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Chronic migraine sufferers, what do your migraines feel like?

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I was diagnosed with chronic migraines with aura (without status migrainosus, not intractable) yesterday by a neurologist. I'm a little surprised. I went in with my chief complaint being daily dizziness and cognitive fog. He told me that my "dizziness" isn't actually dizziness, which I get, because most of the time I'm not whirling in circles, but I didn't know how else to label what I experience. It's more of a soundless humming in my head that starts low and progresses throughout the day eroding my ability to think. Focusing, reading, writing, finding the right words when speaking, following a conversation all become very difficult. I don't typically have an intense headache, though. I think I may have a general achiness/heaviness across my head (or the left side anyway) but I typically don't even pay attention to it because my other symptoms are so overwhelming. I rarely take OTC pain medications for this pain. I do typically have 3-4 classic migraines with aura a year, so I know what intense migraine pain, etc. feels like.

Does anyone else with chronic migraines experience daily/near daily symptoms that don't typically involve the type of pain that is typically associated with the word migraine?

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my migraines have improved over the years, but....

throbbing, one sided - base of skull or behind my eyes.  nauseous. hot and cold with clammy skin.  very sensitive to sound and light.  at night - dh was breathing too loud.

 

things that helped.  a crushed ice pack to the base of my skull.  a dark  and silent room. (cold compresses on my throat and forehead were also pleasant.)

anything that helped me feel "weightless".  laying as comfortably as I could get.

mine were never so severe I ended up in an ER, (I have a friend who did.)

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I don't currently have chronic migraines, but I did. The nausea bothered me more. I would feel low-level nausea when I walked around or moved and sometimes when I would read or do anything visually intense. I also just kind of felt drained and unwell. 

I didn't have aura with my chronic stuff as often. When I did, it was more blurry vision. My aura with my classic migraines is much more distinct and involves slowly enlarging concentric circles. With a low-level, chronic type of migraine, the blurry vision was subtle and could just seem like I had watery or slimy eyes (like you'd have with allergies or upon just waking), but if I tried to read or do close work, I would realize it was more of a central blur to my vision that would come and go.

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Yes, you're having a migraine, it just isn't super painful.  I didn't realize mine were either until my neurologist (for a different headache disorder) told me there was no such thing as sinus headaches and every time I thought I was having one it was a migraine.  The nerve involved also caused my nose to run.

People with disabling migraines typically also have lower pain tolerance.  Sounds like you have a normal to high pain tolerance.  Either that or your "typical" migraines aren't migraines but are something else.

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I have low-level nausea some days too. I also have blurry vision daily...sometimes with brief sparkles or black splotches, or an overall dimness (like I need to clean my glasses or turn on a light). I'm with you too on the drained and unwell feeling, although that varies with duration and intensity like everything else.

ETA: Good to know about the auras in regard to your chronic migraines. My auras are limited to 3-4 times a year and are similar to what you describe.

30 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I don't currently have chronic migraines, but I did. The nausea bothered me more. I would feel low-level nausea when I walked around or moved and sometimes when I would read or do anything visually intense. I also just kind of felt drained and unwell. 

I didn't have aura with my chronic stuff as often. When I did, it was more blurry vision. My aura with my classic migraines is much more distinct and involves slowly enlarging concentric circles. With a low-level, chronic type of migraine, the blurry vision was subtle and could just seem like I had watery or slimy eyes (like you'd have with allergies or upon just waking), but if I tried to read or do close work, I would realize it was more of a central blur to my vision that would come and go.

 

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I have pretty 'classic' migraines with the feeling of a knife going through my left eye, but I also will have a general fogginess that I know to be a low level migraine too.  

Neurologists are definitely diagnosing more and more things as migraines these days.  Mine have rollercoaster from about 6-20 a month since I was 16 and I have tried every med out there.  Among other things I have been on Botox for migraines for about 8 years now which has kept them down to around 6-8 a month.  I posted a month or so ago that I began Aimovig, a new monthly injectable April 1.  Since that time I have had about one a month and am currently at 41 days migraine free.   Hope that helps any other chronic migraine sufferers.   

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Smells bother me more than light. DD's new deodorant is killing me right now. Although, I'm just realizing that perhaps I do have a sensitivity to light, as I take showers in the morning in the dark. And, I can't stand TVs, music, or other loud things in the morning. DH's breathing has been driving me nuts the past several months too (sounds like a windstorm, IMO). Hmm. 🤔 Heat and humidity really bother me as well.

