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Triggers and Causes

Migraine Causes

  • By dalemathew

    Wondering if anyone has some suggestions or comments.
    I just turned 40 and I have been getting bad tension headaches and migraines, almost daily, for up to 2 years! I have had MRI’s, and EEG’s, been on topomax before and now amitriptylin. Keep thinking there has to be a cause and cure for this. I have always been fine but why all of a sudden? After switching neurologists she said I had to give up caffiene and get off Esgic tablets my prevoius dr put me on. Any suggestions? Can being abit overweight cause headaches?

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    dalemathew – There are over 300 different headache disorders to take into consideration to answer your questions.

    Migraine is a genetic neurological disease. The cause is in your genetics.

    There is some good information here https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/ about Medication Overuse Headache with which you will want to familiarize yourself.

    Caffeine can be a potent trigger and can cause rebound.

    MRI’s, EEG’s etc are not to look for a cause, but to be sure that what you’re experiencing isn’t something more sinister. In this case, these tests are used to rule bad things out. Migraine is certainly bad enough on its own, but since there are actually no tests that can presently test you for Migraine, they must use your symptoms and then test to rule everything else out.

    As to being overweight, there is a type of headache disorder called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) which can be associated with increased weight in certain individuals. https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-comorbidities-idiopathic-intracranial-hypertension/ The definitive diagnosis for this is a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

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  • By pain4

    Does anyone have any information about fragrance triggered migraines? The house is now fragrance free but there are smells everywhere once we step outside. Is the only prevention avoidance of smells ?

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    pain4 – Avoiding all odors is nearly impossible I’m afraid. I have gone to the extreme (ick) of putting cotton up my nose, but somehow I still taste the smell and that seems about as much a trigger as the actual odor. Some patients find that they have one or two odors that seem pleasant to them and using those to override the icky trigger laden odors is helpful. You might consider peppermint oil. One person I know carries a tiny vial of it with her and uses it when getting on an elevator etc when smells condense and can be especially problematic. Do you think something like that might be helpful??

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    • By Maryrose

      I can’t help a lot except to say that I have suffered migraines from people around me wearing certain perfumes. Patchouli is a definite trigger as is anything put out by Avon. If there is an underlying hint of musk, this will trigger a migraine. Within minutes of coming into contact with these products, I feel like my throat is closing up, and I get short of breath. The end result after seeing the aura, I usually faint but was aroused and had a splitting, blinding migraine. A sudden drop in barometric temperature is a trigger. If we have a storm, I have a migraine. One change I have noticed is that after the aura is seen I usually had 2-3 hours before the actual pain started. Now, when I see aura, I know the headache will hit me full force with 10-15 minutes.

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    • By bluelake

      My DOCTOR wore strong cologne even after I told him it was a trigger for my migraines. I finally decided it was time to seek another doctor.

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  • By pain4

    WE were told that Hypersensitivity to smells is life long as the brain does not forget to react to the smells as pain.Cotton does not seem to block the smells well and we do ‘taste’ the smell which, as you said, is a trigger in itself. Also very allergic to isothiazolinone(methyl-I, trade name Kathon or Kavon (sp?) which is in many aerosols and personal care products. Left us unable to attend classes. Has anyone tried blue-green algae/green algae to help remove the bezenes at the receptor sites in the brain ? this has been suggested as an alternative treatment.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    pain4 – You’re talking about central sensitization. Although it doesn’t mention odors, this article does help to describe how central sensitization works. https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-allodynia-and-central-sensitization/

    What we’ve learned about central sensitization has greatly expanded in recent years. Fortunately, what we once thought was permanent we now know is not. Central sensitization does not have to last forever, although it is a very, very stubborn creature.

    Although I admit I have not tried algae before as a result of a comorbid health condition, I do know some who have. Migraine is a funny disease, in that what works for one will not work at all for another patient. Algae is certainly an easy thing to try and is not likely to cause much of a problem in most patients, however we also do remind patients that it is VITAL to always contact a physician before adding, subtracting or changing in any way the protocol you are currently on.

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  • By hazel

    Hello, I am new here.

    I might have a very different “cyle”:

    ~I had horrible migranes starting when I was 13 years old. But, I had them once every 3 weeks and would last whole day. I managed studying, working full-time, and raising a family with that pain.

    ~It got worse when I was going through menopause, having it every day for whole ady and even stronger than when I was 13 years old, lasting from the age 52-58 – I couldn’t work, am thankful that my family was independent by then.

    ~Then, suddenly it completely gone at the age of 59 – It was like heaven.

    ~But, it came back at the age of 65, horrible and every 3rd day, lasting whole day. I am 66 now and fed up!!

    I need to know why and what can I do about it. My life and my diet has not changed.

    Thanks in advance.

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    • By chandbryan

      I had a very interesting thing occur in the last year. My oldest daughter developed food allergies. Her face swelled up like an elephant. Long story short I tried to enforce a Gluten free diet. I modeled for her that it could be done. Suddenly after three months I noticed a significant drop in my migraines, 70% drop. I still have to avoid artificial sweeteners, alcohol, vinegar, etc, but WOW! I was shocked and surprised to find a better quality of living through cutting out as much Gluten as possible. Has anyone else had this happen? If you are suffering death from migraines, try NO gluten and let us know. I still have hormone and an occasional structural migraine, but 70% is HUGE!!!! I had to share and I’m hopeful it will help someone else.

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi chandbryan,

      I’m happy to hear you’ve seen an improvement in your migraine frequency and severity. It must feel fabulous!

      I’ve noticed a few changes in my migraine patterns since being gluten free. I have to tell you for about a year I was truly gluten free. If you like to bake and I really do there is a great gluten free cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen and I mean great; http://americastestkitchen.buysub.com/homepage/the-how-can-it-be-gluten-free-cookbook-2528.html. Follow the instructions exactly and you really can’t tell the difference. I’ve fooled my kids with the chocolate chip cookies multiple times!!

      I’ve noticed however I’ve been slipping lately and am having more severe attacks. 🙁 Got to get back on the gluten free train.

      There does seem to be a connection between gluten and migraine. Let me share that information with you; https://migraine.com/blog/gluten-sensitivity-and-migraines/
      https://migraine.com/blog/gluten-and-migraine-is-there-a-link/
      https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-among-patients-with-celiac-disease-inflammatory-bowel-disease/.

      I hope that helps and keep us posted on your success!

      Nancy

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    • By Lindarose Curtis

      I too went gluten free for about a year, the migraines went from several a month to one every few months. When I stopped gluten free, I began getting them again. Now I have been Gluten free for a couple of years with perhaps 4 to 5 migraines a year. I have also cut down drastically on sugar/carb intake. I find that when my blood sugar levels are off, I get more migraines. I am so glad you found a way to reduce your migraines. For me, I have found that the food, migraine relationship is huge. Also, I will not eat fungus in any form, dark chocolate, or sour cream.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Hazel – I’m wondering if you have spoken with your doctor about your symptoms? Have you seen a headache specialist yet? https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

    It’s very possible you could have been suffering from menstrual Migraines as this is really a pretty typical pattern… with the exception of a recurrence at 65. https://migraine.com/blog/hormonal-migraine-the-basics/

    The important thing to remember though, is that hormone changes are but one possible trigger. If you have other triggers that perhaps weren’t so much of an issue for you in earlier life, it may be more difficult to figure them out. https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-trigger-management/ As we change and age, our Migraines, triggers, etc can also change! Keeps us on our toes I’m afraid o.0

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    • By Sarah

      So do you test your blood sugar levels? How has being gluten free helped your migraines? I was gluten free for about a month or two to see if it would help me. Do you think that was not long enough? What kind of migraines did you get because maybe being gluten free only helps certain kinds of migraine sufferers.

