Forum

Migraines

Hi everyone

I know that migraines happen to everyone but my last 2 relapses were following bad headaches. So I am suspicious that it could be linked to MS.

For the last 6 weeks or so I seem to have a bad headache followed by feeling sick usually at the end of the week. I decided it could be caffeine so have virtually cut this out, then I decided it was the slightly higher temperatures so now put my ceiling fans on when I notice I'm feeling a bit hot. I haven't had a migraine for a couple of weeks but yesterday I had a humdinger that sent me to bed. I still feel like I've done a few rounds in the ring this morning but am being taken out for Mother's day so I'm trying to rally round.

I did have a water test the other week but that came back clear. I am puzzled by what the trigger is. 

Any ideas folks? My diet is usually the same, lots of fruit, veg and fish, not a lot of cheese and no alcohoI

I know there is a trigger some where, just can't fathom it.

Thank you for any suggestions.

Wendy xxx

Hi Wendy,

Biiiiiig sympathies for you from another migraine sufferer. As far as the triggers go it can be hard to pin them down as they can be so individual. But I can offer a few generalised ideas....


Make sure you drink plenty of water as being dehydrated can definitely make them worse. Also try and keep as regular a sleep pattern as you can as some people get what is called a "weekend" migraine caused by sleeping in! Cruel but true....
Also, caffeine can actually be beneficial in preventing or stopping a migraine. Many of the older migraine treatments included cafeine in them. Also if you are a coffee/cola drinker and stop suddenly this can also trigger a migraine in some people. And although there is nothing you can do about this one some people, myself included, find that when the barometric pressure drops, just before a thunderstorm for example, it can trigger a migraine.

I have had migraines for years and the trigger for me used to be definitely related to my monthly cycle but that no longer holds true as I get several migraines a week.

There is evidence to suggest that people with MS get more migraines than the rest of the population but whether it is caused by the MS or not I couldn't say. But I always used to get a really bad migraine just before a relapse too. But now I am getting them so frequently it is hard to see ANY pattern.

Migraines are definitely a neurological illness though so I would be telling your neuro about them. There are some really good migraine treatments on the market now which can effectively abort the attack all together if taken early enough so it is worth talking to your GP about this too. 

I am on a variety of medications aimed at preventing and stopping an attack but sadly I still get them badly. My Dr has me on sodium valproate as a preventative and at the very first sign of a migraine I take Maxalt. I also use an over the counter treatment called migrastick which is a tiny roll on applicator of peppermint and lavender oil. It gives me some temporary relief during an attack but doesn't get rid of it. 

Hope you get some relief soon.....

Belinda

 

Good point about the carbs Mel. I get unbelievable carb cravings with migraine.... And about 24 hours before and for the first 24 hours of a migraine attack I get very upset bowels too.(Along with the nausea and vomiting) I can't take any of the standard anti-emeitcs due to allergy but I will ask my GP about Migrlieve. Thanks happy2 My migraines tend to last for about 2-3 days on average :-(

B

Thank you for that information Belinda, I used to get them every month with my menstral cycle too. I am passed menopause now (I hope). I think I will get my eyes tested and see my doctor, as before MS I never went to the doctor, just rested on my days off from work. I like the idea of migrastick, so will look into that.

Love Wendy xx

Thank you very much for that Mel.

Wendy xx

Sympathies from me too. Migraines seriously suck letdown

 

I've had pretty mild and occasional migraine since I was 16, but it decided to get much more aggressive last year for a couple of reasons (perimenopause and a reaction to a new med) so that I was having really nasty and very frequent episodes. My neuro prescribed topiramate as a preventative, but I had a bad reaction to it, so he referred me to a migraine specialist who I saw last month.

 

He recommended that I try taking 400mg of vitamin B2 a day as a first step, give that 3-4 weeks and then take stock. If my migraine was still bad, I was to up my pregabalin too (it can work as a preventative) and if that didn't work, he'd prescribe something else.

 

It's 3+ weeks into taking the B2 and I think it's working! YAY! I started on 100mg a day for a week and was still having migraine. The 200mg week was a bit better, but since I moved up to 300mg I have noticed a big difference and this is the first month in 6 that I didn't have a migraine every day of my period. It might be a coincidence, but I am really hopeful happy2

 

The specialist told me a load of things about migraine (he was really lovely and spent ages with me), but one thing that might be particularly relevant for you is that not everyone has food/drink triggers. What we often have though is a problem with sensory habituation - basically the normal brain gets used to constant sensory stimuli and learns to just ignore them, but some people with migraine have a brain that won't switch off. This causes the brain stem to get overloaded and kick off a migraine in self defence. (I'm paraphrasing here, so may not be getting this spot on, but it's sort of right I think!) So the specialist told me to make sure to not do the same thing for too long (e.g. being on the laptop, using my phone, having my neck in the same position, etc), e.g. to take a one minute break every ten minutes. (I have to confess that I haven't been very good at doing this! But it might help you?)

 

The key thing about migraine (as Belinda said) is to catch it early. So we need to take the painkiller / migraine med as soon as we feel one coming on, BEFORE the pain kicks in if possible. If we wait until the pain kicks in, it can be really hard to stop the migraine and it can last for days.

 

If you are getting nauseaus with your migraine, you need to take an anti-nausea med with the painkiller. Migraine causes nausea because it shuts down the digestive system. That means that any painkiller won't digest unless we get the digestive system working again. As soon as I feel a migraine starting, I take a domperidone for nausea/digestion and a sumatriptan for the migraine. I'd got better at recognising the warning signs, so I'd been managing to stop them quite well, but as I said already, the B2 seems to be helping now.

 

(Btw, for anyone who's interested, migraleve is just co-codamol with an added anti-nausea med. It works better than regular co-codamol for migraine because of that anti-nausea med.)

 

Hth! And that you have a lovely day out happy2

Karen x