Headaches vs. migraines?: Hi, While it... - My MSAA Community

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Headaches vs. migraines?



While it probably doesn’t matter what you call them, headaches really stink!

I seem to go through spells when I’ll have four days in a row and three have migraines.

I’ve kept up with a calendar of the headaches, eliminated trigger foods (I don’t do chocolate, caffeine in soft drinks, etc.) and I try to watch all the other foods which could possibly be problematic. But, it’s not seeming to help.

Any suggestions from folks out there who also deal with their heads feeling like they’re being crushed and the lovely nausea which accompanies these situations? I’m taking generic imitrex and my neurologist just added in generic Zofran for the nausea. I’m waiting to get my Aubagio started and have been off of Avonex for a few months now in the interim.

I’m open to any tricks or suggestions that others wouldn’t mind sharing. My first migrain happened in November of 1991 and since then, they seem to really be ramping up in severity as well as in numbers.

Going to stretch out and see if I can keep this odd feeling in my head from crossing over into a migraine...

TIA for any insights.

(My headaches mostly seem to be in the areas around my eyes and I’ve eondered if there is a connection back to my optic neuritis?)

9 Replies

Don't know if this will help at all, but I take a very low dose of Verapamil. It is actually a blood pressure medication. It is sometimes prescribed for migraine and cluster headaches. Maybe ask your doctor about it? It has helped level mine and I have noticed that my severe headaches have improved. Headaches and migraines are no fun at all and I have been plagued with them. Take care and good luck!

Thank you for this suggestion- I’ll as my neurologist if something like this might work for my situation!


Good afternoon GeorgiaJunebug, it's Fancy1959 officially walk me to this awesome chat room. What's your lovely name I don't think I would have forgotten you if I spoke to you before so I'm saying hello and welcome. You've found an awesome chat room to come to and we promise to provide you with a safe place to come and ask questions, voice concerns, or simply speak to others who truly understand.

Now I'm to your headache question. When I was starting into menopause about a decade or more ago I started having headaches once a month that like you're sometimes would last 3 4 and even 5 days. They weren't very severe but were extremely annoying intended to move around in different parts of the front of my brain. One day I was in a pharmacy in the pharmacist was handy and the headache was ongoing at that moment and I ask the pharmacist if the reoccuring headaches a God that lasted multiple 3 to 5 days could they possibly be migraines? I told him they were not severe just extremely annoying and slightly painful. And that the pain tended to move around during the stretch of the headache. He came back and said he felt he thought they certainly were migraines. And I was lucky they were not more severe. He told me to try an over-the-counter product see how it helped so I started on Excedrin Migraine, which was the only migraine medicine available at the time over the counter. I found it did give me relief from the headache but sometimes I would have to take it for a day or two in a row to keep the headache from coming back. In my mid-twenties I had one true migraine and it was so severe it felt like my head was going to blow open and I could not even look at her phone at that time they were rotary dials and dial the correct number to try and call the doctor to seek help. My hand and my eyes would not work together and it hurt just to look at anyting, and light especially set the headache off even worse. So having had a true migraine I was convinced these headaches that were Wild by comparison were not a migraine by comparison.

The only link to these long 3 to 5 day headaches that happened monthly or bi-monthly were they deliver link to my menstrual cycle. I think hormones are a powerful force in our body that we often do not get enough credit to but they certainly seem to mess with my head and cause the migraines to occur. Once I finished menopause the migraines simply went away I am happy to report! I hope this might help you a bit. Make sure you keep track of them like you've been doing and bring your log to your next doctor's or neurologist appointment and bring the topic of your headaches up. Good luck and keep us informed of what you find out! Take care until we speak again and remember together we are stronger! Fancy.

in reply to Fancy1959

Thanks for this great info. I am in the same situation - pre-menopausal. Sometimes they come on and last for days. The neuro told me that this definitely had an effect on my migraines because of the hormone fluctuations. You have given me hope that if I can get through menopause, they will get better! So far, the Verapamil is helping but will get some Excedrin Migraine to see if that will help. Thanks for the info! Michele


I feel your pain and am sorry to hear you suffer so much.

I had debilitating migraines for years. My then neurologist prescribed amitriptyline, which was ineffective, though I slep well. Many years later another doctor put me on extended release metoprolol, which reduced the frequency and intensity a bit. Menopause was the “cure” for me. I rarely have migraines now, and they are much milder and taken care of with OTC aspirin/acetaminophen/caffeine.

I sure hope you feel some relief very soon. Let us know how you’re doing.

Thanks, everyone. Not to share too much ladies info (I was raised that ladies underwear was called “unmentionables.” ) ;) , but, I went through menopause years ago from the MS. Seems it can really play havoc with your hormones. So, sadly, extreme hormone fluctuations aren’t my problems. I chose not to take any HRT as my Momma and dear Aunt both passed away from breast cancer. It was at a time that the testing wasn’t available, but we we have significant reasons to suspect that HRT could have played a roll in at least my Momma’s cancer.

Anyway, I greatly appreciate everyone’s insights and I’m so pleased that these suggestions are helping others out too!

The doctor hasn’t bumped me up to the nasal or injectable imitrex; so, I’m assuming there are other levels of treatment. I’m just trying to think if there are things I’m doing to increase my likelihood of the migraines. Being an ex-scientist, I was asked to leave my job when I couldn’t walk for a spell- I was ok with sitting in my lab chair and rolling to necropsy to get my trays for Micro and Viro but others in the lab complained- and, no, I wasn’t eligible to get disability from my insurance and when I tried to apply for SSI the doctor who reviewed my case told me he had NEVER heard of fatigue being associated with MS and he would know because he had 6 whole patients with MS.

Anyway, tangent and rant over (stepping off of soapbox); I need to determine a baseline and the introduce possible foods etc. which could be possible triggers. I’m seriously wondering if it could be a hydration issue. I limit my time outside but I love to garden. I’m drinking water as much as possible and go in and out several times as I work. But, it could be an electrolyte issue, I’m thinking. So, I may add in a little bit of dill pickle juice in my hydration today since I don’t have any Gatorade handy. (Pickle juice was what the coach at the University of Florida had his players drink during scrimmages and what preceded Gator-ade.)

But, please keep throwing out your helpful advice! While I’m sorry others have the headache problems too, it helps knowing I’m not alone.


Look up cefaly. I have both and they help some.

Thanks so much for sharing- these look interesting. Glad they help you. Do you think the one for preventative really does help you?

The preventative one worked better for me. I used it two years ago and will ask my neurologist if I can use it again.

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