Menstrual Migraine

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brooke
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/31/2004 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Anyone out there suffer from menstrual migraine? My migraine can occur any time during my period.  The usual pattern is a dull headache just before or at the begining of my period this will build up to a migraine.  I then take Zolmitriptin my migraine medication and over the next few hours my migraine improves until I'm left with a dull headache .  I then wake up the next morning with the exact same pattern and start again.  This pattern will continue until the end of my period.  I am almost 45 and I am hoping these migraines improve with the menopause.  They say the migraines are caused by the drop in hormones, does anyone know of any replacement therapy for this problem.  I have suffered from this problem from the age of 14 and as you can imagine getting pretty fed up!  I would be grateful for any ideas or miracle cures.  Kind regards Janet. 
  

Brynn
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 1663
   Posted 1/31/2004 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Janet,
Sorry to hear you have to put up with this every month. I can't speak much to the migraine issue, but I know what it's like to have pain every month, and to know that there was nothing I could do about it, and that it would continue every month until menopause. It was menstrual pain, not a migraine, but it was 10 on the 10 point scale, every month, for 3 to 5 days. I can't tell you how destructive that was to my life. I was by some great grace, granted menopause at the age of 45, but it was far too late to try to build a life at that point. (I'm 47 now.) By having such uncontrolled pain, for so long, my body became unable to handle any pain of any kind. Now, even though the monthly pains are over, I have constant pain throughout my entire body. So you can see that I really, really, know how badly you want some relief. I'm just glad that you can prevent the full blown migraine. And, based on my experience, I would say that you will definitely stop having them when you reach menopause. Do you ever have them when you're not in your moon? If they are caused by the shifting hormone levels, there must be some types of birth control pills that will prevent the fluctuations. You know that birth control pills don't all work the same way, don't you? Well, I don't remember the details, but some of them prevent pregnancy by preventing the drop in hormone levels that follow ovulation. Some of them work by preventing the rise in hormones to begin with, (thus preventing pregnancy--no egg, no preg!!) and others have other ways of working. I imagine they each come with their own risk factors, but you would have to discuss that with a Dr. Have you ever consulted a pain management specialist? Some of them specialize in headaches. I could post links to some websites of organizations that support patients, and research, etc. of headaches of all kinds. Also, I would think that a knowledgeable gyno could offer an opinion on whether birth control pills might help. They have some really low dose ones these days. It's not like it was when you and I were coming of age, the pills had such an outrageous dose that you probably remember the early stories of how they were thought to cause cancer? It's not like that any more. They work with much lower doses now. And you never hear the cancer-causing stories any more. Anyway, I guess that's about all I can say. I think you have a good chance with the pills, though. Let me know if you want me to post those links. Good luck.
brynn,  Moderator for Chronic Pain forum
            and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forum


brooke
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/1/2004 6:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Brynn,

Thank you so so much for your kind reply and your empathy as you do know the curse of mensrual pain. Even though I am pleased you are rid of your monthly pain I am so sorry you now have chronic pain. Could I ask what type of pain you now have? You have given me some hope in the leads you have mentioned especially concerning the contraception pill. I was told by my GP that I was unable to take the combined pill as this would increase my migraine, although I wonder if she realised that it was my hormones which were causing these headaches. I also wondered if the marina coil would be of benefit as this releases hormones which results in no period! I would be so grateful if you could post those links. I feel so embarressed working as a staff nurse in theatre recovery and never thinking of asking one of the anaetheatist about my migraine, sadly we have no gynae surgery in our hospital. Brynn you have given me some excellent leads which I will follow up. Keep in touch and hopfully I will be able to gather some information concerning your pain. Take care Janet

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 2/2/2004 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Brooke.  Don't post much here, usually in anxiety/panic forum.
I feel for you, I too have experienced horrible m's with p cycle.  I would take Zomig and it would help.  My m's are alot better now, not on the pill anymore and basically I learned to deal with the pain.  Alot of my m's were rebound from taking so many advil/tylenols.  Even now I am careful how much I take.  Before my m even hits me just before my p, I take an advil.  my therapist says as long as you stay ahead of the pain it is easier to manage.  I do find taking one advil, drinking lots of water and doing Yoga really helps.  Sleep too and try not to worry and stress about things.  I don't know if I have helped you, but just wanted to let you know I understand what you are feeling! It's tough to be a woman eh?  Wonder how well men (sorry men, don't mean to offend! lol just kidding around!) would handle menstralcycles eh?
Red09



brooke
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/2/2004 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Red

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. What a thought, men with periods wouldn't it be good for them to experience all the joys of periods and the whole package that goes with them for just one month, I would predict a lot of sickies!!

