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Any Advice Would Be Greatly Appreciated!

I have been a migraine sufferer since I was 12 years old. I am now 24. I suffer from severe migraines with aura. Usually, my migraines progress from visual aura to numbness and tingling on one side of my body, to severe head pain. They can last anywhere from 12-72 hours. I have tried numerous different medications, both for prevention and rescue, and nothing has helped. I have taken Ajovy, Verapamil, and Topamax for prevention, and a long list for rescue. I had gone about 5 years without one, and in the past 3 months, I have had 4 severe migraines. They normally put me out of commission for a week at least. Any recommendations on what to try? I am getting desperate.

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  1. Hi ,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm not sure if you've had a chance to see my response in the discussion forum, so I'll copy it here. After you've read it over, please let me know what you think!


    By Nancy Harris Bonk September 14, 2020 at 10:39 am Moderator

    Hi ZachMetz,

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with us. I’m sorry to hear you are having an uptick in migraine attacks, that’s always frustrating.

    Don’t despair! Two important things to keep in mind is a doctor who is an expert in treating headache disease (migraine is a genetic, neurological disease) can make a huge difference in our treatment plan AND there are over 100 medications, supplements and devices that can be used to treat migraine disease. And it you add up all combinations, that number goes up dramatically!! It would take well over 25 plus years to try all these medications at the therapeutic dose. So let’s get to the “easy” stuff first.

    Here are some articles that discuss how these expert doctors are different and how to find them; https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/ and
    https://migraine.com/getting-help/is-it-time-for-a-new-migraine-doctor/. I’m currently seeing my 6th true expert, and have made progress. The National Headache Foundation has a great tool to find a true certified expert here; https://headaches.org/resources/healthcare-provider-finder/.

    Ok, on to prevention. Those of us with migraine disease seem to have overly sensitive brains and maintaining a routine. Managing lifestyle choices is not easy, but imperative to helping combat migraine. This means going to bed and waking at the same time seven days a week (not always easy, but very important for those of us with migraine disease), staying hydrated, not skipping meals, regular exercise, and trigger identification and management. Some triggers can be avoided while others not so much. How is your migraine management plan? I’m here to help!!

    As I mentioned above, there are over 100 medications, supplements, and devices that can be used to treat migraine disease and more on the horizon. It typically can take up to 90 days, at the therapeutic dose, before we see improvement. During this time, potential side effects may lessen as our body adjusts to the new medication. The thing is if we don’t give each medication a fair trial, we’ll never know which one would have been the “one” that works. Many of us with migraine take a combination of medications to help prevent this disease. This article has a great explanation of preventive medications available; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-preventives

    I’ve given you a lot of information, so I’m going to stop for now. Will you let me know what you think?

    Wishing you a low pain day,
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Advocate/Moderator

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