What can I do other than medicines.

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Rachel Anne
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/11/2005 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this whole migrane thing and I must say that I don't enjoy them very much. I was wondering if any of you had suggestions about things that I could eat or do other than taking the medicines suggested by my not so sympathatic neuorologist. I am currently taking Maxalt do any of you know if there are any long term side effects of this drug, I have been trying to reserch on the web but I have not had that much success. I really just want this pain to go away. I had an MRI and luckly there was nothing abnormal. But sometimes the pain is just terrible. It is mostly in my eyes and the back and bottom of my head at like the top of my neck. Sometimes my face becomes tingly but it never really goes numb. They (the doctors) think it is mostly coming from stress.
If anyone has any advice for someone who is new to migranes. I really would like this to not interfere with my life but I fear it will.

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/11/2005 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Rachel Anne,

Welcome to the Migraine Forum. I'm sorry to hear your new to Migraines. You're asking the questions at the beginning rather than after you're caught in the vicious cycle of pain and medications and more pain.

The medication that your taking is called a "triptan" as we regulars like to refer to it. Taken right from Maxalt's website it works in the following manner (just in case you haven't found it already):

Treatment with MAXALT:

  1. Reduces swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain. This swelling results in the headache pain of a migraine attack.
  2. Blocks the release of substances from nerve endings that cause more pain and other symptoms of migraine.
  3. Interrupts the sending of specific pain signals to your brain.

Migraine sufferers are susceptible to "Rebound Headaches" and "triptans" are a type of medication that can cause them. Rebound headaches occur when you take a medication so frequently that when you stop taking it you get a headache. There are different recommendations for how much you can take and not get rebound headaches. For triptans some say no more than 2 or 3 times a month, others say follow the rule 2 days on, 5 days off, in other words if you take something for 2 days don't take it again for another 5 days. Pain killers like Tylenol and narcotics like codeine also cause rebound headaches. There is a good article at http://www.healingwell.com/library/migraines/jolly1.asp.

The first step is to educate yourself. The are many articles on this website and many good books that you can get. The most common things that trigger headaches are food, stress and environmental factors - though I'm not a doctor, just lots of personal experience. There's a book called Heal Your Headache - 123 Program and it has a really good list of foods to avoid / test. For me preservatives, MSG and yeast are really bad. I didn't realize how many forms MSG came in until I read the book.

Stress is a really big one as well. I struggle with it daily. Those of us with migraines seem to be over-achievers. :) I meditate, take long baths and read trashy novels. I also try to exercise as much as possible. It raises my natural endorphins which help the pain and builds the strengh of my blood vessels.

I would also work on a pain management plan - preferably in partnership with your doctor / neurologist. For instance, I start with a Zomig (triptan), if that doesn't work, I try a second. Depending on the type of headache I will lay in a dark room with a cold compress or go have a warm bath. I sometimes listen to a meditation CD to help calm my breathng which can also calm the headache. Later if these haven't worked I take a combination of Valerian Root, 2 Tylenol 3s and 2 Toradol. I try to only take these as a last resort.

If you find that you're having regular headaches, weekly or daily, it's probably time to ask about preventative medications, like anti-epileptic, beta blockers, etc. Though if you want to avoid medications then try the lifestyle changes. It's hard but it is possible.

And finally, sorry for the long message, if you're neurologist isn't sympathetic or helpful, it's okay to ask for another one. Having a good relationship with your neurologist is important. S/he is the person you depend on for expert information.

Phew...lots of information. I hope I didn't overwhelm you or provide a lot that you already knew. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

 

 


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha


EmeraldCityCPA
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/12/2005 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   

I know different methods and medications work for different migraine patients.  I have suffered from almost daily migraines for 18+ years now and have tried many of the preventatives on the market.  Each one had its own side effects, some worse than others.

My neurologist suggested taking magnesium and riboflavin (B-2).  I told him I had tried it before without any relief.  He told me I probably wasn't taking the right type of magnesium. 

I've been taking 200-250 mg of CHELATED magenesium and 200-250 mg of riboflavin (B-2) twice per day for about six months now.  My frequency of migraines has decreased more than 50% as has the severity of my worst migraines.  I can't remember the last time I've had to make an ER visit for a severe attack and it used to be a monthly occurrence for me. 

The best part is I'm not putting all those chemicals in my body anymore.  Granted, I still take Imitrex injections and Frova when I have an attack (although fairly infrequent these days).  Also keep in mind that I eat a relatively healthy diet and avoid most trigger foods (MSG-killer for me, red wine, cured meats, chocolate, pickled stuff).  However, since taking the vitamins, I have been able to eat moderate amounts of aged cheeses (used to be a terrible trigger for me) now.

If you choose to try the chelated magnesium and riboflavin (B-2), they're not typical vitamins you can find in a GNC, at least not in my area.  I had to go to one of those natural, vitamin super stores to find them or Whole Foods carries them.  Also, I had to work up to the recommended dosage of Chelated Magnesium as it gave me diarrhea initially.  I took it once a day for a couple of months until my body adjusted and then went to the full dosage, without effect.

I haven't felt this good in years and the icing on the cake is having been able to reduce the amount of medicine I'm taking. 

Sorry for babbling, but I hope this can help!


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/14/2005 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Welcome EmeraldCityCPA!

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm always looking for new "non-medication" ways of treating my headaches. I take magnesium but don't have the success that others do with it. I will try the chelated kind.


Nicky
 
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha

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