Migraine for 3 weeks and counting - National Migraine...

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Migraine for 3 weeks and counting

Cardiacphysiologist
Cardiacphysiologist

I’m having an absolute nightmare at the moment. I had a migraine on the 17th December and it hasn’t gone since. Some days it reduces itself into a general headache and other days it’s developed into a hemiplegic migraine.

I’ve given up alcohol in case that is a trigger and I don’t drink caffeine or eat chocolate anyway.

I am on 30mg of amitriptyline a day and 3 x cyclizine to try and keep the nausea at bay.

I’ve become scared of eating as I feel so sick which isn’t helping.

Had a CT head to rule out stroke/TIA and it was clear.

I’m really at my wits end on what to do. I can’t work at the moment as my job involves staring at screens in a super bright operating theatre environment.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What helped?

22 Replies
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Food helps my migraines and I recently read a blog which suggested coffee and an aspirin.. I hadn’t had coffee for a year but recently I have one and it seems to stop the migraine ( just like a triptan) . I take supplements of magnesium, vitamins B12 B2 , D and I’ve been having Carlson’s fish oils but I’m probably going to stop that because I’m now plant based. A plant based super healthy diet has helped me! Good luck!

Perhaps I need to try caffeine then! I take vitamin D and an iron/vitamin B liquid every day as well as a feverfew tablet. I’m definitely leaning more towards natural remedies!

Funnily enough, I’ve gone off meat a bit since I’ve had my migraine and usually just end up eating vegetables/fruit!!

Are you taking your Feverfew 3x daily? I really recommend you taking magnesium 3x a day. It has almost stopped all of my migraines.

For me I have to eat protein at every meal.

To stop what you are in now you could try ice, hot peppermint tea. Or I would suggest going to the doctor. They can give you. "Cocktail" 3 to 4 different medications including hydration. Just to stop the pain you are in right now.

One last thing make sure you are drinking plenty of water everyday.

What has really taught me alot is the "heads up" Podcast. They are migraine specialist from the UK and they have every topic about migraines and guest speakers. It's so amazing!

Just download a podcast reader (castbox, pod cast reader) then search for the Podcast. Then pick from all the the episodes.

Good luck.

I take feverfew once a day as it says on the packet (I think they’re a high dose), I’ll look into magnesium too!

Thank you for the podcast recommendation!! I’ll have a listen!

Mine days 3x daily it is 380mg. But what really works is to give my body the magnesium glycinate( 100 mg) 3x.a day. I can feel it wear off at lunch and as soon as I eat and take the magnesium it goes away! So amazing.

Good luck.

Just ordered magnesium! Thank you again!

Yeah! Keep us up to date. It takes a few months. But it should make the migraine less strong... then make them go away.

Good luck!

You need to eat carbs too -lentils, brown rice, potatoes, quinoa. All healthy and good plus sustaining!

So sorry to hear that but I had this for almost a month several years ago. I was over medicating. Are you? When this happens to me I have to go cold turkey and take no meds to get rid of it. Triptas are the bain of my life and I feel it keeps 'feeding' the migraine. A good trick is to take normal coca cola with three aspirin. This helps me.

I’m really aware of medication overuse headaches so I’ve only been allowing myself one dose of aspirin and one dose of antisickness a day and that’s usually halfway through the day when I can’t tale anymore!

I honestly think the triptans make the migraine more intense!! Plus more nausea!

Thank you for the tip!

It might be medication overuse headache

(https://www.mdedge.com/neurology/article/102167/headache-migraine/how-prevent-or-reverse-medication-overuse-headache

Have you checked in with your Neurologist? He/She might have some input to break the cycle. Hang in there.

I saw a neurologist this week and he just said ‘it’ll go when it goes!’ and changed my amitriptyline dose!

Oh sounds like a one liner he uses on all his patients. How reassuring 🙁

The longest single migraine ive had went on for 6 weeks. No one believed me until I got to a specialist neurologist and they weren't that surprised. It's happened many times over the years, I've become used to/unsurprised (although not happy) by it now. I've had 27 days of migraine in just over a month at the moment which is just how it goes sometimes. They say your pain pathways just get over stimulated, this happened last time they stopped my botox. All you can do is wait it out IMO. Obviously try to destress as much as possible. It is important you try and continue with your normal life as much as possible as that it is considered best for your mental health. Shutting yourself away can just add to the stress and make you over sensitized in the long run. Acceptance is your greatest tool in this case, when it dampens down is when you take your fight to your doctors /employers/family etc. You have to ride it out as best you can, it sucks though obviously. It's depressing and isolating but there are others out there that share your experience as well as me and we can reassure you you're not going mad at least!

Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I’ve really let my migraine dictate everything I do over the last month!

No problem, you gotta think you're in it for the long run. Changing your outlook enables you to fight the right things, don't waste time fighting the pain. Work out what bothers you the most and try and forgive yourself for pushing against those things. If your job stimulates you go in for bit, slow the pace, take breaks, leave early if that's what makes it possible for you. Stopping and shutting yourself away just magnifies the pain, it becomes all consuming. Don't loose yourself in all this. Try not to get too tired and eat enough, have coffee but not too much. Everyone has their own sensitivities, what's right for them may not be right for you. I have very chronic migraines, fibro myalgia, IBS, insomnia etc etc but I do HIT training 5 days a week, Wing Chun kung fu, scuba dive, I'm a printmaker, gardener I don't have much of a social life bc I just don't have the energy but I've got 2 little children which I had against advice. You can still be driven by your passions. Of course I collapse sometimes and I don't have the career I was supposed to have, sacrifices have to be made but to not have all these things on the grounds you have crappy migraines? I figured I feel shit anyway if I do nothing I still feel shit, these things give an ability to look outwards and have hope. There was a time i had a particularly big collapse/breakdown i just couldnt cope with the pain anymore bc of the insomnia I did even feel relief with sleep. It drove me mad I had to change. As they say nothing stays the same even in constant pain, the pain itself changes and your relationship to it also. Sorry that was a bit epic!

Can you do aerobic exercise by any chance? You need to make your heart rate fast enough not to be able to sing - but just about to talk - even if you do this for 5/10 minutes per day you'll notice a difference after 3/4 days. 30 min walk + 5/10 min running will reduce these eventually (unless you already have tried). Recent research suggests - physical exercise (running, cycling etc) is as good (if not better) than medication to prevent migraine (prophylaxis).

I take Amitriptylene but it does nothing really, and I have tried all the rest - none of them help unless I exercise. If for some reason I stp doing exercise I get constant severe migraine and pain killers don't work. (Of course we all are different).

I feel your pain! Literally, I do! My current migraine started on December 24. It was nonstop for two weeks, but then I realized I was eating a trigger food. I stopped the trigger food, pain lessened, but has still occurred every day. I have some muscular skeletal issues from old injuries that contribute to my migraines, and also autoimmune problems.

Last summer I accidentally discovered several staple foods that I’d been eating regularly for about 2 years were causing me upper back pain wrapping up into my neck and head, and causing migraines. Sorry this is such a long reply, but accidentally changing my diet changed the frequency and durations of my migraines beyond what I could have imagined. I went from nonstop migraines to 0-3 per week. I now also take preventative meds, but if I eat the wrong foods, they don’t work.

Are you male or female, and what is your age? Unbalanced hormones can cause migraines for both sexes. In men, low testosterone can cause migraines. In women, too high of either female sex hormones can cause migraines, especially oestrogen.

What foods do you eat and do you take any supplements? I recommend keeping a food, drink and supplement diary and a migraine diary to see if you can narrow down if certain things you ingest are causing migraines. How long have you been taking aspirin and how many mgs is it? Aspirin in standard low dose is not used to treat migraines. Studies show high doses of aspirin from 900 - 1300 mg can effectively treat a migraine, but who would want to take that dose when there are many effective migraine medications available?

There are many particular foods that trigger migraines and are on the do not eat list for migraine sufferers. These foods that contain substances that are known to cause migraines. I have eaten high protein, low carb, high healthy fats for the last 30 years. My down fall is not enough vegetables, and that is part of the problem. Here are the migraine causing foods I was eating:

Foods containing arachidonic acid are known to cause migraines. This is related to Omega 6 oil, which is pro-inflammation, as opposed to Omega 3 being anti inflammation. I ate eggs and organic beef, and they both contain arachidonic acid. I had started eating multiple daily eggs again December 23 I also ate beef several times during the same period. It wasn’t until Jan 11 that I realized what I’d been eating when the migraines started, I have not had eggs or beef since that day, and my pain greatly improved. When I say eggs, I mean 3-6 every other day or so. Prior to eating eggs starting in December, I had not had eggs since August. Yes, I had migraines, but only 0-3 per week, and they responded to abortive migraine meds, sumatriptan. Chicken contains the most A. Acid, followed by eggs, beef, processed cured meats, fish, pork, turkey, pasta, grains.

