Migraines & Adults' Headaches
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
Migraines & Adults' Headaches
I am 36 and have suffered with migraines since 11. I am going
through a particularly stressful time (divorce) and am a single
mother so I would 'expect' to have more migraines than usual;
however, I am having them nearly everyday - 9 days out of the
past 14. They used to be triggered by menstruation but now are
pretty much constant. I am losing my mind.
I have tried massasge, acupuntcture, chiropractic. I have
eliminated alcohol, dairy, chocolate, dried fruits. I am now
on a ''raw until dinner'' food plan. I take preventative
medication as well as medication for when I get the migraine.
I am hoping that someone out there has a new idea, advice -
something. I lose SO much time to feeling terrible. I feel
desperate and overwhelmed.
Neil Raskin, migraine guru at UCSF, (415) 353-2273. He will change your life. I
suffered from what you've got -- chronic daily migraines -- tried everything you
did plus a few more, nearly went bankrupt + crazy -- I didn't need a new lifestyle
or diet or mindset, I just needed a better neurologist. One who knew migraine
disease inside and out, got that it WAS a disease and didn't judge, wasn't afraid to
scrap what didn't work and keep trying, wasn't afraid to medicate for pain....Don't
worry about his manner, which some find gruff. I find him tremendously
compassionate, but that doesn't matter -- he stuck with me till he found what
worked, took several tries, and I'm no longer in pain. I'd come to believe that was
tried everything else first
I feel for you -- I started having migraines about 4 years back
after I developed a brain tumor (suggest you check with
neurologist!) and the best doctors could do was to heavily
medicate me, which doesn't spply since I need to be mentally
sharp to deal with 5-year old and 7-year old girls that are
always into trouble (my wife works 12 hour days since I am on
permanent disability after surgery/complications). My migraines
may be very different from yours (very different from the
triggers for my wife also), so no sure thing that this will
work. The only thing I found that worked was something
called ''Cafergot'' which is an ergotamine that is used for
Alzheimers, migraines and tinnitus. It's an old medicine, so it
should be available as a generic by prescription. Suggest you
look up ''Hyderzine'' which is the uncaffeinated version extolled
in ''Life Extension'' magazine as used extensively in Europe. I
have not been able to get the uncaffeinated version yet myself.
I prefer this to Imitrex, since I hate needles and I'm not wild
about something that works by (I hear) giving your brain little
hemmorages to relieve pressure.
''I have tried massasge, acupuntcture, chiropractic. I have
eliminated alcohol, dairy, chocolate, dried fruits. I am now
on a ''raw until dinner'' food plan. I take preventative
medication as well as medication for when I get the migraine.''
You don't mention exercise, so I thought to mention Seth Roberts,
a self-experimenter, who wrote a post on this topic:
It may give you some new ideas. I hope it makes a difference.
Have you tried homeopathy? the confluence of migraines and the
stress of divorce present a versy stessful situation that often
triggers physical and emotional symptoms.
There are several
homeopaths in the East Bay, including myself. I'd be happy to
discuss and help recommend someone.
joel kreisberg email@example.com
My mom was a huge migraine sufferer and I have gotten them. In
addition to what you listed you avoid, my mom would also avoid:
aged or smoked meats and cheeses and hydrocarbon smells (gas,
permanent markers, nail polish, some cleaning supplies, etc).
For me there is only 1 thing to avoid - dehydration. If you have
a tea, coffee, or soda (diuretics), make sure you have a gatorade
and/or OJ (high in potassium) and salt. Or skip caffeine. If not
on caffeine, your urine should be pretty clear. If yellow, you're
dehydrated. You could also get one of those body composition
bathroom scales - it'll give you an est. body water. If you're
54% water, take salt (causes you to retain water) and drink
liquids. Be extra sensitive to this when you're about to
menstruate, 'cause your body retains water and you'll need more.
Remember, if you've taken diuretics, you've washed away your
salts and drinking water alone won't be sufficient to get
hydrated. Large amounts of water will even dehydrate your further
(rinses more salt out of you, and salt is what keeps the water).
Good luck and I hope this helps you!
One note - your body can get ''addicted'' to ergotomine. If so used
to getting ergotomine, you'll get a migraine if you haven't had
ergotomine for a few days. I don't know if you take this or not,
but something to check out.
I too have severe migraines that morphed into daily migraines
about 5 years ago, even without overdoing medications. I know a
lot about this due to extensive reading and I have a background
as MD (not working due to other chronic illness). What really
helped me were a combo of the following: 1. David Buccholz's
book, Heal your Headache --my neurologist agrees it is very good.
Read reviews on amazon for inspiration. 2. Two years of
migraine prevention meds, until I hit one that helped. I failed
5 meds and went thru awful side effects, then ran into Keppra,
which in combo with other measures, has helped. 3. Find a great
neurologist who is familiar with Botox injections for migraine. I
get Botox injection into scalp, occiput and neck every three
months. 4. Sleep as regularly as you can, and exercise
regularly, even if you have a migraine. Swimming, especially in
cool water, seems to be good.
I still have headaches every day, but average 1-2 bad days per
week. I usually treat them with a triptan, now that I did my
''triptan withdrawal'' a la Buccholz' book. I use triptans no more
than once a week. Best wishes, I hope you get better soon!
I feel for you-- I am 38 and have had migraines since I was a
teenager. Nothing really worked for me until I went to the doctor
for an unrelated problem (anxiety) and she prescribed citalopram.
Amazingly, my migraines almost completely disappeared, and when I
did get the occasional one it was much more bearable. I'm not on
it anymore, since I'm pregnant, but so far so good-- still no
I hope you find a solution that works for you!
Finally found something that worked
I've heard of Botox being used to treat migraines. I haven't
tried it myself since I stopped getting migraines once I quit
work to stay home with my kids, but I know someone who it has
There is someone at UCSF who does this treatment. Sorry I don't
have any more details, but it would be worth a call to UCSF.
I know some studies have shown that migraines can be triggered by
hormonal changes and that going on a birth control pill really
helps some women. Be sure to take the real medication every day
- do not take the placebo pills in the packet. I read this in
the Dr. Weil newsletter but I can't find it anymore otherwise I
would give you the study info. I also read that taking butterbur
extract 150mg daily can be preventative, as well as vitamin B-2
400mg daily (this requires a prescription from your doctor).
Other things you can do are saliva tests to check your hormone
levels and try to get them balanced. I don't know where to go
for this but have seen recommendations in the past on BPN - so
you could look there. My migraines are very infrequent so I've
never tried any of these things, but I hope something works for you.
Wishing you relief.
Neurofeedback, also known as eeg-biofeedback, has been very helpful with migraines.
Check out brainbalancer.com and eeginfo.com.
