Migraines- for blossom thursday

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by stagename, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. stagename

    stagename New Member

    I've been doing a lot of reading about headaches and i've noticed so many posts and questions lately about these things. Many many of us suffer from pain, numbness, tingling, weakness down one arm or one side of the body. Also many of us suffer from pain, numbness, pressure, tingling, swelling in our head, ears and face. This is all related.

    FM/CFIDS patients often suffer from migraine. Migraine refers to an illness with many symptoms, not just headache.
    numbness, tingling, weakness, yawning, are some of the lesser known ones, either as a precursor or with headache.

    FM/CFIDS and migraine are both serotonin deficient illnesses. Many of the symptoms of migraine are listed as symptoms of FM. That makes sense.

    Migraine actually refers to the swelling of blood vessels in your head, which includes sinuses, and can be manifested as puffy eyes, sore ears, sore teeth, sore face, stuffy nose, sinus type headache, up to full blown migraine headache with blinding pain, nausea, vomiting etc. That's why an ice pack on your neck and forehead help stop a migraine.

    The numbness in your head, or ear pain, or numb fingers can all be part of migraine - even if it never progresses to a full blown migraine headache attack. I get numb lips and face, tingling on my scalp, weakness and numbness down one side of my body, ear pain etc. You can have the numbness or any other symptom for days before getting a headache, or without ever getting a headache. It's all migraine-mechanism related. My friends and family always know when i've got one coming on from my one half-closed eye.

    When you have triggers, (like food sensitivities, chemicals, not enough or too much sleep, missed meal etc) the migraine mechanism begins. Too many triggers and you reach a threshold, and then comes the blinding pain and puking. But, under the threshold, you may experience some of the other symptoms, or a mild sinus type headache.

    Migraine meds target this swelling of blood vessels and others are just for pain. Meds like imitrix, zomig, etc are agonists. They will reduce the swelling, stopping the migraine in it's tracks. Pain meds will help you get through the pain. If the pain meds wear off before the migraine does, you take more. If you take an agonist, such as imitrix, and you don't have a migraine, it won't help. It's not a pain pill. If you have a migraine, and you take pain pills, they may or may not help.

    So often, this is diagnosed as sinus trouble when there is no trouble.

    If you are having these symptoms, research migraine, change your diet and talk to your doctor. THere are great migraine meds that are not narcotics that will give you your life back.

    <[This Message was Edited on 06/08/2006]
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I agree, to a point - let's not forget about biofeedback (thermal) - it works, and without drugs!

    look at Fathertroll's thread about him winning gold medal in powerlifting and his response to me about biofeedback. . .

    My ? is whether or not people find different antihistamines work for different allergy seasons, and I guess I could add, do different migraine meds work at different times. . .

    it seems like it would maybe go along with the fact that many of us find something helps us feel better energy wise etc., for a while, and then it stops working.

    Victoria
  3. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    posted before about my migraines, which were "cured" by eliminating nickel from my diet. I knew I have nickel allergies because of my earrings, but had no idea it was very high in some foods. (and cigarettes, but I gave them up years ago)
  4. stagename

    stagename New Member

    i'm glad you pointed that out- not everyone relies on meds to overcome migraines.

    my main reason for posting this was not to suggest the meds, but to explain the symptoms. it seems like almost every day someone posts saying 'my arm is numb' or 'my face is numb' or 'i have sinus headaches but they can't find anything wrong with my sinuses'.
  5. cinnamon-4

    cinnamon-4 Member

    My daughter has severe migrains and has a hard time finding some help with them. I have had her to many docs and not much help. She is 21 now and still a rough road. THanks again and I will give her this info. She does not have cfs or fm. Thanks again.
  6. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    Thank you for the info. I'm having a tough time right now. Maybe you have some ideas for me? I had migraines when I was a teen and then they pretty much disappeared. I am 47 now, but my migraines were not triggered by my monthly cycle, they were random. I didn't realize that was what they were. Then about 3 years ago I started getting them I was getting a headache and yes thought it was sinus' everyday but a migraine about once a week with vomiting etc. Went to the Dr. who put me on blood pressure med. Then, what I thought was migraine's stopped, but the sinus headaches came and went off and on. I now realize they were migraines, just not as intense as the blood pressure med was suppressing them somewhat. I've continued to have aura's everyday since that time. I then developed a sleep disorder..I think because I was suppressing the actual headache and not realizing it and was being awakened many, many times a night by the aura, or maybe it was there all along and I was just so used to it I didn't notice it. From that point came the fatigue, pain and the diagnosis of CFS. I had a sleep study done and an MRI. The sleep study showed that I didn't go past stage 2 sleep except for about 6% of the night. Would that or the mri have shown migraine aura activity? Anyway, about 6 wks ago I mentioned to my Dr that I was "seeing things" during the day like I do at night and that's when she told me I was having migraine aura's without the headache. First I knew that could happen and a lot fell into place. Working on getting that under control with 50mg of topamax but it's not doing a lot yet. I still have aura's triggered by anything that flashes especially if the light is muted. Or, by things like a mosaic tile, or if I look up or down. That's a lot of info, I know. Thanks for any input you might have and for the info you already posted. Lendi
  7. stagename

    stagename New Member

    Those of us with CFS/FM often have migraine. i don't mean just the headaches, but the illness, with the auras, frequent or chronic sinus-type headache, all that you're describing.