Janet

KHG
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/3/2004 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Janet
Your experience is almost exactly like mine.  I've been getting these dibilitating migraines since I was 12 years old.  I've tried just about every drug available including some that are under clinical trial. 

My boss happens to be a Neurosurgeon at Stanford and am therefore fortunate to have a clinical advisor, of sorts.  Unfortunately, he can't eliminate them for good.  My GYN recommended wearing a Nuvaring to eliminate my monthly menstrual cycle hoping to minimize the spike and severe drop in estrogen which is believed to be the trigger of our type of migraines.  We'll see if that works.  So far, no luck this month but I'm holding out hope that my body just needs a few months to adjust to having no periods.  I'll report back in another month or two.

Also, my current drug of choice is Imitrex 100mg but I'm wary of the side effects and long term effects this drug may have on my heart and/or liver.  I try not take the drug unless I'm in so much pain even an ice pick buried in my skull sounds like it'd bring relief...then and only then will I take the Imitrex.  I sure would like to find something natural and even holistic so if anyone knows of anything, I'm willing to try.

KHG

Last Edited : 2/4/2004 1:47:55 AM GMT


brooke
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/4/2004 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KHG

Thank you for your post. I'm just at the end of my roller coaster week of headache-migraine-headache etc and I'm exhausted as well as feeling like a zombie on all these pills. How fortunate to have your very own neuro surgeon! Could you do me a big favour and ask if the marina coil ( this coil releases hormones and stops your period) would stop the dips in hormones. My GP has told me migraine sufferers can't take the combined contraceptive pill as it increases migraines but surely if the problem is hormonal this would work. Kind regards Janet

KHG
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/4/2004 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Janet,
I don't think Dr. Adler would be much of an authority on this one...however, my GYN Dr. Katherine Sutherland has been terrific.  She also faces the dreaded monthly monster and together we've been comparing notes and trying various options.  One of which is similar to the coil you describe.  I wear a NuvaRing (vaginal) which releases estrogen constantly in effort to stablize the estrogen level in my body.  Dr. S is hoping by leaving the ring in for 4 weeks and replacing it with a new ring for 4 more weeks and once again for a total of 3 months without a period will help alleviate my migraines, if not eliminate them.  So far, this is the 1st month I've kept the ring in and not had a period. My migraine (Sun - Tue) was not nearly as severe as typical...so, I am hopeful.  I really won't have an opinion for another 2 cycles.  I'll keep you posted.

brooke
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/6/2004 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi KHG

Thanks for your reply. I will mention the NuvaRing to my GP. I will keep you posted about the hopeful success of the Marina coil. What country are you posting from? I'm in England.

Janet

KHG
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/8/2004 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Janet,
I'm in the United States.  Northern California to be more precise.  Ever been?

Take care and good luck with the coil.  We'll stay in touch...it'll be another few weeks before I have any update.  Keep your fingers crossed.

KHG

brooke
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/10/2004 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KHG

Northern California! Iv'e never been any further than the Canary Islands, 4 hours by plane. I live in Northern England (Newcastle) I'm thinking of making an appointment to see my GP next week I'll keep you posted. Take care Janet

Brynn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 1663
   Posted 2/14/2004 2:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Janet,
Sorry it took me so long to get back and post these links.  Meanwhile, it looks like you have gotten some more helpful, maybe even better info, from others.  Anyway, here are the links.  These would be for headaches and women's issues.  I moderate the Chronic Pain message board, here at HealingWell, and have posted on that board, a message topic called "How to Find a Good Dr".  It's mostly just ideas about finding a new Dr that have worked for me, that I just want to share.  But towards the end, there are a whole bunch of links to various websites which offer physician-locator features, where one can search for specific physician specialties.  So you might glance through that list, for other websites that might be helpful.  I think I can make a link to that message--HERE.  And the headache and women's issues below:

 
Good luck.  I hope you can find some direction, and soon some relief.  Take good care.

brynn,  Moderator for Chronic Pain forums
            and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forums

Last Edited : 2/14/2004 1:09:04 AM GMT


Wendy S
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 2/24/2004 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Brooke
small world I live just down the road to you (Sunderland) lol....

