lynthia: (Ewwww)
[personal profile] lynthia
So, I guess it turns out that I'm a person who gets migraines. I don't really know why, but I've fought off that "label" for many, many years. One migraine a year doesn't mean I "get migraines," it just... means I had one. That one time. Total fluke.

And then I had a baby, and stuff changes, and I got two or three in the first year after he was born. So that seemed worth bringing up to my OB, and she changed my birth control, and that helped. For a little while. And now I've had two in the last two months, and they were the kind that just knocked me out of being able to function at all for about 6 hours at a time. Granted, I know there are people who get them much worse, and for much longer, and on the migraine spectrum I'm pretty lucky. They follow a set list of symptoms, they last for about 4-6 hours, and then that's it. Just the migraine hangover for a day and I'm back to normal.

But since I'm new to this admission, I'm wondering if there is more research I should do, or if that'd just be falling down the Internet rabbit hole of too much information. Are there foods I should avoid? Things I can do to make the hangover go away faster? It's not even a medical hangover, because I don't have any migraine meds, it's just the dull feeling left in my head for a day after I've had one. I found today that a good massage really helped get that to burn off faster, which was pretty neat. Should I even investigate meds, if I'm over the whole cycle in less than a day? I'm not generally a better living through pharmaceuticals kind of person.

This is what I'm pondering today. Happy three day weekend, everyone! :)

Date: 2013-05-24 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tersa.livejournal.com
Migraine triggers are different for everyone. (Oh, hey, neat, the Mayo Clinic has a list of common ones--reputable source!)

Best suggestion I have would be to keep this list handy and whenever you get a migraine, go back over the last 24 hours and figure out if any of these triggers crossed your path.

For me, as an example, lack of daily caffeine seems to trigger headaches and then if I don't take pain meds when I start sensing it, it'll roll over to a migraine.

Caffeine is an interesting thing for headaches because, and I remember listening to a radio program on this clearly when I was in grad school, there are two types of headaches: ones caused by overdilation of the blood vessels leading to the brain, and ones caused by constriction of the same. Caffeine makes the former worse and helps the latter.

Because of my caffeine addiction (and, really, that's what it is), I'm careful to have something caffeinate every morning to stave things off (even decaf coffee has some caffeine) and if I'm getting a headache later in the day and realize either I missed the caffeine or I'd been ingesting a lot followed by that day not having as much, I'll grab a Coke or something. That sometimes helps.

Blahty-blahty-blah. This is a topic of interest to me because I grew up with a mom who had semi-frequent migraines and I developed them sporadically in college.

Date: 2013-05-24 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynthia.livejournal.com
That is actually a very handy list. I thought I only got the hormone-triggered kind, but I'm getting them off-cycle now so there must be some new factor weighing in.

I really worry about the caffeine thing. I know I drink too much, but I don't know if it's TOO too much. If I happen to skip a day somehow, I don't get the usual caffeine headache. Maybe one day isn't long enough for it to kick in? And the too much thing, oy. No idea how to tell if that happens. I should probably start a log or something. It might be eye-opening to see how many calories I'm consuming in Pepsi anyway. :)

Date: 2013-05-24 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tersa.livejournal.com
Haha, your icon. :)

They could still be hormone-triggered, but women's hormones change over time and especially after having a child. It may be that it is contributing, even 'off-cycle'.

If I happen to skip a day somehow, I don't get the usual caffeine headache. Maybe one day isn't long enough for it to kick in?

Everyone's different--maybe? For me, it's same day, but there was a time a while back I gave up caffeine for Lent and had a perpetual headache for 3-4 days while I detoxed. It may be your withdrawl symptoms take longer to kick in.

I should probably start a log or something. It might be eye-opening to see how many calories I'm consuming in Pepsi anyway. :)

lol

It couldn't hurt. It might be there's something else triggering it that would turn up in the log.

(Oh, right, I was going to mention: [livejournal.com profile] tamago's been blogging the last few years about her own migraine issues, and I think some of her triggers are certain scents or food allergies. She has to do the 'doctor with lots of caffeine' route.)

Date: 2013-05-26 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyranocyrano.livejournal.com
What Tersa has said here covers a lot of what I would say in my experience as somebody who has found that he gets migraines more often in Michigan. (But possibly less severe. I haven't thrown up or gone blind yet here.)
My mother found that citrus or cheese would trigger hers.

With a child, it's less of an option, but my most effective treatment was (flip a coin, maybe some caffeine) to retreat to my bed and pull the covers over my head, literally. Minimise sensory input. Rhythmic deep breathing, meditation and relaxation. I haven't tried any of the fancy schmancy migraine medications because they weren't around when I started getting migraines and I just haven't tried to get a doctor to prescribe them. I tell myself I don't get them often enough to bother.

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