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Dr. Hive: migraine?


Ravin
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DD has been getting daily headaches for a while now. Since Sunday, she's had one with dizziness and mild nausea and last night she said she was seeing wierd colours in the dark and had trouble falling asleep. It's worse if she talks or is on her feet, so she has been unusually quiet, not doing her dance and show choir homework but also not really protesting not being allowed to go play (though occasionally bemoaning her misery).

 

DH started getting migraines as a kid.

 

We've got a referral to a ped neurologist, although the primary care doc thinks the headaches are probably stress/anxiety related. Hey psychiatrist just upped her Zoloft dose, but that started Tuesday.

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I would strongly suspect migraine with the aura described.  She is at the edge of puberty, which seems to trigger an uptick in migraines in kids. 

 

I have migraines. I had my first at the age of 11-12.  My younger son has migraines.  He had his first at 10, and last October he had one that did not respond to anything we did to treat it.  He had to go inpatient for an IV protocol (DHE).  I had no idea this was a "thing" before it happened to my son. His migraine was on day 9 when it occurred.

 

What helps my son (and me, because we are very similar with triggers):  Natural Calm powdered magnesium daily and 100 mg of B2 daily.  HYDRATION.  I cannot stress this enough.  Folks in general, kids and adults, are often chronically dehydrated.  Regular sleeping patterns with no wild fluctuations.  Avoid MSG, artificial sweeteners and other known neuro-excitocins.  There are some other potential dietary triggers, but the only one I have identified is avocado, and I'm not 100% sure about that.  I do avoid it now.

 

The weather changings and bright lights are triggers for my son and me.  Barometric pressure changes can trigger migraines.  My son and I would often have a migraine within 24 hours of each other during times of barometric pressure changes (rain).

 

While you are waiting for the neuro appointment (which is a good idea), you can start the supplements and employ the other practices of self-care and see if that helps.  It will be good information for the neuro.

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Although there are 'classic' migraines, there are also many other types. I have a good friend that has vestibular migraines that I wouldn't trade for the ones I have battled for thirty years.

 

Your best bet is to wait for the official diagnosis from the neurologist so that he can also help you come up with the best treatment plan for her based on what she has and her age and other medical needs.

 

I will hope this is short lived.

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If you have a chiropractor, you can take dd.  Adjustments have helped me to prevent migraines and also to decrease the pain when I am having one.  I do take Imitrex.  With my ds taking the supplements and doing the other things I mentioned in my post, he has not had a migraine since his hospitalization in October.  I do have 25 mg of Imitrex if he needs it, but he has not needed it.

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Although there are 'classic' migraines, there are also many other types. I have a good friend that has vestibular migraines that I wouldn't trade for the ones I have battled for thirty years.

 

Your best bet is to wait for the official diagnosis from the neurologist so that he can also help you come up with the best treatment plan for her based on what she has and her age and other medical needs.

 

I will hope this is short lived.

I mildy disagree with the middle paragraph.  Taking magnesium and B2 while making sure you are well rested and well hydrated and avoiding MSG, etc will not harm anyone and may provide information on what is helpful for the headaches.  I'm not sure if you were addressing my post when you posted, so I may be reading into your advice.  The wait for a peds neurologist is lengthy here. 

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Texasmama, just a word of encouragement: my son also started with migraines at about age 8. I felt absolutely horrible that I had passed down migraines to him. His pediatrician tried to reassure me that with boys that start around that age they often outgrow them around age 15-16. Sure enough, his last migraine was around age 16. He will occasionally get a headache but not a migraine.

 

I agree with everything else you said. I frequently have to remind myself to drink water. The magnesium I use, after research, is Jigsaw magnesium, along with B2 and CoQ10 and prescription meds.

 

Edited to add: nope Texasmama. I had not seen your post before I posted the first time. I agree with your first post!

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Texasmama, just a word of encouragement: my son also started with migraines at about age 8. I felt absolutely horrible that I had passed down migraines to him. His pediatrician tried to reassure me that with boys that start around that age they often outgrow them around age 15-16. Sure enough, his last migraine was around age 16. He will occasionally get a headache but not a migraine.

 

I agree with everything else you said. I frequently have to remind myself to drink water. The magnesium I use, after research, is Jigsaw magnesium, along with B2 and CoQ10 and prescription meds.

