternative type remedy Feverfew has been reported to have very good results feverfew

None of the prescription or over-the-counter stuff worked on my migraines and I was referred to a consultant who had me keep a diary of attacks/duration/severity/diet/other factors. Then I was put on a drug which at the time was experimental in the UK but used a lot in the USA.


It is actually an anti-epilepsy drug and can have a few nasty side effects, but you take it to begin with in very low doses and for a managed length of time. I took it for just 6 months at the lowest dose, and I did suffer cognitive impairement and a few other side effects but it was worth it because it worked and I haven't had a single migraine now for two and a half years!

(On the upside, one of the known side effects is weight loss. I went from a size 16 to a 12 while I was on it!)

I'm not sure, but think it probably should have been licensed for use in the UK by now. It might be worth asking your GP about it anyway.

witcheseve Sun 26-Oct-08 22:07:43

The only thing that shifts my migraine is 'naramig'.

Posey Sun 26-Oct-08 22:15:34

Many sympathies to you.
Are you in an area at the moment that has that awful gastric bug going round? Reason I ask is I had what I thought was a migraine but it just got worse and worse with all the symptoms you describe and GP diagnosed this bug. I was in bed for almost 4 full days.
Anyway even if it was or wasn't, help for migraines is what you asked for. I started taking a magnesium supplement too and my migraines have definitely become fewer. Mine are menstrually related and GP gave me some good info about that. Also take Diclofenac if I feel a migraine head coming on. While it doesn't alleviate it, it seems to stop it progressing.
It really is diabolical isn't it? My dh's only days off sick from work in the last 2 or 3 years are when I have a migraine and am incapable of looking after myself or the kids.

ShePeeTeePee Sun 26-Oct-08 22:30:08

Moosemama - you still around? (sorry HHoH). Am now reading up on Topiramate (have never seen such a long list of side-effects!). Glad to hear it worked so well for you. Did you ever know what caused your migraine? (I know mine relate to the rise and fall of hormone levels during the menstrual cycle).

moosemama Sun 26-Oct-08 23:32:27

Sorry, finishing sister's birthday cake for tomorow.

Never did manage to narrow it down, despite keeping a migraine diary. The only thing I knew for sure would start one off was strong smelling perfume or aftershave.

There was a question mark over it being hormone/cycle related but my diary didn't show it being consistent enough for a definite link.

I put off the topiramate after they told me about the side-effects but am so glad I changed my mind. I had cognitive dysfunction (memory loss, forgetting words, saying the wrong words etc) loss of concentration and general fogginess, stomach upsets, weightloss itching arms and legs and some loss of feeling in my hands.

My consultant did say however, that it is very unusual to get these side effects on the lowest dosage, but I tend to be sensitive to drugs (allergic to several antibiotics and bad reactions to normal migraine treatments etc).

Like I said though, it wasn't a pleasant 6 months, but it was most definitely worth it - it literally changed my life.

pucca Sun 26-Oct-08 23:33:06

I am on betablockers for migraine, works a treat for me.

kid Sun 26-Oct-08 23:37:37

When I have a migraine, I put one of those kids 'fever patches' on my forehead as well as take medication. They send cold pulses through your forehead and really seem to ease the pain for me.

I got them out of the £1 shop so even managed to get a bargain while getting rid of migraine.

frumpygrumpy Sun 26-Oct-08 23:44:38

Haven't read all the thread......

My DP suffered serious migraines for a few years. He would lose vision and vomit and it was a worry.

We tried cutting out all the usual suspects....caffeine etc without success. We eventually worked out he needs regular food and regular sleep. Three good meals a day with snacks in between and 7 hours a night if possible. If he can't get 7 hours he just makes a big effort to not have too many short sleeps in quick succession.

He also has a prescription med which he needs to take at the first sign of one so it can get into the bloodstream before the stomach vomits it out. If he get it in early enough it can prevent him being sick and lessen the attack significantly.

He learned to watch out for a trigger.......sometimes a glare from a computer screen would make a small flicker appear in one eye and he would take the med straight away. Anyway, as I say, the sleep and food made a huge difference.

frumpygrumpy Sun 26-Oct-08 23:47:59

Now I've read the thread...... grin

Do a bit of studying yourself prior to the migraine. It will hopefully show you what the pattern was that lead to it. The week previous, did you sleep and eat badly? Very stressed?

hammouhouseofhorror Mon 27-Oct-08 07:04:28

Get so caught up in life I don't always recognise the symptoms until the migraine has kicked in, but must learn to because they are so debilitating.
Might try magnesium and feverfew, as I mentioned I am on medication for other things and would like to avoid anymore for time being.
If I lose any more weight Moosemama I will just be a shadowgrin! I had them as a child and then they cleared up, came back two or three years ago...probably very stress related. I do recognise the symptoms when I am due on but it is when they come out of the blue I mis manage them.
Thank you all so much for suggestions. I will follow them up.

MadisonT Thu 30-Oct-08 11:13:08

I also suffer from 2/3 migraines each month and hve done so since teens, I've tried absolutely everything all types of meds inc betablockers, magnesium, vit b6, acupuncture pzotifen etc nothing works as mine are menstrual and are triggered by drop in oestrogen, also tried cerazette but suffered many side effects. Naramig worked well but think my body is getting used to it because its stopped working, now about to try Zomig heres hoping...

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