View Full Version : Migraine Headaches

06-29-2007, 12:31 PM
Don't get them that often but this week I've had two:( First one was on Tuesday night - and it was a nasty one, the zig-zag flashing lines, followed by a horrible headache. Took 6 aspirins (the only thing which seems to work for me) over a period of 3 hours and went to bed. Woke up next day feeling wooly headed. Did not feel 100% all day. Miffed because the weather was not too bad and I took the car. Thursday felt better but still not 100%. Mid morning the zig zag flashing lines start up again. Swallowed another 3 aspirins. This time I didn't get the headache. Today I feel fine again.

Something triggered them off but I'm not sure what. The only two things I've eaten this week that are different to what I normally eat are a carton of honey and walnut yogurt and some cheddar cheese which has horseradish in it. Both these things I've eaten before with no problem, so I'm at a loss.

Anyone else get migraines and if so how do you deal with them? The worst thing is when I get a really bad migraine, sometimes I can't co-ordinate what I'm doing or speak properly. I know what I want to say, but can't say it. It can be a bit scary:(

06-29-2007, 05:23 PM
Anyone else get migraines and if so how do you deal with them?

Python feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns. I have severe migraines and go precious few days a month not in a lot of pain. How I deal with them varies but I am under the care of Neurologists.

The worst thing is when I get a really bad migraine, sometimes I can't co-ordinate what I'm doing or speak properly. I know what I want to say, but can't say it. It can be a bit scary:(

Okay, I have had several TIAs (mini-strokes) and quite definitely at east one stroke. What you described, lack of coordination and speaking difficulties (aphasia), are symptoms of a stroke and you need to go straightaway to hospital, so they can begin immediate neurology checks and proper treatment.

06-29-2007, 06:48 PM
Python, listen to BikingMomof3. If anyone knows the subtle differences between a migraine and a TIA or stroke, other than a neurologist, it's her!!

Get those specialists to check you out!

Hugs and healing butterflies,

06-29-2007, 11:38 PM
Hi Python,

Everyone's migrane is different. I get the flashing lightning bolt. hypersensitivity to heat, cold, sound, NO LIGHT. I can't make any visual sense. At other times, I know each word you are saying to me but I can't comprehend what you are trying to tell me. Words just don't connect.

Years ago, my doctor prescribed me Zomed. I took it once and it made it worse. Returned the rest to my doctor. After that horrible experience, I REFUSE to take any more migrane medication.

I don't deal with my migrane. It always wakes me up in the morning, and it has its own routine. Pounding head, the lightning bolt, throwing up, then pass out from exhaustion till 5ish in the late afternoon. Before I pass out, I close all the blinds in my bedroom, shut off the radio, curl up in my bed under a cover. I want it dark as possible. When I wake up I'm totally exhausted and sweaty. I take a long cool shower to soak my head and to ease the pain. Afterwards I eat a light supper then back to bed for real sleep.

So the whole day is wasted.

It started when I was around 12/13ish. Went away for few years when I started HRT. But this year, I've been getting about once a month again :mad:

oh its not just the lightning bolts, I sometimes can't make sense of what I see like I know its a cat but not at the same time. I can't really explain. Also the image splits or distorts. It is a real struggle to do anything.

Sometimes, I think my doctor doesn't believes me... My father never believed in headache until he suffered a stroke about 20 years ago. And he was a doctor no less. People who do not suffer migrane can't really understand what we go through. And especially a child back then. :mad:

I hope yours isn't anything like mine. Stress, work and lack of sleep, alcohol seems to trigger mine.


East Hill
06-30-2007, 01:40 AM
It started when I was around 12/13ish. Went away for few years when I
Sometimes, I think my doctor doesn't believes me... My father never believed in headache until he suffered a stroke about 20 years ago. And he was a doctor no less. People who do not suffer migrane can't really understand what we go through. And especially a child back then. :mad:

Gotta love those doctors who told you that PMS was all in your mind, and that your migraines were not real--you were simply a hypochondriac cluttering up their office keeping really sick people from getting the proper help :mad: .

At any rate, I am lucky. I use injectable Imitrex, and it's worked perfectly since 1993 when I first had it prescribed.

East Hill

06-30-2007, 04:22 AM
I have yet to have a full-fledged one but my neurologist thinks they are a possibility. I get this weird tunneling vision followed by a headache that makes me irritable to noise and I just go to sleep. My neurologist and eye doctor refer to it as the "aura of a migrane". Not sure what that mumbo jumbo means but I think they are saying that it is symptomatic of migranes without developing one? Right now Excedrin Migraine works just fine although I had a prescription for Midrin for a while.

My college roommate's sister had the vomit inducing ones. She would go missing for a day or two which scared the ****ens out of us. Hers were so bad she would just darken her dorm room, lock the door and hide under a blanket (she had a single dorm, no roommate). I hate when people get a bad headache and refer to them as migranes. I haven't truely known a migrane but I know that they are not a headaches!

