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Killing a Migraine

Without A Drug Induced Haze

     
8:03 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Giving myself shots of Imitrex worked briefly, narcotics only dull the pain and after two days I'm really looking forward to a pain free day.

Anyone else plagued with random devastating migraines? The kind of migraines where a phone ringing in the house next door feels like tiny hammers banging away on yer noggin? How do you cope?

8:05 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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not quite high tech, but a frozen back of peas, held on the pack of your neck - does wonders ;)

That and keep your forehead cold...its where all the blood is.....you should do less SEO, though on the same note im no doc :)

8:08 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to hear you're unwell DG.

Would I be right in saying that your sleeping habbits leave a little to be desired? - Bet I am...

I don't suffer from migraines thank goodness so I'm not certain if it would have any effect but have you tried conforming to some kind of routine with sleep and excersise as a way of minimizing the amount you get these problems?

As for releiving symptoms I'm afraid I'm stumped..

Nick

8:24 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I suffer from them too. Not nice and certainly not fun.
They seem to knock me out for 2 days, even WITH the drugs. I turn into a cabbage.

I don't know of any natural remidies, but I swear by Migralieve Duo (available in the UK - don't know about anywhere else in the world). Take 2 pink tabs at the first sign of migraine and it solves most problems - but there's yellow ones to take if the symptons carry on (I've not had to try these yet). They can make you sleepy (which is a good thing if you've got a migraine in my opinion), but they do the job. The key is taking them before the migraine develops.

What else? Go home, take a day off and just stay in bed sleeping, and eating chicken soup.

JP

8:32 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Try searching in Google for:

migraine magnesium

Many of the symptoms linked to migraines are identical to symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as sensitivity to noise.

My husband used to get migraines from being around my family (I'm not kidding). His migraines stopped when we moved out of state. He did get one again when my parents came to visit us.

I've only had one migraine in my life, but it was very scary. I had a white out kind where I had trouble even seeing. I know what caused it though. My hair dresser had given me a new shampoo to try and then the migraine came on right after that. As soon as I washed my hair again with my regular shampoo, it went away.

My father-in-law got a migraine when we took him to a hands on children's museum that was very noisy.

I think that magnesium still played a role in all of the cases in our family though, as stress, loud noises and allergic reactions can all use up magnesium faster than normal.

8:35 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Would I be right in saying that your sleeping habbits leave a little to be desired?

Chronic insomnia since I was 13. I used to think it was a blessing that I could work for 3 days or longer with no sleep. Diagnosis? Reversed circadian rhythm. Cure? None known to man. ;)

I use melatonin and valerian, but that only seems to work when I've been up three days. The few days preceding the migraine are marked by a heightened sense of hearing. (I can pick up normal conversation from a block away or more, hear someone turning the pages of a book across the street and white noise makes me nuts) Add some random flashes of brilliant white light and what appears to be a soft ambient glow at all times even in totally dark rooms...

Right now narcotics have dulled the pain to a dull, heavy throb but I can hear the cockatoo upstairs picking seed out of his food tray and cracking the seed...

9:04 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to hear that DG, I have a neighbor that was greatly relieved of migraines (I believe that the "trick" is to catch it before it goes full blown) by using feverfew (it has something to do with smooth muscles), also a neck massage at the very onsent of symptoms.

You could do a feverfew+migraine search on your favorite SE.

[edited by: john316 at 9:15 pm (utc) on Mar. 30, 2003]

9:08 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Had em since I was a kid. Some of the things I use (aside from drugs):

- White noise. Turn a radio off station until the static is a quiet drone.. turn it down so it is audible but not intrusive. It really helps lessen the impact of those sudden noises from outside and stops that ringing in your ears that sometimes get from complete silence.

- Dark. Draw the curtains, turn off the lights, and when you lie down drape a handtowel over your eyes. (Don't use a mask on elastic or anything tied round your head.. it'll drive you nuts).

