Very glad I stumbled across this site, it's nice to have company in the world of severe pain and discomfort; I only know 2 other people that suffer from migraines, one of whom doesn't anymore. But now a floodgate of questions has opened regarding my own situation. I'm curious as to what you all think.
So to start: I recently discovered that my dad suffered from migraines from age 20 to 30, and 3 of his siblings suffer/ed from migraines of various symptoms and severity. I began getting headaches in high school and figured most people had them.
Four years ago (at age 19), I suddenly began getting severe migraines. My first experience with them included three in the first week, and four the next week. After a year-long battle with my gen practitioner over whether they were allergy headaches or not I finally won him over to the idea that maybe they really were migraines when I began throwing up in the morning right after waking up to severe head pain. He prescribed Imitrex which made me sick and didn't help, then finally we hit the miracle drug - Relpax. I never took nor do I take preventative drugs.
Upon the discovery of having migraines, I began doing research, and tried to figure out any causes/symptoms. I few basics I know:
1. Caffeine is related. I'm better off with a cup of coffee a day, but cannot do completely without caffeine and am susceptible to migraines if I consume too much. Excedrin Migraine helps reduce pain at least 40%, sometimes upwards of 100% if I catch it early enough. Chocolate (I don't eat much), nor any other food, has not shown to be related.
2. Water consumption is not related. Breathing may be (I'm a shallow breather by nature and often have to remind myself to breathe deeper; I never stop breathing completely).
3. Barometric pressure is a MAJOR indicator. I am a human barometer. My pressure cavities are significantly affected when there is a drastic change in pressure, and usually these migraines grow very fast. Usually it's uncomfortable to keep my jaw shut.
4. The pain is not subject to one or a couple specific locations. However, the more severe the pain, the more likely I will develop major pressure behind my eyes. Usually it's behind just one, and so severe that my eye feels like it's bulging. The eye waters like crazy and my eyelid begins to droop. I find it hard to support my head and will cock it to one side or rest it on something.
5. My migraines never last more than 24hrs. I do not get them day after day, though I can get them multiple times in a week. They are not linked to seasons. There is no pattern to their occurrence when strictly mapping them on a calendar. I average 4-5 mild migraines a month and 1-2 severe migraines a month.
6. Stress is definitely a factor for some migraines.
7. They are not linked directly with my menstrual cycle (which is regular, btw) to my knowledge at least.
8. Never had aura, numbing, or fainting. Dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea - yes.
I'm currently trying to figure out another issue I have, which may be hyper- or hypothyroidism, or just simple anxiety. Hopefully the result will help me to better understand my migraines.
Anyway, I'm just looking for general thoughts about my situation (I don't have many people to talk to that understand). I tried figuring out what types of migraines I have, but I found it difficult to pinpoint. Thanks for any ideas.