View Full Version : Migraines: Anyone have a great way to deal with them?

February 11th, 2015, 01:57 AM
I historically get migraines from time to time. Brutal, nasty buggers that feel like someone's driving a rail road spike through my temple. Last April, when I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, doc put me on metformin, and I started getting them more often. We determined the Metformin was the culprit, and switched to Januvia. It also causes migraines. When it got to the point where I was having them all day, every day, I went off the Januvia. No, I haven't told doc yet, but will at my next appointment. I've noticed they've gone from 24/7 nasty things to 2 - 3 moderate ones per week. Still a lot, but such a vast improvement!

Late Saturday night, as I was falling asleep, I felt the niggling of what could be one starting. Sleeping usually helps, so I didn't take anything for it. Bad move. It was there when I woke up Sunday morning, sent me home early from church, and has had me in bed pretty much ever since. I'm so tired of missing work, even more tired of having these nasty things.

My question: Do you have chronic migraines and, if so, how do you deal with them? So far I've tried drinking celery juice (bleh), drinking a lot of coke (which is wreaking havoc with my blood sugar), and yoga. Tonight I had DH give me a blessing (place his hands on my head and pray for me). Everything works a little bit, but nothing really takes it away.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

February 11th, 2015, 02:50 AM
I'm so sorry you're having all that pain. I don't have any remedies, just wanted to let you know I will pray for you. Have you ever identified any triggers, other than medication? My husband can't eat certain kinds of cheese and I know a woman at church who had to have a hysterectomy because hers were hormonal. Hope you feel better.

February 11th, 2015, 03:59 AM
Have you talked to your dr. about botox? I hear they have had some success with that.I have had 2 shots for another muscular problem and got relief for a good 6 mos. each time.

February 11th, 2015, 04:39 AM
I do know that there are meds for migraines developed over the last twenty years or so. Need a Rx from a doc. I haven't had any for many years now but always used Tylenol 3, a dark room and very cold wet cloths across my forehead.

Iris Girl
February 11th, 2015, 06:21 AM
Excedrin for migraines a dark room and a cold or warm pack on my eyes. Some migraines are caused by food, you have to track that down. Had a cousin that got them from alcohol. Mine and my sons ar from weather changes... called barometer head. Hormones can also cause them.
So sorry yours are so frequent they are very crippling.

February 11th, 2015, 07:29 AM
A neurologist may be your best bet. Mine worked with me to get my from 16 to 20 per month down to 1 to 3 per month and those are not as debilitating. There are a variety of meds to try, dietary changes, Botox if you are a candidate. I even did braces to help correct jaw and palate to help decrease them.
Best piece of advice is to take your med at the first signs of the migraine beginning, otherwise you play catch up.
I used to use a heating pad to my mid and lower back, a heated scent pad to shoulders and pack my head and back of neck with ice packs. A darkened, quiet room would help also.

Migraines are not fun! I am so sorry you are having to deal with them. Cyber hugs .

February 11th, 2015, 10:17 AM
I used to get horrible, railroad spike in the temple migraines. I was given a new medication about 20 years ago called Imitrex. I take it when I feel the beginnings of a migraine. Within 20 minutes it's gone. It's a miracle drug, at least for me. Ask your doctor about it.

Amy R
February 11th, 2015, 10:18 AM
If coffee doesn't work, I take 1000mg of ibuprofen. Sometimes 50mg of Benedryl does the trick.

I hope you find relief soon.

February 11th, 2015, 10:23 AM
Speaking as a nurse and fellow migraine sufferer, if your headaches are so bad you can't function, it's time to get this evaluated by a doctor. There can be several reasons why you are having so many migraines. And there is treatment. It could be hormonal, too, depending on your age? Two treatment approaches are available: preventive and abortive. I chose preventive so I could have control over my life and keep my job. Others don't want to take a daily pill and chose abortive to treat symptoms. But you must take it when they start.

To help yourself if you decide to see a doctor, start keeping a headache diary. Nothing fancy, just days, time of day, did you wake up with symptoms, severity, what helps/doesn't.

Good luck. It can take a long time to find the right path. Been there and done that.

Navy Wife
February 11th, 2015, 11:09 AM
My Doctor put me on Inderal for a tremor in my hands. The migraines disappeared.

February 11th, 2015, 11:50 AM
First off, do not stop taking your diabetes medicine. It may not be the culprit. My massage therapist puts some lavender oil on a tissue and I breathe it in / seems to work, but I only get bad headaches, not what I would call a migraine.