- Avoid ice.. extremes aren't a good idea. A cool damp towel if anything, but preferably use mild warmth to relax muscles.

- Olfactory. Part of my migraines is smell. I know I've got one coming on when milk smells off even if its perfectly fresh. Odd smells can really drive you batty, so make sure there are none, or better yet lightly scent the room you are in with something pleasant and relaxing.

- Ease muscle tension. For me, a huge part of migraines dragging on is that I get tense from the pain, the muscular tension induces more pain, and I get into a vicious cycle. To avoid this:

1 Give in. This is the biggest lesson I've learned in the last 20 years. Just give in. Forget the job, the housework, whatever else is around and deal with this migraine NOW, because 3 hours looking after myself now is going to save me three or four days of being miserable, and probably a whole day in bed later.

2 Lie down in a just-warm room flat on my back with a towel rolled under my neck (no pillow), another under my lumbar curve, and a pillow under my knees. You can lie comfortably in that supported position for hours. Relax. Do the thingy where you work your way up your body from your toes consciously relaxing all your muscles. It sounds silly, but it makes a difference.

3 Don't frown. I get massive muscular tension in my forehead, jaw and neck. Find a gentle anti-inflammatory cream (one that heats but doesn't burn) and massage it into these points.

- Conventional painkillers don't do diddly for me. They're ok for dealing with the 'hangover' - the dregs of pain following a migraine.. but that's about it. I've used anti-inflammatories with some success for several years.. pill form if I get it early enough.. injectable if later. Be careful of your stomach if you use these - I have a little baby ulcer to remind me now (less trouble than the migraines by far).

Hope these help a bit.

9:20 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I was diagnosed as a kid, and used to have the migraleave pick and yellow tablets.

For many years I've never really had many problems, and so now don't have a supply of tables etc

Over the last few months I think I have been having migraines again.... days of pain that normal paracetamol etc just don't shift

Can you remind me how you go about getting migraleave... do I need a perscription or can you get them over the counter at the chemist?

Thanks...

9:23 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The few days preceding the migraine are marked by a heightened sense of hearing.

hehe.. ok so maybe white noise isn't for you. :) Hypersensitivity is a bitch.

You might want to try it at different frequencies or volumes though... I have mine so quiet that no-one else in the room can hear it, but to me it's quite noticable.

Something I forgot... for anyone dealing with migraine:

If you find that taking pills doesn't seem to do anything for you, but hours later when the migraine is nearly gone you notice you become very clearheaded (like suddenly they kicked in), or you find yourself ravenously hungry before a migraine, but if you eat anything your stomach is uncomfortable and full for hours afterwards, you possibly have 'gastric stasis'.

It is a recognised symptom of migraine but not well known by many doctors. Essentially your digestive system shuts down for the duration. Anything you eat... including painkillers... is just gonna sit there in your stomach until its all over. Given that migraines can go on for extended periods, and you might be taking a pill every four hours or so, you can end up with a lot of drugs in your stomach just waiting to be digested (hence my ulcer).

If this is you.. stop taking the damn pills! It's time to go get an injection of something.

9:34 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hemp tea.

Unfortunately, the helpful substance in there is illegal in most jurisdictions, because people tend to overdose it smoking the stuff. THC is a surprisingly effective pain killer at very low doses (you need at least an order of magnitude more to get high from it). So if you can get hold of a few dried leaves, make yourself one cup of tea and chances are that the headache will be gone. Refuse the temptation to make (let alone drink) a full can.

This is not qualified medical advice. Apply responsibly.

9:36 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have migranes, but nothing like you describe. I usually try to separate myself from the pain. i.e. I "examine" it and try to put it in a bubble... Eh, forget it.. It's one of those inner eye/sense thingy stuff.

The pain remains, but the hurt is gone or mostly gone. Sort of a self hynosis.

Muscle relaxants (both pharmaceutical, herbal and behavioral) also seem to work - when my headaches are from stress.

