A Conversation for Migraine

A forum for sufferers.

Post 1


Hey fellow migraineurs. (spelling)

How about a forum where we can swap tips about nocking a migraine dead.
We could poast tips and treatments we have found and also give advice on things that are no use.

Has this already been down?
Or have I just started one?


Sufferer for 20 years, (aged only 25)

A forum for sufferers.

Post 2


Started one, I'd say smiley - smiley

Can I recommend a Coke and a chocolate bar, but only if it 'feels' like a particular type? smiley - tongueout

A forum for sufferers.

Post 3


I have never had a problem with coke, chocolate, cheese, coffee etc, that are triggers for some people.
I think mine are more stress related. Stress generally, or on my body.

A forum for sufferers.

Post 4


You imply yours started around the age of five - I'd put mine around the same sort of time (but I'll be 34 next month smiley - yikes) It's hard to say what counts as stress at that age - for a long time i could see no environmental triggers apart from a few foods, and things like being driven in a smoky car....

...does it get you sometimes when people react to phrases like that with "Oh yes, well, anybody would get a headache in a smoky car"? It's *different*, guys!

I'd still say that the best long-term alleviaton I've had is as a result of... getting pregnant! smiley - yikes

A forum for sufferers.

Post 5


Pregnancy apparently is a good cure for a lot of things. My sister has a condition that has impeeded her gettting pregnant, but the best thing to get rid of it, is pregnancy! smiley - yikes It's the hormone thing I s'pose.

Yes, I was five when they started, I had whooping cough and this seemed to be a trigger. Migraine is in the family so I was destined to get it I s'pose.
When at school, I used to get them if we had to go swimming, I was scared of the water!

People who do not get Migraine, do not get it. A headache is not a migraine. Times it by ten, add a stomach upset, spin the room and make you allergic to light, sound and smell, and they might get close.

aManda smiley - ok

A forum for sufferers.

Post 6


Hi. Posted this in a related thread but that seemed to be dying away so I've reposted here; hope it's clear from context that this is no sort of flood/spam attemptsmiley - smiley

Damn. I seem either to have mislaid my notes on this subject or thrown them away in a fit of petulance; I'll have to try from memory:-

The gist is that migraine may result from reflex frustration, i.e. when an otherwise reflexive action is repeatedly prevented from completion: a good example being the bite reflex, which is chronically frustrated in dental malocclusion (this is when the teeth on each side of the mouth do not bite together symmetrically, and is a known contributory factor in migraine). It seems possible (my theory) that this causes an ever-increasing build-up of bioelectric charge in the motor neurons concerned, which eventually bleeds over into adjacent brain areas and does the bad thing. [Preceding passage not so much dumbed down as de-smarta***ed for the benefit of anyone who hasn't only-not-got-a-neurophys-degree-cos-they-can't-concentrate-in-labssmiley - winkeye]

In the case of (flickering) lighting problems, it's the ocular tracking reflexes which are affected i.e. the mechanism by which the eyes follow moving objects. Flickering light which is too fast to resolve into a "flashing" visual phenomenon but still just slow enough to trigger (some people's) ocular tracking reflex can both trigger and disrupt this process. The disruption occurs because as the eyes scan from point to point across the visual field the light intensity at each "target" point is varying too rapidly to be compensated. The triggering process is harder to explain but I'll try to illustrate:-

Imagine you're reading a book sitting in a library. A moth flies across the edge of your visual field and without conscious intention you glance up to follow its flight. This is what my eyes try to do in supermarkets, except of course the "moths" are omnidirectional and omnipresent, so it's impossible for the reflex ever to complete itself.

By extension, the same argument can be applied to spot-lighting, venetian blinds/dark-and-light bars and straining to read in low overall light levels. Here it's the pupillary dilation reflex which is stymied in much the same way.

It's also quite important to realize (whether or not the above is an accurate description of the neurological processes involved) that you needn't be consciously aware of the flickering/bright spot/whatever as these reflexes are mediated by the brainstem which receives direct input from the optic nerve independantly of the visual cortex (where we "see" things).

A forum for sufferers.

Post 7


There's been some interesting research done at the University of Belfast, Dental School - which links in with what Fjaradvax was saying.

They reckon that tooth-grinding - ie clenching the jaws - is a causative factor in migraine. The action of the muscles involved in clenching releases substances called neuropeptides into the bloodstream and these chemicals, in turn, affect the blood vessels supplying the brain - resulting in migraine. Apparently, it's only when the amount of neuropeptides reaches a certain level that a migraine is triggered.

They're looking at ways of testing saliva for the presence of neuropeptides so that a sufferer can have early warning and take medication to prevent an attack.

Stress seems to be a big factor. They also reckon that the whole red wine/cheese/chocolate thing is more a symptom of impending migraine than an actual cause.

Their research involved providing migraine prone people with bite-raising appliances to wear at night - sort of similar to a mouthguard but less obtrusive - to prevent the muscles from working so hard at clenching. The people were also given help with some relaxation techniques. It was a well conducted clinical study.

I can't remember any figures/percentages but their results were encouraging.