We were posting at the same time so I see your explanation.  Thank for the encouragement!  I really hope that he will outgrown them.  Of all the things I wanted to give my kids, this is not the one!  I will say that he is doing really well, though.  He is gone for a week now with his dad to a basketball tournament out of state, and he packed his mag and B2 and gets frequent calls to dad reminding him to stay hydrated and avoid MSG.  :D

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GPs and Peds always say it's stress related. They're not qualified to diagnose migraines and their causes.  That requires a ped.  neuro. who specializes in headaches (this kind usually also specializes in seizures) which it sounds like you're going to see anyway. My daughter's migraines started when she was 9.  Lots of different factors can contribute to them.  For her, it's the curvature in her neck, hormonal fluctuations related to stress, particularly good stress (anticipation and excitement) and menstrual cycles.
 

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Sounds like migraine. My 12yo dd started getting them at age 8. Primary care doc ordered MRI and referred to pediatric neurology. MRI was to make sure we weren't looking at a brain tumor. She takes a daily preventative medication and has medications for migraine and nausea when she needs them. The daily preventative reduced the frequency of regular headaches and migraines both. Her triggers are stress and noise.

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I was a regular migraine sufferer in my teen years up to when I had my first child at 24. Now I get them only rarely. Triggers for me tended to be lights, particularly old fashioned fluorescent tubes which made going to lots of public places a nightmare. 

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I was a regular migraine sufferer in my teen years up to when I had my first child at 24. Now I get them only rarely. Triggers for me tended to be lights, particularly old fashioned fluorescent tubes which made going to lots of public places a nightmare. 

Long term exposure to fluorescents is a trigger for me, too, which made working in an office environment difficult.  I ended up turning off the overhead lights and working with lamps I brought in.  I had an understanding officemate.  :)

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I've had migraines since I was a child.

 

I STRONGLY disagree with the chiropractor thing.  Chiropractors can help with headaches caused by a neck being out of alignment, but they are not migraines.  Migraines are triggered by serotonin and a blood vessel swelling in the brain that presses on the trigeminal nerve. They are hereditary.  Neck adjustments are dangerous - they are the most dangerous things done by chiropractors, and one side effect are strokes within 48 hours of a neck adjustment. If you're an adult and your neck is in a great deal of pain, it might be worth it.  But they should rarely be done on adults and NEVER on children.  There is NO evidence that chiropractors can do anything for a migraine.

 

As far as treatment, many migraine meds act on serotonin, and it's dangerous to use those medications on children because if too much is used it can cause serotonin syndrome or heart valve damage, or unknown other damage to a developing child.

 

The safest option is probably children's advil (liquid, to be absorbed faster) and a high-caffeine soda like a mountain dew. The sugary, non-diet kind.  Sugar is shown to increase pain tolerance and corn syrup decreases nausea, so I'd let her have that if she can tolerate it.

 

Otherwise, push water, salty soups or broths if she prefers, and magnesium.  People with migraines are typically lower in magnesium.  Bone broth is ideal - full of minerals and nutrients, easy to digest, and increases hydration.

 

There are some herbal things that can help too, though I don't remember all of them off the top of my head.  I know kudzu (that vine that's eating the South) is one of them, and it's fairly cheap and eaten as a common food in Asia so it should be safe for a child to take.   If she gets worse, IM me and I'll dig out my treatment records and tell you the things that have helped me that would also be safe for a child.

 

ETA: I'm not anti-chiropractor.  I'm pro-chiropractor for anything involving skeletal muscle pain.  I had one fix a badly sprained ankle for me in three days once. I sometimes get sciatica and I LOVE them for that.  I'm anti treatments that drain your wallet for no benefit though, and I've had that happen with chiropractors telling me they could fix my headaches.  After it didn't help I spent a great deal of time researching it, and found NO evidence.

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DD has been getting daily headaches for a while now. Since Sunday, she's had one with dizziness and mild nausea and last night she said she was seeing wierd colours in the dark and had trouble falling asleep. It's worse if she talks or is on her feet, so she has been unusually quiet, not doing her dance and show choir homework but also not really protesting not being allowed to go play (though occasionally bemoaning her misery).

 

DH started getting migraines as a kid.

 

We've got a referral to a ped neurologist, although the primary care doc thinks the headaches are probably stress/anxiety related. Hey psychiatrist just upped her Zoloft dose, but that started Tuesday.

 

:grouphug:

 

Many migraines are triggered by foods such as dairy. A friend of mine can't eat pickles. o_0 It might be a good idea to ask the neuro about an elimination diet, because it's good to check *everything,* yes?

 

My friend went to her primary who referred her to a neurologist who referred her to a psychiatrist, all of them being convinced it was in her head :001_rolleyes: and the first thing the shrink did was put her on an elimination diet. Sure enough, pickles.

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Dd's pediatric neurologist prescribed sumatriptan (Imitrex) for my daughter when she was 8, so there are med options approved for children. Dd has to avoid MSG and artificial sweeteners, too, because dd's neurologist warned that those are common triggers. They trigger my migraines as well.