    FM and migraine are both serotonin deficient illnesses. So, it makes sense that you are noticing a change in your headaches since your CFS dx. Often, people with FM/CFS had migraines as children. (is the serotonin deficiency lifelong? genetic? i don't know, but i think so).

    I don't think the migraine aura activity is visible on MRI. From my research, some people with migraine have brain lesions visible on MRI. But that is indicative of damage, not activity.

    The sleep disturbance is a part of FM/CFS. It is either part of the cause or a symptom of the root cause, but it, in itself, causes many of our symptoms. For example, sleep regulates pain, mood, digestion, muscle and cell regeneration, cognitive function, memory, attention span, concentration, etc... It's not surprising that your sleep study showed a disturbance. We all have it.

    See a doctor about the migraine symptoms. You can take zomig or imitrix or something when you get the aura and not wait for it to be a full-blown migraine. You should try to identify and avoid your triggers, like food, flourescent lights, smells etc. But, if you can't avoid them, and you get the aura, you can medicate it.

    let me know if that helps or if you have more questions.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/19/2004]
  8. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    Thanks for the info. My Dr. and I are working on it :) I have aura's multiple times a day, everyday so can't take the zomig with each aura but do have it for when the headaches do come with them. I have an appt. with my neuro next month. It does bring a lot of comfort knowing I'm not alone. I think I was hoping that the sleep disturbance was actually the aura's all along and maybe not CFS <wistful sigh> :) Thank you for your help. Lendi
  9. stagename

    stagename New Member

    if you medicated when you had an aura, you wouldn't have several a day. it would stop the migraine mechanism. you may find that you only medicate once a week. you may be having an almost constant state of migraine.
  10. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    So, if I take the zomig even if it's just for the aura, it might work like with the headache and stop the darn thing in it's tracks. In otherwords, I might be having one very long migriane. Dang, why didn't I think of that. Thanks!!! :)
  11. CAROLED

    CAROLED New Member

    Hi you guys,
    I've had migraines for 14 years, chronic daily headache for around 6 years, & Fibro for maybe 3 years. Unfortunately, that means I've tried A LOT of different drugs for head pain.

    There is a potential problem with using any type of analgesic pain meds or " abortives" like Imitrix for head pain. You want to be very careful to not over-use them or you can end-up with "REBOUND" headaches / migraines. These occur when the medication is present in the system too often and the body learns to need it - then you get a headache / migraine and need to take the drug again.....

    I had a daily headache that lasted for 2 years until someone told me it might be caused by all the Excedrin, Vicodin, etc... that I was taking for it. It took about 2 weeks of hell (NO MEDS) to flush my system, but I was able to get back to some days with no headache.

    A year later, I was on day 14 of a migraine when I learned that Triptans like Imtrix can ALSO cause rebound. This time it took a week off of the drug (sick as a dog / throwing-up / HORRIBLE MIGRAINES) to flush my system and get back to my normal pattern.

    Now I'm careful to use Imitrix no more than 3 times per week, and Excedrin no more than 4 times per week. Because of that along with the Magnesium supplement I'm taking, I can sometimes go for days without having headaches.

    I wish you luck with any new migraine meds you try! I know that Imitrix in particular has been a real blessing for me. Just be careful that you don't cause yourself extra problems by using too much.

    There is a GREAT message board for Migraines - search under "migrainepage" or "Rhonda's migraine page" and you should find it.

    Carole
  12. stagename

    stagename New Member

    I was having constant sinus type headaches from the years of analgesic use for fibro. i was using tylenol or advil every four hours for years for back, neck, hand and leg pain. i ended up with a headache that lasted for ten weeks. yes, 10 weeks.

    i haven't had the same problem with imitrix, but with avoiding dietary triggers, managing my hypoglyc., not skipping sleep, i manage to only need to use it once a week. any more frequently than that, and there are prophylactics for migraines that you can be prescribed.

    interestingly, they are often anti-convulsants.
    thanks, Carole.

    the main reason i posted the first long post about sinus type pain and stuff was that people seem to use painkillers for these headaches, when it would be better to use one imitrix/week or two, than to use perc, tylenol etc. every day.
  13. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    Thanks for the link idea Carole.
    I'm truly trying hard ladies. I don't take any otc med as I take voltaren daily so can't take ibuprofen. And, already take anti-convulsent med topamax also restoril which I found out that is now used as a sleep med but was paradoxically first an off label use as sleep as it was first also an anti-convulsant med. I've also cut out artificial sweetener and sugar, chocolate...that was hard, almost all caffeine only 1 cup of coffee so I guess that 1 cup is next. The only other triggers I don't know how to cut out as I have to go outside and go to work etc. so if there are others that I'm missing let me know. I appreciate the help. I am much better, but sure would like to go forward even more :)
  14. stagename

    stagename New Member

    i'll copy a post i wrote last week for this:

    Migraine culprits (not for everyone, but common):
    red wine
    aged cheese
    *msg (known as lots of different things on food labels)
    *nitrates (hot dogs, bacon, ham, deli meat, luncheon meat)
    aspertame
    smoke
    perfume
    cleaners/chemicals
    caffeine (for some)
    chocolate (for some)
    citrus and other fruits (lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry)
    *really common, reallly bad for you.