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    • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

      Painallthetime,
      I tried a gluten free diet for 2 months and did not notice a change. My doctor said that after about 2 weeks going gluten free you should be able to tell a difference. So if you’ve done it longer than that with no change, then that’s probably not one of your triggers.
      -Katie
      Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Patel Sanmay

    Causes of migraine
    Stress : eliminates what is causing you stress or tension and / or find a way to stop the events that annoy you to the point of causing stress and severe headaches.
    changes in sleep patterns : Not getting enough sleep can cause headaches and mental confusion and awkwardness.
    weather : when sudden temperature changes in weather either extensive heat or very cold sometimes can trigger a headache.
    Chemical smells : soaps and cleaning products in our homes or in the detergent aisle of a grocery store, perfumes, can trigger headaches. In addition, strong odors like smoke outdoors, tar, gasoline, chlorine, sewage, etc., can trigger migraines.
    Allergies : seasonal allergies to pollen from flowers or plants in the spring and mold spores from wet leaves in autumn can cause headaches. In addition, food allergies can also be to blame.
    Foods : Migraine is particularly sensitive to foods, such as cheese and red wine containing tyramine. Sulfites in wine and other foods, and sodium nitrite in cured meats may also trigger migraines in some people.

    [Content edited for spam]

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    • By roberta

      Dear Ellen, I write from Italy and I’m new here. First, let me thank you all for this website: it’s the first time I don’t feel alone.
      I suffer from migraines with aura (attacks once a year, lasting 6-7 hrs) since I was a child. At the end of the aura, nausea, vomit and deep sleep. In the last couple of years this changed. I suffer from aura without pain (attacks every 4 months, lasting 3 hrs).
      I’m 39. I’ve read migraine with aura can change along the years…is it so?
      I feel like I’m dying each time and, most of all, I’m not used to this ‘new’ form of my migraine and I’m scared to death it could be something else (even if I seem to control it more than before and it lasts less!). Do you know about connections with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? I made a EGG on october and everything was ok. One more thing, is it normal I’ve attacks usually when I finally relax after periods of stress? Thanks for your attention, Roberta.

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    • By Ellen Schnakenberg

      robertagiaretto

      I’m glad Migraine.com is giving you support and reminding you that you are far from alone. In the United States, it is the 7th leading cause of disability! They think that approximately one in four families deal with Migraine in some form or fashion.

      Having a good and constant relationship with your doctor about your Migraines is really important. We always tell patient to please see a Migraine specialist if it’s at all possible. This can often be life-changing.

      Looking For A Migraine Specialist? https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

      Any changes in your Migraine pattern needs to be reviewed by your doctor. This is to be sure that the changes are *normal* for you. For many people, having acephalgic Migraine (also called Silent Migraine or a Migraine without pain) is not abnormal. For some it can even be common. However, you’ve apparently not had yours diagnosed by a doctor who is well educated in Migraine medicine, and for that reason, I would give it proper respect until you know for sure that it is acephalgic Migraine and not a reason to be concerned.

      All Migraines can change throughout the years. That doesn’t mean they will, or that it is necessarily normal for any individual patient. This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor to be sure you’re otherwise okay.

      As to a connection with ALS – No, I don’t know of any specific researched connection. ALS can be tested for genetically. We can do it through a couple of different companies here in the US. Do you have ALS? ALS is thought by some to be autoimmune in nature, or somehow connected to autoimmunity. We do have some information here on general autoimmunity and how it can impact Migraine. I’ll give you a link:

      Migraine Triggers and Comorbidities: Autoimmune Disease https://migraine.com/blog/triggers-and-comorbidities-autoimmune-disease/

      As to Migraine attacks after relaxation. These are frequent and often nicknamed “letdown Migraines”. The current thought is that stress causes a rise in corticosteroids – natural steroids that we produce as a result of the fight or flight response. These hormones can actually be protective of Migraine attacks. When the reason for fight or flight is gone, then the corticosteroids disappear. This can create an imbalance that can trigger Migraine it is thought, and it might be that the lowering of the steroids themselves may play a part in why letdown Migraines occur. We’re constantly learning about such things. What we do know, is that they can be common. If this is a new pattern for you, be sure you talk to your doctor about it though, okay? We’re here to help you learn about your Migraines so you can talk with your doctor in a helpful way, and so you can learn to live a better life despite them.

      ~Ellen

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    • By roberta

      Dear Ellen, thanks for your prompt and caring answer! My doctor is not a specialist on migraines, knows about the changes in my migraine patterns and so sent me to a hospital migraine center here in my town. I talked to a doctor there who gave me a new medicine that immediately stopped my aura during the following attack. My doctor also made me do complete blood test (everything ok) and EGG (everything ok). Do you think I should make other checks?
      I don’t have ALS, I’m just scared everytime that my aura isn’t a real aura and may be something worse…even if my only desease in 39 years has been migraine.
      Thank you for the info about relaxation: thanks to you I finally can understand and cope better with one of the many faces of my migraine. You’re doing a very good job, really! There’s nothing good like this website on the web!
      Roberta

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    • By roberta

      Dear Ellen, I’ve to correct me about the answer I gave this morning.
      I made an MRI (not EGG) in october 2013. Everything was ok. There was only a small white patter and the neurologist told me the location of the patter was typical of either premature babies or MS…I’ve been so happy to tell him I was born premature!
      Do you know if that white pattern in the front left is also typical of people suffering from migraines? Thanks once more for ur attention. 🙂

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  • By Mardie Crucchiola

    The past 6 months i have had them everyday always on the left side. I also went back to the dr and he heard some swishing sounds in my neck and arteries leading to the kidneys. Could narrowing of the arteries cause migraines,which cause high blood pressure. I always had low till the last 6 months. Also my body never slows down. Help me
    Thanks mardie

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Mardie Crucchiola – There are no easy answers to your question, but maybe I can help shed a little light here…

    Migraine is a primary condition, which means that it isn’t *caused* by another condition. That said, there are literally hundreds of headache diagnoses and many of them share similar symptoms. This is one reason we urge patients to see Migraine and headache specialists for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

    Almost anything that changes how your body functions physiologically can be a Migraine trigger. With this in mind, it is unlikely that a blood vessel problem “caused” Migraine which is genetic and neurologic in nature, however it could certainly be triggering Migraine attacks. Whatever is triggering the blood vessel issues could also be a potential trigger. The meds you might take for it could be a trigger too. It could also be a different headache disorder altogether. Since treatment is based on a good diagnosis, I hope you are able to get to a doctor who can help you with this.

    High blood pressure and excess energy can also be signs of other diseases and disorders. One that comes straight to my mind is when I had Graves’ Disease and ended up with the same symptoms (along with some others). I’m not saying you have a thyroid problem like Graves’, however since thyroid dysfunction can often result in fluctuating levels and therefore fluctuating energy levels and BP and pulse, it might be prudent to rule out this very common condition (thyroid dysfunction) among others.

