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SeanMcGuireXJ 12-04-2010 06:37 PM

Migraines and Cluster Headaches
 
Who gets 'em and what treatments do you use or have you tried?

Seems like nothing I've tried works. I keep my diet in check, throw it off to see what may trigger headaches, been through many tests MRI/PET scans, guinea pig meds didn't work or made me really sick. Coffee helps. Small doses of dark chocolate helps with seratonin production. My practitioner gave me percocet and compazine, since my liver tests were horrible after the barrage of drugs, and I just can't tolerate opiates or acetominophin (Tylenol). I can almost tolerate percocet and it actually helps with the pain. It just makes me feel really stupid and it scared me when I burned myself while cooking and started laughing.

Possible triggers: Barometric pressure, mushrooms, and political stupidity.

Keith 12-06-2010 05:47 PM

Been down the path that they are from night grinding?

helicase50 12-07-2010 07:48 AM

I get them bad, I actually go back to my neurologist today, but most recently my medications to control them have been:

Topamax (it is an anti-seizure drug that helps limits migraines), Maxalt, and one other little tab thing. Also they say Carrots and riboflavin help a lot. Nothing over the counter can touch mine.

Do you go to a neurologist? If not I would say see about one. They can usually pick something that will work better for you, even if you have a liver issue.

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-07-2010 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith (Post 49900)
Been down the path that they are from night grinding?


Huh? :dunno:



I eat plenty of carrots, and I've thought about getting B-12 shots. I tried Topomax, Imitrex (yuck!), and a couple others with no success. I am still waiting on those boys at Oxford to post their data on this so-called migraine gene, but won't hold my breath since they usually have nothing to follow their british "we found it first" attitude. Gonna see what my doctor's next plan is; I don't want to take any drugs if I don't have to. If medical marijuana is suggested I'm going to laugh hysterically!

I'm working on day 6 of a moderately dull skull-splitter and have to go to work on a noisy construction site. I don't know why they call them "suicide headaches," but they almost give me superhuman strength to choke the living shat outta anybody who stands in my way. At least I can fake being in a good mood...maybe a sign of insanity?

:brickwall:

Austin 12-07-2010 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanMcGuireXJ (Post 50199)
Huh? :dunno:

Do you grind your teeth at night is what he's asking.

I had migraines when I was a kid, I used the Imitrex subcutaneous skin injector, it took care of one headache, and left me with sinus pain. The Docs all agreed after puberty they would stop, and they did.

They ran me on a lot of stuff, if you have the ability to check out Fiorinal, has a barbiturate in it that just puts you out for the duration of the headache.

Now I have sinus issues, everyone in my family does, I'm excited in that I have not had a headache for three days now. Well when I cough it hurts my head, but no real headache to speak of.

I try not to take anything for it, all that stuff hurts me stomach pretty bad. Every once in a while I have to take a couple of Vicodin and go lay down.

helicase50 12-07-2010 10:35 AM

Yeah, there is a difference between sinus pressure/pain and a migraine, however, allergies can cause migraines. I know I have both issues bad.

Depending on where the migraine is and where is starts is going to depend on the treatment. I couldn't do the shots because they wouldn't get there quick enough. I always did the quick dissolve tabs and nasal spays.

Also how many mg of Topamax were you on? I am on 100 and it is only just starting to not really work.

Also if you eat a lot of processed foods that could help the causes, they have a lot of nitrates which suck. Chocolate really isn't good for people with migraines, even dark.

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-07-2010 01:59 PM

Yeah, yeah, but good dark chocolate helps me feel better and it seems to stimulate good moods...

I don't grind my teeth, I respect my dental team too much. Chewing gum sometimes gives me a headache. Different kind. I tried sleeping with a mouth guard - blecch!

I thought I still had the Topomax card, but it's gone. I'm pretty sure it wasn't 100mg. There was something that kind of worked, but got pulled and I can't remember what it was. Imitrex made me so sick that I didn't qualify for injections.

Fiorinal - that's the junk my father-in-law was on that I couldn't remember, and he couldn't either! Nope, I want to stay somewhat functional, although I usually end up hiding in a cool dark bedroom sleeping it off. Maybe I'll try it.

