Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent or stop a migraine once it starts? I have at least two a week and am unsure what is causing them. I've been to the ER, to my doctor, and no one seems to know what's causing them or how to prevent them. Any ideas? I'm getting scared because it's getting to the point where ocassionally I'm unable to work because they are so severe.
My daughter who is 35 years ago suffers from these headaches. She tried everything, different drs, different pain meds. She was not able to work when she had one. She would come to my house and beg me to rub her head and neck for temporary relief. She finally started seeing a Chiropractor, and she swears by him. She sees him one a week, and has NO headaches. I feel bad for you because I know how you must feel.
I would suggest to do what Mary's daughter did. Go see a Chiropractor and see if they can help you out. I know that I've never suffered from migraines, but when I had a pain that doctors were unable to figure out, it was actually fixed by a Chiropractor.
I hope you get it figured out and the migraines stop.
I'm not a doctor, but I get migraines and I know a bit about them.
What are your other symptoms? When do the migraines occur?
The migraines sometimes occur spontaneously; other times, I begin to feel a tense-ness around my eyes and blurred vision, which tells me I'm about to develop one. The only other symptoms i have with a migraine are vomiting and stiffness when trying to move my eyes.
I'm not sure of the value of chiropractors for migraines. They never helped mine, and I also have back alignment issues. I did finally figure out what was causing them - diet - but everyone's different. Your scoliosis might be the answer, though - it's worth checking out.
I'm not a medical professional, so take this all with a grain of salt, but...I find it interesting about your eyes playing so much a part in your migraines - also what you said on your profile about getting nauseated by certain color combinations. First, I'd talk to a nurse practitioner or doctor about the headaches just so you are sure there's nothing more going on there that's maybe eye related or something else.
Then I'd try some things.
1) Does ibuprofen (specifically ibuprofen, a calcium-channel blocker) help? Take ibuprofen first thing when the aura or pain starts. Don't wait. If it makes it better but doesn't get rid of it, maybe try a higher dosage. If ibuprofen helps, see #4 below.
2) See if heat or cold applied to the head helps. Which one helps your head and which one hurts your head is a clue about the therapy. If cold helps, then as soon as possible after onset (in first half hour, ideally), take a hot sitz bath, or at least immerse your hands in hot water, or at least rub your hands together fast to get circulation to them and bring the blood away from your head.
3) Many migraines are related to hormones. If yours are always occurring within the PMS/menstrual window, that's a clue.
4) Many migraines are related to diet. Vomiting is a red flag. Do you ever get a stiff neck associated with 'em? Heart racing? Bad temper? Anxiety? Depression? Tiredness? Even if not, there's a good chance there's something diet-related there. I always say that if you don't want to eat certain foods during a migraine, then it suggests it's food related. The triggers aren't always easy to spot - most people know to avoid tyramines (cheese, processed meat, chocolate), nitrates, alcohol, peanuts, etc., but few actually try a real control diet. Honestly, this is the first thing I'd try - go on an elimination diet and gradually add things back on.
If you want to do this and don't have any particular health restrictions, the first diet I'd recommend for migraines is one free of free glutamates. This is a tough one, but just a week or so should show a difference if that's the issue.
It basically means no packaged meals or boxed foods, including prepared sauces (like soy sauce), no fermented foods, no restaurant food. No unrefined sea salt. No seaweed. Just canning salt (the stuff without flowing agents). No additives except single-ingredient herbs and spices. No preservatives - not one, including citric acid and sulfites. No meat stock or veggie stock. No canned foods. No preserved meats or fermented or preserved soy products. Yes to fresh meat (rinse well), fresh fruit and vegetables (rinse well), organic frozen vegetables - except no tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, potatoes, bananas, avocados, or corn. Only grains allowed are brown rice (or white rice if well-rinsed) and whole wheat or whole spelt. No nuts. Only whole milk, ideally stuff that's not enriched - and absolutely no low fat or fat-free milk or other dairy products. No supermarket yogurt - only the locally produced stuff without guar gum, carageenan, stabilizers, pectin, etc. No cheese, chocolate, caffeine. No all-purpose flour. No sweeteners except cane sugar (refined or unrefined, either one) and honey - that's it. No molasses, barley malt, maple syrup, or other syrups. Eggs - just use standard supermarket eggs - no extra omega-3 eggs. Herbal teas are ok. For fats and oils, stick to olive oil, butter where the only ingredient is cream and salt, and rendered meat fats (without extra ingredients). No sodas, diet or otherwise.
Lastly, unless there's a medical necessity, rinse the coatings off of any meds or supplements. Try to eliminate all but the most absolutely necessary meds, vitamins or supplements during the elimination diet. DO NOT stop taking your medicines without talking to your practitioner.
If you notice that you feel better after a week or so, slowly add back on the foods one at a time, picking up speed as you get more confident. Allow up to 48 hours for a reaction. Reaction may not occur until the 2nd or 3rd day in a row you eat the offending foods/medicine. If the issue is free glutamate, then the exact food makes less of a difference than the balance of foods. If the issue is one or more of the foods in particular, you'd probably notice a reaction within a couple of days after just the first day of adding it back.
Really? I didn't know that going to a chiropractor has helped people with migraines. I don't have health insurance but i'll see what I can do to see one. thanks guys..
I think a Chiropractor can help, but the statement that one has to go once per week is not a fix, nor is it solving the problem. I have seen a person with migraines recently and was able to reduce their headaches by over 90% and they maintained the improvement. i saw them for about 4 visits. Try Physical Therapy as there is less emphasis on maintenance and more an emphasis on management techniques to stay better.
It's also good to know that all migraiens are not the same, Many factors influence them including stress, diet, general health, strength, job, etc. Do what works best for you.
I agree with everyone I got an adjustment, at the chiropractor and the headaches went away. They were so bad I could not see. I also gave up soda and coffee for about six months.
My daughter's Chiropractor told her NOT to drink caffeine of any kind. Said it constricts the capillaries in the brain, and can cause headaches. She doesn't drink the stuff anymore. Might be worth the time and money to try a Chiro.
I typically never drink caffeine...so at least that's one thing I don't have to worry about. I do know i have a slight scoliosis of the spine...idk if that contributes or not...
I've always been told if you have a headache/migraine the best thing to do (without medication) is to get yourself into a pitch black room with absolutely no disturbances and ride it out for a couple hours - if it is still painful, doctor time!
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