    Mardie – I hope this hasn’t confused you further. I hope you will come back and let us know what you find out from your doctor. Hang in there. I know it’s hard and it takes a lot of patience, but we’re all here for you…

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  • By Mardie Crucchiola

    Thank you so much Ellen for the info,this site is the best. I now feel I’m not alone. Although I’m getting very frustrated and depressed on why the migraines are every day now. I’ve been walking now for 2 weeks and joined a marathon that will happen in may. I go to acupunture at least once a week. I’m trying. I’ve always been a very active person with a ton of energy,but this energy I have is out of control lately. At least 3 days a week I’m a merchandiser with plenty of exerzsizes,but does anyone have a special diet out there for migrainers that is easy to follow? I have never been an over weight person so I don’t need to loose weight,but I think my sugar levels are out of control again,and could be a trigger.but maybe life lately for me is a trigger,I have also 3 jobs.
    Mardie

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  • By Mardie Crucchiola

    Does anyone know out there how to get off the imitrex without literally having so much pain they can’t stand it? I’ve read where people will have rebound headaches and you need to detox.

    Help.

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  • By abelder

    Mardie Crucchiola, As far as foods go I do my best to avoid Aspartame and MSG these have triggered migraines in me, my mom, and my grandma in the past, and also going to as little pre-processed foods has seemed to make a difference for me.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Mardie,

    May I ask how often you take Imitrex? One of the problems many of us with migraine have is trying to get rid of the pain. In doing so if we take migraine abortive medications like Imitrex or any pain medications – prescription or over-the-counter- more than two to three days a week may create medication overuse headache, or moh. Here is some information on moh; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

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  • By statusmigraine

    I am a 35 year old male, I don’t drink, smoke and caffeine upsets my stomach so I rarely have it. I rarely ever had headaches… until a month ago.

    About a month ago I had this shooting pain/headache above my left eye. I slept it off, it went away but a couple days later the headache returned. A headache that has not gone away since. It is hard to work or do anything. I do NOT have auras, nausea, vomiting or dizziness. I’ve experienced light-headedness a few times but the main issue is massive fatigue and a consistent frontal headache or a headache on the left side.

    I got two MRIs and a neurologist told me everything is normal but due to the small white matter in my brain, I have a “status migraine.” I asked the neurologist how I could suddenly have migraines like this when I never had one in my life. He said this can pop up at anytime and was sure the small headaches I had over the years – which really weren’t significant – were tiny migraines and I didn’t know. He said it was hereditary – my mother had migraines but they would only last a few hours.

    The neurologist gave me migrainal nasal spray and one dose of decadron and sequerol – it make me sleep for about 12 hours. He also prescribed Topriamate (30mg a day), which I am terrified to take. I heard the side effects are awful. And Cambia. I am afraid to take these. I have always been sensitive to medication.

    Does it make sense to never have migraines or any memorable headache in my life and they suddenly pop up?

    Can migraines have no other symptoms but a headache and fatigue and still be a migraine?

    Are status migraines real or just a term doctors use when they can’t figure out why a migraine won’t go away?

    Are there any natural or holistic remedies you’d recommend? I heard of Feverfew – if so, how many? The best brand?

    Any help would be appreciated. I am tired of this pain for over a month.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    statusmigraine – Wow – lots of things to address here. Let’s start at the beginning…

    First I suggest you get to a Migraine and headache specialist who is best qualified to diagnose, treat and manage these problems. You can find many listed here: https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/ You see, without an appropriate diagnosis, treatment won’t be appropriate either.

    White matter lesions can be present in Migraineurs. They don’t *cause* status Migraine, but are often seen and seem to be of no consequence at this point. That said, white matter abnormalities and hyperintensities like these can also be symptomatic of other problems, and these other issues really need to be ruled out. https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-white-matter-lesions/ Migraine is not a disease we can really test for, we have to rule out other problems that are treatable. In this case, several other tests come to mind that you should probably be having, and getting in to see a Migraine specialist will be very helpful in determining this.

    Yes, I like to tell patients that Migraine is on a spectrum, much like autism. People understand the spectrum of autism so it is easy to explain this way. Migraine can range from slight and barely worth treating, to disabling and even – rarely – fatal. That’s a lot of territory.

    I understand being afraid of taking medicines. However, there are smart ways to try preventives and having a good, knowledgeable specialist is the best way to be sure this happens. Starting as low as possible and going up very, very slowly is the best way to minimize side effects… especially for topiramate. Remember, just because a side effect is listed doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Almost nobody gets all the side effects. You’re wise to remember that everything has side effects though. The question becomes then, which are a better trade off for the Migraines.

    I would really like to address comorbid conditions too. These can exacerbate or trigger Migraine. One that immediately comes to mind is hormonal or thyroid dysfunction which can have a real impact on taking episodic Migraine to a chronic condition. AGain, these need to be ruled out by a doctor who knows what to look for.

    Status Migraine means that the Migraine is not letting up. Here is a piece that may be helpful for you to read: https://migraine.com/blog/what-is-status-migrainosus/

    Here is a post on the stages of Migraine that might be helpful in answering a couple of your questions: https://migraine.com/blog/what-are-the-stages-of-a-migraine-attack/

    We don’t really recommend anything to patients here. We can’t know your history or enough about what else you might be taking etc to be helpful. Again, that’s why a good specialist is so important. They can really help you figure out what might be most helpful to you. And yes, they do quite a bit with holistic remedies. However these also come with significant side effects and can be very dangerous when not taken appropriately. Particularly Feverfew. Please be careful. Here is a forum thread on alternatives: https://migraine.com/forums/ You can find many alternatives listed by scrolling down until you see them listed about halfway down the page.

    Please get back with us and let us know how you’re doing. Status Migraine isn’t something to be dismissing easily. It needs to be treated and there are many, many options for you. Please get help.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    susan-cummingsnawazelski – Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition. It can be a trigger for Migraines, although it does not cause them. There is a blood test available for those who think they are sensitive to gluten, and it will tell you if you have Celiac antibodies. The trick to the test is knowing that you have to be actively consuming gluten for the test to be reliable.

    Here is a list of applicable articles you might be interested in reading: https://migraine.com/?s=celiac

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  • By Amdkammed

    I am 23 years old and have been having extreme migraines for 2 years now. I used to wake up every morning at 4 am on the dot for a few cluster weeks, and then I’d have no migraines for a few more weeks. Then the pattern started all over again. About the same time I started experiencing pain in my back accompanied by lumps. After an MRI I was told these were lipomas. Then I started getting an extremely stuff neck with my migraines and only my left temple would hurt and throb. Then in the past few weeks I started having this immense stabbing pain right at the top of my head. To top it all of I’ve been losing vision and regaining it. I’ve been going to the chiropractor which is the only thing that elevates my neck stiffness and migraines sometimes, not all the time. I’m worried that my doctor and chiropractor are overlooking something more than just a typical migraine especially with this extreme stabbing pain at the top of my head. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Amdkammer – It can be scary when patients don’t appear to have the usual symptoms. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have Migraine, however it does possibly mean that you’re not seeing the right doctor.