Relaxing hot bath with lavender epsom salts too / dark room, only candles and stay in the tub for a full 30 minutes with eyes shut.

This has become my nightly routine.

February 11th, 2015, 12:06 PM
My husband had been plagued by migraines (as is my older daughter). He has found that if he takes ibuprofen at the very first sign (that niggling you mentioned) and covers his eyes he can avoid much of the pain. His are triggered by light (flashing or strobe-like) and the first sign is sparkles in his vision. He avoids pain, but not the weird hollow head, tenderness, or blurred vision. So it stops the pain, but he still has migraine symptoms otherwise. It might not work for you because of the trigger. That is the trick -- finding the trigger.
My daughter's are not light triggered and she hasn't found the magic way to avoid them. If she throws up, the pain subsides, but not the other issues. I really feel bad for migraine sufferers, because it is hell.
Good luck!

February 11th, 2015, 12:10 PM
Get yourself to a neurologist that specializes in migraines and have him work your other doctors. there is no cure for migraines but there is treatment to help prevent and new meds for crisis times. My daughter was losing two or three days of her live a week and now goes months without a crisis.

February 11th, 2015, 12:44 PM
I suffer from migraines as well :( BUT after a few years of trying new medications and other home remedies I have finally found something that works pretty well for me. I can't think of the medication I am on and I just realized I don't have any left in my purse...but it has been the only Rx for them that works for me. I was also put on a beta-blocker because I basically was having a constant headache and now I RARELY even have one of those.
When I do feel a migraine starting though I take my medication right away and what I do for more natural relief is cool, dark and quiet room and ice packs on my head.
Hope you find relief soon!!

February 11th, 2015, 12:50 PM
It's the caffeine in coke (so diet in theory is okay... Or a different caffeine) that speeds up the delivery of pain killers, which is why I drink coke when I take a Tylenol when I feel one coming on.

Have you been eating a lot of nutrasweet and sugar substitutes since your diagnosis? I cannot have synthetic sugar substitutes because they trigger migraines for me, as does red wine.

If I drink a diet soda I'm down for days...it could be dietary, so balancing a diabetes diet with a migraine trigger diet can be complex, and most doctors don't take the time for it, but if seeing a nutritionist is a remote possibility, I would try!

February 11th, 2015, 04:29 PM
I was having migraines every single day. Doctor gave me Imitrex, but it was very expensive and because of the frequency of my headaches, it wasn't a good option. Then my doctor put me on a low dose of Elavil. It's been around for a long time and used to be a depression drug. I take one every night before bed . . . NO MORE MIGRAINES! Been on it for 4+ years and have only had an occasional headache . . . like after too much wine :D

February 11th, 2015, 08:07 PM
My savior drug is an oldie - Midrin. I am of the few 15% of migraine sufferers that get an "aura" before the headache starts. Its like a sparkly, rad, psychedelic movement in my vision. As soon as I figure out what that is (sometimes a flash of light will cause the same aura) I RUN to take a Midrin. Then the headache never really materializes - yes I feel yucky, but no vomiting, daggers, or anything. I have maybe 2 a month, but recently went 6 months without one. My cause? probably anxiety.

February 11th, 2015, 08:38 PM
I have not suffered with migrane. I can't stand a bad headache, so can only imagine what they are like. My DH has suffered with them since he was about 10. He got to the point in the mid 90's when he had what they call 'cluster' where he had 17 severe migranes back to back within a 10 day period. This literally knocked him on his back for 4 weeks. He became a part of a medication trial that did nothing, and we weren't really having any success with other things such as chiropractic therapy for his neck. Eventually, we went to a naturopath who did some allergy testing on him. He came back with a list of things that DH should not of been having. He changed his diet around to suit, started taking 'feverfew' (natural supplement) every day and now he only gets a few a year. We knew he could not be cured completely, but it certainly has made a significant difference. He also carries with him at all times a tablet that as soon as he feels one coming on, he takes it straight away and that also helps. It is called imigran here - not sure what your equivalent would be over there.
It may be worth looking into for you, it certainly was for my DH. Best of Luck

February 11th, 2015, 10:45 PM
I would suggest keeping a food diary. Migraines can be caused by food additives, dyes, MSG, "natural flavor" (which usually contains MSG). A big no to reg. coke, b/c of your diabetes, & diet sodas, as they contain aspartame, which is a known excitotoxin & is harmful to your brain cells. Also try acupuncture and/or massage. I'm a retired nurse. You shouldn't quit taking your diabetes meds. Discuss options with your dr. By all means, get a medical evaluation for your migraines. I hope things get better soon.

