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transformed migraine - help please!

hi everyone, I'm asking for any ideas or thoughts that you might be willing to share with me. I've suffered from chronic daily headaches and migraines since early childhood, that have always been difficult to treat, but ultimately treatable to a large extent. Roughly a year ago, the severity of my headache increased drastically, and it just won't quit. It is unclear why the severity increased. The headache/ migraine stays with me 24-hours a day, and hasn't responded to anything I've tried (anti-epileptics, botox, antidepressants, NSAIDs, beta blockers, etc. etc. etc.). Triptans are out because I have a small aneurysm, though unrelated to my headache. I do not have significant stress in my life, and I am currently unable to work due to the pain. My husband, family, and friends (and my dog!!) are very supportive. I exercise ... eat well ... sleep well ... I just can't get rid of this headache.

Has anyone had similar experiences? If so, were you able to overcome the headache, and how? Any and all advice is welcome! I am all ears! 😀 Thank you!

  1. Hi gummybear,

    Thank you so much for your question. Chronic pain is exhausting and frustrating, I'm so sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. Another bothersome quality of migraine and headache disorders is that symptoms and patterns maychange over time thus making treatment more difficult. Let me see what information I can give you to help you out.

    The first thing that comes to mind is I wonder if you've been accurately diagnosed? There are over 300 types of migraine and headache disorders and knowing which one (s) you have can make a big difference. Once we have an accurate diagnosis, we can get the correct treatment and learn all we can about our particular type of migraine and/or headache disorder. Here is information on diagnosis and doctors;

    It sounds like you are on the right track with maintaining a good sleep schedule, is it consistent by any chance? By that I mean, do you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day? Consistency is important for us as we seem to have overly sensitive brains. Exercising and eating well are wonderful lifestyle choices that can make an big impact on migraine and our overall health.

    Do you happen to know what any of your triggers are? Migraine triggers can vary from certain foods, changes in the barometric pressure and dehydration to smoking, alcohol and irregular sleeping patterns to name a few. If we are able to identify and manage our triggers we may be able to reduce our attack frequency and severity. Keeping a detailed migraine diary is the way to go and has the Migraine Meter you can find here; If you don't find this one to your liking there are many others to choose from. Here is information on triggers and diary basics; and

    Do you happen to take anything on a daily or near daily basis to help relieve your pain? If we take migraine medications (Imitrex, Maxalt etc.) and pain medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week we increase the risk of something called medication overuse headache, moh which was formerly called rebound. By taking these medications daily or near daily, we can end up in a daily cycle of endless pain that is hard to break and our migraines will be difficult to break. I've been here before and it's not pleasant. Let me share information on this topic that I hope will be helpful;

    If you haven't been to see a 'true' migraine/headache disorder specialist I would encourage you to do so. Migraine/headache experts are different from neurologists as they are board certified in headache medicine and treat one condition all day, every day. Neurologists may be fine doctors but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's and others. When you get a minute here is information on what makes these doctors so special and how to find one; and

    I hope this helps,

    1. Nancy,

      This is very helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!

      All the best to you -


      1. There is a good book called Heal Your Headache the 123 Program. By David Buchholtz. It's excellent. The author has treated migraines as a specialty.

        If you live in a high elevation like Denver or where it's cloudy and rainy like Seattle you can get more migraines.

        I moved to Phoenix from Denver and now my migraines and non-migraine headaches have diminished by 90% and when I do get one it's not nearly as severe as when I lived in Denver.

        The bad part is it's so hot here for 5 months of the year you don't go outside expect to go to work and grocery store.

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