    At this link: https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/ you will find listings of headache specialists. Hopefully one is in your area. Headache specialists have been specially trained in diagnosing, treating and managing Migraineurs and people with other headache disorders. Here is a link that explains why these doctors can be so important for us: https://migraine.com/blog/is-it-time-for-a-new-migraine-doctor/ With more than 300 different headache disorder possibilities, it’s impossible for one of us to tell you if you’ve been correctly diagnosed or not. I do try to encourage everybody who has questions to – at the very least – get a second opinion.

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  • By Trudy

    I’m new here, an so happy to find this site!! I’m getting more an more migraines lately sometimes 5 a month. It usually is 12 hours!! Vomiting an horrible pain. Lately I have to go to the ER I can’t deal with them. Getting worse… I read on here about cleaning products could bring them on!!! I am a clean freak! I love the smell of bleach!! Crazy I know’. I also love frebreeze, I usually use a can every 3 days! I do know as a kid I was told I was allergic to mold, but never had problems. I recently noticed I think in the ceiling in the bathroom it could be mold.. It looks like cottage cheese an after a shower with the fan going that ceiling looks blackish an stays wet for an hour.
    Sorry I’m rambling just realizing everything I do-cleaning all the time with chemicals could trigger mine.. I am currently disabled. I have had 36 operations on my right leg, had 2 spinal cord stimulators implanted an partially removed- they can’t get the rest of the wires out, too embedded. Last year had 3 plates put in my neck-no problems-best surgery yet! Also depression, 2 year old granddaughter had a stroke. Now she’s blind, deaf, having seizures an her brain is shrinking. Also lost my dad, an 6 months later my brother an 6 months later was when my granddaughter was air lifted. Thank you for giving me so possible reasons.

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  • By Trudy

    I’m new here, an so happy to find this site!! I’m getting more an more migraines lately sometimes 5 a month. It usually is 12 hours!! Vomiting an horrible pain. Lately I have to go to the ER I can’t deal with them. Getting worse… I read on here about cleaning products could bring them on!!! I am a clean freak! I love the smell of bleach!! Crazy I know’. I also love frebreeze, I usually use a can every 3 days! I do know as a kid I was told I was allergic to mold, but never had problems. I recently noticed I think in the ceiling in the bathroom it could be mold.. It looks like cottage cheese an after a shower with the fan going that ceiling looks blackish an stays wet for an hour.
    Sorry I’m rambling just realizing everything I do-cleaning all the time with chemicals could trigger mine.. I am currently disabled. I have had 36 operations on my right leg, had 2 spinal cord stimulators implanted an partially removed- they can’t get the rest of the wires out, too embedded. Last year had 3 plates put in my neck-no problems-best surgery yet! Also depression, 2 year old granddaughter had a stroke. Now she’s blind, deaf, having seizures an her brain is shrinking. Also lost my dad, an 6 months later my brother an 6 months later was when my granddaughter was air lifted. Thank you for giving me so possible reasons.

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  • By Jeanette Cucura Keymaster

    Trudy,

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss and all the struggles you and your family have gone through.

    We are happy to hear you enjoy our site. We hope you find our information useful to help cope with your migraine.

    -Migraine Team Member

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  • By Cindy

    Hi, I’m 53 and have had migraine headaches for 13 years. When the migraines are very severe I have seizures. I do not have epilepsy and have been tested for it and other possible causes on several occasions over the years. No one seems to have answers. Has anyone heard about this?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi oldbikegirl,

    It must be very frustrating to be in pain for so long and not have any conclusive answers. The last thing you probably want to do is see another doctor, but it may be time to see a headache disorder specialists. These doctors are experts in treating people with migraine and headache disorders all day, every day and are board certified in headache medicine. Something of note is that all neurologists are not headache disorder specialists and all headache disorder specialists are not neurologists. Let me share a bit of information with you on why these doctor are so special; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/. When you’d like to look for one you can check this link; https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    There is a type of migraine called migraine aura-triggered seizure according to the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders -III, beta version or ICHD-III beta version. According to ICHD-III beta version., which is the gold standard for diagnosing migraine and headache disorders there is certain criteria that needs to be meet for this diagnosis.

    They include; “A.Seizure fulfilling diagnostic criteria for one type of
    epileptic attack,
    B.Occurring in a patient with 1.2 Migraine with aura,
    and during, or within 1 hour after, an attack of
    migraine with aura
    C.Not better accounted for by another diagnosis.
    The comments are as follow: Migraine and epilepsy are prototypical examples of
    paroxysmal brain disorders. Although migraine-like headaches are quite frequently seen in the epileptic postictal period, sometimes a seizure occurs during or following a migraine attack. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as migralepsy, is a rare event, originally
    described in patients with 1.2 Migraine with aura. Evidence for association with 1.1 Migraine without aura is still lacking.” This is quoted from the ICDH-III beta version.

    I’m not suggesting this is the type of migraine or headache disorder you have, rather something to share with your doctor. I hope this information is helpful, and please keep us posted on how you are doing.

    Happy New Year

    Nancy

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  • By Laura_cov

    Hi there,

    I wonder if you know of a link between the depo injection for contraception and non aura migraines? I have had a couple of aura migraines but the majority are non. And if so, what’s a good alternative? My gp has continued to let me get the injection without even considering this.

    Thanks,

    Laura

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    • By Ellen Schnakenberg

      Laura_cov

      DepoProvera is a hormone that is a derivitive of progesterone, and almost any hormone can trigger Migraine of either type.

      As to an alternative to DepoProvera – you’ll really have to talk to your doctor about that. Each patient is different, with different histories and they’re frequently taking different medications. They need to be evaluated individually and those decisions are between you and your doctor.

      Some patients do well on a progesterone-only birth control regimen. These can be oral, or even long-term through an implant.

      If the progesterone is the trouble, then you might want to talk to your doctor about an alternative that has a lower amount of the drug, or a higher amount of estrogens. It’s possible that a change in the formulation be all that you need, or it could take more than that. Trial and error is often the only way really to know for sure.

      Have you talked to your doctor about your suspicions that the Depo shot is likely causing problems with your Migraine?

      It’s likely your GP is giving you the injection because they aren’t familiar with Migraine medicine. This is one reason why I very frequently try to encourage patients to at least once, see a Migraine specialist. Most find working with these extremely educated and experienced doctors to be life changing. Here is a link that can help you find the one nearest to you:

      Looking For A Migraine Specialist? https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

      ~Ellen

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  • By Laura_cov

    Ellen,

    Thank you for your reply. My problem is I live in Scotland and there’s not so many specialists here. I have not yet spoken to my gp about this but will next time I have an appointment and try an alternative. Anything is worth trying!

    Laura

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Laura_cov,

    Even living in Scotland you can do yourself a huge favor and learn as much as you can about your condition and the options out there to help it. There are hundreds and hundreds of things here you can read about options for you etc. and I encourage you to become as educated about your condition as you possibly can. Ask questions in the forums, etc. We are here to help you!

    ~Ellen

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    robertagiaretto

    I don’t know when you sent your last post, but there are a couple dated January 14th above which I did answer for you. You’ll have to scroll up quite a way. The trick is what you’re replying to. In this case, you replied to others’ replies from much earlier on in the thread, so your reply showed up earlier too.

    Does that help??