Benadryl. I used to get really hyper on this stuff when I was younger. I took it a lot before I entered into these treatments, thinking my bad allergies were the cause. Still help a little with the mild frozen-n-screw-in-the-brain headaches. Doesn't help with sinus headaches, though. My body likes to couteract stuff. Vicodin does nothing for me, and codeine makes me really nauseous. My iron stomach can't even handle aspirin anymore.

Feverfew, and other herbs. Still need to try those. I have a list somewhere from a holistic "witch doctor," and one of the Asian pharmacists recommended some remedies, including small doses of 85% cocoa. Aroma and vapor therapy - haven't found anything that truely works. The smell of money...

Keith 12-07-2010 02:53 PM

Ask your Doctor for a lose dose of Amitriptyline and take it before bed. Night clinching has no effect on your teeth, your Dentist would not know. It's a common cause of migraines and cluster headaches.

Austin 12-07-2010 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanMcGuireXJ (Post 50444)
Fiorinal - that's the junk my father-in-law was on that I couldn't remember, and he couldn't either! Nope, I want to stay somewhat functional, although I usually end up hiding in a cool dark bedroom sleeping it off. Maybe I'll try it.

Benadryl. I used to get really hyper on this stuff when I was younger. I took it a lot before I entered into these treatments, thinking my bad allergies were the cause. Still help a little with the mild frozen-n-screw-in-the-brain headaches. Doesn't help with sinus headaches, though. My body likes to couteract stuff. Vicodin does nothing for me, and codeine makes me really nauseous. My iron stomach can't even handle aspirin anymore.

Feverfew, and other herbs. Still need to try those. I have a list somewhere from a holistic "witch doctor," and one of the Asian pharmacists recommended some remedies, including small doses of 85% cocoa. Aroma and vapor therapy - haven't found anything that truely works. The smell of money...

If you are going to be in bed, no point in suffering, might as well knock yourself out.

I'm a fan of herbalism, I have a stomach issue that peppermint does wonders for, but Homeopathy is horrible and should be avoided. It's terrible that people can still sell snake oil and get away with it. The majority of Asian medicine is herbalism, what discipline was your witch Dr?

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-07-2010 04:14 PM

Ok, I'll try that. I still think it's the Barometric pressure coupled with changes in the weather. I usually feel better when it rains. Monsoon season is murder!

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-07-2010 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Austin (Post 50538)
If you are going to be in bed, no point in suffering, might as well knock yourself out.

I'm a fan of herbalism, I have a stomach issue that peppermint does wonders for, but Homeopathy is horrible and should be avoided. It's terrible that people can still sell snake oil and get away with it. The majority of Asian medicine is herbalism, what discipline was your witch Dr?

No clue about the witch doctor. Like I said, I need to be functional...which I sort of can be on Percs...when they do work. I am just about brainless, though. I am on-call 24 hrs, so i need to at least be coherant enough to talk on the phone. I'm a heavy sleeper in the first place!

I try to eat and live as healthy as I can afford to.

Austin 12-10-2010 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanMcGuireXJ (Post 50547)
No clue about the witch doctor. Like I said, I need to be functional...which I sort of can be on Percs...when they do work. I am just about brainless, though. I am on-call 24 hrs, so i need to at least be coherant enough to talk on the phone. I'm a heavy sleeper in the first place!

I try to eat and live as healthy as I can afford to.

Percs meaning percacet? That stuff lays me out.

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-10-2010 01:36 PM

Yes, percocet. I'd rather not take it, but I called for another refill today. I thought I had beat the evil by not getting any sleep the other night and then sleeping like dead the next night, but it came back today. WITH A VENGEANCE!

I almost blew up at somebody who commented on my slightly-crooked parking job...

I can still function on this junk, but my brain is just GONE with the initial dose. So no power tools for me. Stuff makes me giggley, and does something else my wife enjoys... :D

ThePhotographer 12-14-2010 02:41 PM

There are well over a dozen reasons for migraines or such headaches, here's a few.

