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Headaches, Migraines, Tensions anyone?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok, so Ive had migraines, headaches and stuff for bout 3 years now. A few months ago, I went to see the neurologist. Now, I'm going to have to get a MRI, because I'm getting mild headaches everyday, and it definitely(well I think so) has something to do with my neck(one side is always tight). Its not too fun! I dont drink diet/eatsugar free, and it helps so much. I also cant eat too much sugar in one day, or I get one!

Any ideas for me?

Thanks, Julia
post #2 of 28
I think cutting back on anything containing aspertame is a great idea. I used to get sinus headaches nearly everyday until I stopped consuming aspertame. I also suffer from tension headaches and migraines. I had a CAT scan done several years ago (about 9 years, actually) when I was 15 because I suddenly had a nasty headache that continued for several weeks. It was my first migraine and it scared the crud out of my parents. They didn't find anything wrong, but I was diagnosed. I saw a neurologist for about 2 years and I got tired of the blood pressure medication they had me on (I had such low blood pressure naturally, that with the medication, I was weak and faint a lot of the time).

The only thing I can tell you is to catch the headache early. Also, learn the difference between them. I can tell I have a migraine when my head hurts on one side. When I get a tension headache, the back of my head (at the base of my skull) and my neck ache. Sinus headaches put a lot of pressure behind my eyes and my ears. When you know what kind of headache is coming on, you can treat it before it's full-blown.

Have you ever had a professional massage? That might help with the neck pain, and that could ease the tension. Also, Excedrin Tension headache is wonderful. It's exactly the same as the migraine formula, but without the caffeine.

Good luck, and a good neurologist listens to YOU because you know your body better than him or her.
post #3 of 28
Don't forget that you can also get headaches from caffeine - or also the LACK of it (go figure). Allergies - either pollen or food allergies can cause headaches. Also I had one for 6 weeks once, and I found out it was my jaws (Temperomandibular Joint Dysfunction, or TMJ.) I didn't know I had TMJ, and chewing gum or grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw unconsciously was giving me headaches. My dentist found that one out...
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
I think cutting back on anything containing aspertame is a great idea. I used to get sinus headaches nearly everyday until I stopped consuming aspertame. I also suffer from tension headaches and migraines. I had a CAT scan done several years ago (about 9 years, actually) when I was 15 because I suddenly had a nasty headache that continued for several weeks. It was my first migraine and it scared the crud out of my parents. They didn't find anything wrong, but I was diagnosed. I saw a neurologist for about 2 years and I got tired of the blood pressure medication they had me on (I had such low blood pressure naturally, that with the medication, I was weak and faint a lot of the time).

The only thing I can tell you is to catch the headache early. Also, learn the difference between them. I can tell I have a migraine when my head hurts on one side. When I get a tension headache, the back of my head (at the base of my skull) and my neck ache. Sinus headaches put a lot of pressure behind my eyes and my ears. When you know what kind of headache is coming on, you can treat it before it's full-blown.

Have you ever had a professional massage? That might help with the neck pain, and that could ease the tension. Also, Excedrin Tension headache is wonderful. It's exactly the same as the migraine formula, but without the caffeine.

Good luck, and a good neurologist listens to YOU because you know your body better than him or her.
What type of foods have aspertame in them?
post #5 of 28
Oh, I am the Queen of Headaches ...

Aspertame is commonly found in diet foods or foods that are labelled "sugar-free" (eg Diet Coke, Lite Jello, etc.) as it's a sugar replacement; it's a very common trigger for headaches. Another sugar replacement, Splenda, is less likely to cause headaches but has been known to upset sensitive stomachs. (My friend can't handle either of them, so she just cuts back on the amount of real sugar she uses.)

There are a lot of foods that can be triggers for headaches: aspertame, MSG (a preservative found in Chinese food, among other things), nitrates (found in hotdogs and lunch meats), caffeine, chocolate, red wine (because of the tannin ... there's also tannin in tea, but the caffeine cancels it out so that it's less likely to cause headaches, unless you're sensitive to caffeine as well), cheese, salt ... The list goes on and on.

