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My "cure"

I've found what for me has become a near "cure" for my migraines..I was diagnosed w/classic (aura @ onset) migraine at age 7, now 51, Male. Father and paternal grandmother both had/have migraines life-long. I come from primarily Norwegian "stock"...I've tried Triptans, Ergotamine, beta-blockers early on, cannabis, you name it..What I've found to be my "silver bullet" is the combination of Propranolol (Inderal) 40mg, 3x daily and Nortriptyline 25mg 1 or 2 times daily, typically at bedtime, Propranolol hroughout the day...Metoprolol (another beta-blocker) didn't work same because it doesn't pass the blood / brain barrier like Propranolol does (according to my Doc)...Propranolol alone without Nortriptyline didn't work for me either...tried that early on as a kid...but put them together the way I've described and map out ur triggers (avoid packaged pre-shredded cheese with Natamycin, especially, at all costs...big-time trigger I've found)...and now I've gone from typically having perhaps 10 migraines a month to 1 every 90 days or so...massive improvement to my productivity and life quality...I've been using myself as my own "guinea pig" over the years and just hope that some newcomers to his condition we share can benefit from what I've learned through trial and error...and 40 wishes.

  1. Interesting the packaged cheese. That is considered a mold inhibitor. Use a lot of shredded cheese. I'm new to migraines, 60 yrs old, trying to find what works. Started acupuncture yesterday, triggered a short migraine. Doctor has prescribed nortriptyline which I have not started yet. Topamax caused a kidney stone today, have to find something else that works. Isn't propranolol a beta blocker? Thank you for your post.

    1. Reading with great curiosity, TJ. Your story and mine very similar ... mine began at around 9 and I am now 51, as well. Have been around 9-12/mo. for awhile now, only surviving bc of friends donating their extra imitrex to my cause. Never considered shredded cheese - but will now, so thanks for the heads up. After an episode 2 wks ago that sent the room spinning - with no associated pain - and ended with me in the ER, I am researching all new leads. My triggers come from several different directions - foods, smoke, sunlight, stress, any bump to the head, lying with my head flat (not on raised pillows) - and they change. As I remove one food source and it improves, another will come along and replace it within a couple of months. Removing sugar was a big one; yet withing 90 days, they were back.
      I am seeking new headache docs and will discuss your therapy with them. Am in the middle of one of my 'clusters' which last for 3-4 days, so one every 90 days would seems like total bliss at this point.
      Thanks much for your input.

      1. Reading these posts have been very helpful. Partly because I don't know many people who suffer from migraines. I don't think people really understand if they don't have migraines. I know some people who never have headaches! I can't even imagine. I just remind myself that I am pretty healthy in most other ways.
        I have found that butterbur with feverfew helps. At least it did for a few months. My migraines have started again. Now I'm looking into the food elimination diet.
        Recently I discovered that the spinach I was putting in my smoothies is a trigger.
        I don't drink after about 2pm. Nothing wrong with having a drink with lunch so I do that occasionally.
        I don't eat chocolate at night.
        Working out at the gym every other day helps.
        I take sumatriptophan when I can tell I'm getting a migraine. I used to wait and suffer all day, or three, but not any more. It really works for me. It helps if I can lie down and sleep after taking the medication.
        It's a pain having to do all this and still not know when another one will hit. But I'm thankful I can almost manage them.

        1. Dear tj92506,

          Woke up this morning at 1 AM with possibly the worst migraine I've ever experienced... stronger and more severe symptoms than my "usual" migraines that I get once every 2 to 3 years that I'm able to manage because of the aura warning then downing two Excedrin (no kidding, this is 100% effective for blocking and mitigating my symptoms).

          Thought about what I ate yesterday and narrowed it down to two suspected triggers; 1) A change in the ingredients of my grocer's rotisserie chicken and, 2) A bag of shredded Monterey Jack cheese containing something called Natamycin.
          Preservatives such as BHT have been identified as triggers in the past and I was overjoyed to read your post from last March where you mentioned it and got the validation I was seeking.

          Thank you for your post!

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