     **Wendy**
 
The Cat.
He walked by himself,
and all places were alike to him.
           -RUDYARD KIPLING


brooke
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/26/2004 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wendy,

Nice to here from someone so close.  Thanks for the poetry!
Your not the Wendy I went to uni with are you?  1999-2003.  Now I think that is a long shot!
Take care Janet

Wendy S
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 2/27/2004 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
No Janet I'm afraid I wasnt bright enough for Uni, I had to go back to school a few years ago to get my 'O' level in English lol....as far as the bits of poetry that go on my post's they're the only ones that stick in my fog bound brain he he he!

     **Wendy**
 
The Cat.
He walked by himself,
and all places were alike to him.
           -RUDYARD KIPLING
 
Forget the times of your distress,
but never forget what they taught
you..
            -HERBERT GASSER-

Last Edited : 2/27/2004 5:54:15 PM GMT


KHG
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/22/2004 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Janet (Brooke),
I told you I'd get back to you in a few weeks' time.  Well, there's good news and not so good news.  The not so good news is I did experience a migraine attack on March 9th weekend (as expected), however, the good news is - it wasn't nearly as severe and dibilitating as typical.  The NuvaRing seems to be doing something to minimize the agony. 

Example:  Typically, I'd feel the migraine coming on a couple of days in advance - then it strikes with a vengeance.  I'd have at least a half dozen vomitting episodes, excruciating pain for a full day/night - during which time I'd do my best not to overmedicate with Imitrex - sometimes using injections.  Then, I'd experience a day or two of "hang-over" migraine.

This time - I felt the migraine coming the evening before (Fri), Saturday I experienced sharp pain but not enough to keep me down.  I held off taking any meds as I'd heard that sometimes it actually makes the pain and nausea worse - I even took a 3 hour hike to "ignore" the pain.  I got home, only vomitted twice - took an Imitrex tablet, slept until the next morning - felt a slight "hang-over" headache all day on Sunday.  By Monday - I was feeling great.

I'm going to continue wearing this NuvaRing for another few months and see if the migraines continue to abate.  I'll post another update after April 10th.

KHG

sarah jayne
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/20/2005 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
hi im new to this but brynn and janet i can sympathise with you on the pain scale.im 21 and have suffered very bad period pain for the last 10 years i gets so bad my legs are paralized and i cant get up.i even get migraines to but i go to bed with a cold wet flannel and a packet of pain releif!! but i have found nothing works.it gets so bad i want to bang my head against a wall ,im wondering if any one knows any thing about the marina coil,my gyno has told me i got to have a laporocopy as i have suvere abdominal and groin pain for about 3 years, they have taken there time lol!! my periods are very iregular 4 days off then between 7 and 14 days on 4 days of etc etc and they cant understand why ,so do you know any thing about the coil and its side effects if you do please let me know thank you sarah jayne

laura l.
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 12/29/2005 1:25 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi everyone,

Just thought I would write a little bit about Mirena (the intrauterine device that contains a progesterone-type hormone).  It is supposed to makes one's periods lighter, but can make them heavier at first.  I had one for a while and found this to be true.  The headaches associated with menses have to do with the drop in estrogen levels just before one's period starts, so you would not really expect a device with progesterone in it to be helpful for such headaches -- and in fact one of the side effects of the device is headache (also swelling, breast tenderness, acne.)  I found this to be true as well.  In fact I had to have the Mirena removed due to its exacerbation of my migraines.  My GYN tried giving me an estrogen patch right before my period (to avoid that drop in estrogen levels) but my cycles were not regular enough to do that effectively.  Also, there is some literature to suggest that Maxalt may be a little more effective for menstrual migraines than Imitrex or Zomig.  The Nuva Ring sounds like it may be the best approach to menstrual migraines (in a person who needs birth control) because it provides a constant level of estrogen, avoiding the big drop before the onset of menses (or at least blunting it).  Of course it might not be right for everyone -- e.g., someone with endometriosis, fibroids, or a stong family history of breast cancer.  Maybe this helps a little. (P.S.  The Mirena device is not really a coil it is more T-shaped).

