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Old 02-04-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
 
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Default Migraine questions

I have a call into our doctor, but sometimes I find personal experiences just as helpful...
So, my 13 yo DD has migraines. At this point, she's taking Imitrex (50mg dosage.) We (DH and I) are trying to pinpoint any triggers to help avoid the situation, if possible.

I've read that various food, as well as weather changes, may be culprits. If you get migraines triggered by food, what is the timeframe btw. eating and the onset of the migraine? DD had pizza and a hotdog for dinner Monday night (leftover night) about 6:30. The migraine hit about 9:30. With 3 hours btw., could there be a connection? What I've seen says more like 20-25 minutes.

Also, weather changes. Monday we were experiencing SoCal's Santa Ana winds. Major winds with very warm temps (80s.) The winds are gone now, but she's still got the headache. Obviously, we can't control the weather, but if it turns out to be a trigger, we can be ready to deal, I guess.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:08 AM   #2
 
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Food:aged cheese, dark chocolate
Drink: wine, overdoing caffeine
Allergies: all of them!
Hormones: ovulation and PMS
Weather: huge changes in barometric pressure


It can be anywhere up to 24 hours after a I have eaten/drank a trigger but I also have to have another trigger or two in there as well. Hormones are the only trigger that can cause a migraine alone.

It took me at least 2-3 years of paying attention to understand what my triggers were. It has been worth it though because it reduced the number of migraines I have per month by half.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
 
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My SO gets horrible migraines. For him, this book has *drastically* reduced the frequency....

http://user246744.wx8.registeredsite...&Store_Code=01

His triggers are tropical fruits, MSG (which is in dang near everything that's pre-made), and processed meats. It's generally the following early morning that he gets a migraine.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
 
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Thank you, Spunkycurls. This is DDs 5th or 6th M. since Nov. I'm just starting to try to keep track of possible triggers. Considering 24 hrs, it's very possible that she had one or more potential food triggers. From what she remembers, she had a cheese and turkey on rye for lunch. (poss. triggers, right?) Then the hotdog for dinner. She also had a decaf vanilla latte at some point later in the day. Can decaf coffee be a problem, too? We're going to have to keep a food diary for a while now. Then there are those winds...Thanks, again.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #5
 
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So, meryn, it's a while btw for your SO, too. I'd say DD had a couple processed foods. Of course, so much of what we eat is processed, why this week and not last week? If only I knew...thanks for the link, I'll look into that.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
 
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Hotdogs/some deli meats are triggers for me...but its not the meat itself, its the nitrates that are used to preserved them (pressed meats....not fresh shaved/carved meats). The time frame between a trigger and the migrane for me is anywhere between 2-24 hours. The time frame varies based on my hormones and allergies.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:47 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurlyKae View Post
So, meryn, it's a while btw for your SO, too. I'd say DD had a couple processed foods. Of course, so much of what we eat is processed, why this week and not last week? If only I knew...thanks for the link, I'll look into that.
I know, it's not consistent. The book explains it a little better, how a build-up of the "bad" foods triggers an episode. Brian can eat anything right after he has a migraine, because he never gets one he following day.
AND he gets incredibly depressed, get's an "eff it" attitude and eats whatever the heck he wants. (Not sure if your daughter gets depressed, but the book also describes the seratonin dump)
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
 
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I've been suffering from migraines and cluster headaches every since I got my period. There's a hormonal component, as well as dietary triggers.

Cold cuts are out. Hot dogs are out too. Check labels for nitrates and preservatives such as citric acid.

Citric acid is also in fresh fruits such as pineapple and oranges.

Plus everything that Spunky listed:

Quote:
Food:aged cheese, dark chocolate
Drink: wine, overdoing caffeine
Allergies: all of them!
Hormones: ovulation and PMS
Weather: huge changes in barometric pressure
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:49 AM   #9
 
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I had to keep a food diary to learn my food triggers. My biggest trigger turned out to be aspertame. If I were guessing, I would think it was the hot dog...they're a known trigger.

Now, I only eat organic meats and I rarely get migraines. I used to get 8-9 a month and now usually have one right before I start my period. Alchohol is another big one for me. Unlike most people, red wine is the only thing that doesn't give me a headache.

I hope your DD gets these under control. They can be very debilitating and non-migraine sufferers are not very understanding.... A MIGRAINE IS NOT A HEADACHE...it's a total body experience.

I know you didn't ask, but here's some helpful info..

I take Aleve with my Amerge (same family as Imitrex).

If you daughter gets nauseous and vomits, she take phenegren. It knocks you out, but at that point, that's what you need.

I can only take the Aleve/Amerge combo twice in a 24 hour period. If I'm still in pain, I take fioricet, a prescription painkiller.

If the above doesn't work and the migraine won't go away, the doctor can give you steroids in an emergency. I once had a migraine for seven days...this was the only thing that got rid of it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:51 AM   #10
 
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Did the vanilla latte have artifical (sugar free) sweeteners?
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:56 AM   #11
 
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Check labels for nitrates and preservatives such as citric acid.

Citric acid is also in fresh fruits such as pineapple and oranges.
Ah yes, citric acid. Lemon-lime soda is one of the worst offenders for B. He doesn't generally get headaches from hard liquor, but ALWAYS from margaritas.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
 
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I was diagnosed with migraines when I was 14, but remember having them occasionally for years before that. I've been on a daily prophylaxis medication since I was 14. I only get one migraine every 2-3 months now. I'm totally incapacitated for at least 6 hours up to a few days when it happens, though.

