General Advice on Migraines / Michigan Doctors

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2012
   Posted 8/25/2009 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, I'm visiting from the UC forum. My mom's been getting really bad migraines as long as I can remember. She has a very high pain tolerance but these headaches put her on the couch all day sounding groggy and being irritable. She also has fibro but says it isn't bad. The doctor she sees now put her on some kind of anti-depressant I think, because they thought the headaches came from stress (this medication seems to have made the headaches more frequent, it's like she's had one every day this week). My mom insists that they don't. Usually she gets them on her days off. Her neck is in bad shape too. No one has helped her.
Does anyone know of any doctors in Michigan specializing with headaches/migraines and stuff? She could use some advice.
19yr old female diagnosed with UC (pancolitis) in 2005 at age 15
125mg Azathioprine 1xday / 1 Mesalamine enema every night /
2000mg Fish Oil 1xday / 500mg Turmeric 3xday /
450mg Boswellia 2xday / 400IU Vitamin E 1xday
Arthritis in both knees
Also: asthma, acid reflux, and Reynaud's Syndrome

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 328
   Posted 9/1/2009 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm sorry that you've had to wait so long for a response.

In reading your account a few things came to mind. Stress is a very common migraine trigger. But psychological stressors are not the only cause of a biological stress response. Some are more obvious, like muscle tension, acute trauma and allergens; others more subtle, like changes in sleep patterns and activity levels or even the weather; and some are very difficult to pinpoint, like high blood pressure, cerebral spinal fluid leakage, or neurochemical imbalances.

These are just assorted examples--I don't mean to imply that your mother suffers from any other those specific problems. I make this point to say that stress is not always readily apparent. Though your mother may be more relaxed on her days off from work, the potential changes in sleep patterns, diet, activity and environment could be migraine triggers. For example, as you probably know, catching up on lost sleep on the weekends is often more stressful than having underslept during the course of the week. The point, of course, is that a day off may still include its fair share of stress.

Also, you mentioned that your mom seems to be doing worse on the anti-depressant medication. This is not at all uncommon. Anti-depressants can be very effective in headache treatment but they can also cause or worsen headaches (dependent on the specific drug as well as the specific patient). If this continues I suggest that she ask to try a different medication, as, of course, should be done in any case if it isn't an effective treatment. However, if she has only started taking the medication recently it may be wise to give it an opportunity. Most anti-depressants take at least a month or so to truly take effect. Also, oftentimes unpleasant side effects (like headaches) subside as the body adjusts to the medication. This can sometimes take several months, however, so it comes down to weighing the potential benefit against the cost of continuing to suffer for a variable period of time.

Finally--and really most importantly--you're actually rather in luck looking for a headache specialist in Michigan. The Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute (MHNI) is one of the best treatment centers in the country. I don't know if you live close to Ann Arbor but if you do consider making an appointment with them ( Alternatively, the American Headache Society has a search engine for finding local specialists at Considering her complex health situation (fibro, migraine, and neck problems) I do strongly encourage her to see a qualified neurologist.

Best wishes,
DX: NDPH, Recovered(?) CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Namenda, Wellbutrin XL, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Concerta (Methylphenidate), Clonazepam, Rozerem, Magnesium (1200 mg/d), Riboflavin (400 mg/d).

PRN: Ketamine nasal spray, Toradol IM, Celebrex, Haloperidol, Lodine, Zofran, Phenergan, Ambien CR
rarely: Migranal, Thorazine, DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Reglan, Provigil, triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Axert, Amerge)

I can be contacted personally via email at

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