Migraines from Chemical Sensitivities

by Tara

I seem to get migraines from putting gas in my car and from plastic items! Have you ever heard of that? I just started getting migraines out of the blue and me and my doctor never found any disturbing cause - thankfully.

Years later, luckily, I keep a diary, I noticed that it was right at the same time I - got a new bed, got new leather couch, new car, and most recently finally figured it out with a new fan. Yes - a fan, every time I turned it on to cool down the house, I got a migraine.

Seems I am allergic to the 21st century of plastic items.

I read that book you recommended - Breaking Out of Environmental Illness - and well it just all started to make sense. Thanks for that by the way. Now I have an idea what to do. I take more care, but I still get migraines. But I must say, I at least feel a little more in control now.

Can't avoid my allergies that cause migraines, but I can treat myself with care and know that I am not alone. Who knew a fan could cause a migraine.

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Depression over Daily Migraines

by SH

I have been reading your blog for 2 days now. In my very depressed state I am searching for any cure for my headaches and migraines. I have decided to seek help from the internet.

I have had migraines since I was 12. I am 33 years old now, meaning more than 20 years of suffering. The past 3 years or so my migraine headaches have been daily. I take Imitrex on a daily basis and it helps, it completely eliminates my pain, but I fear it destroys the body.

I also feel that this triptan is addictive. Totally addictive. I think it has made my situation worse. I was considering trying 1-2-3 approach of Dr. David Buchholz, but he says to throw away all pain relievers - including of course - my Sumatriptan. What shall I do then? I will have migraines every day?

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My Simple Cure For Migraines!

by Adrianne Danen
(Gold Coast QLD Australia)

I have suffered migraines for over 20 years and tried all the medicines available. I avoid red and white wine; matured cheeses (mild cheeses are ok); dark chocolate (milk and white chocolate is ok); combining orange juice with dark chocolate; MSG (all sorts) and too much salt/sodium.

I gladly share my simple cure for migraine with you which attacks the `beast` head on!

If vomiting drink 1/2 cup tonic water then wait 5 minutes. This settles the stomach.

Take two Aspro-Clear or soluble aspirin (2 x 300mg).

Take some effective laxatives. I use Laxettes extra strength senna tabs and take 3.

Take a herbal diuretic or 2 celery seed capsules with a full glass of water.

Put some Vicks under your nose or use a vicks nasal inhalant.

Have a shower and stretch all your joints especially your neck and back, then alternate hot and cold water or put your feet in a bucket of ice water if water is in short supply.

Have a teaspoon or so of honey.

It is important that all these steps, with the exception of the tonic water are followed through. Relief is obtained quickly and easily!

Have a great day!

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Will They Ever Stop?

by Joe LaValla
(Sandwich, IL. USA)

My story begins all the way back in 1997 when I was 7 years old and I had my first ever migraine. I can still remember it to this day with the extreme light sensitivity, having to be in a pitch black room with as little noise as possible and feeling like a vice grip was just getting tighter and tighter around my head.

Fast forward 19 years and to this day as I'm typing this out, I've missed worked for the 6th time this month due to a migraine. I feel like my migraines are taking over my life and I have no control over it.

I've missed some very important things in my life due to my migraines and have even lost a job due to them. I've missed out on so many fun and crazy adventures with my friends because of them. I almost missed the happiest day of my life when my son was born.

I've been hospitalized for hitting my head on sinks, toilets and bathtubs from vomiting due to my migraines and I have almost been killed due to my migraines from passing out from the pain while driving.

In the last 19 years I've seen so many doctors and have had so many tests done that I can't even recall them. I'm told one thing by one doctor, then one thing by another. I'm told this option will work but we're not going to do it because he doesn't want to do it and so on and so forth. It is so maddening! So now I'm waiting again to see another new doctor and hopefully it will be my last doctor.

I know I skipped over a lot in my story and it might have sounded more like complaining but I really don't have anyone to talk to about these because they think I'm just making it up so I don't have to do anything or go into work which is not the case at all.

All I can say to anyone who is or has suffered from these horrible things, just know that you're not alone and there are plenty of people out there who understand 100% of what you are going through.

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Migraine from Hell

by Gena

I have a long history of migraines. I remember getting my very first migraine at age ten. I just cried and cried. The strange thing is I never got one again until I was in my mid twenty’s.

I get the aura and that's how I know I’m getting a migraine. As soon as the aura goes away the migraine usually hits like a ton of bricks with no mercy. The pain is usually so intense I usually start crying and put myself in a dark quite room.

