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    Migraine headaches

    Does anyone have an effective way to get rid of Migraine headaches? Or to prevent them in the first place?

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    K9HORA JUB Admin KaraBulut's Avatar
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    Re: Migraine headaches

    Before answering... have you seen a doctor about the headaches? There's some things that need to be ruled out before assuming that they're migraines.
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    Re: Migraine headaches

    I guess I should re-phrase the initial question, but first . . . . I'm in my fifties and I can't remember the last time I had a headache. It's my daughter, she's 30 years old and works for Kaiser, she's the one that has these headaches all the time. I know there are a lot of things that can trigger a headache, like stress, too much alcohol, a blow to the head, etc. So, headaches occur when ????????????????????

    I've searched a lot of the on-line sites, like Web MD, but it seems like they either want money and have you sign up for some account, or you're constantely being re-directed to another page advertising some sort of gimmic. Not too sure if my post really makes any sense . . . .

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    K9HORA JUB Admin KaraBulut's Avatar
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    Re: Migraine headaches

    Well, the first place to start is for her to see a doctor. They will probably start with a CT or MRI of the head to make sure there's not a physical cause for the headaches. Once that is eliminated, then it may be necessary to see a specialist in migraines.

    If a patient has severe headaches that occur frequently, a referral to a neurologist who specializes in headaches is the next step. The specialist will determine what kind of headache the patient is having: migraines are different from cluster headaches which are different from tension headaches. Once the type of headache is determined, then testing and treatment can start. Even with treatment, the headaches still occur; the goal is to lessen the number of headaches and the severity.

    The treatment will focus upon 1) prevention and 2) trying different "rescue meds".

    Prevention has two tactics: finding what triggers the headaches and trying different medications to prevent a migraine from starting. Migraine triggers are very unique to every person- some people are triggered by weather changes, certain foods, menstrual cycles, sleep disturbances, allergies, etc. It's up to the patient to keep a headache diary and then look for things that might be triggering the headaches. For example, a patient might notice that eating chocolate or drinking red wine might precede a migraine and then they try stopping and starting both chocolate and red wine to confirm that is a trigger. Once the triggers are identified, it's a matter of avoiding as many of the triggers as possible.

    In terms of medications: There are preventative medications like antidepressants, betablockers, calcium channel blockers and anti-seizure medications that the physician might try. Sometimes these medications work and other times the patient finds that the side effects make the medications intolerable. There are also "rescue medications" that the physician may also prescribe; these are medications that stop the migraine once it has started.
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    Re: Migraine headaches

    Quote Originally Posted by KaraBulut View Post
    Well, the first place to start is for her to see a doctor. They will probably start with a CT or MRI of the head to make sure there's not a physical cause for the headaches. Once that is eliminated, then it may be necessary to see a specialist in migraines.

    If a patient has severe headaches that occur frequently, a referral to a neurologist who specializes in headaches is the next step. The specialist will determine what kind of headache the patient is having: migraines are different from cluster headaches which are different from tension headaches. Once the type of headache is determined, then testing and treatment can start. Even with treatment, the headaches still occur; the goal is to lessen the number of headaches and the severity.

    The treatment will focus upon 1) prevention and 2) trying different "rescue meds".

    Prevention has two tactics: finding what triggers the headaches and trying different medications to prevent a migraine from starting. Migraine triggers are very unique to every person- some people are triggered by weather changes, certain foods, menstrual cycles, sleep disturbances, allergies, etc. It's up to the patient to keep a headache diary and then look for things that might be triggering the headaches. For example, a patient might notice that eating chocolate or drinking red wine might precede a migraine and then they try stopping and starting both chocolate and red wine to confirm that is a trigger. Once the triggers are identified, it's a matter of avoiding as many of the triggers as possible.

    In terms of medications: There are preventative medications like antidepressants, betablockers, calcium channel blockers and anti-seizure medications that the physician might try. Sometimes these medications work and other times the patient finds that the side effects make the medications intolerable. There are also "rescue medications" that the physician may also prescribe; these are medications that stop the migraine once it has started.
    Thanks, that was very helpful.

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    Re: Migraine headaches

    I’m on a wonderful preventative medicine (that also has other uses), Topamax. I used to have rescue only meds and at one point was having these headaches multiple times per week. Then I was in between Doctors so my psych was nice enough to refill all my other meds until I could get into new MD. She asked why I wasn’t on a preventative migraine pill and as someone who has had migraines for 15 years (at that point) I asked what they were I had only had the response pills before, so she said try these samples and let me know how it goes when you come back. Wow! By the next visit I was down to about 1 migraine a week and not taking so many migraine pills and/or shots. Now 9 years later it’s a “rough” month if I have 1 headache (not migraine) a week.

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