    Sinus Headache triggers because these things cause you to make more mucus (this list was given to me by my ENT surgeon following surgery):
    milk and dairy
    eggs
    mushrooms
    peanuts and seeds (i sneeze so bad with sesame oil)
    vinegar (including BBQ sauce, salad dressing etc)
    banana
    coffee
    tea

    The migraine culprits are avoided completely. The sinus culprits are used sparingly. If you have milk in your tea, butter on your toast, cheese at lunch, and cheesecake after supper, you'll get a build up of sinus congestion, even chronic headaches. But if you cut it out almost completely, and save it for really important things, like sour cream on your potato the one time a week you go out for steak, it helps a lot. You'll notice that you may sneeze and see a reaction after eating it.

    does that help?
  15. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    and, one more bump for others.
    I'm keeping a migraine diary to try to figure it out. I'm already avoiding those with the exception of 1 cup of coffee and cheese. I'll try cutting those out. Luck to all. Stagename has given some very excellent information of which I'm grateful. Thanks.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/26/2004]
  16. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I've had migraine for years, as did my mom, and now both of my daughters. Imetrix literally changed my life. I wouldn't travel or plan things because I was afraid I would get a headache, now I take the Imetrix at the first sign, yup, even just the aura, and I very seldom have a full blown migraine unless I wake up with it.

    I do avoid certain foods (processed meat, aged cheese), MSG (big time trigger), and try to stay away from diesel fumes which will set me off in an instant!

    Recently described my blurred vision to my sister and she said take a pill! Her friend and her friends sisters all have what they term "fuzzy eye" just before a migraine hits. I didn't know what it was. Only knew it was hard to drive, read, carve, sew when it happened. It blocks out the center of vision in each eye and I find myself trying to look around it. Now that I know what it is, I take the Imetrix and it goes away.

    Also had the doc recommend vitimen B and feverfew. I understand the feverfew will help you build a tolerance to your triggers. I've taken it for about 6 months, haven't noticed any difference, but I'm willing to keep trying!

    Hugzz!
  17. mjgkennedy

    mjgkennedy New Member

    Bump For Stagename
  18. Tigger57

    Tigger57 New Member

    Very interesting. No wonder nothing was treating my "sinus headaches". The only thing that worked usually was waiting it out by going to be and having the room completely dark and put earplugs in for the quiet.

    I'm still amazed that the migraine went away with the Zomig. Funny though.... afterwards it hurt to touch my head (and just about any place on my body).

    Feel better this morning. Again, thanks for bumping this thread. You guys are the best!
    Hugs,
    Tigger
  19. stagename

    stagename New Member

    stops the migraine because it affects the blood vessels that are swollen in your head. it's great. it works for me. the only problem with it is it cna't be taken with some other meds.
  20. Tibbiecow

    Tibbiecow New Member

    Be VERY careful of rebound!!! Any of the triptans can cause it (Zomig, Imitrex, etc.) and do NOT take more than prescribed. It took a course of methadone, which binds to pain receptors much longer than other opiates, to get me off the zomig problem.

    Also, MSG is nasty stuff and will have an effect on anyone who takes it, even if they don't get a migraine. It simply makes one's nervous system more sensitive. Definitely NOT what any fibro people need! It is used to make things taste more intense. If you very carefully avoid it, you can develop the ability to "taste" it in food if you unintentionally get some.

    What really burns me is that so many food manufacturers hide MSG in their ingredient list, and this is completely legal. For instance, some food additives are a source of MSG, but are not purified MSG, so they list "NATURAL FLAVOR" or "Hydrolyzed Soy Protein" or "Autolyzed Yeast Extract". The list goes on, and can be researched by doing a web search on MSG. This is an almost guaranteed migraine trigger for anyone who gets migraines.

    By the way, chicken broth and ranch dressing are almost always potent sources of MSG. Don't think that because a label reads "no MSG added", that it doesn't contain MSG, either. They just put in Autolyzed yeast extract instead. Same headache. Also, don't think that just because you are in a health food store, that you'll be OK. 99% of the soups that I have found in health food stores list some source of MSG in their ingredient list. And tofu is very often "seasoned" with MSG as well as other flavor enhancing ingredients, simply because it doesn't taste like much without any seasoning! "Garden Burgers", too.

    Tibbie