Laura L.

 

 


cre8tiv1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/29/2005 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
I am new to this site and have suffered for a couple years with menstrual migraines. I generally get my worst migraine 3 days before my period and it last for 3 days. They are 90% of the time on the right side of my head. I had taken Maxalt all these years and it was wonderful for fast acting but unfortunately, maybe because my body is used to it, will not last more than 4 hours before the knife sharp pain in my right eye returns. I also experience sinus issues during the attack...my right eye tears horribly for hours - like a severe cold. In the last couple months I have been also experiencing nose bleeds after taking the migraine pills. Is any of this familiar to anyone??? I do take some all natural supplements including vitamin e that is supposed to be very helpful. I find that my headache does get better for a couple months and then I get slammed with a really bad one. I am interested in the diets that are offered via internet for migraine sufferers...not sure if that really applies to the hormone migraines. Any thoughts?

Also, just was prescribed Axert. Haven't heard anything about it.

laura l.
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 12/29/2005 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi cre8tiv1,
Sorry to hear you also have menstrual migraines. Your right eye tears during the attacks because the migraine inflames nerves and that includes the nerve that goes to the conjunctiva (loose covering) of your right eye (also lining of nose -- that's why some people confuse migraines with sinus headaches). As far as the bleeding, excessive doses of vitamin E can cause that -- I don;t know how much you are taking, but it is something to consider. Do you know the other ingredients of the natural supplements you are taking? It is possible to get rebound headaches with some "natural" ingredients as well as over the counter (and prescription) pain killers (and triptans for that matter.) Do you get the really bad headache if you stop the natural supplement? Axert is almotriptan. It is another of the "triptans" like Imitrex (sumatriptan) and Maxalt (rizatiptan) but I believe it has a higher bioavailability (you get more of the active drug into your system -- 70% -- when you take it by mouth) than other triptans. It has a little longer half life (time it takes for half of it to be gone from your body) than Imitrex (3-4 hours vs. 2.5 hours). As far as migraine diets go triggers are additive -- so especially around the time of your period it would be good to avoid food triggers. These vary from person to person, so if you are really serious about it you have to start with a diet totally free from (known) triggers and slowly add one at a time until you know which foods affect you -- keep a diary, etc. Don't know if this has helped. (I am a physician, but am not trying to practice over the internet, just hoping to help out a bit!).
Laura L.

cre8tiv1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/2/2006 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Laura.  The natural supplements I take are from a website (not sure if Im allowed to post it so I won't) I found doing a search on natural ways to help eliminate my migraines.  I had been given a prescription for topamax and really didn't want to go this route.  The lady from this website I found, a nurse who had suffered from migraines daily, so severe that she was in bed more than she wasn't.  This started the desire for her and her husband to research natural remedies that would help HER, when it did she felt like sharing her story...I was encouraged by her testimony, and her availability to be contacted at any time.    I have been taking these supplements for over a year and although I don't get the reward of being migraine free I am without a doubt convinced that they do help.  The benefits have been I used to take so much advil during the month for just plain ole painful headaches. I NEVER have to do that...and then instead of having a migraine during ovulation and then 2 weeks later having another one 3 days before menstruating..I actually would skip a migraine and just have one a month and be hopeful! I still unfortunately get at least the ONE migraine.   The ingredients in the supplements are: vit b-6, folic acid, borage oil powder, wild yam root extract, dong quai, vitex angus castus extract, cram bark, silica, magnesium stearate and black cohosh...I would take 2 after each meal (6 a day) and 1 400 IU's of vitamin e in the a.m. Then when that didn't completely work, I added another supplement (3x a day) that she recommended that had about the same ingredients but also had soy isoflavones, kava kava, licorice extract, red raspberry powder, chasteberry, ginkgo extract.  With these ingredients I can still take the migraine pills - maxalt, axert, etc.  The pattern of the last two months is the nose bleeds begin after taking a migraine pill and continues off and on for up to 2 weeks...so it sounds as though you might be right.  I would love to eliminate the food triggers and see if that doesn't make a difference.  Is there a site that can be recommended to locate a list of ALL of the possible food triggers for migraine sufferies?  As I am sure with most people who suffer from migraines it becomes a passion to finding something out there to stop what debilitates.  For me I am willing to be disciplined with diet or whatever - anything would be better than dealing with a ice pick in your eye once a month for 3 days! Thanks for any input!! it is truly appreciated.