9:52 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Eh, forget it.. It's one of those inner eye/sense thingy stuff.

Actually, with less severe headaches I use a similar technique, I visualize the pain as a bright red wheel that slowly spins, and as it spins small strands fray off the edges of the wheel, which continues to get smaller until it is just a little red dot before it vanishes.

Unfortunately, with a bad migraine, the wheel just runs over my head again and again... ;)

10:02 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Mine is three dimentional dark blob, that shift shape like an amoeba. The surface is rough like tree bark and is hot to the "touch", and is hard to mold. The goal is to turn it into a translucent pale blue blob with cool and extreemly slick surface. Then it becomes almost jello or water in a flacid baloon like. Once it gets there, I can move it around, and sometimes even outside.

Geesh :) What a freak...

10:03 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Actually, with less severe headaches I use a similar technique, I visualize the pain as a bright red wheel that slowly spins, and as it spins small strands fray off the edges of the wheel, which continues to get smaller until it is just a little red dot before it vanishes.

*lol* I used to use that same visualisation... but the spinning made me dizzy, so now I just visualise a red pulsing mass.... and make the edges turn black and crumble away to make it smaller.

10:07 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The though of trying to visulaise these things and make them do what i want would probably make things worse...

Knowing me, it wouldn't do what i wanted and I would get really frustrated, wound up and stressed ;)

LOL

An old guy I used to work with, used to say:

"I don't suffer from Stress, I was born before they invented it"

10:38 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I used to have migrains all the time. Many, many years ago I went through a period of trying to "fix" myself in all things, mostly emotional. I took a seminar that was supposed to do just that. Well, I'm not all fixed, but I did learn a trick that works for me with painful things like migrains, joint pain and muscle tension.

Instead of trying to make the pain go away, you try to feel the pain to its fullest, and then try to feel it more. Think about making it hurt even more than it does. After practice, it takes about one horrendous minute, but all of a sudden the pain is gone.

I've shared this technique with many friends and many have had the same success I have. One word of caution - one friend wasn't able to get rid of the pain but was very successfull throwing up which also seemed to relieve the pain a bit.

10:59 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I get migraines too, some pretty bad ones at that. When they are in full flow, they can knock me out for 3/4 days. Pretty horrible experience, the sickness, the numbness...yuk! What really pisses me off is when some of my work colleagues get a mild headache and say.."ooo, I think I`ve got one of your migraines". Yeah right!

Anyway, I`ve tried just about all the tablets and I find the best thing to be honest is a visit to the Osteopath now and again. Works wonders, especially as my problem seems to stem from my neck somehow.

:(

12:26 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Migraines are best treated by neurologists who treat only headaches--usually these specialists are only in major cities. Many treatments available. Very effective. Average neurologists have to see way too many patients suffering from way too many conditions to be 'up' on best migraine practices.

Also, read up on Topamax, you can order this Rx drug over Internet wothout perscription from overseas--I did. Isn't a wonder drug for everyone, but sure helps some people. Take daily. Read up on Botox for Migraine. Read up on epilepsy meds now used for migraine.

Get Imitrex tabs--get 100 mg and break in 1/3rds to save $. (For an acute attack.)

Go to the AstraZeneca website (maker of Zomig) and order the free copy of "Conquering Headache" by Alan Raport MD, Fred Sheftell MD & Stewart Tepper MD.

Just don't rely on half baked general practice MD advice--effective treatmemt often requires aggressive patient education and seeking out the migraine specialist neurologist--usually only one per city. It is not a lucrative specialty--these MD's do it REALLY just to help others.

I know, we are a whole family of migraine sufferers and family of physicians too.