    ~Ellen

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    • By roberta

      Ellen, i got the answer via email, thank you!
      I’m deciding whether or not going again to my doctor to see if it’s aura without migraine. She’ll send me again to the specialized centers here in my city but they’ll be useless as they were the last time: the doctor there spoke for 15 min. without even listening to me.
      Anyway, thank you for the support.
      Roberta

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    • By Ellen Schnakenberg

      robertagiaretto

      Have you considered going into your visit and starting the conversation something like this:

      “Hello Dr, it’s nice to meet you. I want to take this time before we get started, to let you know that I am a patient that is dedicated to getting better. I am active in my health care and as such, I will probably have a lot of questions as I become a better educated patient. Better educated patients, make better patients though, so I hope that, together, we can make a difference in better managing my Migraines. If this is not something you’re comfortable with however, I would ask that you refer me to another doctor – equally as qualified and experienced at treating Migraine – who might be a better fit for a proactive patient like me.”

      ~Ellen

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  • By Lindarose Curtis

    Just joined. I suspect that hormonal changes have always been a trigger for me. I had chronic severe. (p.level9-10) for almost 40 years doing my best to live a normal life. Took heavy drugs, Excedrin for symptoms. Then about 10 years ago my doctor suggested I have antigen testing done to find triggers. Mushrooms came up #1, casein (milk protein) #2, egg whites #3. After giving up mushrooms and cutting way back on dairy and egg whites the migraines dramatically reduced to three or four a month. A couple of years ago, being unhappy with even the few I was having, I deleted gluten from my diet. The results are amazing. I have experienced 60 whole days (in a row) migraine free when I avoid all other triggers as well. Giving up favorite foods is not easy, most of my friends with migraines refuse to consider i. It is, for me, a choice I am willing to live with even though eating out or at a friend’s can be a challenge. I am 65 and have never been migraine “free”, but now I feel as though I am more in control of my life.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Hi Lindarose Curtis,

    Antigen testing works for a small number of patients, but I am so happy to hear that it was helpful for you!!

    There are a handful of patients that have allergies that can trigger Migraines. Antigen testing won’t reveal a trigger that isn’t related to a food sensitivity though, and this is different than the theory of a trigger. A food sensitivity can be a trigger, but a food trigger doesn’t have to be a food sensitivity – does that make sense?

    ~Ellen

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  • By Caitlin

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve tried just about everything, as I’m sure all of you have. I have been allergy tested and know what times of year I need to stay on top of my new found allergies. I’ve been seeing a headache specialist for 4 years now. I’ve tried seeing a chiro, I exercise daily, I maintain the healthiest diet I possibly can, I try to get as much sleep as possible, and all my doctors are on the same page (finally) about medications and helping me. After all this, and after thinking I was getting better, a trip to the E.R. because I was convinced I was going to die, made me realize the battle was not over yet. So, I began trying to find new complimentary options to try and ease up the pain, and until recently, I kept hitting dead end after dead end. My appointments with my specialist are growing more frustrating. It’s more of a check up and refill moment, compared to changing things around.

    I’m taking a health policy and administration class in college, and it most recently had me questioning an old MRI Scan report I found this summer, that had been taken 2 years ago. On this scan, everything came back normal, except the fact I have a 9 mm pineal cyst, which I was not told about by doctor. I found it when I registered for an online medical records website, through where the company that did my MRI had it in my system. I have done a little research before coming here, and the very few things I have been able to find are that headaches are a symptom. I also found out people don’t tend to take them seriously, and re-scans might want to be administrated if the cyst is 10 mm or over. On the results, it says “unlikely” to be clinically significant. I was wondering if anyone knew anything else about pineal cysts and whether or not I should follow up on this with hopes to continue to work towards solving my migraine mystery.

    Thanks!
    Caitlin

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  • By Donetta

    Hello I am new. I have had trouble with migraines for 10 to 15 yes. They would come and go and I would have to stay in my room for a week no lights, no nothing. But it has progressed to the last 4 to 5 months almost never leaving home or my room. They are unfeasible. Tried many things. Dr finally turned me over to nuerologist. I see him Wed. I am scared. All test so far are normal or negative. My big fear as everyone says there is nothing wrong. I have had to quite driving, enjoying life. Yes I am scared.
    Donetta

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi Donetta,

      Welcome to the Migraine.com discussion forum! It can be scary getting a new diagnosis, that’s why it’s important to learn all we can about our particular type of migraine and/or headache disorder,it makes it less frightening.

      How did your appointment with the doctor go?

      Nancy

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    • By Bunny

      Hi.. I feel sorry for you. Don’t panic or stressed.. it causes more pain.. so calm down..its good to visit a a neurologist and do whatever doctor told..with medication why dont you try alternative medication like Meditation, magnet band etc. I hope this link will help you a lot, Transcranial Magnetic stimulation

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    caitkirch5351

    Oh boy, I’m so sorry you’re having this experience. This is one reason I always encourage patients to get and keep paper copies of all their medical records, but especially imaging and blood tests. When you have them in paper in a notebook in front of you, you can see things that may be missed, notice patterns and trends, and be a more knowledgeable patient about your own body. For our family, this has been life changing. I have stories that would make your hair stand on end.

    Your pineal gland is important for many reasons, and in short, yes it is definitely possible that it could be involved in your Migraine issues. It’s so frustrating to be doing everything “by the book” right and still be making little to no progress. Sometimes it’s another health issue that’s not been addressed and sometimes it just means it’s time for a new doctor. Both are important things to consider.

    Have you told your Migraine specialist about the MRI findings? What does he/she say? I would suggest that you ask your doctor to explain the purpose of the pineal gland and why it is important in your case… or not if he/she thinks it’s not. You can get a good idea about what your doctor is thinking and get a great education by researching it all first, then asking those questions. Being an educated patient is really important when you have Migraine.

    Have you been diagnosed as chronic? Have you tried Botox yet? I know you said you felt you had tried “everything” however I assure you, you haven’t. It literally would take 25 years to try all the preventive medicines we have available, and many of them work best in combination, so there would be time to try them in combination too. It is certainly a big job, not for the faint of heart.

    Here is a link that you can check to see if your doctor really is a board certified Migraine specialist… just in case you’d like to check your doctor out: https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

    Let us know how you’re doing. Lots of times small findings can be meaningless, however most patients feel they deserve to be told, and the choice to do follow-up or take a wait and watch approach. When your Migraines are intractable, it’s good to start looking at other health issues…

    ~Ellen

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  • By Caitlin

    Ellen,

    Thanks for your response. The doctor that ordered the test I no longer see. He was getting frustrated with me, and my mom and I decided seeing a general neurologist might not be the best option for me. The migraines were getting worse and I was about to fail out of college so we switched to see a headache specialist at the Thomas Jefferson Headache center. I only found the MRI results that were taken in 2011 when I began to see a rheumatologist when i developed numerous cysts in my feet last summer. All her blood tests were electronic and it just so happened, my MRI was through the same company and were reported to me online when I signed up for the account. Although the neurologist came back to me and said there was nothing to worry about, there was a statement on my MRI that said “unlikely to be clinically significatnt”. My mom has been my biggest supporter, for the most part, and when I first found out about my cyst, I freaked out and she told me it was nothing. I tried looking things up about it, but there is hardly any information out there about it, so I kind of let it go to the wayside because my migraines were getting better at the time and everyone around me was telling me I was making a big deal out of nothing. I just began to question it recently because I began making backwards progress. I can no longer decrease my medication like I had been trying to do. The frequency is reoccurring no matter how precise i am with my logs, and share how the frequency is increasing the check ups are still “Keep your medicine as is, see you back in 6 months. Need a refill?”