As someone who suffers from headaches of all sorts, I find the best thing to do is to keep a headache journal. In it, I write down when I wake up, when I go to bed, how much sleep I got the night before (because I seldom sleep the whole night), what I had to eat (or not eating ... missing meals or having them delayed is a huge trigger for me), how much exercise I got, and anything else that seems to be pertinent (for example, was someone on my bus wearing too much cologne? were the lights flickering at work? were there loud noises? did the weather change suddenly?). Write down the details of any headaches you get. When did it start? What do you think triggered it? How bad was it? How long did it last? Was it accompanied by nausea or light sensitivity, or did you experience an aura beforehand? Did you take anything for it (be aware that using OTC painkillers too often can lead to "rebound" headaches), or try anything to alleviate it, like taking a nap or applying a cold (or hot) compress, and did any of those methods help? After a while, you'll find a pattern emerging, and this should help you reduce some of the triggers. If you notice that you get a headache every time you eat a lot of cheese, cut back on cheese (or cut it out of your diet entirely); if your headaches seem to come whenever you're low on sleep, improve your sleep routine. And so on. Some things are unavoidable (inconsiderate people who bathe in their perfume, loud construction going on outside your workplace, changes in weather patterns), but if you know you're going to get a headache because there's a storm coming, you can prepare for it. I know I'm allergic to strong perfumes, so I keep allergy medicine, sinus medicine and headache remedies on hand, because I can't predict when smelly people are going to take my bus or show up at my workplace. I know having a late lunch will give me a headache, so if I'm running behind at work, I munch on a handful of peanuts and that will keep the headache at bay.

Women are also more likely to suffer from headaches than men, because of changes in our hormones during our menstrual cycle. I'm slightly removed from this because I'm on Depo Provera and don't actually have my period anymore , but I typically get a headache about the time my next injection is due (or a day or two after the shot) because of the hormones. Other methods of birth control can have an impact on headaches (I get fewer headaches since I've been on Depo; my friend got more and stopped using it), so it's important to discuss this with your doctor to find out what works best for you.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylover4ever View Post
What type of foods have aspertame in them?
Diet Soda
Sugar free candy
most labelled SUGAR FREE stuff
Gum
I found some in yougurt, flavored milk



AVOID foods

chocolate
caffenine
alcohol

my list added

wheat rye barley
artificial coloring ( red 5 yellow 40 etc)
Nitrates and nitrites
sulfates and sulfites
commecial peanutbutter
phoshates ( di and tri calcium)
post #7 of 28
i've suffered from migraines for 43 years. mine are getting less frequent, as is common with migraines - they are a young person's disease. i also have some 'trigger' foods, [& smells - don't get me started on perfumes!] but most of mine are of unknown origin. i'm currently on Topamax for prevention, & i think it's really helping. i also have Imitrex for treatment if necessary - i use it for those that don't respond to OTC meds.
post #8 of 28
I get a combo migraine/tension headache... sometimes mild, sometimes wickedly painful.

(note to Mirinae) I was on Depo Provera for a short time, and watch when you get off... your hormones tend to get all f-ed up... and the headaches can get worse. My headaches started a year or so after getting off DP. Really bad 2 month constant headache, then it went away. Since then, I get headaches regularly. I would highly recommend getting off of it, and re-regulating the hormones. DP may seem nice and handy, but trust me, you'll have issues the longer you're on it. If you don't like that 'monthly visitor' try Seasonale (4 a year), or the BC patch. I used the patch to regulate my hormones. Now the headaches aren't AS bad, but I know when they happen.

Back to general reply: Ever tried Acupuncture? I currently go to the local acupuncture school, and have a recent grad/intern (soon to graduate) work on me, with a doc overseeing the procedure. It's cheaper that way... but if you can afford it, go with a private, licenced practitioner. if you're averse to needles, try someone who uses the Japanese methods, you barely feel them. My acupuncturist back in Chicago used them (either that or she was so good with the Chinese needles - I barely ever felt them, and I have very sensitive skin/sense of touch, so I feel everything).

I've been going to the students/interns for less than two months now, and I only get extremely mild pain, mostly from the tension style headaches, in my neck. I highly recommend alternative therapies... such as acupuncture.

Amanda
post #9 of 28
Tomatoes, Oranges, Certain types of cheese.

I still eat alot of cheese, but i minimise it adn only eat German Gouda
post #10 of 28
I'm on verapamil for prevention and Midrin for acute attacks. I've found that supplementing the Midrin with a cup of coffee or a Red Bull helps it work faster.