That really sounds horrendous. I feel for you hugely. I experienced migraines for
only a little over 2 years and felt at the end of my rope... you are going on 25 yrs!
Mine were related to my cycle and started out happening just at my period time,
then added in at ovulation, then added in at the end of my period, and then added
just past ovulation. Then a fifth one arose. They were rather predictable and would
last for approximately 48 hours (give or take a few hours).
I tried elimination diets, too. And was doing acupuncture. What helped me was
finding out that my hormone levels were seriously out of whack. Regular bloodwork
showed nothing. It was through saliva testing that this was determined. Once I was
able to work on balancing out the hormones, things started to improve dramatically.
Dietary changes, adding in more exercise and some plant-based hormone
supplementation seemed to do the trick. This may not be appropriate to your
situation, but I'm throwing it out there as a possibility.
Best of luck to you in your endeavor to find freedom from migraines.
Avoid triggers such as bright lights and perfume. More info here:
First, I am sorry that you are having such a problem! I have
been there. I started having migraines at the age of 4, and
they have waxed and waned throughout the years (I am 51). My
recent issue seemed to be triggered by ending breastfeeding
with my last child at (!) 47. I was having the migraines almost
daily. What helped for me was to finally get the right
neurologist and the correct meds. I had been through several
docs and had tried many, many preventative meds to no avail. I
had literally NEVER had any medicine work for me. I don't know
if it was the skill neurologist or some luck thrown in, but
after my dr. put me on Effexor, my symptoms all but stopped
within a month and have pretty much never returned. I can
highly recommend Dr. Allen Bott in Oakland. Good luck!
fellow migraine sufferer
Have you seen a neurologist recently? I too have had migraines
since 1st grade and they used to get triggered by menstruation.
Holistic stuff has never worked except for running my head under
ice cold water in the tub--it restricts the blood vessels and
provides some relief from the shooting pain.I know there are new
drugs, both preventive and palliative. There is Stadol, a pain
killer used by nose spray if you get nausea. And sometimes
medical marijuana can help and is probably less dangerous than
any of the prescribed stuff.
Other things may be food triggers. It is completely frustrating
I understand. The final thing if none of this works is to see a
pain management consultant. Feel free to email me.
I suffered from frequent migraine headaches for years, but
haven't had a migraine or even a faint headache for 6 months.
One big change I made was to make sure I was adequately hydrated.
I now drink a liter of sugarless electrolyte water every morning
and a total of about 3 liters (12 cups) of water each day.
There is a solution out there for you. Good luck!
I am so sorry you are having this problem. I have had migraines
for about the past 13 years (I am 43 now). And they had gotten
worse in the past 2-3 years. About a year ago, when they were at
their worst, I started acupuncture and went on the elimination
diet that you talked about AND and stopped taking all pain meds (
Immatrex and Maxalt) for 3 months. And they did start to get
better in that I had fewer and they were not as intense. And it
was HARD not to take an immatrex when I started to get one. I
have 2 small kids to take care of and to do it with a migraine is
just too much sometimes. But I really felt like a lot of the
headaches I was getting were rebound headaches from the Immatrex.
(I was sometimes taking 3 to 4 in a week). And i know mine are
mostly hormonally related. I almost always get one with my
period and mid-cycle. What else has helped me is yoga and
meditation. It is sometimes hard to find the time for these, but
getting your headache threshold higher is what is so important
now. Good luck and feel free to email if you want more advice.
Have you tried sustained-release niacin as a preventive measure?
Try 375 mg. twice a day to start. Here's a report from the Mayo
Have you already eliminated alcohol, chocolate, cheese, preserved
meats, and tropical oils from your diet? (That's a good idea
even if you don't have headaches.)
I assume you've already had an MRI of your brain and had your
heart checked to eliminate other more serious causes of migraines.
Read in the New York Times today about ''Brain Drain,'' describing a
case study of a woman with debilitating migraines. She deteriorated
mentally and physically, eventually lapsed into a coma, after several
weeks, many tests and doctors could not figure out her problem.
Turned out to be a teratoma, basically a congenital benign tumor that
can have stem cells that cause antibodies to attack the brain. This
article was incredibly interesting. Google ''New York Times Brain
Drain'' if this url doesn't work:
I just wanted to say that I am so grateful to all of you who
responded to my migraine post. I feel better just reading that
I am not alone in this! Many of the recommendations I have
tried in the past but there were also several new ideas that I
am going to follow-up with.
Again, thank you. I feel fortunate to be part of this
compassionate, creative and honest forum.
It's a stretch, almost, to say that I am ''post-pregnancy'' as my
child is now 8 months, but I am saying it partly because my cycle
has still not returned (I weaned at 5 months).
But here's the thing - I find that I am having trouble seeing
clearly, with glasses more than contacts, and I think that twice
in the last month or so I have had SLIGHT migraines (is that even
possible? I was mostly sensitive to light and felt ''out of sorts'').
I went to my eye doctor and she said my prescription is fine (she
wouldn't even look at the glasses though, which irritated me) and
said my eye health is fine. She said I should go to my primary
care physician because the brain processes images. I said, ''Do I
have a tumor?'' And she said, ''probably not.'' Then she added that
dry eyes can affect you this way. I said ''well, my eyes HAVE been
really dry and drops do clear it up sometimes.'' She said, ''well
you didn't come here complaining about dry eyes, so I doubt it's
that.'' But I didn't really KNOW I had dry eyes until I put 2 and
2 together and figured out that when I wake up in the morning and
can't keep my eyes open because they hurt, it's because they're dry.
Anyway, so I did some research on dry eyes and migraines and it
seems both can be caused by hormonal imbalances and I'd say that
I must be unbalanced because my period is not yet back.
So I guess I'm just wondering - has this happened to anyone else
after pregnancy? Did your vision even in glasses (usually I see
GREAT in glasses and the prescrip is new and correct) get a bit
wonky? I have never had migraines before either - and now I think
I have had two.
--Just want everything back to normal.
After the birth of my first, I started getting really bad headaches and while still
the hospital with my second I had an aura (which maybe what you were describing).
And it's only gotten worse since then.
What my doc said is that while migraines can be hormonally related, migraines also
tend to start in women around 30-35 yrs which coincides with childbearing so we
often attribute it to childbearing when it really can just be that you're at the age
they come on (for whatever non-pregnancy related reason).
Sounds to me like you're starting to get migraines and if you are not breastfeeding
there's no reason for you not to get a prescription to help deal with it.
And lighten up on your eye doctor.
I had vision problems at 8 months, too. I also went to my eye
doctor first (nothing there), and ended up with an MRI, looking
for a brain tumor. Long story short, I have hypothyroidism. Ask
for a test now--symptoms got much worse for me as time went on,
my condition worsened, and doctors still hadn't figured out to
test me for it yet. You might look around online for lists of
symptoms--it was only after I got my diagnosis and starting
reading that I realized how many of the symptoms I had been
having and didn't think to put them all together.