1) Chiropractic
2) Food / Allergy Triggers, sensitivity
3) Underlying medical condition in the head, jaw, eyes, neck, ears and even teeth (have you ever had a root canal, when's the last time you went to a dentist)?
4) Underlying digestive / liver problems which does tie in with #2 above but isn't always apparent. To which I add underlying issues with evacuating the colon regularly. If it isn't regularly then you could be auto-intoxicating yourself which recirculates toxins throughout your body, liver and into your brain.
5) Mental stress
6) Food additives, MSG (which is a big one for people and comes camouflaged under about 30 different names).

Not my head so I can't tell. But I'd first cut out MSG. Maybe get some allergy testing for different foods, see a chiro if you got any pain or discomfort on your back, neck. Do a liver and blood detox if you haven't. Get rid of stress in your life. People commonly get more stressed around the holidays, combined with overindulgence of alcohol or sugar and eating heavy meats, lacking enzymes to digest properly, feeling crappy later, doing a double whammy on the pancreas and liver ... all these factors can give one chronic headaches or migraines. All things to consider.

iceknight 12-16-2010 10:38 AM

I have to agree with ThePhotographer. I have had migraine headaches every since I was a young kid. Stress was a big contributing factor along with my diet and my back/neck. After years of trying different methods of reliving myself of these pains, I now regularly go to my chiropractor for realignments. Personally, working out and eating clean has shown huge improvements in the headache department. I suppose it’s not that big of a shock the more healthy food I eat and more physical activity I get, the better I feel.
Other things that help me is spending time in a hot shower, distracting myself with something much more involved so as to not be focused on my migraine when it starts, i.e. it relaxes me mentally, getting a head massage also helps. I’m sure you have heard and done most if not all things I just stated, seems like we all try any possible way to get them to go away. Just my .02. Good luck.

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-16-2010 01:48 PM

Yep - been there, done that.

1.) Chiro - Does nothing for migraines, or maybe just not the right cause at the right time. I used to train for powerlifting, and was told to stop until neurology consulted my issues. Nothing popped up so far, but I no longer care to lift heavy things just to put them back down. :)

2.) Food triggers - I think I have some sort of sensitivity to fungus, much like uric acid hit gout sufferers. (No, I do not have/never had gout contrary to the belief of some "pros.") I try to eat as clean as possible to avoid false positives and remove any doubt. Like I mentioned before, good chocolate helps to counteract headaches (for me, anyway).

3.) I just got a periodontal cleaning, and yes I have trouble keeping my mouth open that wide for that long. Luckily, my hygenist is such a sweetheart! And the whole night grinding idea kept me waking up a couple of nights (THANKS Keith, BTW! Geez.) to make sure, because it did make sense. Sunflower seeds I've found are a good way to get a headache with all the misaligned cracking, and SODIUM, but different type of headache. Had scans, was on STROKE WATCH for a while, and could have possibly had a seizure back when these started getting really bad. Everything was normal, aside from my cholesterol and triglycerides, and that was the meds affecting me there.

4.) No real problems, aside from the effects of the meds. Almost had to have my gallbladder removed because of the meds...stoped all meds - better than ever!!! Although, I do think "#2" (pun intended) could be a big trigger, considering constipation can cause all sorts of problems. Clean diet = usually regular.

5.) I used to be BIG TIME into meditation and abbreviated yoga practices. I still do some of the exercises, even in the shower. I have naturally low blood pressure. I have a stress-free job (most of the time) and I am usually a good problem solver. I tend to not dwell, or worry. I have a great wife who puts up with me, and I take care of her with the utmost respect. I try to be as helpful as I can, and patient where others won't even give their time. I make sure to not let anybody walk all over me, or those I care about. I've calmed my Irish temper way down with these practices. I walk a lot, and I walk more if there's something I need to figure out.

6.) MSG is bad, bad, bad, as well as sorbitol and phylketonurics. I rarely eat junk food, and "processed" is a term that I see could be thrown anywhere. I studied Dietetics and am well-aware of the toxic waste millions of people put into their bodies without realizing it.

With the mind, the body follows. And the body (chemistry) helps the mind.