    I think at the moment my medication is at a stand still. It is maintaining enough for satisfactory effects, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I feel the effects, or if I don’t get the perfect diet, I feel the effect. Its really hard to be the perfect human being everyday. No one knows much about the cyst and doesn’t take it seriously, I’m not sure where to turn. I know that with my switch over everything was transferred from one doctor to the next, but nothing was reported or said to me regarding the MRI by either doctor. I guess I was trying to find something worth bringing up to the doctor about why I should be concerned or why the cyst and migraines would be related and see if its something worth pursuing, along with trying yet again for a botox. Last year, I asked about it and I was told that it was an option but I should try other things first and go down other roads. It almost sounded negative. I also continue to seek out answers by going to other specialists on my own, such as an allergy specialist, but that doesn’t explain why I suffer during non-allergy time of years.

    Thank you for your response. Its really getting me to think proactively instead of letting me fall into this pattern of just listening and not taking a hand of getting lazy and living with uncertainty of whats out there and living with pain. I appreciate your time and effort.

    Caitlin

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  • By Bunny

    Migraine is a neurological problem that is primarily accompanied by severe headache and nausea. Migraines can have several causes and might begin with any little discomfort, often without any warning sign. This pain caused by a number of foods. Chocolates, gluten in wheat, caffeine in coffee are dangers for a person who experiences migraine attacks. Migraine has several types and complexities that differ from person to person. One type of migraine that is alarming and often misleading in getting people to think about stroke symptoms is the Complex migraine.Any small change in weather conditions- pressure, temperature or any sudden change in the atmosphere can become a reason behind an onset of an attack. Strong smells, a sudden flash of light or any change that suddenly adversely affects the senses might become an irritant resulting in the beginning of the headache. Migraine attacks make the person extremely sensitive and vulnerable to irritants all around. Unpleasant sounds, light, or smell- anything can trigger a migraine attack.
    Ice packs and dark rooms are some of the ways of treating a migraine at home. Other than that regular food habits and proper rest help in prevention of the nightmarish pain attacks.

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  • By mheadacherelief

    I would like to say Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway.There are a lots of reason due to which migraine can occur.Common migraine triggers include hormonal changes in women,foods,drinks,stress and many more.

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  • By mheadacherelief

    I think their are so many reasons due to which migraine can occur.The most common culprits are alcohol, especially red wine and beer, tobacco , caffeine and other triggers include stress, hunger,changes in sleeping patterns and changes in barometric pressure.

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  • By shelburgh

    Hi, I am at a loss and hoping to get some help here. I’ve always known that 2 of my big triggers were hormones and sinus problems. I have been through menopause, and hoped my headaches would decrease… no such luck. In the last year I moved from an area where the online weather sites say the allergens are high to an area where it says the allergens are low. Still I found myself in the walk-in medical center last weekend getting a prescription for prednisone for sinus pain. The day after I took my last dose my headache returned. Oh, and did I mention the “migraine forecast” for today says “beneficial”? AAAA! I already watch what I eat and drink, so I don’t think it’s food related.

    I have an appointment to see an ENT next week, maybe this will shed some light. I have a deviated septum and have been getting slight nosebleeds regularly.

    I guess I just get discouraged, feeling like must be my fault somehow.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    Shelburgh,
    I think at some point we all blame ourselves because no one has been able to “fix” us. But it isn’t your fault and the fact that you continue to find the cause and manage your Migraines says that you are not going to let this get you down!

    The majority of what people think are sinus headaches are actually Migraines. They can present with the same symptoms such as watery eyes and stuffy nose. But if you have light sensitivity as well, then it’s typically a Migraine. So when you see the ENT, make sure to mention the Migraines too. Having the right diagnosis could prevent you from going through unnecessary tests or procedures. We have quite a few reference sources on this topic:

    https://migraine.com/?s=sinus+&submit=Go

    I hope the ENT will be able to find the culprit and fix it, if not it’s time to see a Headache Specialist!
    Best Wishes!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Stephanie C.

    I’ve had migraines for about ten years now, and I’m fairly positive mine are caused by atmospheric pressure. I’ve kept migraine diaries and have no correlation with particular foods/smells/chemicals, but whenever there is rain in the forecast, I seem to get a really terrible migraine that makes it feel like an ice pick is being driven into my head above my right eye.

    Does anyone else have pressure-induced migraines? Ever have any success with any particular treatments or preventatives? I’m at my wit’s end.

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  • By Devi Bala

    Any of you experience a severe attack before the start of monthly cycles? I am getting it for the past six months without fail..I am living with migraine for the past 6 years..Would like to see how many of you experience this (monthly cycle as a trigger) and mitigation that you may have.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    DeviBala,
    I sometimes get an increase in Migraines around my period, but not always. The change in a woman’s hormones during this time can seriously cause Migraines. Here’s an article about the basics of why this happens.

    https://migraine.com/blog/hormonal-migraine-the-basics/

    One thing to talk to your doctor about it the type of birth control you use (if any at all). The pill has a lot of extra hormones in it, which could contribute to the Migraines. A birth control method with the least amount of hormones in it is best. I personally have a copper IUD, which has no hormones. Another option is the Mirena IUD that does have some hormones in it. But there are so many different options to figure out what may help you.

    Are you on any preventative medication? That’s another topic to explore with your doctor. Some meds can also be used in the days leading up to or right after your cycle for a few days to prevent an attack (like Amitriptyline or Topamax and even Vitamin E as the link below discusses).

    https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/natural-remedies/vitamin-e-for-migraine-headaches/

    Here is also another Forum thread on Menstrual Migraines that you might find helpful:
    https://migraine.com/topic/menstrual-migraine-hormonal-migraine/

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

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  • By vltf9b

    Here’s my take on the causes of migraines – adrenaline!
    I started suffering migraines at the onset of puberty which suggests to me there is a link to hormones (adrenaline?). Most of my migraines occurred during exercise. What is released during exercise – adrenaline.
    Later I discovered that my tongue would become sore when I ate oranges. My body was reacting to something in the oranges because I am allergic to them. What is the bodies natural response to an allergy, it releases adrenaline.
    I have suffered from anxiety for no apparant reason for as long as I can remember basically always feeling anxious and biting my nails. People who suffer migraines are 3 times more likely to suffer anxiety/depression. Why do I suffer anxiety because I believe my body has a genetic tendancy to either over produce adrenaline or does not break down adrenaline properly which means I have excessive amounts of adrenaline running round my body which keeps your body in a constant state of fight or flight which over time leads to anxiety and for some people depression.
    Seeing my daughter suffering in the same way, I sought help (45yrs) took a course of anti-depressants and tried CBT. Having had no migraines for 3 years (avoiding oranges like the plague), I suffered 8 migraines in 5 weeks and came off the anti-depressants (which incidently made no difference to the anxiety). Why did I suffer migraines, I suspect the antidepressants caused me to release excessive amounts of adrenaline. I have now started a course of propranolol which is for anxiety and controls the release of adrenaline. I’ve only taken 2 tablets so far but no nail biting since I took the first tablet last night.
    Does it not say it all but propranolol, which is used to reduce anxiety, is prescribed as a preventative medication for people who suffer migraines. Incidently, I had excellent results when I tried St Johns Wort, however, my GP was against it because it is not controlled so there is no guarantee of it’s strength or quality.
    I really hope this will help others, I am no medical professional and only talk from my own experience and research.