Listen to BMO3 though, that sounds like it may be a little more serious. ((HUGS))

06-30-2007, 04:46 AM
Whilst I have no personal experience with migraines, my mum has had a few in the past.

Many days, when I lived at home, I would have to walk quietly around the house & hear mum throwing up in the toilet.

There's not much I could do to help her. But on occassions, I brought some lemonade & wine-gum lollies into her room, so she would have something to "eat".

She believes, her migraines were triggered by red wine & chocolate. Also, she hates the smell of chemicals, whether they be from nail polish remover or hair dye.

I hope you feel better, it must be horrible to suffer from migraines.

I'm just lucky all I have are bad sinuses. It's not great, but it's nothing a bit of fresh air can't fix.

Happy riding

06-30-2007, 08:17 AM
Oh yeah, red wine is a big trigger. My college roommate had migranes and a co-worker has them both said red wine was a trigger.

06-30-2007, 08:18 AM
I suppose I'm quite lucky in that I don't get them very often, but when I do, I do.

The worst one I've ever had was about 3 years ago after I'd eaten strawberries. I haven't eaten strawberries since. The weather sometimes brings them on, usually if it's thundery - and it's been thundery here for the past couple of weeks. I do know that tiredness can bring it on and for a couple of weeks prior to me getting the migraines again I didn't have a lot of sleep for one reason or another.

I don't think it's TIAs as my late mother used to get them (she was in her 80s) and the symptoms are different. I haven't eaten any cheese for a few days now (or yoghurt either) and so far so good. I'll be really miffed if it's the cheese that caused it as I LOVE that particular kind of cheese. Delicious toasted mmmmm:p The yoghurt I can quite happily live without.

The other time I was plagued with migraines was about 5 years ago when my son's kidneys first failed. All the stress of that brought them on with a vengeance. Once things settled into a routine, the migraines went so stress is probably one of my biggest triggers. Alcohol doesn't come into it because I very rarely drink and I seldom eat chocolate.

06-30-2007, 08:49 AM
My migraines get kicked off by stress headaches most of the time, but sometimes they just leap out at me for their own reasons.

If I can get some plain ol' ibuprofen during the aura stage (which for me is visual special effects and weird lightheadedness) I can ususally get it under control. I've taken 10-12 different migraine meds, but ibuprofen works the best.

If I miss the golden opportunity I get to spend the day hiding from the light and trying not to puke curled up in bed hoping I just pass out.

Python, have you told a doc about your really bad migraines? They sound pretty intense, along the lines of BMo3's stuff. (if she's worried about you, I'm gonna worry about you, too!)

06-30-2007, 06:16 PM
Your migraines sound just like mine were-- awful! I like to describe them as a really scary amusement park ride that you can't get off of. I also lost vision, and the ability to speak.

A visit to the chiropractor cured mine. I went for tension in my neck, and noticed that the migraines stopped. For prevention, I go about once a year. So much better than the Imitrex I was taking! It may not work for you, but it's worth a shot.

Good luck!

07-01-2007, 08:12 AM
Now funny you should mention neck. As it happens, over the past couple of weeks I've woken with a stiff neck. Think we need to turn our mattress. This has coincided with the migraines. I've rearranged my pillows over the past couple of days - and - no migraine. Several years ago I did go to an osteopath with some back problems so it could be I need to go again. I did wonder if the stiff neck and the migraines were linked.

07-02-2007, 10:35 AM
I get Ocular Migraines. They start out with a little "blank" spot, like what you would see if you looked at a bright light source and then looked away. It gradually increases to zigzags and larger blank spots, until it reaches a climax where everything is just going nuts with my vision. After that, it gradually tones down until I'm back to normal. The whole ordeal lasts 20-60 minutes. I guess I'm lucky that I usually do not get a headache with these migraines or, if I do, it is mild.

I have not been able to pinpoint any food or drink triggers for my migraines. For me, they almost always caused by either stress or visual triggers. Staring at a monitor too long , reading something with a black background and white text, being near a ceiling fan that has a bright light, etc.


07-02-2007, 11:05 AM
Anyone else get migraines and if so how do you deal with them? The worst thing is when I get a really bad migraine, sometimes I can't co-ordinate what I'm doing or speak properly. I know what I want to say, but can't say it. It can be a bit scary:(

I get exertion migraines....migraines that come on after intense phyical efforts - like long fast bike rides in hot weather. Sometimes, 4 hours after the ride, my head will split open (okay, not really, but it certainly feels like it!) - nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. Ugh. I'll know it's coming on when I get this "hollowness" in me....like I feel like I'm really hungry, but I'm not. I generally drink 12 oz of Accelerade (a high-protein recovery drink) and start munching on the carbs after a ride to keep things in check. If all else fails, 600 mg of vitamin I (Ibuprofen) usually can do the trick.