Only twice in my life before pregnancy I have had migraines,
complete with visual auras (wonkiness!) before the big headache
with light/noise sensitivity. Well, I am 30 weeks pregnant with
my second child. Twice this pregnancy I had the visual auras
that precede a migraine, but I did not get the actual migraine
(headache with light/noise sensitivity). I'm not sure if this
is hormones, or that once I got the visual auras, I immediately
started trying to relax, doing deep breathing, neck muscle
massage and stretches, reviewing all the stressors in my life
and how I can deal with them, etc. Anyway, this is different
from your situation (I'm not post-pregnancy!), but it's weird to
twice have had the visual auras without the migraine.
I don't mean to alarm you, but my sister had very similar
symptoms (blurred vision and headaches) when her daughter was a
few months old, and in my sister's case, sadly, it WAS a brain
tumor that was causing the symptoms. I'm sure there's lots of
other things that can cause the same symptoms, but please don't
assume, because you gave birth 8 months ago, that the symptoms
must somehow be associated with this fact. I think you should
insist on a referral to a neurologist, and continue to pursue
this until you either have a diagnosis, or the symptoms go
away. Please don't allow your doctors to be dismissive about
it -- my sister wasted months going from eye doctor to eye
doctor before one of them FINALLY referred her to a
neurologist. Meanwhile, precious time was lost when she could
have been undergoing treatment. Best of luck to you, and I
hope you find out that your symptoms are due to something far
Without examining you myself, I'd say that you make a good case
for dry eyes--especially the part about noticing more problems
in the AM. If you also notice that artificial tears help things--
then there are some things that are worth a try:
1) Use a very goopy artificial tear at bedtime--using an
ointment would be even better. Some ''goopy'' tears are: Genteal
Gel, Celluvisc, Refresh Liquigel. If this makes you feel more
comfy in the AM, then continue to use.
2) During the day, use artificial tears at regular intervals
regardless of whether you feel you need them or not. Some good
ones to try are: Systane, Theratears, or Blink. I'd say use
every couple of hours to start.
Very dry eyes can cause light sensitivity, and tear chemistry
definitely related to hormonal changes. I'm sorry your eye
doctor did not work with you well to determine your problem.
However, one reason they probably didn't pursue your problem at
the end of the exam is that you can't test for tear film once
the drops used to dilate your eyes has already happened. That's
probably why you were blown off a bit once you realized dryness
might be your problem.
Will this improve? Well, maybe yes and maybe no. Everyone's eyes
get drier as function of age, so we all have that to look
forward to. And, pregnancy can cause temporary or more permanent
changes. Plus, if you have a little one, you are probably
getting less sleep--and that doesn't help dry eyes. Plus, your
level of hydration, the weather, pollution--there are many
things that affect dry eyes.
I suggest you do both suggestions at top religiously for 2
weeks, then reassess. If it hasn't helped--you should get
another opinion from another doc. If it has--then keep going!
Start to reduce the number of drops to see how few you can do
without being symptomatic!
Well, I've never had the dry-eyes thing, but I have been a
migraine sufferer for many years. My migraines are affected by
hormones, and yes, your hormones are whacky after pregnancy and
childbirth and nursing. For me, migraines intensified during
early pregnancy, then cleared up for the later pregnancy.
Post-partum was up and down with them. It took about a year for
things to settle into a pattern.
I agree-you should see your primary care doctor. He or she might
send you to a headache specialist or neurologist. Probably,
things will settle down within the next year. But check it out
Headaches are no fun
If you're in your late 30s or older, there's a possibility that
the pregnancy has fast-tracked you into needing bifocals. And
I'd get a new eye dr if she didn't even look at your darned
glasses. (There are many many lazy optometrists out there; I've
been to a few of them.) Could also be hormones too-especially
the migraines. If these are your first migraines you may want to
go to your primary anyway to get a baseline neurological exam.
It took me several years, but I realized reluctantly that my eyes
are in fact getting older, and that the reason I can't see my
daughter up close is that my eyes don't focus well up close (and
my eyeglasses were weak enough to cover up the fact, but my
contacts were not). Check out the bifocal displays at the
drugstores and see if it makes things easier. Oh, and the bad
news, is that even if your vision returns, there's no such thing
as ''back to normal'' once the babies come along.
Hi - I had post-pregnancy migranes beginning around the time my
daughter began to self-wean (around 10 months, through the time
she was fully (but newly) weaned, around 13 months. My period
resumed just before this time, around 9 months post-partum. I
think this was due to normal changes in hormones, many migranes
are homrmone related and hormone-related migraine runs in my
family (Grandmother, father, both sisters, and myself, all with
varying degrees of frequency, duratoion, and severity. Knowing
my family history I was neither surprised nor concerned about
the migranes, and in fact was anticipating them. Interestingly
I did not have any early pregnancy migranes, as I would have
expected. My younger sister's very regular and severe migranes
went away during her first pregnancy, but not with her second.
What kind of family neurological history do you have? As for
vision, my vision changed, for the worse, following pregnancy,
but that may also be due to simple aging... I was 40 when my
daughter was born.
I have had migraines for years and have figured out how to
control them pretty well. But in the last few months I have had
what I think are sinus headaches several times. These are new to
me and I don't now how to deal with them. I will see my doctor
about the situation, but I am wondering what others have done to
find relief from sinus headaches?
I get both migraines and sinus headaches. I swear by the neti pot. I use it in the
morning and at night EVERY day. It has helped with allergies and I haven't gotten a
sinus infection in over a year. I find that if I am getting a sinus headache I can
take some sudafed (the real deal- behind the pharmacist's counter) and 400-600mg of
Ibuprofen gelcaps and it tends to nock it out.
neti all the way
Make an appt with your eye doctor. I had horrible headaches
that I thought were sinus headaches that turned out to be due to
eye strain. (What a relief to discover this after months of
horrible headaches that didn't go away with ibuprofen or sinus
medicine.) It turns out my eyes were tired from all my reading
in grad school and one eye was stronger than the other and that
really gave me headaches. Tell your eye doctor you are having
head aches and they can check to see if your vision is causing
them. It's worth a shot!
I suffer from both migraines and sinus headaches. The migraines
I have under control and get maybe 2 per year. But the sinus
headaches are frequent depending upon the weather. The best way
I treat mine is with a decongestant (sudafed) and motrin (or
alleve). My doctor also prescribed a sinus spray which helps
alleviate the pressure as well. Sinus headaches are caused by
buildup in the sinus cavities so that is way decongenstants
work well. I used to try benedryl but my doctor told me that
benedryl doesn't drain the sinuses. Sudafed (I use a generic
version) works great and doesn't make me sleepy or hyper.