My senses get heightened to smell, light, sound, and I get nauseated. Usually, as soon as I throw up the pain decreases. I was seeing a neurologist that prescribed me muscle relaxants and anti-nausea medications with Imitrex. So, I have tried Imitrex but sometimes - well most times, it doesn't work. Maybe my timing is off. In the past I have even tried drinking a can of coke and eating a full chocolate candy bar and taking an Imitrex. But I usually end up throwing up everything.

My pain is usually one-sided to the right side of my temple or left or sometimes on both sides. It feels like someone has my head in a vice and is crushing my head until it blows. At this point I usually am crying so hard – I think it helps just a little with pain. I tried breathing techniques but they didn’t help.

When I get my migraines I don't function well, my coordination is off and my speech is usually confused. I will say things that don’t make sense or I won't recall what I just heard.

I also get the post migraine munchies where I eat like crazy and crave cold fluids and comfort foods. I usually feel brain foggy for one or two more days after an attack.

Today was the worst of all. I work at a hospital so I didn't have to drive to get medical attention. I went to the ER as soon as my aura started and my coordination was off. As soon as I was triaged I was put in a dark quite room. I was given a shot of Imitrex subcutaneous. About thirty minutes later my pain increased and I became nauseated. I was then given a shot of Phenergan to help with the nausea.

About another thirty minutes went by, my pain had increased and I was now crying and needed immediate relief. My head was throbbing. I felt like I was going to pop the veins in my temple. I also started throwing up and kept vomiting but my stomach was empty. I then started noticing my neck muscles on my right side started cramping up. At this point I asked for a muscle relaxant, but because they figured it was a typical migraine they declined and said they would continue treating the migraine.

So then they started an IV and gave me some Dilaudid for pain control but I got nauseated from that too. So I got some Zofran via IV and I also received 2 IV blouses. At this point my head was still in a lot of pain and I was just sleepy. My sister came and picked me up and drove me home and I slept it off for about three hours.

Now I have the post migraine soreness. My neck was still tight so I took 5mg of muscle relaxant. Finally my head doesn't hurt anymore but I still have to be careful because if I get up too fast or turn in a certain direction the pain starts up again.

Today was a migraine from hell and I think I know the trigger!

I changed to a gluten free diet and have tried very hard to stick to this lifestyle. Since being on a GF diet my migraines have stopped 100% unless I accidentally eat gluten. I have also been on a dairy free diet because I am lactose intolerant as well.

Sometimes I accidentally eat gluten. Yesterday, I ate a tamale from a food vendor and I didn't check the ingredients. This is the third time I have had a migraine after eating a tamale. I think I am done with eating tamales after today!

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Families and Migraines.


How do migraine episodes affect familial relationships? In this writer's experience, the beginning signals, the 'prodome' that the migraine is coming on is expressed by a high degree of energy, a demanding drive to do something...quite often reckless and aggressive. The temperament changes, one is edgy, the nervous system is on the outside rather than where it should be...so many things are found to irritate me. The difficulty for others to be around a being in this state is extremely difficult which, is why I literally go to a room for 3-4 days just to let this manifestation express itself. No one else should suffer what another brings to the table. 'IT,' is me...not a part of me...but most surely me.

It is for this reason, that I have not married, nor had children. I knew at an early stage, that to be around me would both trigger and be on the receiving end of these episodes. Highly unfair to inflict others with what one is.

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Does Botox Help Migraines

I Waited Too Long To Try Botox

Having had migraines for forty years (since I was 12), I have tried many many different remedies, treatments and medications, most of which help to an extent. For about a year now my neurologist has been patiently suggesting I try Botox.

Having done some Google research and discovered that a few people end up getting a dreadful headache just from the injections themselves, I decided against it. Also hated the idea of putting toxins into my body.

Finally, about four months ago, having reached 'medication over-use headache' saturation point, the neurologist told me I had to limit my medication use (I use Relpax when I get an attack - find it more effective than Naramig, which I took for years) to just 2-3/week! Clearly impossible during term-time (I'm a teacher) when I was getting them almost daily.

Both my job and my family were suffering as a result and my husband and I once again searched for alternatives, which included another look at Botox.

Interestingly, it had just been approved for inclusion on the (Australian) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (the PBS), which made it slightly more affordable. With precious little choice open to me, I finally gave in and booked an appointment.

The 31 needles in my head, neck and shoulders were pretty painful, but I got through it by listening to a guided meditation. While I still had to pay for most of the neurologist session, I got just over a third back on the cost of the actual Botox.

