Relief after 20 years
I'm sharing this in case it helps someone else. I will also put in the disclaimer that I can't say what part of what I am doing is the "magic" part, but I'm just happy with the results.
I am one of those lucky people who can't take a lot of the most prescribed migraine medications. This has made treatment difficult over the years. My migraines started in my late teens and progressed to the chronic diagnosis in my mid twenties. Before coming under control I was in the hospital a few times with vomiting that wouldn't stop. Not fun.
The first thing that got the migraines under some sort of control was Verapamil. It wasn't perfect, but I had a terrible reaction to beta-blockers so this was the next option. I was on this for a good 15 years, with Fiorecet for the break thru migraines which happened a few times a month. As I got older I developed sinus issues which fed into the migraine so I would end up taking a horrible cocktail of meds to get ride of the pain.
Along the way we started me on 50mg of Zoloft for mild anxiety which seemed to be making the migraines worse. The Zoloft really helped that and with no side effects I've noticed.
5 years ago we decided to try Topamax instead of Verapamil. It worked a bit better, but the side effects were not the greatest. The worst part was the memory loss. I felt slightly brain damaged. When the neurologist increased the dosage to 75mg I thought I'd had a lobotomy, so we decreased to 50 and I could function.
This year the migraines got exponentially worse, for no reason we could find. They became an everyday fact of life, not always debilitating, but always there. No change to the brain, a relatively stress free life style-the only thing that changed was my age. We discussed a medication change, only to realize my options were Lyrica which my neurologist didn't feel would be effective for me, or Botox injections which I was not in favor of. So I started doing some research on my own with my primary care doctor.
I started acupuncture and we took the Topomax down to 25 mg, and added a magnesium/B2 supplement. I also found some research indicating electrolyte therapy could be very effective in treating a migraine (my idea of being properly hydrated was focused on water. This research discussed how the sodium/potassium pump worked, the effect on the brain and nervous system and electrolyte balance). Here is the link to a great article:
It has been about a 6 weeks now, 3 acupuncture treatments in that time. The constant migraine I had for weeks has been gone for 3 weeks now. I have gotten a very mild migraine twice, both times had triggers I could identify. Taking Excedrin with Gatorade or Pedialyte has brought relief in 15 to 20 minutes-unheard of previously. I haven't needed to take the Fiorecet at all.
So I don't know if it is the acupuncture, the proper hydration, the supplement or a combination of everything, but something is working for me. I hope this can help someone else!
Have you shared your migraine story with us yet?