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 1/2/2006 7:15 PM (GMT -6)   

Laura-

email me, please.

Click on envelope under my name...

Thanks,

Sara


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


Pisco
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/31/2007 1:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Brooke,
Do you have anything that helps even slightly?

I too have suffered from migraines since I was 12. Terrible classical migraines. Many times people brought me to the emerge. Two MRI's, many EEGs and 2 cat scans later, I am just a migraine sufferer.

I also get menstrual cramps so severely that I swear there is no pain that is worse (until I have a migraine of course). Do you always get your migraines at the same time as your menstrual cramps? I get my cramps and migraines after it starts.

This is my ritual:

-(I take NSAIDS daily for something else)
-migraine narcotic - 1 fiorinal c1/2 - the only migraine medication that works well for me.

non-medicinal
-Primarily a low fat, grain, fish and vegetable diet. Helpful if you stick to it. Have no idea why it helps me.
- bath tub full of hot water. WITHOUT THIS I WOULDN"T LIVE THROUGH THE NIGHT.
- a garbage can to hug
- I hum long notes quietly to myself.
- 2 heating pads - one for the back and one for the front (for when I get out of bed) SUPER IMPORTAANT
- an orgasm before my period starts helps reduce the number of hours I suffer, but not the severity
- General stress reduction in my life - helps me cope with all my pain better. ALSO MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE
- diet: low fat - vegetables/fish - no caffeine + regular excercise --> all help reduce suffering time, but not really the severity.
- having my little dog nearby

re: pain pills
If I take pain pills more then a couple times a week my period pain is a lot more difficult to manage. I think pain pills in general can offend make people MUCH more sensitive to pain then they would have been originally when the pills wear off.

re: estrogen
My experience with estrogen pills (even the lowest dose) has always been terrible. I got migraines everyday. This did not balance out against the reduction of severity of my period pain. I admit my cramps were a little less severe, but not worth the daily migraines and mood disturbances.

From what I have been told, period pain ends with menopause and migraines slow down depending on whether or not yours are only hormones caused.

Sorry for your pain. If you find something wonderful that helps please come post it back up in here!

cheers

TTRN
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 11/1/2007 2:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, so many people with menstral migraines. I had them since I started my period, but we always said they were sinus headaches. I did not find out until my 40's that they were related to my period, and sure enough they are. I was put on Inderal for Blood pressure and it lessens the severity, but not always, so Imitrex 50mg usually takes care of it. I'm sure even My Grandmother had them, we called them her sick headaches and no one knew what to do, even called her a hypochondriac. Glad we dont have it so bad. I would also find it interesting to know the food triggers, I know that red wine will get me. Toni

mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/7/2007 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Dealing with menstral migraines also, but have migraines on a pretty regular basis too. I woke up this morning 3:00am with the worst migraine, it hurt to even move, I layed there for a while but couldn't handle it any longer so I got up at 5:30am. I take midrin right now when that doesn't work I take execdrin when that doesn't work I just suffer.

I've tried topamax, imitrex, zomig, and many more just can't think of all the meds right now. As I feel drained after the migraine has fianlly calmed down after 8 hours, and from being up since 3:00am.

I hope you all find some relief for your migraines. Have any of you ladies thought about having the nova sure procedure? it's where they burn the lining of your uterus to hopefully stop your periods. my periods are so extremely heavy. I'm thinking about having this procedure done.

God Bless you All,

Mercyme
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