Anyway, I've been told that virtually any food can be a trigger. There are some that are more common, and some that are scientifically proven, but it can really be anthing. For instance, I can eat as much chocolate, red wine, cold cuts, and caffeine as I want and be fine. I think curry might be a trigger for me, though.

My only "known" triggers are dehydration and coming down from stress. As in, I won't get one if I'm stressed out but as soon as I relax (like after an exam, or if I've been stressed planning something as soon as that something is actually happening), I'll get one.

None of the prescrption drugs to take once you get a migraine has worked for me. Imitrex just made it worse. Excedrin Migraine with a LOT of water seems to help a bit.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Who Me? View Post
I was diagnosed with migraines when I was 14, but remember having them occasionally for years before that. I've been on a daily prophylaxis medication since I was 14. I only get one migraine every 2-3 months now. I'm totally incapacitated for at least 6 hours up to a few days when it happens, though.

Anyway, I've been told that virtually any food can be a trigger. There are some that are more common, and some that are scientifically proven, but it can really be anthing. For instance, I can eat as much chocolate, red wine, cold cuts, and caffeine as I want and be fine. I think curry might be a trigger for me, though.

My only "known" triggers are dehydration and coming down from stress. As in, I won't get one if I'm stressed out but as soon as I relax (like after an exam, or if I've been stressed planning something as soon as that something is actually happening), I'll get one.

None of the prescrption drugs to take once you get a migraine has worked for me. Imitrex just made it worse. Excedrin Migraine with a LOT of water seems to help a bit.
This is me too. I started having them when I was 7, which is very early, because they start with puberty in most people. They stopped when I was 26, and now I rarely get them. All of my headaches are just headaches now. But I am very watchful with my own kids, because my mom had them and her mom had them, but I was the only one of 5 to get them.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:37 AM   #14
 
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For me personally:

Energy drinks
MSG in large amounts
Stress
Too much sunlight
Any sort of snowstorm or rainstorm
Being tired
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:39 AM   #15
 
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coming down from stress. As in, I won't get one if I'm stressed out but as soon as I relax (like after an exam, or if I've been stressed planning something as soon as that something is actually happening), I'll get one.

None of the prescrption drugs to take once you get a migraine has worked for me. Imitrex just made it worse. Excedrin Migraine with a LOT of water seems to help a bit.
Omg, I used to get horrible attacks right when all the stress was over too.

Imitrex made me sick as a dog. Nausea and tightening of the chest. It was awful. The only protocol that has worked from me in a headache cycle (my attacks are cyclical--several months every few years) was Calan (verapramil) as a prophylactic and Fioricet for the actual attack. After several weeks on the Calan, I no longer would get attacks. Calan is a medication that slows down your heartrate. It's primarily used for high blood pressure, but neurologists use it for migraines.

KK, your daughter might be too young for Calan, but it's worth looking into, if the Imitrex becomes ineffective at some point.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #16
 
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Wow, this is why I posted the question here, the curlies are a wealth of information. Thanks to all.

I am now very suspicious of the hotdog and the deli meat and cheese. She has the deli less frequently than the hotdog, I don't know if that factors in.

The latte was made with instant decaf, hot water, milk,vanilla extract and regular sugar. (could the extract be a problem?)

Apparently, she had a couple sips of Sprite earlier in the day. (Experiment in Science and my genius and her lab partner mixed us the Sprite and water cups. I guess the bubbles weren't enough to be sure which was Sprite?)

Dehydration is always a possibility. We're always suggesting both girls drink more water, but that's hard during the school day. (ugh to school water fountains and they lose water bottles, plus middle school bathrooms are nasty...)

Puberty has been rough on this girl! Epilepsy last winter, migraines this year. At 13 1/2 she hasn't even started getting her period. What will be next?

Thanks again for all the imput.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:46 AM   #17
 
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Adding that today she's experiencing nausea. I thought it was a symptom of the migraine, didn't connect it to a side effect of Imitrex. Something else to add to the list of what to tell the doc, if he ever bothers to call me back. thanks.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:53 AM   #18
 
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I've had migraines since I was 8 and have tried most every remedy at some time or other during the last 44 years, legal and not so legal. I still have migraines around 15 days per month. Relpax is my current lifesaver.
Everyone has listed the most common triggers and much helpful info. I can only wish you and your daughter good luck. They can be hard to live with.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:20 PM   #19
 
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Has she started menstruating? It could be hormones. I began getting migraines when I went into perimenopause and my hormone levels changed.I tolk Zomig (under the tongue) at the first sign that it was going to be a migraine and not a headache. Otherwise it didn't work.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #20
 
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My triggers are stress, caffeine withdrawal and too much sun, especially sunlight first thing in the morning. If I go out before my eyes are awake, if that makes sense, guaranteed migraine. I try to make it so that I'm awake for a good hour or so before I go out in the morning, even it's to get something from the car. Doesn't always happen of course, but a pre-emptive strike of advil and coffee usually heads it off.

I nearly forgot about my food trigger, I've avoided them for so long, I don't even think about it anymore. I can't drink sodas similar to coke or pepsi. If I do, I'll start getting one in minutes.
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