07-02-2007, 11:09 AM
Another migrainer here.. waves to the rest of the crowd ... I don't get the light show, I get increased sensitivity to smells.

As BMo3 heavily recommended, get thee to the doctor. Depending on your health insurance you may need to start with your GP or go straight to a Neurologist. I was under care of neurologists for several years and unfortunately we never could peg a cause. Sometimes it's just one of those evil things. Although in a twisted way, stress is involved. So embrace those hugs and butterflies LBTC sent - go to your happy place. But go see a doctor too. There are better medications out there to treat migraines, such as imatrix or maxalt (same class of drug) - although I've found unless it's a real "light" one, my day is still pretty much wasted, but at least I'm not miserable for hours.

Hope you figure out what's going on in your head - which then leads the rest of your body astray. Migraines, a total body experience. Something to wish only on your worst enemies.

07-04-2007, 06:04 AM
If I can get some plain ol' ibuprofen during the aura stage (which for me is visual special effects and weird lightheadedness) I can ususally get it under control. I've taken 10-12 different migraine meds, but ibuprofen works the best.

If I miss the golden opportunity I get to spend the day hiding from the light and trying not to puke curled up in bed hoping I just pass out.

This is my experience also. Four ibuprofen and a cup of coffee at the aura stage often works, if not all I can do is go home and sleep it off. Zomig works like a charm when it works, which is not every time. Imitrex is even more hit and miss.

A couple years ago I had cluster headaches - one migraine after another - missed nearly a month of work because I could only get out of bed every second or third day. The doc ended up prescribing verapamil as a daily preventative medication and it worked like a charm. I took it for about six months and haven't had a major migraine since (knocks wood). You might look into it since it sounds like yours are getting more frequent/severe.

07-16-2007, 05:28 PM
I've never had headaches and then had a migraine every day for 8 days, starting between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and over around noonish. Several of those days I was wiped out for the day even though the tremendous pain was gone.

Went to neurologist - MRI normal but slight cervical spondylosis (arthritis in my neck). Anyway, 5 days on steroids and continuing daily naproxin (Alleve) has kept them at bay. Seeing a physical therapist who has me wearing a cervical collar and doing neck exercises (McKenzie Method) to get my disks back into place.

Anyway, he says I should never ride a bike with drop handle-bars again! Is he kidding? Says I can ride my bike with flat bars.

The headaches started when I began running again. Haven't been on my bike since they started. In neck collar, etc. . . .

Anybody heard of anything like this? Is this non-cyclist PT right about no drop bars?

09-26-2007, 10:51 PM
bumping this thread because I know absolutely nothing about this. I have a student who gets these and had an episode in my class yesterday. She could barely walk the pain was so severe. She had to be helped to her mother's car. Anyway, I talked to her boyfriend awhile about it, and he is concerned that she doesn't eat correctly. I read this post and there were references to food triggers. She has been to doctors, emergency rooms and just gets sent home. Is there anything she can do to maybe identify a food trigger? Would an allergy test show this?

I know she is also under a lot of stress also. Any suggestions there? Will Yoga, relaxation tapes, even a massage help? I guess I'm looking for alternative methods for her. I live in a red meat high fat part of Missouri. The local store doesn't even stock whole grain pasta because it will sit on the shelf. I have to drive to the next town. Healthy eating is rare around here, and isn't even something people think they should be concerned about. Oh, yeah, lots of obesity. A food trigger would be something people around here wouldn't think about, or believe would be a cause.

Anyway, I'd like to present her with things she can do to try to get rid of these headaches, including the food triggers. She's 18 and has had them for about a year. Doctors aren't helping, and I certainly can't put myself in the shoes of anyone who has had a migraine. Just seeing her in such pain yesterday was awful.


09-27-2007, 03:49 AM
Check out the last paragraph. I also just googled "food triggers migraine" and got lots of hits.


Foods that Trigger Migraine Headaches

Someone wanted to know what common foods can trigger off migraine attacks, and it may be worth listing them on the board too for all, since migraines are so common today. But, trigger foods are not the be all and end all of the matter, because there are stress links as well as emotional inputs, hormonal influences, and some medications as well.