You might behaving hormone headaches.
Are you in your mid-late thirties, or 40s? Do the headaches
occur at the same general part of your cycle each month (in my
case it is always the 3 and 4 week of my cycle). You may need
to really pay attention to the calendar to be sure....
I began to have what I thought were terrible sinus headaches at
35. I went to a doc at Kaiser and explained the sx to him
(sinuses ''popping'', stuffiness, pain which seemed deep in my
head behind my nose) and he thought it sounded like a
migraine. We did x rays and found no infection, but I was
incredulous and he ended uo giving me Flonase. The headaches
continued until I accidentally discovered that progesterone
cream made them go away. (Was using it to aid fertility).
Turns out, I had perimenopausal headaches. You might want to
look into it.
I occasionally get sinus headaches, and I take the generic versions of 3 Advil, 2
Tylenol, a Sudafed, and a big cup of coffee or caffeinated soda. It relieves a lot of
pain, but I'm usually still sensitive to light and it hurts when I sneeze. The thing
has been PREVENTING them quite well, though, is a prescription steroid nasal spray,
that I use every morning. It's called Nasonex. There are several others to try
if you're lucky, your doctor will give you free samples so you can try different
They all seem to work for me. Good luck; I feel your pain!
I too have been suffering from both migraines and sinus
headaches for quite some time now. So I'm really interested to
read what other people have to say on this subject. However,
one possible suggestion I can offer is acupuncture. I've been
seeing an acupuncturist in Emeryville for a few years now for
sinus issues, migraines, allergies, etc. and the needle
treatments, the back ''cupping,'' and the herbs have helped a
lot. (Her name is Kirstin Lindquist and I highly recommend her
specifically, but Iíve heard great things about other
acupuncturists in the area as well.) Perhaps you could try
acupuncture for a few months and see if you get positive
results. It's well worth the time and money!
The needles don't hurt, believe it or not! :)
I am definitely not an expert, but I do get sinus headaches a lot
and usually can keep them from getting really bad. (I was looking
forward to other responses for more ideas!) I've mostly learned
to identify sinus headaches early on, before they get too bad,
and then try to help my sinuses drain as much as possible. For
me, early signs are: headache that gets worse, not better, from
lying down, or that is there right when I wake up in the morning,
headache that does not respond to ibuprofen which usually works
for my tension headaches, or headache with postnasal drip. As
soon as I think a sinus headache is coming on, I use a nasal
spray called NasalCrom (over-the-counter). Although all I want to
do is lie down, I make myself sit upright as much as possible
because otherwise the pressure gets worse. Steam from a hot
shower, or a mug of either ginger or mint tea is good. Not sure
why but even a carbonated drink seems to help a little. And some
basic pain relief, too - ibuprofen or tylenol take the edge off
for me. I've also heard that some exercise can help to open the
sinus passages, so again I try to resist my
curl-up-and-moan-in-pain urges and I think it does help. Good luck!
Just a few more words on this, after reading the other responses: sinus
headaches, for me, are often the result of allergies, and often just taking
an antihistamine will do the trick for me. (Holding a warm cup of tea up
to my forehead ain't bad either.) CAUTION on decongestants: I also get
sinus headaches in really dry weather or when I've been in buildings
with processed heat, so a decongestant will only dry me out more and
worsen the problem if this is what sets it off. Thus, lots and lots of water
or herbal tea, a warm wet washcloth across the face (looks so attractive!)
and a humidifier can really help. I also get migraines, and I find that a
sinus headache can trigger a migraine, so taking ibuprofen or whatever
pain reliever you like before it really gets going is a good idea so you
don't get the double whammy.
I'm 15 weeks pregnant with my 2nd and having the worst ''spot''
headaches... hoping someone out there might be able to help! I
had these with my first baby, but only at the very end of my
pregnancy (the last 6 or so weeks). They went away after my
daughter was born.
The headache is a dull, painful throbbing directly behind/below
my right ear. No where else. I've tried to look for triggers
but can't seem to find any consistent pattern - they don't seem
to be stress induced, I'm getting enough sleep, drinking lots of
water, etc. I've also tried Tylenol in desperation but it does
Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, is there anything
that helps? I can get them to go away if I lie down and sleep
for a while, but with a 2 year old and a full time job, that is
not exactly a reality for me! Some massaging of the spot helps,
but not enough to make them go away. They last for a day or so.
Thanks for any advice!!
Mama with a pounding head
I struggled w/migraines that were out of control once I got
pregnant w/my first. Acupuncture saved me! I saw Dennis von
Elgg in Berkeley. Also, make sure you're not dehydrated.
So Been There!
I can completely relate! I'm in the middle of pregnancy with
#2 also. I had some headaches in the second trimester with my
first but they were reasonably mild and Tylenol worked. This
time around they have been excruciating and debilitating!
My suggestion: Talk to your OB about it! I will tell you what
mine did, but you should talk to your own doc about it and s/he
will likely follow a similar course. First of all, I was
maxing out on over-the-counter Tylenol and that's not healthy.
So she put me on Vicadin instead. It worked a bit better but
importantly isn't bad on the liver or whatever. Second, she
told me to take caffeine when it was bothering me! Of course
that's what we're all told not to take so I'd been off caffeine
since my first pregnancy. But it really has helped SO much.
If I get a headache, I get a cup of regular coffee in me and it
makes a world of difference. The reason is this: the headaches
are caused by your increased blood flow from the pregnancy.
The blood is trying to flow through the same size vessels.
Caffeine dilates the vessels giving that blood more room to
move. Note that this also should primarily be early in your
second trimester when the blood flow is increasing rapidly. So
the end is likely in sight.
Anyways, I assume it's the same cause for you and these
solutions will work for you, too. But it really is something
to run by your doc first. S/he might have other suggestions as
Good luck - literally, I feel your pain but it gets better but
it's worth taking something to get through it.
Head Ache Mom
this is probably very specific to me, but i also had terrible
headaches. i figured out that they tended to happen after eating
about half the time. upon weeks of observation and deduction, i
figured out that it was mostly potatoes that gave me these
headaches! raw tomatoes also gave me a milder headache, but
potatoes were the worst. turns out that the nightshade family of
plants has inflammatory effects on some people, thus leaving some
with headaches. see if cutting out potatoes will solve the
problem - it's hard to avoid it though... good luck!
You might want to ask your doctor if these are migraines. The
fact that they are on one side and get better when you lie down
is consistent with migraines. I've suffered them for a long time
and they got worse with my pregnancy. The drugs you can take for
headache during pregnancy are limited (I was offered Tylenol,
codeine or fioricet, which is butalbital, tylenol and caffeine
combined). Some worked some of the time but I hated the idea of
drugs so I turned to accupuncture which really helped. If you go
this route, it is important to see someone who really knows what
they are doing and has experience with pregnant women. A simpler
solution might be an ice pack, sometimes that works for me. Also
some doctors say it 's ok to take ibuprofen before the 3rd
trimester, and that works a lot better for me than Tylenol.