Prior to August, I also ate a lot of purines, all of the time! Purine foods contain high auric acid in the body. Uric acid can cause headache, muscle pains, but is most commonly known for causing gout. I don’t have gout, but my Dad and brother do. Based on my response to purine foods, it appears that I cannot properly dispose of accumulating and excess uric acid, I absolutely have headaches and muscle pains when I eat too much protein! The purine foods I was eating weekly were sardines, salmon, organic beef, sunflower seeds, chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and oatmeal.

Creatine is found in high protein foods and it also can also cause pain in some people, back pain particularly. For me, my migraines seem to be muscular skeletal related and can originate in my upper back of neck, then wrap around the back of my head, over the top and into my temples. Creatine is found in any protein food.

It was by accident last August that my diet abruptly changed to where I did not eat any of my above staple foods, but instead ate more vegetables and non-soy vegetable based proteins. I ate salads with some sort of protein (sometimes meat) daily. My diet was mainly plant based, instead of being mainly animal based as it had been for most of my life. I wish I’d have discovered sooner that what I’d been eating forever was one of the main roots to my pains.

My biggest problem in eating the above foods is having too much of one at one time, and not having enough vegetables. From August forward, I still maintained a high protein diet with plant based proteins, and I was still lean, fit and muscular.

Other foods on the migraines causing food list are:

Bananas

Aged cheese

Chocolate

Caffeine withdrawal or excess

Cured or processed meats

Dried fruits

Some nut

Fast food

Alcohol

Soda

Sugar substitutes

Salt

Citrus

MSG

Pickled and fermented foods

Cold food or drinks causing brain freeze

Thank you for the long reply!

I’m a 22 year old female - I definitely had issues with hormone imbalance in the early days of taking the pill and had to have a pill with the lowest oestrogen ration but promptly had to come off it when I first started getting migraines a year or so ago due to the risk.

I never really thought about trigger foods! I haven’t introduced anything new into my diet recently and until recently I barely ever had migraines. I already have a long list of things I have to avoid due to having IBS too and have found that a lot of them overlap to the ones you’ve told me about!

Hello! No trouble at all. You’re welcome.

I have IBS too. It’s possible to develop food intolerances or even allergies to foods or seasonal pollens and mold allergies. Are there any foods you eat a lot of? Sometimes if we eat or are exposed to something too much that our body doesn’t agree with, suddenly our body starts reacting negatively to it.

Could you have tweaked your neck or back doing sports or at the gym? Sometime I will get a certain type of migraine that doesn't respond to my migraine arsenal (several types of meds, heat, ice, thumper type back massager, infrared sauna, lidocaine patches, etc), and then I’ll have to go to a chiropractor. That always helps if nothing else does.

It’s magnesium and riboflavin together that have been studied to be effective for some types of migraines. I believe it’s 400 mg of each, possibly more than once a day. You’ll have to look it up. It did absolutely nothing for me. The type of magnesium matters too. Mag oxide has the lowest bioavailability and most gets excreted.

Update:

Migraine went for 3 whole days and then came back again which has been awful.

I have since started propanolol which I didn’t really want to go on as I’ve heard al the beta blocker horror stories thanks to my job!!

I can’t say it’s working at the moment as I’ve recently had symptoms like the previous one at the beginning.

I have also started magnesium supplements in the hope it may work!!

I’m so sorry it came back. I had a doctor once prescribe propananol. I wouldn’t take it. I could not afford to feel weak and possibly faint. Since last year I’ve taken low dose nortriptyline and low dose indomethacin at night, and indomethacin in the morning. It has helped tremendously, often no migraine for days, weeks, or just a minor one here or there. Unfortunately my migraines started again in December after a minor injury and then having to sleep in an unusual position. The chiro last week helped a lot. Now I’m working on spasmed muscles.

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