At my wit's end - advice

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naidagrrrl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/14/2005 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm a new poster to this board. But I've enjoyed finding a place where other people can understand what I am going through and may be able to offer some advice.
 
I am a 30 year old female and I have always suffered from headaches. In March of this year I noticed I was popping 4 advil a day and decided that I should do something about it. I finally got to neurologist in July. Had a full work up - MRI (clean) and I was diagnosed with Chronic migraines- Though not the classic style and can ebb and flow throught the course of the day.
 
I was put on Topomax - started at 25 mgs and worked my way up to 200 mgs over the next 2 months. (I got all the side effects but none of the weight loss). The dosages work for about 2 weeks and then stop.
 
I go to the acupuncturist every week, I've been on the VERY restrictive diet from Heal Your Headache 1-2-3 Program, for more than 2 months, I've run a course of steroids, I do yoga in the AM and I haven't used ANY preventative Meds in 12 weeks so I know that they aren't rebound. AND I am STILL getting headaches everyday
 
I'm on Depo-provera, but I'm not sure if that could be a contributing factor.
 
I feel pretty certain that the headaches are food related somehow. They like to show up 1-3 hours after I eat, and my gut instinct just seems to tell me that they are. But I removed  so many headache "trigger" foods due to the 1-2-3 Program book that I don't know what to do next.
 
I am really at my wits end and don't know where to turn next.
Should I try to get rid of all dyes, preservatives and additives? What about wheat or sugar?
Should I request a referral to a nutritionist? Any other things I may have missed?
 
Thanks to anyone who might respond.
 
 
 
 

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/14/2005 10:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello naidagrrrl,
 
Welcome! I'm sorry to hear about your struggle with migraines. As you said, it's something we all struggle with on this forum.
 
It sounds like you're on the right track to figuring it out. Unfortunately as you're learning it's a long and arduous process. As you read in the Heal Your Headache Book many neurologists believe in a headache threshold. So while a food, preservative or envrionmental factor may trigger you one day it may not another.
 
I have found that preservatives and MSG are my triggers. I found that my husband and I were eating many ready made things that come in boxes, frozen or out of packages. Once I read the book Heal Your Headache I was able to tell what was in them that triggered my headaches.
 
I have also found that yeast is a trigger. Yeast helps food expand and also seems to make my blood vessels expand. I found this with the help of a naturopath and an elimination diet. Be careful if you try this route, they will tell you to cut out milk, wheat, sugar and often meat. I can't live on that restrictive a diet. I cut out what I was sure triggered me and eat what I know doesn't. I have found that as long as we make it from scratch I'm pretty good. I don't eat bread because of the yeast but do have wheat in other things. A naturopath will tell you to stay away from white flower but I hate brown so I cut down on the amount of white flower. I drink milk though am cautious about sinus headaches because milk causes phlegm.
 
You said you haven't taken preventatives for 12 days, do you mean over the counter pain medications like Advil. I ask because when you said you were taking 4 Advil a day that can cause rebounds and interfere with Topamax.
 
Have you considered environmental factors? Certain smells bother me. Rain storms trigger headaches for me and I can't do much about it and stress is another trigger.
 
As for the Depo-Provera, it is preferred for migraine sufferers because it doesn't contain estrogen, but it can trigger headaches. What about other medications? Are there any others you're taking that can trigger headaches?
 
And finally, how is your sleep? Do you sleep well? Do you sleep through the night? Does your schedule vary a lot? Any of these can trigger a migraine.
 
Hope these help a bit. Keep in touch 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


naidagrrrl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/15/2005 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the reply.

I definitely agree with the threshold theory. Its just so hard to find what contributes to the levels. I am frustrated beyond all belief and I know that must not help...

Husband and I were always really good eaters - we always made every thing from scratch and eat a lot of organics. So preservatives had never been too much of a concern until now that I've ruled so many other things out...

I'm literally at a loss as to what my triggers are. I've taken EVERYTHING from the book out for 2 months and Still get my headaches. That's what's so frustrating.

The wheat and sugar angle is intrguing they may be the next to go, but I think I will need a nutritionist to help me with that as there is NO way I am getting enough vitamins and things now that I am on such a restricttive diet (even more than the book said).

I've been off all fixative meds for 12 weeks that's OTC and the Midrin that the Neuro had prescribed. I went cold turkey as the book had recommended and that was no picinic. So I know that none of the headaches are rebound. No other meds than Topomax. Other than headaches I'm pretty darn healthy.

Thanks to the Topomax I sleep well. about 7 hours a night. More restfully than before I went on the meds so that's a blessing. I do agree about rainstorms and changes in barometric pressure. I've noticed those headaches. They aren't any fun and I can't do anything about them.

Thanks for your help and advice. I have to go see my neuro on Tuesday. I am going to ask him what he thinks about the sugar/wheat theory, see if I can get a referral to a nutritionist and I may see if I can go off the Topomax onto something different - if 200mg isn't helping these headaches I want to try something else


laura l.
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 10/28/2005 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there :-) ,
Just thought you would want to know that Depot Provera  can definitely exacerbate migraines (and can cause headaches in people who never had them before.)  If you have other (especially non-hormonal) contraceptive options, you might want to consider them.  Whatever other factors are affecting your migraines, the Depot Provera might be a significant one.  It's worth discussing with your physician, anyway.  Hope this is helpful.
Laura L. (M.D.)

Bill007
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/29/2005 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
See a cardiologist. Get a TEE done. That showed the problem. I got it fixed. No migraines. A hole in the heart that didn't close after birth. Free at last ! Daughter had migraines too, she got the TEE, same problem, she got hers fixed also. See TEE on future posts. -Bill
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