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Phoenix Children's is where we've been referred.

 

DD just came off a month long elimination diet. Hopefully we don't have another doc suggest it. It frustrated her and didn't make her feel better at all.

 

We can't afford chiro or acupuncture, and I doubt our insurance will cover them. Can't afford to go out and buy supplements and vitamins, either.

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B2 is cheap.  I buy this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Vitamin-Capsules-Pack/dp/B001E10DJW/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1426302776&sr=1-2&keywords=b2

 

It is over three months' worth for one person  (the dosage recommended by the peds neuro was actually 200 mg a day, not 100, as I stated in my post).

 

Also, magnesium is cheap, though I spring for the pricier Natural Calm powdered variety because it is more effective.

 

I do not want to assume anything about your budgetary constraints.  There would have been a time when supplements would not have been affordable for my family.  Just wanted to show you what we buy and how much it costs.

 

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I forgot to explain the caffeine when I posted earlier.  Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor (meaning it makes blood vessels constrict).  So when the pain is triggered by a blood vessel swelling and then pressing on the nerve, the caffeine constricts the blood vessel and relieves some pain.

 

Caffeine doesn't address the serotonin issue that triggers the swelling in the first place though.  That's what magnesium, kudzu, b-vitamins, and taurine do (I just remembered taurine).  So do migraine meds. 

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I have always had migraines even as a little kid, sometimes with aura. Now, I'm on Toprol for something else but it really keeps my migraines under control.

 

Dd is really struggling with vestibular migraine right now. The initial pediatrician was not helpful at all but we've gone to some really good specialists as well as changed to a family doctor that's great. Unfortunately, many of the things we've tried haven't worked or there's been a reaction.

 

You mention dizziness. Is is vertigo (room feels in motion)? This article has some good info: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3105632/

 

Be careful with pain relievers because they can cause rebound headaches. We've been advised no more than 9 doses per month. Also caffeine can cause rebound headaches as well, so not too much of that either.

 

Hope she can find some relief at neuro. (Hugs)

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Phoenix Children's is where we've been referred.

 

DD just came off a month long elimination diet. Hopefully we don't have another doc suggest it. It frustrated her and didn't make her feel better at all.

 

We can't afford chiro or acupuncture, and I doubt our insurance will cover them. Can't afford to go out and buy supplements and vitamins, either.

 

Our ped there (she died a year and a half ago) told us each time a child has a migraine (that term is no longer used just for vascular headaches) to write down everything the child ate and drank in the 24 hours before the headache started.  Then put it away in a drawer or a file and don't look at it or think about it.  After 2 or 3 headaches you might see something pop up on all the lists, but because soooooo many things can contribute to them, it's often hard to find any one trigger.

 

She asked us to keep track of whether or not a big event (scary or exciting in a good way) was coming up very near each headache.  That was the case for my daughter.  Good events and the anticipation went with them seemed to be a factor. There is a heavy duty preventative some people can be on (I don't remember the name) but they discourage long term use in children.  She said some people go on it when they have constant longer term headaches and nothing else works or if they're in the midst of a short term, major life event like getting married, taking exams, etc. So even if someone has this problem, there's something they can do to get through an intense situation.

 

We've had some luck with Midrin as a rescue med. Cambia has worked sometimes too. My daughter is on a daily dose of cyproheptadine (an antihistamine) as a preventative which has been the most effective thing. They're not sure why it helps some people avoid headaches, but they think it has to do with balancing serotonin levels in the brain.  The chiro really helped because the MRI showed her neck curves in the opposite direction most people's necks curve, putting stress on the nerves.  Everything the chiro was telling us I ran past the ped. neuro first and she agreed with what he had to say. 

 

When her ped neuro died my daughter was 15 so she could see a regular neuro.

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I discovered that avocado is one of my triggers by noting that I got a migraine within 24 hours of eating avocado 3 out of 4 times.  For me (and many people), migraines have multi-factorial causes.  If several of my triggers line up, I will get a migraine.

 

Interesting factoids:  When I quit gluten, I did not have a migraine for nine months - then, they returned.  I was getting them 3-4 a week during the time I was working full time in an office with fluorescent lights.  When I figured out they were triggering migraines and stopped using the overhead lights, they decreased dramatically.  When I was newly pg with little dd, I got a migraine every morning at 10 am for four days in a row.  I did acupuncture several times a week, which dramatically decreased my migraines, as well, but I could not keep up several times a week acupuncture due to the time and cost.  When I went to the eye doctor once and had a picture taken of my retina involving a bright light in my eyes, I had a migraine starting even before I left the office.  I am careful to wear sunglasses outside.

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