Lots of smart and aware people here! I kinda hate taking a "Dr. House" approach, but I need those missing pieces to the puzzle that may just be right there in front of me. Since there is no miracle drug, I will continue this search.

Keep the suggestions coming! Thank You.

ThePhotographer 12-18-2010 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanMcGuireXJ (Post 55111)
Yep - been there, done that.

1.) Chiro - Does nothing for migraines, or maybe just not the right cause at the right time. I used to train for powerlifting, and was told to stop until neurology consulted my issues. Nothing popped up so far, but I no longer care to lift heavy things just to put them back down. :)

2.) Food triggers - I think I have some sort of sensitivity to fungus, much like uric acid hit gout sufferers. (No, I do not have/never had gout contrary to the belief of some "pros.") I try to eat as clean as possible to avoid false positives and remove any doubt. Like I mentioned before, good chocolate helps to counteract headaches (for me, anyway).

3.) I just got a periodontal cleaning, and yes I have trouble keeping my mouth open that wide for that long. Luckily, my hygenist is such a sweetheart! And the whole night grinding idea kept me waking up a couple of nights (THANKS Keith, BTW! Geez.) to make sure, because it did make sense. Sunflower seeds I've found are a good way to get a headache with all the misaligned cracking, and SODIUM, but different type of headache. Had scans, was on STROKE WATCH for a while, and could have possibly had a seizure back when these started getting really bad. Everything was normal, aside from my cholesterol and triglycerides, and that was the meds affecting me there.

4.) No real problems, aside from the effects of the meds. Almost had to have my gallbladder removed because of the meds...stoped all meds - better than ever!!! Although, I do think "#2" (pun intended) could be a big trigger, considering constipation can cause all sorts of problems. Clean diet = usually regular.

5.) I used to be BIG TIME into meditation and abbreviated yoga practices. I still do some of the exercises, even in the shower. I have naturally low blood pressure. I have a stress-free job (most of the time) and I am usually a good problem solver. I tend to not dwell, or worry. I have a great wife who puts up with me, and I take care of her with the utmost respect. I try to be as helpful as I can, and patient where others won't even give their time. I make sure to not let anybody walk all over me, or those I care about. I've calmed my Irish temper way down with these practices. I walk a lot, and I walk more if there's something I need to figure out.

6.) MSG is bad, bad, bad, as well as sorbitol and phylketonurics. I rarely eat junk food, and "processed" is a term that I see could be thrown anywhere. I studied Dietetics and am well-aware of the toxic waste millions of people put into their bodies without realizing it.

With the mind, the body follows. And the body (chemistry) helps the mind.

Lots of smart and aware people here! I kinda hate taking a "Dr. House" approach, but I need those missing pieces to the puzzle that may just be right there in front of me. Since there is no miracle drug, I will continue this search.

Keep the suggestions coming! Thank You.

The meds btw did a number on your liver and naturally did a number on your digestive system. This EASILY could cause migraines. Your liver cleans your blood (along with a ton of other functions), the gallbladder is the storage for bile made by the liver. Your gallbladder was yelling. But your liver was the problem. You should do two things which could handle things but which is definitely a step in the correct direction or at least back to ground zero.

1) Take good probiotics AND prebiotics daily. 2) Do a good liver cleanse.

Fungus. Candida can present in many different ways including headaches and can take hold when one digestive/liver functions have been suppressed and not kept the naturally occurring and always present candida in check. In fact I discovered that candida can inhabit any organ in the body - this is when it has become systemic. Cleaning the liver, pro/prebiotics and clean diet - ie, no sugar or white flours, etc. for several months can put it back into check.

Just more thoughts based on your reply.

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-18-2010 09:34 PM

Good catch! I was on a no white sugar and no gluten diet for a while. Boy, that was hard to do! I'm about due for another detox, but may not need one after all the fluids I've been pushing. My liver levels have been back to normal for 8 months. Yay antioxidants!

I've been down the past few days with a sinus/chest cold that I blame on mold. Sort of a theory on Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis). It never goes away - I don't care to argue about it. I've been going to the construction site again, working in a new basement this time. I wore a N95 mask while up top when the winds were kicking up and after the headaches started again, but didn't think about wearing it underground. I was really tired all the time for no particular reason too. I'm much better now, aside from a sneaky cough and a few body aches. The migraine has taken a break too, for now...