The commonest foods which can cause difficulty (but sometimes what affects one person is fine for another) include

* peanuts and peanut butter
* caffeine in all products, not just coffee
* dairy products
* yeast
* some beans (which includes peanut), as well as broad, lima, Italian, lentil, soy, peas
* avocados
* dried meats
* sauerkraut
* pickled herrings
* canned soups and packet soup mixes
* chicken livers
* ripe banana
* soya products as well as the bean itself
* sodium nitrate, which is used to preserve hot dogs, bacon and cured meats
* the preservative benzoic acid and its associated compounds
* MSG, common name for monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer which is now in almost universal use in almost all processed foods
* nuts
* sourdough breads
* cheeses which have been aged, i.e. cheddar
* red wines, beer, champagne, vermouth
* chocolate
* anchovies

And if the list seems depressingly long, there are other food triggers as well, but the good news is that most of the list comes from the highly processed and manufactured food products so aren't too difficult to identify, test, and eliminate from the diet.

09-27-2007, 07:12 AM
another sufferer here: mine are triggered by food, hormones, bad pillows, and weather. Drastic shift in the air pressure and I've got a "bad headache". My answer:


The Greatest drug in the world (in my humble opinion). I don't tolerate medications well - I'm the person that has the reaction to a drug that is sooooo off-the-wall it's listed waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy down at the bottom of side effects. I don't have any problems with Relpax and am Very thankful every time I have a migraine that I have them.

The catch with Relpax is it takes about 45 mins to an hour to take effect, the upside is once it kicks in the headache is completely gone as is the over-whelming fatigue that I always get "after" the headache. Within 2-3 hours of taking the Relpax, I don't even feel like I Had a migraine.

09-27-2007, 07:25 AM
Used to get them at least once a month. Usually mine would start when I'd feel soreness in my jaw, neck, shoulder, arm...maybe a bad taste in my mouth. If I recognized this as a migraine coming on, I could usually dull it with Aleve if I caught it early enough. Otherwise, close the blinds, crawl into bed, and curl up and wait. I even pop my retainer in sometimes...the pressure gives some weird sense of relief in my jaw/gums.

Funny another poster has had oculars like I have, too. I've never had the headache develop afterwards...but boy, is it freaky! One moment, I'm teaching a class, the next I realize I can't see what I'm writing on the board or a student's face when I'm talking to her.

If you think you're having migraines, get thee to a doctor. :) They truly are debilitating for many people.

I also have to say that my migraines were most frequent when I was working in a very high stress job. Once I quit there, the headaches only showed up once every couple of months. Hmmm...think stress was a factor? :rolleyes:

09-28-2007, 08:24 AM
My mom has done the testing for food triggers, but it was years ago. Her family doctor initiated & monitored it. She can't eat cheese, sour cream, chocolate, red wine, hot dogs or similar processed meats and a few other things I can't remember. It can be a pain to go out to eat, etc, but it is so much easier to just avoid what makes you sick.
Your student should definately pursue this with her doctor.

09-28-2007, 08:42 AM
Thanks for all of the great information. I've printed out all of the responses for her and she is definitely interested in pursuing the ideas I've gotten. She's back today, headache gone, but after talking to her, I think she is going back to her doctor to get tested for allergies. She said they asked her if she had any food allergies, and she replied that she didn't know. Nothing else was done about it, so I suggested she go back and insist she be tested.

Anyway, thanks for all of the input.

09-28-2007, 09:47 AM
Really, the best way to identify food allergies is a challenge diet. Skin tests and blood IgG/IgE levels aren't as accurate, for one thing, and plus when you're doing it yourself, you can test for allergens that your allergist may not have antigens for. It's a PITA... but then, sticking to an allergy diet is a huge PITA too, so she may as well get used to it :( Myself, I'm lucky that I don't have anything horribly severe, so I just manage my allergies, and I'm only really strict about my diet when the pollen counts are through the roof.

To do a challenge diet, you have to begin by eliminating all allergens from the diet for at least four days. Then re-introduce them one by one, a day at a time, and see if you have a reaction. Which, a reaction to a food usually doesn't show up immediately unless you're very sensitive, it's often a matter of how you feel several hours later, or when you wake up the day after you eat it. So keep a symptom journal and a diet journal.

If you're going to eat anything you don't prepare yourself during the challenge (or afterward, once you've identified a trigger), get a *complete* ingredient list, and be aware that things like corn oil (for example) contains trace amounts of corn proteins, so those have to be eliminated to get accurate results from the challenge. Yeasts/molds are especially hard, because it means no vinegar, no mushrooms, no sauerkraut, no alcoholic beverages (even distilled ones - trace amounts, again), no pre-prepared fruit products like juices or jams, and no fresh fruit that can't be peeled. "Aged cheese" means anything other than pressed or pureed fresh curds - i.e., cottage cheese, mascarpone, cream cheese, ricotta, paneer, but nothing with cheese culture, which is a mold again. Miso, tempeh and soy sauce are cultured with molds, too, as well as more esoteric Asian products like natto and preserved tofu.

Once she's identified her triggers and/or allergens (if any), she may or may not find that, like me, she can have small amounts without making herself horribly uncomfortable or triggering a migraine. But to do the challenge, you have to be really strict.