Tracking the barometer
I've tried for years to figure out what's causing my migraines, and how to stop them. I've been getting sporadic migraines with aura since I was 13, and about 10 years ago, I started noticing that I would get a headache (not aura) in the evening. Sometimes it was mild, sometimes severe, sometimes it would disappear for a few days and then reappear. Sleep has never come easy for me, and I started associating my headaches with tiredness, since they occurred in the evenings, and thought that if I could just sleep they would go away. They affect my whole life, I'm cranky and irriatable, and miserable to be around. I started too realize that even without the aura, they were migraines, and the effects of a single episode could last days.
I had my eyes checked and rechecked, I stopped my birth control for 2 years, then started it again, I cut out caffeine. Sometimes they occurred when it was raining, other times when it was sunny. I tried tracking them, and while there was some correlation to my monthly cycle (the 1st-4th days of my period always came with a severe headache) they also occurred chronically through rest of the month.
A few months ago I discovered my cell phone (and nearly all major cell phones) came with a barometer built in, so I downloaded an app that tracked the barometer sensor every 15 minutes. The results were difficult to relate to at first, but I started to see a pattern after 2 weeks. When the pressure is consistent, I'm headache free. When the pressure drops, I'm headache free. It isn't until the pressure starts to RISE that I actually get a headache. However because I live in a mid-atlantic coastal town, the pressure fluctuates constantly. It was extremely noticeable when I went on vacation to an area without much precipitation or pressure fluctuations, and was headache free for 10 days straight. I could think clearly, and the brain fog was completely gone.
I started to check the pressure constantly, and any time I noticed there was a dip, I would pay attention to when the rise would start and take a sumatriptan. My headaches have dwindled to less than once a week instead of constant, and I'm seeing my overall anxiety and moodiness lessen. I still get hormone induced headaches the first few days of my period, but i know now that I have two triggers, not one.
I would definitely encourage anyone who can't find a trigger to download a simple barometer tracking app, I use 'Barometer+' which is free in the android app store, and set it to record every 15 minutes.
I'm about to start a cgrp clinical trial, and hopefully I'm not in the placebo group. I'll report back if it helps, I'd love to stop relying on sumatriptan altogether!
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?