Best of luck to you,
Fellow headache sufferer
I had some headaches during pregnancy (as well as backaches,
heartburn etc.) and what helped was seeing my chiropractors -
they do a gentle form of chiropractic called Network Spinal
Analysis and actually specialize in pregnancy & pediatric
health. I highly recommend them - Dr. Aaron Rosselle & Dr.
Eileen Karpfinger at Upaya Center for Wellbeing. (510) 444-
I suffer from debilitating headaches when I'm on my period and once or twice at other
times of the month. I have not discovered an ingested trigger (e.g. hormones, alcohol,
caffiene, wheat, etc.). My family practitioner has suggested nortryptalene as a daily
preventative drug to reduce the frequency and the duration of the headaches. I take
triptans to abort the headaches. Anyone out there have experience taking
nortryptalene as a migraine prevention treatment or for depression? I'm curious about
side-effects and general effectiveness. thanks so much.
Hi - I can certainly sympathize. I've suffered from Cluster
Headaches all of my life (I'm 60) and the symptoms have now
morphed into the Migraine headache category. Having been on
many different preventatives over the years, my neurologist put
me on Nortriptyline about 6 years ago. I started with two 10
mg pills per day and have been prescribed as high as 5 pills
per day. I'm now on 40 mg a day. Do they help? Probably.
The frequency and severity have lessened somewhat - the pills
don't completely rid me of the headaches but, when I
accidentally ran out, the headaches returned with a vengeance.
I will say that, when I do get a headache, MAXALT-MLT will get
rid of it within 15 minutes. It is truly a miracle drug. One
side affect of Nortriptyline is that it's helped my
depression. No question. But it also increases your appetite
and, with 4 pills a day, I can't stop eating. Now, THAT'S
depressing! LOL If you only get headaches during your period,
maybe you only need a quick-shot drug like Maxalt MLT? I'd
bring that up with your doctor. Good luck!
For yrs & yrs, about 25, I had frequently recurring bouts of
severe headaches, & pretty much constant low-grade ones-
headaches were a daily part of my life.
Some of them were identifiable migraines, some of them probably
atypical migraines, & some were other types. I eventually saw a
headache specialist who told me that once you've had migraines it
sets you up for all the varieties of headaches.
My headache bouts have lessened a great deal in the last few
years, both in frequency & intensity, & I when I do get a
headache, tylenol's usually enough to chase it away (if not, the
only thing that works for me is vicodin). I can't say (with one
exception, see below) exactly what to ascribe the improvement to,
as I have bipolar II disorder & Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, have to
take several different daily meds, the meds & dosages have gotten
tweaked pretty often over the years, & it's impossible to say
exactly which is doing what.
But here's a little med info for you anyway, I can't tie any of
it to the headache changes for certain, but maybe something will
I took Nortriptyline for several yrs for depression in a very low
dose & it helped some. When I switched psychiatrists my new one
changed me to Surmontil (which is a rather obscure older
tri-cyclic AD) at a higher dose, & it's helped more w/the depression.
I've taken Neurontin for a good number of yrs in varying dosages,
& that helps some people with headaches- don't know if it's been
a factor for me, can only say that it has a calming effect.
I also take Lamictal (mood stabilizer), Levothroid (thyroid),
Adderall (as an anti-dep, not for ADHA), & hormone replacement
(including methyltestosterone). Also 6000mg of fish oil.
The one thing I can say for absolute certain is that after seeing
the headache specialist and beginning to pay really close
attention to possible triggers, I realized that any time I
ingested ANY aspartimane, even the amount in a tiny mint, I got a
horrible blinding headache within a few minutes. Now I never go
near the stuff, & haven't had even one of that particular type of
I have what my doctor calls ''Menstrual Migraines'' - I got a
migraine usually just before my period and then again midcycle.
I recently started using an estrogen patch for just a few days a
month - my timing isn't perfected yet but I have had 2 months
with no migraines! I don't know anything about the drug you
mentioned, but thought I'd mention what has so far worked pretty
well for me.
migraine free - I hope
I just started Nortriptyline for my premenstrual migraines about 6 mos ago. It has
been working very well to decrease the intensity and frequency of my headaches.
But, yes, I have had some side effects. One of them I love - I sleep much better!
it also makes me a little groggy sometimes in the morning, and I have had one
episode of constipation, which is really unusual for me. I only take them the week
before my period, or for a couple days before I know I will be up all night, since
sleep deprivation is a trigger for my headaches. Overall, I think it has been a
help though, and plan to stay on it.
I have had friends try Topamax for migraine prophylaxis with good results too. My
neurologist said that sometimes people feel a little less ''mentally clear'' when
Topamax, and I just couldn't risk that because my job requires all my mental
and then some!
I'm with ya
Frova worked well for me
former sufferer--thank G for menopause!
Several years ago I was having frequent migraines (2-3 per week) as well as some
other migraine-aura-like symptoms (I felt fuzzyheaded and out of it quite
frequently), and a neurologist suggested Nortryptaline. It did not work well for me
at all. Not only did the migraines and fuzzyheaded-ness not go away, but I was
tired, dizzy, constipated, and gaining weight. Not a winning combination. I stuck
with the Nortryptaline for 5 weeks and then tried Gabapentin (the generic for
Neurontin), which didn't do much for the headaches but at least didn't have the
bothersome side effects.
Ultimately the headaches resolved on their own. It turned out that the underlying
cause was stress, and what ultimately made the difference was leaving an unhappy
Don't miss the headaches or the Nortryptaline
I have taken Nortryptalene for anxiety for about 10 years, and
for me it's been a great option. I used to have regular
headaches, though not at all debilitating, and I have a lot
fewer now. I mostly like it as it's great for managing anxiety
(my primary issue) and great for helping with sleeping. My doc
has also mentioned it's reputation for helping with headaches,
so I think it must be a common use. The only downside is that
like a lot of antidepressents, it can make orgasms more
challenging though not impossible. It's a drug that's been
around a very long time, so doctors know a lot about it..I even
stayed on a low dose during my pregnancy. Anyway, I'd say it's
worth a try. Hope it helps.
I'm looking for recommendations for either chiropractors or acupuncturists who
specialize in migraine treatment. I've used traditional treatments for 8 years now, and
while they generally assuage the pain, I'd like to reduce the frequency of the migraines
(something which traditional preventative treatments have been unsuccessful at doing).
I've looked at the archives and only see two recommendations, one for a practitioner
about whom I've heard very mixed reviews.