I'm sorry I can't remember much more about this topic - it was presented at a Scientific Meeting in Glasgow some years ago.

It may be worthwhile exploring the relaxation stuff and also having a chat with your dentist to see if he/she has heard anything more recently.

I don't think that the above is the solution for every migraine-prone person. The posts from people who had suffered since early childhood were interesting.

A forum for sufferers.

Post 8


You've touched on something there, teuchter, that my doctor pointed out to me when a ran off a long list of things that 'caused' migraine for me. he said that they didn't 'cause' migraine because he, and most other people, didn't get a migraine when they ate/did as I had laid out. Noryoe who clenches their teeth gets migraines. Somehow each of us migraine types has something that is triggered, and given the wide range of triggers, it's not necessarily the sam ting...

...bu whatever it is, it's part of me, so I'd better learn to live with it...

A forum for sufferers.

Post 9


I've got a slow keyboard problem.

Noryoe = Not every one

A forum for sufferers.

Post 10


Hmmmm... yes, at that level of brain physiology it's very difficult to distinguish between the electrical and chemical activity of nerve cells; I'm fairly sure it's _localised_ activity of one sort or the other (or both) that's to blame though i.e. levels of neuropeptides in the hypothalamus (part of the brain) rather than in the blood, though blood-levels may affect brain levels.

Bearing that in mind, it would be the action of brain-cells controlling muscles that would cause toxic neuropeptide build-up, rather than the muscles themselves - hence people don't (tend to) get migraines by running marathons or whatever, and the more usual problems are connected with very small muscles in the eyes, face etc., which require more brain activity than larger muscles in the rest of the body due to their need for more delicate co-ordination.

BTW, sorry to be so technical in a non-technical forum: I've no-one else to talk to about all this because I can't stand the illumination in most academic institutions (there's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza...) and I've only just got a monitor I can use freely, so years of repressed brain science are straining at the flood-gates of my keyboard... I'll shut up, now smiley - winkeye

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Post 11


Thought it appropriate to rename the thread since we seem to have a forum now and this will make it easier to find smiley - cheers

Forum for Migraine Sufferers

Post 12


smiley - doh I meant smiley - ok, not smiley - cheers. I can't smiley - ale 'cos of the smiley - headhurts ::: smiley - blue. Not to worry, lent will be over soon, then I'll be smiley - flyhi again...

smiley - whistle

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Post 13


I have given up sprouts for Lent. smiley - smileysmiley - laugh

Forum for Migraine Sufferers

Post 14


Bob bless you, Maniac! There's a table reserved at Milliways in your name smiley - grovel

Forum for Migraine Sufferers

Post 15


Hi, just thought i'd jump in as I've been gettin some really bad migraines lately, They start in the morning when i wake u and last almost all day long, with a Shooting pain from the top of my neck to the top of my head. I've been prescribed tablets, which i take in the morning, but by about 3pm, they're back again.

I'm not sure what the trigger is with me, I've just thought about sleeping patterns, as i usually wake up early in the weekday for work, then late at weekends, so i think that might trigger it at weekends, but as for in the week, i'm cluelesssmiley - erm

I used to get a vision problem where i'd have a half of the vision on my left eye blocked out completely by this white cloudy shape, but that doesn't happen anymore, but I've noticed that sometimes when i'm just relaxing I'll think i've seen a spider on the wall, so i look up and theres nothing there, just like something black, just on the edge of vision. So, i tend to switch the light on and off very quickly,just in case it is a spider!!!

anyway, does anyone know of any other type of remedy apart from tablets?

Forum for Migraine Sufferers

Post 16

Mag Ratte

About your triggers - get a trigger chart from the Migraine Association and use it. Also, try getting referred to a migraine clinic.

Apart from tablets (migraleve pink, in my case), I've found that German/Egyptian/Blue chamomile helps - either as diluted essential oil (10 drops : 10ml of oil, smeared on forehead and wrists) or as an infusion (1oz : 1 pint[20floz] covered and brewed for 10 minutes - strain, drink half, then drink the rest after 4 hours if you've still got a migraine). This is sedative and will probably make you sleep, or at least very drowsy, so don't use it until you're somewhere safe.

Forum for Migraine Sufferers

Post 17


i'd like to suggest that our western society has become unnatural. - women are women, men are men as respected in many other traditional, global cultures. i am female and suffer from migraine and brightly coloured flashing lights before my eyes regularly. worldly stress - work and competing in the 'man's world' seem to be triggers to this. i think that evidence of the curative properties of pregnancy - the most natural women's role - suppport this theory.

Forum for Migraine Sufferers

Post 18


Hi, Have just read all of the replies with great interest. I have recently been told I have `classic' migraine following a brain haemorrhage and stroke 5 years ago. I suffer all of the symptoms of a stroke - headache, loss of function in the right side, visual disturbances, especially in the right eye, slurred speech/dysphasia, etc. Given I'm now 32 with 2 small kids, this isn't ideal smiley - erm and I'd really welcome any tips on managing the illness/condition. Also, what is the general attitude of employers towards migraine sufferers?

Thanks!smiley - smiley

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