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Migraine in the UK!

Hi there! I’m from the UK and it took years for my doctors and other medical professionals such as ENT specialists to diagnose migraines. I was diagnosed with wheat/gluten intolerance in the mid 1990’s and since then I have become intolerant to dairy and eggs. I also have IBS, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and a never ending list of inhalant allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. PHEW!! This is where the confusion set in regarding my migraines. The medical professionals put it down to those. I was in constant severe pain, couldn’t move my head, talk, walk and even laying my head on my pillow hurt. I am also sick until my stomach is empty. I avoided going out and was constantly cancelling arrangements with friends and family. I also had to leave my job as I couldn’t physically go to work. The office environment was the worst place I could be! I was finally diagnosed with severe migraines about 5 years ago now. My doctor put me on Naratriptan which does usually work if I take it within the first 30-40 mins of a migraine being triggered. My triggers are my food intolerances, inhalant allergies, MCS, loud noise, changes in weather, not eating, certain environments and who knows what else! My longest migraines was 6 days!! It took a long time for some friends to realise how ill I was and can be. I have to avoid certain places as much as possible with strong smells, chemicals, air con, etc which can be tough. I dread a migraine being triggered. On top of my migraines I have to deal with severe sinus pain, IBS and a long list of other symptoms. Unfortunately the UK is not the best to have allergies and migraines! We are lacking the specialist medical professionals and cannot get the specialist treatments needed on the NHS. I am looking at hopefully setting up my own business working from home, so I control my own environment.

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Comments

  • MigraineSal
    4 years ago

    I am in the UK and this website has been a Godsend to me in helping me cope with the symptoms and finding others who have similar experiences. I am very lucky in that I was given a private pathway ( as an NHS patient ) for my migraines with an excellent Neurologist / headache specialist and if it wasn’t for attending that clinic I think I would be still coping with the chronic neck pain and disabling headaches without a diagnosis. Because I was on a private pathway I had a head MRI within 2 weeks and got the results shortly after which indicated a problem with my neck so I had a follow up cervical spine MRI which identified the problem for me and from there I was put on daily preventative medication. I was also referred to a Neurosurgeon at this point who helped me change the way I was handling my diagnosed “quite severe degeneration of my cervical spine” . . . this was the breakthrough for me as those words to mean signaled that my spine was crumbling so I was walking around like a soldier with a straight neck which (as the Neurosurgeon pointed out) was the worst thing I could do as what the diagnosis actually meant was that I had lost the curvature in my spine and it was too straight so the poor muscles in my neck were getting a double whammy, which was triggering migraine after migraine. The preventatives work really well, unless I do any slight over exertion with my neck . . . I went to a Back Club to help with my back problem and avoided any exercise which involved my neck and still ended up with a migraine Saturday to Monday so God alone knows what state I would have been in if I had done the back exercises as they were given on the instructions !

    I am so sorry to hear of all of the other battles you have to contend with in addition to your migraines and it must be very difficult to manage what you eat when you have to avoid food for migraine triggers and also IBS issues. I suffer with asthma and had a real sensitisation to chemical products at one point so I can sympatise in some small way with that issue you have and understand how that can bring on the nausea and migraines. I did also go through a phase of my head hurting when I put it on my pillow and still periodically get the numb sensation in my face which migraine realated and is very difficult when all you want to do is go to sleep.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    4 years ago

    Debs,
    Gosh you’ve been through a lot! I’m glad you’ve found our site. Since you are in the UK, you may also want to check out migrainetrust.org. It’s based in the UK and may have resources on finding docs in your area that we don’t have on this site.

    I love that you are exploring ways to create a business that will allow you to work when you feel well. That’s how I got into writing. I couldn’t handle my corporate job anymore but I can write when I’m well. It’s very rewarding. I hope you find something you love!

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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