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
Frequent migraine sufferer
I used to get regular migraines fifteen years ago. After a particularly stressful
year marked by many migraines, I became interested in Buddhism. I sat a ten-day
meditation retreat where I learned a technique called Vipassana -- a very simple
method of observation of breath & bodily sensation. After this one course, my
migraines didn't come back for over five years. (I did meditate from time to time,
but I've never been good at being a regular meditator.) The migraines returned
again after another particularly stressful time in my life, and I started
meditating again -- again, the migraines disappeared. You can check out vipassana
meditation at www.dhamma.org. There are a couple of places you can sit a course
wishing you a migraine free life!
I am a 46 year-old mother who is also on the verge of menopause (my mother
and garandmother had theirs at 45). I've been experiencing an increase in
monthly emotional moodswings, along with angry outbursts, anxiety, and
uncontrollable crying. I've even experienced what I think are occasional hot
flashes. I feel especially irritable and very depressed right before a
and then when the migraine is over I'm happy again, and am able to be calm
and level headed. I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. The worse part of all of
this is that I have a 6 year old daughter. I hate it when my emotions get out
control, especially infront of her. And during these mood swings, and especially
when a migraine is coming on, I have no patience at all with my duaghter. She
is incredibly strong willed and loves to challenge me. I sometimes honestly
believe that she enjoys driving me crazy. Little things drive me crazy, like
she is jumping up and down like a jumping bean that just won't quite. Or when
she keeps hanging on me, bumping up against me or just touching me. I feel
like I'm being suffocated. I'm not like this all the time. It comes and goes.
when a migraine comes, that's the worse. I just want to die. Sometimes I feel
like I should have never had a child because I can't handle it when I'm in pain.
have no family here or super close friends that I can count on when I get a
migraine. And I can't keep asking my husband to come home from work early
so he can take care of our duaghter. I feel terribly guilty for all the times
yelled at my daughter. I even slapped her in the face a few times and I feel
especially horrible about that. I just can't take the hormone fluctuations
anymore. I honestly look forward to old age just so I don't have to deal with
How do you mothers who waited 'til late in life to have kids deal with the
intense hormonal stuff and raising your children? How do you keep from
damaging your child? And what about you migraine sufferers who have kids?
What do you all do with your children when you are sick in terrible pain? How
do you cope?
Also, is there a therapist or group that I can join that deals with mothers
entering the menopausal years? And is there an alternative healer that can help
me with all my mood disorders? Herbs, accupuncture, what ever. I am willing to
try anything that is sensible and proven to work. Even a good book to read. I
just need some relief, guidance, and a way to cope.
I could have written your post about 5 months ago (except I would
have also moaned about the heavy horrible periods and I have 2
young kids who I wasn't being fair too). At 47, my periods
stopped coming - I thought I was pregnant....but surprise...it
was menopause with all the symptoms you too described. My doctor
put me on the Vivelle Dot, it is an estrogen patch, and I am now
a new person -- or back to my old before menopause person.
Headaches, hormonal moodiness, irritation, depression, night
sweats, hot flashes... all GONE!!! Try it!
I've had migraines since my early 20s (when there were few effective
available) and for years just suffered through them by zoning out at work
going to bed when I got home. I have also suffered from depression which
worsened as a result of some hormonal changes. So, between my
pain and my irritability, I was losing it a lot at home. Having kids
convinced me that
I needed to finally do something to manage my migraines and to treat
biological abnormalities were contributing to my depression. I tried
migraine medications and THANK GOD I found one that works most of the
doctor prescribed 3 ''back-up'' narcotics for me (darvoset, vicodin, and
when the migraine meds don't work. Fortunately, I take these very
(although the vicodin definitely takes the edge off - which I like!). I
am also on an
antidepressant. My pain and my moods still impact my life and my
parenting, but to
a pretty small degree. So the bottom line is: I think you should talk to
and get some meds. Relief is possible! Good luck.
I'm 53 and still going through menopause, but not experiencing the extreme
swings you are. I have, however, suffered from migraines for at least 25
started taking beta blockers (inderal) a month ago and it is the only
has ever worked for my migraines. Inderal works unbelievably well and
I've only had
three mild headaches this month. By the way, I have a 12 year old son and
a 6 year
old great-niece. My best wishes to you.
MLAMVL of N. Berkeley
I strongly urge you to go see your doctor and explain the
situation . It's clear that this situation is having an impact
on your health and happiness and also your family life. A good
doctor could help you understand and review options. You could
approach this as a migraine sufferer, or as a woman entering
menopause. There are several medical options. Because of your
migraines, you and your doctor will need to take into account the
effect of hormones on your system. My mother's migraines got
much worse when she went on HRT to control other symptoms.
However, it's not one-size-fits-all. There are other options.
When my migraines and anxiety started getting worse as I entered
peri-menopause (I think real menopause is still 10 years away),
my doctor helped me find a medication that helps to cut the
severity of both. When it comes to dealing with your daughter,
try to remember that you are being overwhelmed by your own
hormonal system, and that is an added stress to parenting. You
are not a bad mom because of that. But you do need to somehow
take a step back from the edge when the fear, pain, and anxiety
of a migraine comes on. Let your daughter know what is going on.
be honest. She is only 6, but knowing that sometimes mom gets a
headache so bad it makes her do things she wishes she didn't is
very different from not knowing what causes mom to change so
Fellow Migraine Suffering Mom
I, too an a single mother, and my menopause symptoms started around age
daughter was 11 years old at the time, and dealing with her own hormonal
It can be overwhelming... the mood swings, the physical discomfort, and no
parent in sight.
Fortunately we were both under the care of a homeopath during those years,
the remedies she prescribed were very, very helpful. The consultation
is theraputic, as homepaths are trained to be excellent listeners! There
great homeopaths here in the Bay Area. You can visit the National Center
Homeopathy's website (http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/) where
information about homeopathy, locating a practitioner, etc.
Does anyone know of a place/person that does biofeedback? I developed migraines after my
son was born 2 years ago. Since I'd like to try for another child later in the year and my
medication options will be limited, I'm looking into alternative therapies. I live in
Alameda but any location in the Bay Area is fine. Anonymous
You might look into buying the StressEraser. It's an at-home biofeedback
device. It's not cheap (approximately $299), but then, neither is
biofeedback. What I liked about the StressEraser is that you can use it
several times a day, every day. I personally found that going to a
biofeedback practitioner once a week (at more than $100 a visit), really
We bought a StressEraser by mail. You can contact the company online at
www.StressEraser.com, or google it to see if you can find some lower
prices. The device does have a month's period to try it out after you've
bought it; if it's not working for you, you can send it back.
