Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ISO: Natural Migraine Remedies or Preventions

There is knitting content here, it's in the second paragraph.

This is a serious year for migraines!! I have always had migraines. They started when I was about 11 or 12. Never too often, but bad when they happened. I would go through cycles of not having any for up to 2 years or so, then wham!! they hit again. About two years ago (it was the year that Hurricane Katrina hit) they were bad. I would get them about every other day, sometimes a couple a day. By that I mean, the aura would come back even though I had already had one earlier in the day, and the pain would be even more intense. I finally went to the doctor and he diagnosed a sinus infection. Now, I hadn't been sick at all, so where had this come from? Fast forward to last year, it happened again, long about the beginning of September. Not too bad, but by October I went to the doctor again. No infection this time. This year, it's like the first year. Pretty bad!! Like 3 migraines in a 26 hour time period. This is the part I hate. I can handle a migraine here and there. But this many is just too much. The only thing we can figure is that it is something in the air that is affecting me. Usually once November hits, I am fine. Oh, and I can't take any of those supposedly good migraine meds out on the market. They don't work on me. They make by scalp crawl and feel weird, but do nothing for the pain. I can take Fiorecet, a muscle relaxant, acetaminophen and caffeine. It works somewhat. I also use a cream that my sil gave me. It has lavender, butterbur(?), wild yam and some other things that are used for migraines. It helps too, plus it's fragrance is light, not over powering. to the title, does anyone out there have any ideas for some more natural remedies and/or preventatives?

Knitting content!! Umm, I finally figured out why the gauge was off on the second Fetching. You are going to laugh. I did!! I started the first one on Saturday evening, after having a migraine and taking the Fiorecet. I didn't get too far into it though. I did most of it on Sunday morning/mid-day. The second one I started mid to late afternoon on Sunday, had the second migraine, took more Fiorecet, and took Kim to the dance, taking Fetching with me. I did most of it at the dance. You would think the the music would make me tense, but it didn't. I had just enough of a buffer for it not to be too loud for me. However, the Fiorecet in my system must have made my knitting even looser than it normally is. So, I am going to rip it out and do it again. But I don't know when I can reknit it with all of these migraines coming and going. I did good on Monday and Tuesday, but woke up this morning with a headache already (yes I get them while I am sleeping) and proceeded to have a full-blown aura + headache this morning already. And if you are worried about me driving while under the influence of Fiorecet, it has no effect on my driving that I am aware of. I drove dh to work this am and I think he would have said something. It doesn't make me sleepy, on the contrary, all that caffeine makes me jittery.


Mothergoose said...

I, too, suffer horribly from migraines. My doctor finally prescribed Depocote (sp) used for seizures to me. I have not had a migraine for three years. I was not overly excited about taking a med for seizures, but once I got over that, I got over the migraines!!! Talk to your doctor about it. It really helped me.

Roxie said...

Bless your dear heart! There are so many kinds of migraines that I don't know if my tricks will work for you. When the aura started, I would lie down in the darkwith a hot water bottle at my feet and behind my neck. then I would relax as completely as possible and visualize the veins going into my brain as wide silken channels, open and flexible. I visualized the blood flowing easily through them and washing gently through my brain, carrying away all the pains and toxins. (To me they look like globs of goo, and angry spiders.) If I could do this when the aura started, I could avoid the throwing up altogether, and often could fall asleep before the worst of the pain hit. Best of luck! Menopause has pretty much taken care of the whole problem.

Tammy said...

Interesting!! Thank you both for the ideas. My doctor is now under the impression that these aren't migraines. Hello, I've had them since I was a teenager, I think I know what they are. I will be trying some visualization techniques and am actually looking into Topamax I think is the name, but will look at the Depocote as well.

jen said...

Have you kept a diet journal? There are quite a few foods that are migraine triggers for some people, including red meat, dairy, red wine, chocolate, beans, and citrus fruits. It could be something you eat regularly, or a combination of things, and the migraines are a sort of allergic reaction.

Kristine said...

I was diagnosed for years with migraines, and people kept trying to give me harder and harder core meds...eventually really looked at the definitions of migraines, and that's not what mine were, so your doc might not be completely insane. Maybe ask why the doc thinks that? Anyway, I've got a pretty direct corellary in my life...when I'm doing yoga, my shoulders stay relaxed, and I don't get the hellaciously bad headaches I got when I was a teen and in my twenties. By the time I get the headaches, I can't even feel the stress and strain in my back anymore...I didn't figure out what was going on until Robb poked my shoulders one day and said "No wonder you have a headache."

Are you headaches related to your menstral cycle?

Bliss said...

Magnesium. Between 300 and 400 mg per day as a preventative. You can even receive magnesium sulfate by IV to alleviate a migraine in an ER situation. (It's good for your heart, too.)

As an asthmatic, I have received shots of Breathine. Once when I was getting a shot of Breathine in my doctor's office, he mentioned he also gave it to one of his nurses for migraines. You might ask about this. Severe asthmatics can receive shot packs to take at home (sort of like the epi pen for allergies.) My sister keeps the breathine shots on hand because she lives in a very rural area, quite a distance from any ER. She has chronic asthma, and COPD.

BTW, magnesium sulfate IV's are also used in acute asthma cases, as it is safer for the heart than epi.

blissfulknitter AT gmail DOT com

Denise said...

I'm sorry to hear about the migraines. I've had them for years too, though in the last few years not nearly as much - I think due to hormonal changes. (I did have a recent one that was a real doozy but I'm hoping it was a one time thing)

As Bliss mentioned, magnesium can really help. A work friend swears by this for her debilitating migraines.

I do find that my sinus infections can trigger migraines. Have you tried washing out your sinuses? You can use a Netipot but I find them too messy and awkward. Easier and better, in my opinion, is a WaterPik with a special sinus attachment (available at Amazon).

We first learned of this method after my husband's sinus surgery. If you use water buffered with salt and baking soda it doesn't burn (1 quart warm water with 1 tsp each salt and baking soda per the doctor).

Good luck with finding a solution!

~Melissa~ said...

I've wandered over to your blog from Ravelry. I too suffer from migraines - I take a daily med and then have the other medicine (zomig) to take when one arrives.

I have heard of taking cayenne pepper , and also magnesium and B12 and B6 to help prevent migraines. I haven't tried the cayenne, but the others I used and I noticed a decrease in the amount of headaches.

I hope you are able to work something out - Migraines are the worst!

Suz said...

I get hormonal migraines--they started when I was pregnant with DD#1 and occur sporadically since, usually within a week of my period starting. I use natural progesterone cream (available in organic section at Fred Meyer for example), and it works like a charm. I don't use it daily--only when the aura starts....I get aura on my left side, but before the aura, I can always sense a change in the quality of light--always appears a little "off." The sooner I can catch the migraine-to-be, the quicker the progesterone heads it off.

Anonymous said...

If your headaches do not respond to migraine medication such as Imitrex, and those types of meds, than you are not dealing with an average migraine.
From what I was told by my pharmacist and doctor when my Imitrex sometimes did not work was that my headache was probably due to sinus or allergies.
Migraine meds will NOT work on sinus or allergy migraines.
Try taking a tylenol sinus next time see if that doesnt work, or use flonase allergy nasal spray during the seasons that have lots of pollen out.
I notice when the pollen is high I get more migraines where maybe one nostril will plug up where I cannot breath. If I use flonase (or generic of this brand) daily during pollen season, I get rid of my migraines completely.
Good luck!