    Phil

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    @jean,
    Forum disccusions are typically created by community members who can name the thread whatever they want. In this case, causes and triggers can often get confused.

    “The underlying reasons for migraines isn’t certain. However, there are several chemical reactions and changes in the brains of people with migraines that have been documented and may cause the recurring attacks.”Focusing on triggers can help to manage the cause of Migraines in each individual person.

    Take a look at this article to help understand the difference. https://migraine.com/migraine-causes-and-triggers/

    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Luke-486

    Hi guys,I’ve joined this forum because I’m pretty confused on the type of migraine I have,the doctors told me the cause of my migraines is probably sugar,so I now limit myself to 60g a day and I haven’t had a migraine in about 7 months,the strange part is,the migraines only come the day after I exceed my amount of sugar I allow myself.not only that but they don’t last for days,only a couple of hours now.i was taken into hospital at the age of 14 with cronic migraines and rashes,the doctors said It was a blood infection,and I suffered with regular migraines since then,and for some reason high amounts of sugar now cause me migraines,any chance somebody could help me clear up the confusion of what’s actually going on with my migraines? Thanks

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  • By Megan Freeman

    I have long ago accepted that my migraine triggers are strange and completely different than everyone else. The more quiet and less dullness my life is the worse the pain. That said there is one trigger that I also have. Ice I long ago stopped being ashamed to say no ice. Most don’t blink they don’t ask why. There are those who at first roll their eyes or whatever but never not even at the many banquets I have gone to, the cruises, the five star restaurants in New York and California to my onehorse Townsend close city’s have I ever been told let me see if I am allowed. Huh that is what a waiter at a luncheon during a conference said to me about a month ago. Seriously you don’t think you are allowed to provide someone with a glass that has no ice in it. I get it’s a banquet. This is why I didn’t start speak up before I did.

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    @ Megan Freeman,
    Don’t be afraid to ever ask for accommodations! I’m so glad you started doing this. You know what your body needs, who cares if people look at you sideways. You’re not being a diva about it!

    On a side note, I have a friend who doesn’t keep ice in their house. No reason, they just don’t like it.

    Best wishes!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

    @ Megan Freeman,
    Don’t be afraid to ever ask for accommodations! I’m so glad you started doing this. You know what your body needs, who cares if people look at you sideways. You’re not being a diva about it!

    On a side note, I have a friend who doesn’t keep ice in their house. No reason, they just don’t like it.

    Best wishes!
    -Katie
    Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Luke-486

    Never been tested for diabetes,but I show no symptoms of it and the headaches are the only effect on my body from high sugar intake,I guess I can put it down to a sugar intolerance

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Luck-486,

    Thank you for your comments. Katie gave you great information and I’d like to add a bit, if I may.

    There is a lot of confusion about what causes migraine. Researchers are not entirety sure what the exact cause of migraine is, but do know its a genetic neurological disorder. When a migraineurs overly sensitive brain comes into contact with certain stimuli, or triggers (certain foods, interrupted sleep, changed in the barometric pressure and many others) a cascade of events may begin that can impact the overly excitable neurons in our brains and start an attack.

    We have this information on cause vs. trigger that may interest you; https://migraine.com/blog/trigger-versus-cause/.

    Nancy

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  • By Still Smiling

    I think I’ve just found that I might have a ‘secret’ trigger in air pressure. I’ve always known that I get migraines when a really bad thunderstorm rolls through or when there’s been a bad bout of rain for days on end – (I live in the UK, this happens far too frequently for my liking!) – but, recently, we had a week of sun, followed by only 2 days of rain. Literally within a half day of the first day of rain, I started experiencing the aphasia symptoms of migraine. However, I didn’t immediately but it down to the change in air pressure that brought us the rain – I had had no sleep that night among other triggers so I put it down to a multitude of other triggers – but now, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m highly sensitive to the air pressure. I have found a really good website that tracks the pressure lines and I can see ahead of time what the pressure is likely to be, so I can keep on eye on this (hopefully not bringing about some sort of weird placebo effect). However, my question is this: all my doctors really tell me is avoid my triggers? How the hell do I avoid a change in the air pressure!? How do I control this – am I doomed to suffer with migraines til the end of time because I’m ultra-sensitive to the air pressure!!??

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    • By jns192 Moderator

      Still Smiling,
      Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. Remember that you are not alone in this battle and we are always here to listen and support you. I understand your frustration with your doctor’s advice to avoid your triggers. It is clear that barometric pressure is out of your control. However, perhaps there are a few things you can try to mitigate your pain if you know a trigger forecast is on its way. Do you currently take a preventative or abortive medication for your migraines?
      Like you and many other migraineurs, I often get migraines in accordance with weather changes. When I know there will be a big shift in pressure, I will be more inclined to take my abortive medication and the very first sign or twinge of a migraine. This way, I am usually able to nip it the bud before it gets out of hand.
      Additionally, if that doesn’t work, I have backup medications that I only use during a persistent attack (i.e. nabumetone, steroids)
      If your current doctor is unable to provide you with safety nets for when a weather induced migraine comes, it might be worth looking into a second opinion. You are not doomed to suffer with migraines until the end of time!!!

      I also wanted to share some articles with you on this topic:

      The Power of Weather: https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-triggers-the-power-of-weather/

      Should the Weather Forecast Include a Migraine Alert: https://migraine.com/blog/should-the-weather-forecast-include-a-migraine-alert/

      Thunderstorm: https://migraine.com/blog/thunderstorm/

      Also be sure to check out the comments below the articles for more feedback from community members like you.

      We would love to hear back from you.
      Jillian (Migraine.com Team)

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  • By Jojiieme

    I just wanted to share this really exciting piece of research in tonight’s news ( well, tonight meaning Australian time):
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-21/migrane-research-finds-dns-links-that-could-improve-treatment/7530202

    It mightn’t look exciting, but having all those genes involved means we finally know why there are so many signs and symptoms. And that final bit, that’s it’s a vascular supply issue, not a brain matter issue because of all these genes… To me, that makes the future pharmacology more exciting, and kinda makes putting up with all this a little easier.

    I’ve just finished an online course that looked at the Exercise Prescription (in other words, the theories behind why we’re prescribed various exercises). Even one minute of exercise a day is better than nothing, and that can be ‘incidental exercise’. As long as you move a little more than yesterday. (Believe me, I know sometimes it’s hard) if you can sit in a chair, at the edge of thar chair and just march your feet for a minute that counts; sing ‘when the saints…’ While you’re doing it.
    Exercise like that, that helps to empty your heart a little faster, helps to keep your blood vessel walls more elastic. According to this research, that will help with the frequency and duration of your migraines.
    Stay well, everyone! Happy Equinox!

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  • By erintobin

    Hi… I have decided to join this forum as I am at a loss as to where to go from here.