My main triggers are allergies, missing meals and glare. If I'm squinting, I know I NEED to put on sunglasses right away. If I get a sinus headache from allergies, then I treat it like a migraine because it usually turns into one.

A headache journal is a fantastic idea. It can really help identify your triggers, everyone's are different.
post #11 of 28
I have had migraines since I was 14. I am now 32 and I still have them. I have worked with numerous neurologists over the past 18 years and I am really no closer to relief. I also have some nerve damage in my face plus I have seizures and I think that this triggers them sometimes. The one medication that helps when I am in a really bad headache is imitrex. Even that doesn't always help. I think someone on here said keep a migraine journal. Definetly do it. Write down everything you eat, when you get headaches, what you take for them, when you get your period, every single thing you can think of. Actually my nerologist had the premade diaries so it made it easier. Ask yours if he has them. There are certain foods and smells that trigger me. I have been on blood pressure medicine for them, topomax, midrin, relpax, neurontin, DHE, depakote, (my hair fell out with that one) I can't remember all of them and even if I did, I would be typing the list all day. Last spring I felt that I had pretty much exhausted the medical route. I only take imitrex now right when I feel an aura coming. Since stopping all of the medication I don't feel any worse as far as migraines go, so I'm glad I stopped. I just try to eat right, excercise, and get stick to a sleep schedule. I try anything that is not a medication. One thing that seems to help me is oxygen. Plus I avoid caffine so when I get one, I can drink pop or coffee and sometimes it helps. For awhile my doctor had me doing coffee enemas. That helps, but I stopped because I have an ongoing eating disorder and I felt I was becoming addicted to them. Sometimes if you put a heating pad on top of your head that helps too. Oh, and another one is jumping in a cold shower. This will cause the blood vessels to constrict, and it works for me sometimes. I've done acupuncture, herbal tinctures, massage, the chriopractor, even chinese cupping. Someone said catch them early if you can, and I found that is what works best for me. One word of warning: it easy for doctors to put drugs in you, but it's hard to get them out. I am now unable to have children and they think it's because of all of the medicines over the years. I wish my parents and I had known that when I was fourteen. I would have done things VERY differently. I hope everything goes well for you and keep us informed. I'm curious what they will find.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yup, I dont drink anything diet, or sugar free, although I cant lie about chinese food, i love that!!!

My aunt cam over the other day with strong perfumes and like tried them all on. This gave me a horrible migrane.


In case you guys didn't know, I'm 13. Pretty young for migraines huh!!!
I started getting them when I was 10.

My neck now always hurts when i have a headache (a lot of times it hurts even if i dont)

Actually, ive noticed over the past few years that my jaw like pop or clicks or something when I open it all the way.

I got tested for my eyes. I have a very slight deferense between my eye sights, but nothing they would have to do anything about.

Obviously, its not medapaus, but it could be puberty, but i doubt thats all of it. I get them like AT LEAST (a lot of times not that extensive pain) 3-4 times a week.

I used to get them less often but more painful. Now I just get them all the time. I'm gonna try and use your help. I sedt up a journal one time, but just forgot to do it. Maybe I should do another one!!!!


Thanks so much for everything, everyone. You all helped so much!!! Thanks again!!
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie'sLove View Post
Actually, ive noticed over the past few years that my jaw like pop or clicks or something when I open it all the way.

When was the last time you visited your dentist? Is he/she a REALLY good dentist that you trust? I'd ask about this. I'm going through the same issues (at 33). And I found a local dentist here (I just moved here) that specializes in jaw issues. I may possibly have TMJ. Don't ask me to spell it out... I haven't had my Chai yet this morning... Google it and you'll see a host of info on it. The popping and clicking sounds like me... and TMJ.

I'd highly recommend a visit to your dentist. If you like them and trust them, they'll help immensely.

Amanda
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubSluts'Mommy View Post
When was the last time you visited your dentist? Is he/she a REALLY good dentist that you trust? I'd ask about this. I'm going through the same issues (at 33). And I found a local dentist here (I just moved here) that specializes in jaw issues. I may possibly have TMJ. Don't ask me to spell it out... I haven't had my Chai yet this morning... Google it and you'll see a host of info on it. The popping and clicking sounds like me... and TMJ.

