ok I am really scared about making this post and I've waited a month to say anything to you guys....I wanted to be absolutely sure before I made this post as I was scared to jinx it :)
ok I've had migraines for 20 years now. For the past 5 years they have been at their worst, I've been having at least 2/3 migraines a week that I would treat with triptan medication but would always constantly have a headache of some degree even on my 'good' days. I have been unable to work for the past 3 years and my life has been pretty much controlled by these migraines.
I've tried everything over the past 20 years with the exception of botox or topomax. These were my next options. I tried elimanation diets, 5-htp supplements, avoiding all my known triggers, birth control pills you name it I've tried it but nothing made any difference to my migraines, they just continued to get worse.
Eventually my doctor diagnosed 'menstrual migraines' and put me on preventative medication (propanolol and amytriptalin) to try and control them. I have been taking these now for a few years with no noticable improvement. I had pretty much resigned myself to having these headaches forever or at least until I went through my menopause.
However....after researching migraine on the internet extensively for a few years now I stumbled accidently on something very interesting. I was googling a a symptom I had that was totally unrelated to my migraines. For many years now I have had cravings to crunch on ice cubes or pretty much anything cold, ice lollies, ice pops, ice cubes and it was becoming worse and worse to the point that it became a joke within my family lol....i discovered in my research that 'ice crunchers' are very prone to anaemia and that this is a classic symptom of low iron levels. So I researched the symptoms of low iron levels in the blood and noticed that migraine is also a symptom of this problem in some people. I was also surprised to see that tiredness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath are all symptoms of anaemia and I was also experiencing this but had always put it down to my general exhaustion becuase of my constant migraines.
I also have suffered with Restless Leg Syndrome for a few years now and on researching this I saw again that this can be caused by low iron levels.
I began to take some iron supplements immeadiately and from day 1 there has been a massive improvement, not only with my migraines but also my RLS has disappeared completely and also the compulsion to crunch on ice cubes!! lol
I have so far been taking a daily iron supplement with lunch for the past 5 weeks. In that time I have had only 2 full migraines that I had to treat with triptans both were caused by known triggers (one was air travel and the other from going in the sun). I have had a few tension type headaches in that time that were easily treated with asparin and or untreated completely and went away with sleep. This never happened before, if I left a headache untreated it would develop into a 5 day excrutiating migraine.
I wanted to share this with you because it may help someone else. I have since researched a lot about the link between low iron levels and migraine and have discovered that many women are misdiagnosed with 'menstrual migraine' when it is actually the loss of blood each month causing our iron levels to drop too low that cause the migraine!
I am not a doctor, I am only speaking from my own experience and to let you know that in 20 years this is the only time I have found something that has make such a huge difference to migraines :)
*crosses fingers and everything else that it continues*