I have thin, cold fingers, and the device didn't work well for me because
it couldn't ''read'' my finger. Others in my family loved it, and found it
This isn't really responsive to your request for someone who does
bio-feedback, and I don't know how serious your migraines are, but I do
know that I have had migraines since college (but only one every month or
two) and had none at all during my pregnancy. I think that this decrease
during pregnancy is fairly common; although it's probably not something to
count on, it might be worth asking your M.D. about if you haven't already.
Best of luck with your migraines and future pregnancy.
I have recently been going to see Dr, Goldstein at the Headache Clinic in
SF for Migraines and I saw that there is someone in the clinic who does
www.sfcrc.com They certainly know their stuff there.
Sometimes diet plays a role with migraines, and also fumes from different
sources and mold. It might help to check these out to see if you can
reduce migraines by reducing exposure to these things.
Best of luck!
Can anybody recommend a good accupuncturist in either San
Francisco or the East Bay? I'm 7 weeks pregnant and am
struggling with a migraine that won't go away. Migraines aren't
unusual for me as I've had them all my life. What is unusual is
that I can't rely upon my regular medications due to pregnancy.
As a result, I'm looking for an accupuncturist with experience
in pregnancy, chronic pain, or ideally, both. Any help would be
On a related note - does anybody have a recommendation for an Ob-
Gyn who specializes in pregnancy and chronic pain? Ideally, this
person would be affiliated with California Pacific Medical
Center in San Francisco? Thanks.
I had the same problem pretty much throughout my whole
pregnancy and started seeing Dennis Von Elgg (offices in
Berkeley and Orinda) around my 3rd month. He literally saved my
life! He is wonderful to work w/ and very interested and
caring. My OB prescribed Vicodin since it's ''considered'' safe
during pregnancy, but it just made my morning sickness even
more violent and my head hurt even more. He was also able to
help me w/my heartburn so I wasn't constantly popping Tums for
the last 2 months. His phone numbers are 510/883-1340 and
925/253-0685. I'm not sure I would consider trying to have
another baby w/out his support. I cannot recommend him highly
enough. Feel free to email me if I can answer any questions or
I'm so sorry to hear you're suffering from migraines during your
pregnancy. I don't have a recommendation for an acupuncturist,
but I do have a recommendation for a book that has helped me
tremendously. It's titled, ''Heal Your Headaches - The 1, 2, 3
Program,'' by David Buchholz. It's in paperback at Barnes and
Noble. Good luck!
Acupuncture can be used during pregnancy for
migraines, ''morning sickness,'' tendency to miscarry, etc. The
acupuncturist should have experience with pregnancy as some
points are forbidden with pregnancy. Dr. Jay Sordean has
worked with many pregnant women to help with these conditions.
His number is 510-849-1176 and you can call for an initial
i highly recommend Jenny Crissman--offices in E Bay AND SF....phone is 510-938
-2600...Jenny is excellent and has much experience with women's issues and with
chronic pain..plus she's a fabulous human being AND incredible herbalist and
Has anyone on this network ever suffered from what is
called ''migraine equivalence,'' which is migraine-related
symptoms, such as extreme vertigo, light-sensitivity and
nauseau, with no headache? I had never even heard of this
condition until I had it for the first time last year. When I
had it before it lasted for about a month, gradually lessening
in intensity, and then mysteriously went away.
I just started suffering from this again recently and this past
week has been awful. I have barely been able to get out of bed
in the morning and the medicine my doctor prescribed for me is a
combo of one motion sickness pill (mecclazine) and one valium,
which is almost as bad as just being dizzy all the time. Does
anyone know of natural remedies or any types of alternative
I am fairly desperate at this point, so I am open to suggestions.
Dizzy and Don't Like It
could it be meniere's or some other inner/middle ear problem?
I too suffer from migraine equivalents. As a child, I had
horrible ''classic'' migraines which lasted for days or weeks. In
my twenties, they tapered off, and turned into more frequent,
though less debilitating migraine equivalents. I occasionally
get the vertigo. The episodes usually involve nausea, light,
movement and sound sensitivity, are almost exclusively a
morning thing, and can be quite miserable or barely noticable.
They seem to happen for no particular reason, and I have
periods where the episodes happen very little, or almost daily.
I have never been sucessful with drugs which are supposed to
prevent the attacks, but have had some relief from small
amounts of drugs like fiornal,! which take the edge off. I think
that migraine equivalents are a fairly uncommon version of
migraines, and I have even been seen by neurologists who had
never heard of it, and clearly thought that I was a nut. I was
told by my current neurologist that some of them are ''headache
guys'' and some aren't, so hopefully your neurologist is one of
those. If not, I highly recommend my dr. in Berkeley,
neurologist John Friedberg 644-2282. Feel free to contact me if
you want further information.
I have always been quite light sensitive and used to have a
recurring problem with vertigo- maybe the same thing that you're
describing. It was really miserable. My doctor at the time told
me that it wasn't uncommon, was mostly in women, and that the
suspected cause was an otherwise benign virus. He prescribed
Meclazine, no Valium. I found that if I took a whole 25mg. tablet
of Meclazine it was as good as a sleeping pill, but that 1/4 to
1/2 tablet worked for the vertigo and I was still awake. I can't
imagine what good Valium would do- it puts me to sleep anyway,
and I don't think that the vertigo was from stress/anxiety.
For whatever reason, the vertigo became less and less frequent,
finally stopped. Then later I developed Migraines (luckily not
frequent). I have wondered what the connection might be between
the two- was the vertigo really a type of migraine?
Meclizine is a safe medication and you might just want to try
using less, and if you want to keep up the Valium try less of
Hi, I've had both migraines & vertigo, but not at the same time.
For me, migraines are brief but intense episodes that may or may
not involve a headache, but for me always involve vision
disturbances (bright zig-zaggy lines & blind spots) and
sometimes some numbness on one side of my body, and sometimes
difficulty finding the right words when speaking. Never, ever
have these episodes lasted longer than a few hours. I had a case
of vertigo once. I was dizzy and queasy and felt like I was
about to topple over whenever I walked, though I never did
actually fall. I never associated this with migraine. It lasted
a few weeks. I tried the meclazine & didn't notice much
improvement, so I just waited it out. My doc never suggested
valium. I continued to go to work, but I suspended my habit of
taking long hikes for a while!
SO, having stated my ''qualifications'' to give you advice, here
it is: go to a neurologist. It sounds weird to me that your doc
is describing what you're going through as migraine. I like Dr.
Starkey in Oakland, near Pill Hill. He is down to earth and can
explain to you in plain English what is going on. I will warn
you that a migraine to a neurologist seems to be about as
exciting as a common cold is to an internist. But at least
you'll feel better with a little more knowledge.
fellow migraineur (sounds glamourous, doesn't it??)
