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Conversation of the Week: Living with migraine disease and multiple chronic health issues

Living with migraine disease is challenging and frustrating. Many of us also live with multiple other chronic health issues which complicates migraine management. Let's discuss how we manage with living with migraine disease along with other health conditions.

  1. i've had crohn's disease since August 1st, 2007--had surgery in 2010 because of it.. got diagnosed with chronic migraines which is barometric pressure related in 2019 and battled uterine cancer and beat it, but with crohn's, i'm in remission.. NEVER take ANYTHING or ANYONE for granted

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I understand how complex it is to live with multiple health issues. I am happy to hear you beat cancer and are in remission with Crohn’s - that has to be a relief!
      I love what you said - "NEVER take ANYTHING or ANYONE for granted" that's so important. We know our bodies, if only we were believed every time!
      I hope today is a low pain day and I look forward to hearing more from you, Nancy Harris Bonk, Patient Leader/Moderator Team

    2. I am so sorry to hear that you have had to live with so much. It is great to hear that you beat cancer and your Crohn's is in remission. I am sure there is so much you could teach us after surviving what you have lived through. Your lesson above is such an important one. It really is easy to get complacent in our lives and begin to take people and things for granted. Some health conditions have a way of reminding us what is truly important. Best wishes - Amanda W (team member)

  2. I just posted about this, although my question is more specific. I have migraines, asthma, and was just diagnosed with a-fib. There does seem to be a connection between the headaches and the heart episodes, and my cardiologist said a-fib can cause headache; but the reverse is also true. Yay.

    Also, I just asked about how people navigate with all their doctors when they have more than one chronic condition. Seems like doctors should communicate more when they share joint patients, but also this seems like it's rarely done. They rely on the patient as the go-between.

    1. thank you for sharing the above, and I'm sorry about your spouse's strokes. My primary care put a monitor on, and when it showed a-fib, she immediately put me on Eliquis and referred me to a cardiologist, who kept me on Eliquis and added Cardizem. Best of luck to you and your husband.

    2. thanks for sharing your support with our fellow community members here. Managing a chronic condition and all that it entails with medications and side effects is not easy. It's nice to have others that understand and can relate is really helpful. I hope that the adjustments that your primary and cardiologist made to your treatment plan go well.

      Thanks again for your encouragement and sharing your story.
      - Alene, moderator

  3. I started migraines as a young teenager, we have a family history of migraines. I've collected many chronic illnesses in my 60 years, inflammatory arthritis, psoriasis, both of which are autoimmune conditions, PCOS, hyperlipdaemia, type 2 diabetes, and lastly cirrhosis of the liver from NAFLD and liver toxic drugs to treat my arthritis.
    My diabetic nurse thinks my blood sugars exacerbate my migraines as they are worse when we readjust doses of drugs. I also crave sugar and cards during migraines.

    I had to ill health retire in 2019 (A.P. in a Renal Unit) as I just couldn't keep going after a physical and mental collapse. That has been hard, to loose my career in the NHS which I loved. But although financially difficult, its given me a chance to look out for my wellbeing. When a migraine starts I no longer have to exist on coffee, caffeine drinks and co-codamol to drag myself in to work. I can take time to give myself TLC and rest as much as I can. I get to smell the roses, do tai chi in the garden, I've learned to meditate and look out for my wellbeing.
    I have cultivated a very rich inner life which brings me joy. I joined a national choir, Rock Choir, and have learnt that practicing the songs we are learning sometimes helps the pre or post drome of a migraine, I think it the vibrating of the vocal cords that helps.......who knew?!

    1. Your proactive and positive approach to self-care and mindfulness is commendable and has had a favorable impact on your overall quality of life. It's truly inspiring to see that, despite the challenges that migraines can bring, you've found a silver lining and have been able to prioritize your well-being. It's wonderful to witness and is a great reminder that you can enhance your resilience and maintain a fulfilling life despite the difficult challenges. Thanks for sharing with the community - Rebecca (community moderator)

    2. I am so sorry that your health issues affected your ability to work. That is something that I understand, unfortunately. I am so glad that you do look for the positives in your situation, such as having the ability to focus on some self care. It is awesome that you keep your body moving with tai chi. I honestly need to do better about being active myself. It is hard to do while living with chronic pain.
      It is amazing that you have joined a national choir! That is no small feat. I would have been afraid that singing would make my head hurt more. It is so interesting that it actually helps you. Thank you so much for sharing! - Amanda W (team member)

  4. It is very difficult to live with other chronic pain conditions in addition to chronic migraine. Some of my other health conditions include fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. Due to these conditions, I have an opiate prescription for a medication called Nucynta. While this medication helps with my fibromyalgia and chronic back pain, it can have the reverse effect on my migraine. Due to this, it is always hard to decide when to use the pain prescription. Just like with a migraine, if I wait until the pain is completely unbearable, the pain medication will not work as well or with one dose. However, taking the pain medication can cause a migraine or increase the migraine pain that is already there. It is definitely a double edge sword. - Amanda W (team member)

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