    I have struggled with migraines/headaches for nearly 15 years now and they have been increasingly worsening over the last couple of months.
    I currently get migraines for 3 days straight at certain times in my menstrual cycle for which I am now seeing a hormone specialist and having some success with.
    On the other hand, I am still experiencing bad headaches which have now been daily over the past 3 weeks which cannot be subsided with simple Panadol.
    I have had MRI’s, treatment in bowen therapy, chiro, physio, cupping, colonics and acupuncture, seen many naturopath’s and just recently had the Daith area in my ear pierced (results may take some time to show, if any). I also have tried many diets such as juicing as apparently I am intolerant to all dairy and sulphites. And just recently, been told gluten as well. I am not sure how true all of these diagnosis are as it varies from person to person that I see.

    I am reaching out on here as I don’t know what to do anymore or where to turn to. I have a 20 month old son and have recently moved interstate away from the majority of our family which is making things hard to manage whilst suffering in all this pain. I have tried a number of medications and while they treat my migraines/headaches effectively, I do not want to be taking these tablets for the rest of my life as they just mask the cause of them all. And as they make me quite sleepy, I sometime cannot take them as I need to, as I have to look after my son.

    If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on other avenues I could take, it would be much appreciated. I tried looking for answers on the already stated posts but have found it hard reading them all individually as so many people obviously suffer from these terrible things.

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    • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

      Hi erintobin,

      Thank you for being part of the Migraine.com discussion forum – we’re glad you’re here!

      I’m sorry you are having such a rough time. Migraine is exhausting and frustrating, let me see what information I can give you that will help.

      The first thing that comes to mind is medication overuse headache, moh which was formerly called rebound. Moh can occur if we take migraine medications (Maxalt etc.) and/or pain medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week. And the thing is if we are in an moh cycle, our migraine attacks will be more difficult to treat and we can end up in a daily cycle of pain that too is hard to break. When you get a moment, take a look at this information on moh; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

      Fluctuating hormones can be a strong migraine trigger. You may want to discuss taking Frova prophylactically a few days before and during your cycle. There is good evidence that this works for many women. We have information on that here; https://migraine.com/blog/short-term-option-for-migraine-prevention-frova/.

      It’s not uncommon for image scans to comeback normal. Migraine can’t be diagnosed by image scan or blood tests. Migraine is diagnosed after we’ve had a complete neurological exam, discussion of our symptoms and our family’s medical history as well as our own. This article discusses this in more detail; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-diagnosis-and-doctors/.

      If you don’t see a “true” migraine and headache expert, I would encourage you to do so. Neurologists may be fine doctors but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many differnt disorders such as epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and others. Migraine/headache experts are just that, experts in one area, migraine and headache disorders. We have more information on how these doctors are different and how to find one in these articles; http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

      Do you happen to know what your triggers are? If we are able to identify our migraine triggers and learn to avoid them, we may be able to reduce our attack frequency and severity. This article contains information on identifying and managing our triggers; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-trigger-management/.

      The best way to do this is to keep a detailed migraine diary for a few months which most migraine experts have their patients do this. It’s easier than ever now because of all the apps out there. Migraine.com has The Migraine Meter you can check out here; https://migraine.com/migraine-meter/. If that’s not to your liking, there are many others out there.

      I’m going to stop now so I don’t totally overwhelm you. After you’ve gone over this information, please let me know if you have questions.

      Nancy

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  • By Carl55

    I was first diagnosed with migraines four years ago. I had them on and off for several months and then they stopped. At that time, I felt that Sleep issues, stress and certain foods triggered the migraines. I recently had another migraine and have been looking into possible causes. Once again I believe the causes are interrupted sleep, stress and certain foods. I am trying the low tyramine headache diet. When I had my most recent migraine, it was right after I had eaten some dried figs. I also suspect that I had migraines prior to my diagnosis, but attributed them to “just headaches” or sinus headaches. When I had a Brain MRI about 8 years ago due to vertigo(prior to my diagnosis), there were findings that indicated migraines. When I had the follow up MRI 4 years ago, it was still there. I take Maxalt as a abortive migraine drug and have also taken Naproxen.

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  • By mzmeaness

    Hi! I’m wondering if anyone has been through this?
    I recently have started experiencing very bad migraines that are unbearable and have had the same migraine (some days not so bad, some days I can’t pick my head up) for 2.5 months now. I’ve been diagnosed with migraines since I was 15 and am now 36. I saw a neurologist for years and still see one. I just did the 1 hr EEG and then the 72 hr EEG at home last week. I have been having odd episodes where I seem to space out but can hear what’s going on around me for almost 1.5 months now. When I don’t have those, I have had what my family describes as seizures where I don’t remember anything at all but “wake up” panicked and crying (I have anxiety as well). I am apparently shaking and twitching during these episodes with my eyes rolled back or staring off. They say my fingers start moving and I make an odd noise at onset and then I don’t respond to them at all until it’s over for awhile. I do get a weird feeling before this happens and try to tell someone I don’t feel well if they’re in the room with me. When it’s over I’m crying silently at first and then panic and cry like a child when they’re scared. I’m also experiencing a speech impediment at times, similar to that of a stroke patient. It’s not everyday but it’s most days now and it really hinders my life and ways to communicate. The Dr thinks this could be stress related?
    I’m on meds for seizures now and did a round of steroids as well to try to reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in my head. MRI results and CT scans have been normal except for swollen or smaller blood vessels.
    I lose my eyesight in both eyes at times but haven’t had sight in my right eye (normal for my right eye for about 4 yrs now to do this when i have a migraine) since this migraine started. Nothing makes it go away, not migraine meds (I have 4 types), been to ER twice and given meds (3 different kinds) that still didn’t help. I can’t stand the sunlight or any light coming in to the side of my eyes but that is normal for me for many years now. My eyes are so sensitive to any type of light and have been for as long as I can remember. Now they feel as if they’re on fire all of the time and I often lay an ice pack across them to try to help.
    I was sent to an Opthalmology specialist where they did an eye exam and series of tests including taking pics behind my eyes to check for optic nerve swelling. She is sending me to a Neuro Ophthalmologic specialist this coming week because she couldn’t find out what the problem is.
    I am seeking advice or anyone who has been through this before. We have a history of pseudotumor cerebri in our family but my niece has it and we’ve never found anyone other than her with it in our family. I was given a pre-diagnosis of that at my hospital visits because it’s hereditary and they believe she may have gotten it from me. My migraines have never really been “treatable” as in most people can go get a shot from their Dr and be rid of it and I have done it for years now, sometimes they help some but most times they just ease it up enough for me to sleep for 12+ hrs.

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  • By Befanie

    HI Ellen,

    I’ve been having migraines for many years. They always start in my right eye and mostly stays in my eye and on the right side of my head. The pain is excruciating. It used to be that toward the end of the migraine, or at its peak, I would throw up and I would finally get relief. This used to last anywhere from one day to three. Now they last up to a week and more. I am on 150mg Topamax twice a day as a preventative and it has reduced the frequency of migraines where I used to get migraines twice a week I get them not quite as much, but their duration seems to balance that out now.
    I started a migraine on Saturday in my right eye, Today it has move for the first time ever into my left eye/left side of my head. I can always expect a migraine around my menstrual cycle, which I am currently experiencing twice a month (in my 40s perhaps premenopausal?)
    Any information you can share with me would be greatly appreciated as I am growing a little more frustrated with the pain and missed work, frustrated friends, shame of not being able to do what others think I should when I have a migraine. I have my screen set dim so I could type this. I just needed to reach out.

    Thank you in advance for your reply!

    Befanie

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