Simply Quilting
February 12th, 2015, 12:58 AM
In addition to a food diary, also look at doing a weather diary and stress levels. One of my triggers is the weather - it has so NOT been fun the weather that we have been having lately as the temperatures keep going up and down.

I have found that an Excedrin Migraine with a regular pop (usually Dr. Pepper) can help to head them off sometimes.

Also watch for rebound migraines which can be from taking certain pain meds too many days in a row.

If you develop a migraine that is not like the normal migraines that you have, please get yourself to the ER/doctor as it might be a medical emergency. One of the ER doctors that I had many years ago, told me that if I ever had different symptoms than what I normally would to seek medical care as there could be something worse going on than a migraine.

February 12th, 2015, 02:08 AM
My husband suffered from migraine headaches and also had been given Imitrex. His sister sent him an article from some paper that said Vitamin B2 would help. He tried it as it was certainly cheaper than the other drug. He has taken vitamin B2 since that time and no longer has headaches that put him out for a day or two. It worked for him so he never goes without it. He's probably taken it for about 20 years.

February 12th, 2015, 03:35 AM
I used to get horrible, railroad spike in the temple migraines. I was given a new medication about 20 years ago called Imitrex. I take it when I feel the beginnings of a migraine. Within 20 minutes it's gone. It's a miracle drug, at least for me. Ask your doctor about it.

That is what DH used to take too. It was the only med that worked. Since it is placed under the tongue, there is no bad affect on the stomach. He had Bell's Palsy a few years ago and since then the migraines miraculously went away.

February 12th, 2015, 10:59 AM
This is the same as my husband and daughter's migraines. Both have aura and both can head it off if they take action right away. I'm going to let them know about Midrin. My husband will likely scoff at me, but my daughter could really use the support.

My savior drug is an oldie - Midrin. I am of the few 15% of migraine sufferers that get an "aura" before the headache starts. Its like a sparkly, rad, psychedelic movement in my vision. As soon as I figure out what that is (sometimes a flash of light will cause the same aura) I RUN to take a Midrin. Then the headache never really materializes - yes I feel yucky, but no vomiting, daggers, or anything. I have maybe 2 a month, but recently went 6 months without one. My cause? probably anxiety.

February 12th, 2015, 11:48 AM
I had migraines for years. Long story short, learned this work for me
1. Exercise (like walking) 30 min a day
2. No wine
3. Nap a day
4. Advil migraine or Excedrin migraine at first sign of headache and
5. Go to bed in darkened room.
6. Document migraine times, trigger if you know. Start documenting with every hour a day see if there are any patterns.
7. Stress relief from relaxation tapes or whatever they use these days
8. And then yoga for flexibility and relaxation.

I know it's a lot but it worked for me. I went to a pain clinic. It worked. Good luck.
I finally got rid of them

February 14th, 2015, 11:36 PM
Wow! Thanks, everyone. Just to clarify, I have tried numerous prescription meds, most recently Midrin and Relpax. I have an appointment to see a Neurologist in a month, and we'll go from there. They are, in general, getting better. The frequency and intensity has dropped significantly since going off the Januvia. The migraine last week was brutal, but I haven't had one that bad in ages. Hopefully they'll continue to be fewer and farther between. Thank you, thank you for your thoughts, your prayers, and your well wishes.

February 15th, 2015, 12:09 AM
All migraines have a trigger! Help your doctor help you!
Start keeping a headache diary. Every time you get a headache write down everything you did, ate, emotions, etc.
Can even be due to food allergies ! Mine were from hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Have not had a migraine since !!!

February 16th, 2015, 01:01 AM
oh Meli, so sorry you have migraines too.

Mine are triggered by barometric changes in the weather, so I know I'll get one when I travel for sure. Caffeine helps narrow the blood vessels to the brain, so it helps. Other things I do are dark and cold rooms and some sort of music or noise. When I'm sick the ringing in my ears is louder than normal.

My doctor put me on MaxAlt. It is awesome! They even make it in a MLT where you don't need water to swallow the pill. It is good for travel when I get one and can't find any water. It's an expensive pill like Imitrex, but it's worth it to me.

February 16th, 2015, 06:30 AM
Have you started the headache diary? That may help as much as anything because you will be able to track the migraines. I agree that Maxalt is wonderful --- especially the Maxalt melts ( MLT). Maxalt is generic now so the cost is much less.