I know the feeling. I had it for a while when I was sixteen
and then again in my mid-thirties. During my teenage years, a
lack of calcium was diagnosed and as soon as I supplemented I
was okay within 2 days. As an adult, when I woke up in the
morning with the room moving around me infinitively and the
darkness of closed eyes kept circling! (where is the off-
switch???), I remembered the old diagnosis and found out that
the calcium in Multi-Vitamins is not enough and may not be
absorbed well in that combination. It requires an extra pill.
Again it was the instant magic solution. But I also double-
checked that my ears were fine (could be a cause of imbalance,
so I cleaned them with ear-wax removal drops)and that I didn't
have too much going on in my life that would lead to scattered
thinking - that itself can make you dizzy, but not as deeply as
you describe. I knew something was definitely out of order and
I was relieved that it was a lack of calcium again. (The second
time I did not even go to a doctor).
Get to a chiropractor quick! I've seen tremendous success in
reducing and/or eliminating the symptoms you describe using
Hi. I'm hoping someone on the network can help me. I've
had migraines since I was a teenager and I'm now in my
mid thirties. I'm seeing a neurologist and we're working on
managing the migraines.
I'm going into my second semester of graduate school, and
I'm on the fast track for graduation. In other words, I have
enough experience to get my master's degree in my
department in 3 semsters instead of 2-3 years.
I'm making it through school, but I'm getting nervous about
the work world and my migraines. They aren't considered a
''disability '' under the Americans with disabilites act.
Is there anyone in the network that has chronic migraines
and works? I'd like to know how to balance the two,
especially when the migraines still seem so unmanageable
I started having migraines after my son was born, and have been
working full time throughout. For years I had them and didn't
know what they were -- thought I had horrible cases of food
poisoning on a regular basis. Eventually I was correctly
diagnosed, tried a number of different drugs which did not
work, and finally landed on a ''cocktail'' that works for me:
Zomig + Alleve. It doesn't always get rid of the migraine but
if I take it early enough it will at least reduce its length
I have learned to travel with the medication, and since then I
have rarely had to miss time from work.
Been there too
Does anyone have any suggestions for relieving migraines during
Migraines can be very different for different for different
people, so I would talk to a neurologist for the latest
information on migraine treatments. Many people find that
drinking a cup of feverfew tea once a day is helpful in reducing
the frequency of migraines. It doesn't really treat an actual
migraine attack, so having a discussion with the doctor really
might help in that situation so you know what is safe during
pregnancy. Feverfew is sold a dried herb (like mint or oregano)
that you can find at health food stores and places like Food
Mill in Oakland.
Ugh. I know how awful an untreated migraine can be. And how hard
that is while you're pregnant. Try this: Wrap your head in ice.
Use large, soft ice packs and wrap them around like a hatband,
with ice covering especially the base of your neck, your
temples, and your forehead. You can use a really huge ace
bandage (a knee-sized one, for example) to secure the ice packs
around your head. Then wrap your whole body in a large blanket
that you've warmed in a dryer (beach towels in the microwave can
also work). With your head iced and your body warm, wait at
least 30-45 minutes. (Sounds like a recipe, doesn't it?) This
works becasue during a migraine, the blood isn't flowing
properly in your head -- I can never remember whether that's
because the blood vessels are constricted or engorged -- and the
cold head/warm body trick changes that. Usually, if I use this
trick early enough in the headache and follow up with a one-hour
nap, I can avoid the worst symptoms and lose less than two hours
of my day instead of the whole day.
Also, I took feverfew throughout my pregnancy (it helps to
prevent migraines in some people). My OB wasn't thrilled about
this, but she also said she didn't want me dealing with severe
Good luck to you.
-- Headache-free (at last!)
Since you're pregnant, it would be best to check with your
doctor as to safe ways to treat the pain. Prevention is
important, although that can be hard with all the hormones
flooding your body. I had some success with acupuncture. I
also found that my migraines lasted only for a month during
my pregnancy, and that they were gone for a full year and a
half after my son was born. I hope you will have positive
I also suffer from migraines, and could not take my
prescription meds during pregnancy. I found that a large cup
of coffee and two tylenols, taken early on, did the trick. As
long as that is the only caffeine you drink, it won't hurt the
I went to acupuncturist Daniel Donner (on Piedmont Ave. near
Babyworld) for my pregnancy migraines. He has a really odd
bedside manner, but what he did worked. It was a combination of
acupuncture, herbs, and homeopathy.
Try acetimenophen (tylenol). rest. water. good food (no
chocolate, red wine, cheese). But check with your doctor, as
headaches during pregnancy could be other things. It could also
be a blood-clotting thing, which may be cleared up with baby
aspirin, but it could be more serious. Try not to worry-My
headaches were not serious, just inconvenient and annoying.
I got migraines during both pregnancies, and here are the things
that helped most. Acupunture was extremely effective during my
first pregnancy. I had one treatment and didn't get a migraine
for more than 2 years. During my second pregnancy, multiple
treatments didn't help. It turned out the culprit was chocolate,
even though I had never had any food intolerances before. Before
I figured out the food triggers, my midwife also suggested
acupressure -- feeling around on my head for sore spots (they
feel almost like a bruise) and pressing and releasing them
several times. I didn't expect this to help much, but it was
Good luck, and you have my sympathy.
I had a few migraines during my 5th and 6th month of pregnancy.
My OB referred me to a neurologist (Dr. Cromeyer at Richmond
Kaiser) who gave me a prescription for tylenol with codiene. It
was very effective and mild enough to take during pregnancy. He
told me that it was common to get migraines during that time of
pregnancy even though I had never suffered from them before.
Sure enough, they went away by about the middle of my 6th
month. I had them again with my second preganancy at the same
time, and other than lying down in my dark bedroom and closing
my eyes until they went away (not something I could do as often
with a toddler around), I took the tylenol with codiene and had
no side effects but a restful sleep! Let your OB know that you
are having them and maybe she/he can help.
I had my first migraine about a year before I became pregnant
with my second child, and then only a few times after that. What
worked for me when I felt one coming on was Excedrin, and a nap.
While pregnant Excedrin is not allowed though, because of the
asprin. So what I did was concoct the closest thing I could, the
few times I had migraines during the pregnancy, I took two
Tylenol, two Advil, and swallowed it all down with a can of
Coke... then took my nap. (I know it sounds horrible when we are
all supposed to remain drug, caffine, alcohol, preservative,
sugar, and dye free during pregnancy... but all of those things
are on the OK list I got from the dr's office.) It worked for
me. However, I am not a doctor or a pharmacist, so I can't tell
you if it was good, bad, right, wrong, etc. You should probably
ask a professional who you trust.
I just suffered thru my migraines until about 19 weeks. I know,
it was terrible. Then, after 19 weeks they vanished! It was
wonderful- I didn't have a migraine until a few weeks after my
baby was born.
Sorry I don't have better news,
this page was last updated: Feb 9, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network