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reoccurring migraines

by Stephanie
(Washington)

Reoccurring Migraines

Reoccurring Migraines

I am a 30 year old female. I have been suffering from migraines for about 12 years. For the first few years, they only came once a month during my menstrual cycle. The frequency increased until I had my first child. I did not get a single migraine while I was pregnant, until about 4 months postpartum. They came back about twice a month.

I had a second baby, and the cycle was the same. Recently, I have begun taking the pill for 9 weeks, then having a week off. I do typically get a migraine during that week. But I have begun getting migraines almost daily in the past 4 months. The pain in my head is very dull, almost an ache, but I feel awful- nauseated and sick. It comes and goes throughout the day. The worst part is feeling sick.



I have had a bunch of blood work done as well as an MRI that came back clear.

I am so tired of feeling sick all the time, and am willing to try just about anything! I know I need to get off the pill, and am working on that. I am not allergic to anything I know of.

Could the birth control pills be causing almost daily headaches? It wouldn't make sense because I am on the pills that is the same level of estrogen everyday.

Should I try acupuncture? A naturopath? A chiropractor?

Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Hi Stephanie,

You don't mention what treatments you have tried so far. Your doctor can give you a one week low dose steroid pack called a Medrol Dose Pak and also give you a triptan to break the pain if it is a migraine. We also recommend Frova, one pill a day for 5 days while taking the dose pak.

Keep in mind the most common cause of migraine is stress and if a headache goes beyond 3 days you are moving into status migrainosus.

You mentioned a few alternative therapies but quite honestly none of them will work on a headache that has been on going for a month. You need the proper medication to treat it at the current time.

Once the headache is broken, then accupunture is great to try in order to prevent them from coming back. It works about 50% of the time. The other two options have little effect on migraine.

The biggest effect in preventing migraine headache symptoms is looking at your lifestyle and putting in place some lifestyle changes.

Good luck!

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Recurring Headache

by Lynn
(Atlanta, GA)


I frequently get a fairly severe headache at the back of my head, to the right of center. OTC meds do little to relieve the pain. They often last for 2-4 hours and occasionally are accompanied by nausea, dizziness/trouble balancing, a feeling of being disconnected, and sometimes a difficulty focusing my vision.

Though not yet confirmed with a final blood test and diagnosis, I have had two separate labs return "lupus anti-coagulant positive, prolonged ptt, and enlarged red blood cell." Also show a slightly above average range under Hexagonal Phase Phospholipid. Any idea what might be going on?

Hi Lynn,

Although lupus is known to be connected to migraine, your head pain sounds a bit different.

You should also know that there is a condition called "Anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome" which can also be associated with migraine.

Having said that..blood tests can be false positive so I would wait for the diagnosis from the doctor.

About the headache, what you are describing are the classic signs and symptoms of cervicogenic headache. When there is spasming on one side at the back of the head, this feeds back to the brain (through the upper part of the neck C1/C2) directly to the brain stem. The brain stem is responsible for kicking up some vertigo..hence feeling dizzy.

Any pain can cause nausea and even vomiting.

What is a little bothersome is the visual disturbances..that is more consistent with migraine.

None the less you should talk to your doctor as OTC drugs will not work for either type of headache. You also need to have an MRI of the brain if this is a new onset of headaches.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Recurring Migraine

by Cameron Amanda M.
(Santa ana Ca)


Okay, So for this summer I had 16 migraines in the last 3 month and It has gotten so bad I called out work. I never call out of work. I have thrown up while having these migraines and it like my whole head is going to pop. My eyes hurt and even my hair huts.

I have taken everything under the sun and nothing helps just seems t get worse.I am very scared at this point to see a doctor, I just want to know what is causing these headaches. How can I get rid of them? Its gotten so bad that if i have one i don't get out of bed. Help me thank you so much

Cameron

Answer:

Hi Cameron,

You don't mention if you have ever had headaches before so if this is a new onset of migraine for you I strongly recommend that you see a Physician. Why suffer in silence? Migraine is treated as a true medical condition now with excellent medications to take at the onset of the migraine.

These medications such as Imitrex can get rid of the headache in about 20 minutes as long as you take them within the first hour after the pain starts..waiting to treat means the headache may not respond. You can carry the meds at work and not lose anymore time off. There is even one medication, Maxalt which is a melt wafer..very nice if you have nausea.

Having said all this, the most common cause of increasing migraine is stress, but still, a professional needs to examine you to rule out any problems. He or she most probably will recommend an MRI or CT of the brain, which I too recommend.

Call your primary care and start there.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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