I'd highly recommend a visit to your dentist. If you like them and trust them, they'll help immensely.

Amanda
I too have TMJ, my dentist told me not to worry about it unless it hurt. Well that was when I was in the military...now it's starting to hurt and it pops all the time....very irritating.

On Migraines.....see I'm addicted to caffiene and used to, no caffiene equalled headache hardcore.

Since the doc put me on Depakote for my mood swings, I haven't had a migraine (knock on wood)...cause guess what...it's used to prevent them.
post #15 of 28
I had them starting in 2nd or 3rd grade. At that time, the common wisdom was that children don't get migraines. So I would get the headache, throw up, go home and sleep for 6 hours for it to go away. The scariest time was when I was about 14 and the left side of my body went numb. Generally, I found that if I took aspirin when I had the aura, it would also reduce the severity of it. Since you are so young, you should consult a doctor before self-medicating with aspirin because of Reyes Syndrome.

While it doesn't necessarily address migraines, I have found a really good massage for the neck and shoulders help reduce some of the referred pain that can contribute to migraines.
post #16 of 28
My son got migraines for a while when he was in about 3rd grade. They were pretty bad that one summer, then they got to be fewer. One thing that we found helped stave it off if we caught it in time was a Mountain Dew (caffeine) and ibuprofen. They kept Mountain Dew in the refrigerator in the nurses office for him.
post #17 of 28
I am a massage therapist, and a good number of my clients suffer from migraines and/or tension headaches. They say it is very good for lessening the tension in their head and necks. I have one client that comes in for a 30 minute massage every time she starts feeling like she is getting one.
Here are some things you can do for yourself that will not hurt if they don't help. Most of my clients find them helpful.
Feel your scalp to see if it is tight. You will be able to tell if the skin over your skull does not move a little, comfortabbly. Take the ends of your fingers, not the pads, the very ends, and push them firmly, but not painfully, into the area above your ears. Move the scalp around in a circular motion. It is not like rubbing, the fingers stay in the sme place. work on that area for a few minutes, then move on to all the scalp, neck, temples, and back of the neck. You can do this yourself, but it is a little more effective if you have someone that can do it for you.
Another thing you can do is take locks of hair about the size of your finger and pull them gently. This feels heavenly, and will also stimulate the hair follicles for prettier hair.
These things are good for stress, even if you do not get those nasty headaches.
Cold packs on the forehead or back of the neck can also be helpful.
I hope these things help. If you have any questions about getting a professional massage, please feel free to PM me.
post #18 of 28
I wish I had a word of advice for you more than what has already been shared, but just want to offer support that I really empathize with you getting these painful headaches. I've been having awful headaches for years apparently related to a car accident back in 2000. I'm so glad you're seeing a Dr about this and really hope a solution can be found with your MRI.

This is great, Rebecca, thank you for these suggestions! I'll be right over for that massage
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help everyone, and ill try those massage techniquesa!

Actually, I find that when I have sugar, I get a migrane, so soda would definitely not help at all.

I forgot to really mention that my neck hurts like everyday. And over the past few months, whenever I get a migraine, my neck hurts.

Sometimes, my mom does a quick massage on my upper back and that helps so much. I need one tonight.

These things make me so madddd!!! It even makes me cry!
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie'sLove View Post
In case you guys didn't know, I'm 13. Pretty young for migraines huh!!!
I started getting them when I was 10.
it's not unheard of - i've had them since childhood. i can't remember a time when i didn't have migraines, & i can't remember much before the age of 5. i distinctly remember seeing auras when i was in 2nd grade.
post #21 of 28
I also suffer from migraines. They're related to certain times of the month for me, combined with some other triggers. I found my triggers to be chocolate , lack of caffeline, certain cheeses and a few other things. I get hyper-sensitive to smell prior to an attack, even imagining smells, so I think this is my aura. Attacks themselves are horrible and involve intense headache in one side, vomitting, nausea and sometimes diareha as well. I usually feel awful until I vomit, and then I gradually get better, only remain dazed for a few days. I found that the migraines also effect my speech abilities for as long as 2-3 days after an attack. Funnily, they do not effect my typing skills too much lol

And time to do some self-promoting (gotta love being the admin ) - I have a migraine site, and while I haven't updated the migraine blog there in a while, there are still some good articles there, I think -
http://www.migraine-notes.com

BTW, if anyone here has pages on their website/blog about their migraine and find my site about them useful, I'd really appreciate links to it
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie'sLove View Post
Thanks for all the help everyone, and ill try those massage techniquesa!