1:04 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've suffered from the worst kind of migranes for over 30 yrs.Visual problems, nausea, numbness pain etc.
Never found a true cause or cure but everything listed above seems to help a bit. Age can diminish them too.
Only good thing is I sometimes get one hell of an endorphin rush as I recover :)
7:22 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Check out his page on migraines and magnesium deficiency:

www.naturalinvestor.com/nutritionsciencenews/NSN_backs/Mar_00/magnesium.cfm?path=ex

"The researchers summarize: "Magnesium deficiency could be involved in both the vascular and neurological aspects (e.g., migraine aura, pain, nausea, etc.) of the development of migraine. Our results support a role for magnesium deficiency in the development of headache."

8:58 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I've been helped by magnesium too. Since I started, maybe six months ago, I get maybe 75% fewer headaches. For months I kept taking it, not knowing whether it was working or if it was because I gave up caffeine too. I had a headache for a couple of days a few months ago, then suddenly realized I'd forgotten to take my magnesium for those days. It happened one more time after that when I'd forgotten my pills -- I don't forget them anymore.

And now when I get the rare headache, my major narcotics work really well. ;)

Ove

9:10 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You can use this medicin for Migrane

I have Horton headache and been to bed for a mounth now and i use needles for that it called Imigran and it helps me in 10 - 15 minutes.
I get 6 - 8 attacs a day so i have to take 6 - 8 needles a day. There is alot of that medicin you can take it with pills or nosespray but that not works for me. But i can recomed that you talk to the doctor that you should try the needles or the pills. Its very expensive medicin but its wourth it i promise you that.

Now i just have maybe two weeks left for it i have it 1 - 2 times a year and then iam sich for about 1,5 mounth.

Hope this medicin can help you! its worth a try

/Ove

9:27 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i dont think i have mmigraine but sometimes i get nice headaches...i usually take some aspirin which helps..

but since i visited vietnam last year i brough home some "medicine"- it is chinese balm...i never belived in things likethis but now i do :) it consist of menthol,camphor,methhyl salicytate as main ingredients - those are all well knows "agetns" in medicine so nothing "voodooo".. ..what i do is SNIFF(that word sound so funny) real hard through my nose and i feel the "fresh wave" coming directly to my brains ..usually headache is down within seconds..i dont know but it really helps bringing down the headaches instantly..

i probably dont have migraine since i never felt need to eat anything strogner than aspirine.

2:46 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The few days preceding the migraine are marked by a heightened sense of hearing. (I can pick up normal conversation from a block away or more, hear someone turning the pages of a book across the street

Perhaps you're just growing into your superhero powers? Like Clarke Kent, or Peter Parker.
7:12 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sounds off- but I've had great success with a massage therapist who puts one palm across my forehead just under the hairline and the other just above the hairline on the back of my head and does a short meditation.

My last one has help from a heart shaped aroma type pillow you microwave- it was slow, but did help me sleep off some of the worst part.

Of course- I try to hit it with handfuls of ibuprophen as soon as I start seeing orange spots which is my first definate sign that one's on the way.

7:16 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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viagra - ;)

I haven't had a noggin hammer in a long while. Last time I did I took valium and lay down in a very quiet and dark room for about 8 hours. But yours sounds a bit more extreme. Sorry to hear this.

10:02 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This works, but it is not a drug you get from your doctor so most people I tell won't do it to save themselves. But you really should give it a try:

hot peppers.
The more the better.

If you cannot eat them 'cause of the heat, wrap them in a piece of bread or anything that will protect your mouth from them. Eat a big healthy dose. Half a handfull if you can.

I don't know what it is, perhaps it sends the blood rushing to your stomach or something. But it cures me.

'course the next morning when nature calls....

12:20 am on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A friend of mine had severe migraines ... until he stopped eating chicken. Then the migraines completely went away.

So take a look at your diet ... there might be a correlation somewhere!

12:35 am on Apr 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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try a slow-sugar-release diet - the sort of things you'd do if you were diet-controlling type-2 diabetes. i.e. eat lots of starchy foods and avoid high sugar contents.
Be careful of caffeine.
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