My theory about barometric pressure is still holding, even though my data is flawed with the difference in sea level (OOOPS!). I felt way better after it rained on Thursday 12/16, aside from the sinus junk. I've been staying away from mushrooms and soy products (forgot to mention those - another theory involving hormones, mainly male production of estrogen and imbalances).

Maybe it's all just in my head? :D

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-18-2010 09:53 PM

OH! Speaking of digestive system...

I was a guinea pig in a drug study a while back. I was having trouble with what I thought was acid reflux. It turned out to be a condition that has no name, as far as I know, but similar to G.E.R.D. I've been taking Lansoprazol for it even before it was FDA approved. I asked numerous medical professionals if Prevacid had any connections to migraines and cluster headaches, and the answer was always "No."

I think that was when I started getting them worse and more frequent, and I was in the best health and shape of my life.

ThePhotographer 12-19-2010 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeanMcGuireXJ (Post 56471)
OH! Speaking of digestive system...

I was a guinea pig in a drug study a while back. I was having trouble with what I thought was acid reflux. It turned out to be a condition that has no name, as far as I know, but similar to G.E.R.D. I've been taking Lansoprazol for it even before it was FDA approved. I asked numerous medical professionals if Prevacid had any connections to migraines and cluster headaches, and the answer was always "No."

I think that was when I started getting them worse and more frequent, and I was in the best health and shape of my life.

Drug companies and traditional doctors are responsible for more deaths a year than in every war since ... I dunno, before WW1. I think you can google this statistic. The short and skinny about medical drugs, nitrite preservative, antibiotics given to you or the animals you eat and other unnatural things in food, including chlorine in water is that they destroy friendly flora in your intestinal tract. So everytime you engage on destroying it, it gets weaker. 70% of your immune system is in your intestinal tract. Current man's diet does nothing to replenish this flora because the FDA requires you to eat enzyme dead or irradiated foods. Some things which help restore are probiotics, unpasteurized kefir, yogurt, raw unpasteurized sauerkraut, kombucha (which also helps the liver detox with glucauronic acid), unpasteurized organic beer (in moderation because excess alcohol will counter the good effects).

So naturally you break down 70% of your defense by consuming the things that destroy it - simple cause and effect. This can lead to overwork in the liver, kidneys, etc. Couple that with the air you breath, the natural molds you come into contact with, the people who sneeze on you daily and then you see that your body's immune system has to work overtime just to keep up. Plus, not saying this about you because I don't know, but many then come home from work and SIT. No movement = death because circulation cures much and really helps the liver and other organs keep the body clean. This is the typical portrait of an American now a days. It's no wonder that disease is so prevalent.

Have you done the home thyroid test developed by Dr. Broada Barnes? If not, I discovered that having the thyroid out of whack can lead to not only headaches, but diabetes, heart disease, etc. And yes just about everything I mentioned earlier, repeated again and again, can suppress the thyroid into underproduction. Just as toooooooo much alcohol can do the same.

:banana:

SKT 12-19-2010 06:58 PM

Although not healthy, the only time I get a migraine is when I am going thru caffeine withdrawals.

A can of Monster Energy drink will normally take care of it within 30 minutes...

I plan to "kick" the habit, and taper off of caffeine altogether, but my work makes it extremely difficult to function without large amounts of caffeine consumed daily!

:banana:

SeanMcGuireXJ 12-20-2010 08:27 AM

Yuck - I cant even be in the same room as a can of Monster. Smells like rotten cat food covered up by fruity syrup. Just coffe and tea for me, not too much - I live in a dry climate and need to keep hydrated. Try cutting down and substituting with fruit; you'll be amazed at how much energy you'll have from apple juice, and not crash or get headaches.

I don't really drink alcohol anymore, especially with all the meds I was taking. Unless you drink to get drunk, I don't see the point. I'll have to check into that thyroid test.

I'm feeling way better today, except for being really tired and that cough just won't go away.


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