The next couple of days I suffered on as usual, but by Day 6 my head was sparingly clear. Since then I've had periods of up to 12 days (unthinkable!) without any kind of migraine - or tension headache, which I also used to be plagued with.

My life changed completely. I had time to do things, see people, get work done on time, dare to plan things. Extraordinary.

And no side-effects (other than a slightly smoother forehead!). About 6-7 weeks after the treatment the migraines gradually started to come back and now (9 weeks on) I'm getting them almost as frequently as before. Nothing like as intensely though.

Both the neurologist and my local doctor assure me it's normal to have to go through this wearing-off period and that I'm not alone. They also say that the more treatments you have, the longer the effect lasts.

So I am still extremely hopeful. Can't wait for the next treatment - and for the migraine freedom I know will follow. I feel the need to shout about it from the rooftops as if it can help me, it can help others too. They say it works for people getting migraines at least half the time, so I guess it's not for everyone. Always worth asking though.

Financially, it's expensive at first but I've taken way less (expensive!) medication, needed way fewer massage and acupuncture sessions - and gained days and days of time! We reckon it's probably costing less than if I hadn't had the treatment.

So if you're hesitating about Botox, go and talk to your doctor/neurologist. It might just be that one treatment that makes a difference.

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Occipital Neurologa Migraines - a.k.a. Occipital Horn Syndrome

by Jennifer

Well I have had migraine since about 1997 on and off. I am currently a 29 yr old female from NJ. Over the past 3 months they have become debilitating, I am no longer working as a dental assistant, which I have done for 7 yrs. I am married, we've been together for about 4yrs. No kids. He has already seen me through ovarian cancer in 2009, I am well and over that! : ) I do suffer from mild epilepsy and mild depression since 1997 (high school years) also.

I take Topomax on a daily basis which is for seizures in conjunction for migraines 200mg a day. It works well for seizures NOT for migraines at all. I have been taking Zoloft 200mg for about 4 yrs & have found it not to work either. I have recently taken that DNA swab test which matches you to medication, so apparently Zoloft is not a match for me and Effexor is. So I am switching.

Back to migraines, over the past 3 months it has been non-stop searing pain. I was diagnosed with occipital neuralgia on the right side. Why or how? Who knows!! I have tried the following to no avail: heat, ice, lots of sleep, little sleep, lavender oil, quercetin, co enzyme, B12 , skull cap, feverfew, butterbur, magnesium, multivitamin, Flerexil, Zanaflex, Fioricet, 3 occipital injections, 1 supra injection, a 6 day steroid pack to calm the nerve, Imitrex, lotion no. 10 numbing cream, drinking lots of water until I had clear pee, acupuncture, chiropractic, changing my diet - no caffeine at all. I never really drank soda or coffee. No chocolate. I tried upping my protein, even though my blood tests said my vitamin levels & blood counts were normal, blood pressure is very good. I am happy about that.

So what in the world is causing it?!?!? Yes my body mass index is over, I am a bit on the heavy side, certainly not obese. Larger woman, but tall, and honestly asking many of my Doctors "do I need to lose weight if all my blood levels are fine?" and their answers being "no, not unless you are unhappy with how you look". I also have lost weight to try & help but that didn't either!

Any hows, so where has taking all these different pain pills left me? I don't take them unless I have to. I know how they work, all of them just lead to having to take more and higher doses. My biggest fear is becoming like my father who was addicted to pain pills for his back. The small amounts I have taken to dull the pain have left me tired and unable to do basic tasks. My mind, these past few months I have become a monster, flying off the handle at the smallest of things my usual self would just brush off. I have hit a wall, a window, and threw down a fan. These things are not me. It is the constant pain causing anger in me to lash out at I can't even remember what. I am also suffering short term memory loss. But the scariest is this sudden blind rage. I am not mad all the time I just feel extremely guilty for these 'moments' I do have.

My husband is truly wonderful and my best friend. So my next step is my pain management. My Doctor wants to 'burn the optic nerve' further down, I believe its called a rhizotomy. This does cause a numbing of one side of ones' scalp. The procedure is a series of 3 injections done under twilight anesthesia. Sometimes this nerve grows back. Sometimes it grows back fine, sometimes with pain. Out of 200 patients my Doctor has had only 1 in which it ever grew back, and in this particular patient it did cause pain again. So you would just get it 'reburned'. I have looked everywhere online for videos on this procedure, it's very frustrating the lack of understanding & overall information available to people. Well I have a numbing test next week to see if I qualify for this rhizotomy in the first place, if I don't well.... well now what else? (I hope this all made sense I wrote it with a migraine!)

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