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Author Topic: Can I stop a migraine?  (Read 3849 times)

Offline Geezer

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Can I stop a migraine?
« on: 06/10/2009 21:14:06 »
I've suffered from migraines since I was about eight years old. It took quite a while before we even knew what was going on. I had really horrible visual effects, upchucking etc. As I got older, the events happened less often, and now they are infrequent.

I've found that, at the very first sign of visual trouble, weird "pixilation" in a small area of my field of vision, if I immediately stop what I am doing (today I was looking at TNS when it struck!) and lie down, close my eyes and try to sleep, I seem to be able to stop the migraine from developing.

I'm wondering if anyone else has found they can do something similar, and I'm also wondering if this suggests some kind of biofeedback therapy might help those who suffer from this affliction.

Any suggestions?


 

Offline RD

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Can I stop a migraine?
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/2009 22:03:43 »
The weird "pixilation" is an aura, (possibly scintillating scotoma).

There are prescribed medications for migraine which alter (reduce) bloodflow in the brain,
 e.g. Sumatriptan (new), Ergotamine (old)

Because of nausea which often accompanies migraines ["upchucking"] other routes of drug delivery are available.
Sumatriptan is available as a nasal spray, Ergotamine as a suppository, (yes, stick it where the sun don't shine).

NB: ischemic disease ("poor circulation") is a contra-indicator for the above vaso-cconstrictor medications.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2009 22:52:35 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #2 on: 07/10/2009 02:47:20 »
The weird "pixilation" is an aura, (possibly scintillating scotoma).

There are prescribed medications for migraine which alter (reduce) bloodflow in the brain,
 e.g. Sumatriptan (new), Ergotamine (old)

Because of nausea which often accompanies migraines ["upchucking"] other routes of drug delivery are available.
Sumatriptan is available as a nasal spray, Ergotamine as a suppository, (yes, stick it where the sun don't shine).

NB: ischemic disease ("poor circulation") is a contra-indicator for the above vaso-cconstrictor medications.
Thanks RD,

In my case the visual effect best fits the Kaleidoscope description under Aura. It's a bit like trying to look at the world through everchanging stained glass windows. It affects both eyes. Quite terrifying when you are eight years old!

I have not felt the need to take medication for it in recent times because it is so infrequent now, and not very severe. I'm interested to know if the change in severity is anything to do with the techniques I use to deal with migraines, or are they just not so severe because of my age. Perhaps the severity has reduced because I no longer panic when they start.
 

Offline RD

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Can I stop a migraine?
« Reply #3 on: 07/10/2009 03:28:44 »
... are they just not so severe because of my age.

You may have discovered a rare beneficial side-effect of hardening of the arteries

 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #4 on: 07/10/2009 06:01:17 »
An encouraging thought!

As the problem diminished significantly when I was in my twenties, I doubt that my presently hard arteries had anything to do with the change. My personal experience suggests psychological and/or environmental factors may be far more significant.
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #5 on: 07/10/2009 06:18:20 »
the problem diminished significantly when I was in my twenties

Quote
Atherosclerosis typically begins in early adolescence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atherosclerosis#Symptoms

Here's a link to a comprehensive article on migraine treatments ... http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec06/ch079/ch079c.html 
Despite being a sponsored by a drug company it does mention "relaxation, biofeedback, and stress management",
also "... After age 50, [migraine] headaches usually become significantly less severe or resolve entirely".
« Last Edit: 07/10/2009 06:20:55 by RD »
 

Offline Mazurka

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Can I stop a migraine?
« Reply #6 on: 07/10/2009 08:48:52 »
I would vouch for the effectiveness of sumatriptan family of drugs. 
Due to nausea/ vomiting associated with my migraines I am prescribed a "melt" wafer which disolves on the tongue.  It cut the headache phase from 3-4 hours down to less than 1 and the subsequent recovery phase from 24-36 hours down to 2-3.

My headaches have changed with time and I now sometimes get less severe migraines without an aura which creep up on me.

I suspect that food/ drink are important triggers (perhaps except for "weekend migraine" when the relief from being at work is the trigger) and found that keeping a food diary was useful - it turns out that chocolate is a key trigger for me, but others cheese, wine etc, are not. 

I also partly subscribe to the theory that cafeine withdrawl can be a trigger.  Apart from being grumpy, there is a strong correlation between my migraine attacks and not having a cup of coffee (or in extreme circumstances a can of redbull) in the morning.  This may be partly psychological!
 

Offline graham.d

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Can I stop a migraine?
« Reply #7 on: 07/10/2009 09:26:33 »
I get occasional visual migraines also. They come on gradually but once they start I can be sure that I will be visually incapacitated for at least an hour. I was told to think of it like a headache and to take paracetamol but nothing seems to help apart from trying to relax. Unfortunately I tend to get these as a result of stress so I'm rarely in a position to relax.

I will try sumatriptan if I can get it at the local pharmacy - is there a trade name?
 

Offline Mazurka

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Can I stop a migraine?
« Reply #8 on: 07/10/2009 12:32:44 »
Fairly recently "Imigran" became available over the counter in the UK - although you may need a quick interview with the pharmacist to ensure you have no contraindications.  However it is expensive and only available in pill form.

http://www.imigranrecovery.co.uk/ appears to have some good advice.

However, it might be best to talk to your GP first (and probably cheaper too)
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #9 on: 08/10/2009 23:34:03 »
Thanks, everyone, for the helpful information. Let's hope medical science can find some ways to help prevent this debilitating condition.

BTW1 - at one point I concluded that pickled beetroot triggered my migraines. I used to love pickled beetroot, but after I came to that conclusion, I could hardly even look at the stuff!

BTW2 - why would Renault name a car after migraines?
 

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Can I stop a migraine?
« Reply #9 on: 08/10/2009 23:34:03 »

 

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