Actually, I find that when I have sugar, I get a migrane, so soda would definitely not help at all.

I forgot to really mention that my neck hurts like everyday. And over the past few months, whenever I get a migraine, my neck hurts.

Sometimes, my mom does a quick massage on my upper back and that helps so much. I need one tonight.

These things make me so madddd!!! It even makes me cry!
I know what you're going through. I started getting them when I was about 9 or 10, and we had to try so many medicines to find something that would make them happen less often. I hope your doctor is able to help you soon! Meanwhile, just hug Willie when you don't feel well. I find that it helps. Also, have you tried a hot pad? I have one of those things that is filled with beans or something that you can warm up in the microwave. It seems to help some.

I don't get a true aura. I get what they call a "prodome." It happens earlier than an aura and doesn't have flashing lights or weird smells. Instead, I get intense food cravings, get really tired, and often I'll get really hot and then really cold. The hot and cold thing tends to worry people around me, but it's a good warning. It'll happen maybe 2-4 hours before the headache starts to come on.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrPaws View Post
Also, have you tried a hot pad? I have one of those things that is filled with beans or something that you can warm up in the microwave. It seems to help some.
i have one of these, too, but i keep mine in the freezer. i like cold with my migraines. the weight also helps, & it also blocks out light beautifully!
post #24 of 28
I hope you find a solution to your headaches. I have to say, I found the responses to your thread very interesting. When I was growing up, it seemed I was the only one getting headaches. It was so hard and I always had the feeling that people thought I was faking. They didn't understand that I would rather go to summer school than have one of those headaches. Your thread showed me that I wasn't the only one.
post #25 of 28
When I was in Highschool I missed 3 semesters because of Migranes I was forced to stay in a dark room and get home schooling. I was miserable then by the time I turned 16 they just up and went away. I was teded for everything, electrosed on ym head, various ct scans, MRi, blood tested everyting you can imagine. The thing that helped me the most was meditation.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i have one of these, too, but i keep mine in the freezer. i like cold with my migraines. the weight also helps, & it also blocks out light beautifully!
I used to like cold, too. Then I tried hot and liked that better. I know it's different for different people though.
post #27 of 28
I am fighting one off desperately as we speak. It started yesterday, as a tension headache....dog pee on my just washed bathroom carpet, litter from the kitten everywhere, not to mention he is one ripe little man , raccoons that tore trash all over my yard, shredded newspaper from the litter box (due to LGirl's spay) strewn through the house (thanks to the kitten who thinks it's a blast to run around with poopy newspaper in his mouth), spilled kitten milk all over the floor, a dog that won't eat and he has to in order to get his evening insulin shot, and a headache in the works....did I mention that my guilty pleasure is watching General Hospital....which was 1/2 missing due to the 9/11 memorial.... and the headache has carried over to today.

Triggers for me: lack of eating is a big one, lack of caffine, too much sunlight (i.e. must buy more sunglasses..... ), loud noises (sirens, movies that you have turned up to hear the dialogue and then they blast your eardrums out with music without warning), traffic or anything really stressful.

Quote:
sharky:
chocolate
caffenine
alcohol
Wait, these are the 3 basic food groups?!?! What else is there????

I see a chiropractor regularly, like anywhere from 1-2 a week to once a month. This helps to keep my bones in place and loose....it's also almost like the spa, you get electro therapy on certain muscles (which ever ones you think need it), and a moist (that's the key moist) heat pack over your entire back & neck for a good 15 minutes, and it's heavy so that helps. I'm getting a massage today, they are the BEST. I wish I could send my hubby to massage school.... Ideally, I'd love to see the massage therapist 1-2 times a month, but it hasn't been working out that way. My pain and migraines also stem from an auto accident in 2002....not my fault either.....
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help everyone! These responces helped me SO MUCH!!!

I am actually waiting for my results to my MRI and it should hopefully help!
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