I will try the ice pack and cold compresses. 👍

45 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

my migraines have improved over the years, but....

throbbing, one sided - base of skull or behind my eyes.  nauseous. hot and cold with clammy skin.  very sensitive to sound and light.  at night - dh was breathing too loud.

 

things that helped.  a crushed ice pack to the base of my skull.  a dark  and silent room. (cold compresses on my throat and forehead were also pleasant.)

anything that helped me feel "weightless".  laying as comfortably as I could get.

mine were never so severe I ended up in an ER, (I have a friend who did.)

 

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When you say 6-8 a month, is that days too or did they span multiple days? I can't even tell when mine begin or end at this point. I typically wake up feeling ok, then the fog usually rolls in by 10 a.m. Typically, I'm still fogged by bedtime. Overnight sleep seems to reset the fog.

8 minutes ago, ZiMom said:

I have pretty 'classic' migraines with the feeling of a knife going through my left eye, but I also will have a general fogginess that I know to be a low level migraine too.  

Neurologists are definitely diagnosing more and more things as migraines these days.  Mine have rollercoaster from about 6-20 a month since I was 16 and I have tried every med out there.  Among other things I have been on Botox for migraines for about 8 years now which has kept them down to around 6-8 a month.  I posted a month or so ago that I began Aimovig, a new monthly injectable April 1.  Since that time I have had about one a month and am currently at 41 days migraine free.   Hope that helps any other chronic migraine sufferers.   

 

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1 minute ago, pitterpatter said:

I can't even tell when mine begin or end at this point. I typically wake up feeling ok, then the fog usually rolls in by 10 a.m. Typically, I'm still fogged by bedtime. Overnight sleep seems to reset the fog.

That also correlates to my experience.

Figuring out food issues has helped mine, but it's not a total solution. I know there are other components too--my body went into freefall a few years ago, and it's nearly impossible to tell where one issue stops and another starts. I'm just glad to not be dealing with them much at the moment.

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I found hormones is definitely part of it.

but - 

sugar,

bright light

lack of sleep

dehydration

while one won't do it - all four, for a prolonged period, I paid and paid and paid...

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I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with vestibular migraines. I had similar symptoms to yours - a not-right, light-headed feeling (which had become so frequent and noticeable I was afraid I'd pass out while driving), sometimes nausea, sometimes visual disturbances, only rarely the acute pain and nausea I recognized as migraine. Cleaning up my diet and having just a little caffeine daily (I'd given up caffeine a year before) has helped. I was offered meds but am trying diet stuff first.

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4 hours ago, pitterpatter said:

When you say 6-8 a month, is that days too or did they span multiple days? I can't even tell when mine begin or end at this point. I typically wake up feeling ok, then the fog usually rolls in by 10 a.m. Typically, I'm still fogged by bedtime. Overnight sleep seems to reset the fog.

 

When I say 6-8 a month I mean ones that were relieved for at least 6-12 hours by an imitrex shot.  It is rare I will get them back to back days but every once in a blue moon I may get a string of them for 3 days in a row, but again, a shot of imitrex will initially knock it out for several hours, but I will have another one the next day.   I think 3 days in a row (in the last 8 years??) is about the max for me.   I won't take a shot just for fog, only for pain I can't function, that is what I really consider a countable migraine for me.  If I'm willing to jab myself with a needle, it counts as a migraine as I'm a wimp LOL

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Ugg just had a two day migraine. Mine are tied to my cycle. 

My eyes really hurt, super dizzy, my shoulders and thighs hurt - very achy. So tired but can not sleep.  Serious brain fog. Nausea but actually hungry at the same time. I need to avoid pulsating light and my head hurts a lot - usually in one spot more than another spot. 

What is interesting is that I can feel leave. Yesterday, it felt like it was exiting through my cheekbones.

I have a good friend who suffers from migraines and has tried so many treatments.. so far nothing has helped her. 

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This is what I'm trying too. Although, my doctor did prescribe riboflavin (B-2) and some kind of magnesium. I ran a search in the archives here before posting and discovered the book, Heal Your Headache. I'm going to read it and see how modifying my diet goes before resorting to meds.

1 hour ago, Bocky said:

I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with vestibular migraines. I had similar symptoms to yours - a not-right, light-headed feeling (which had become so frequent and noticeable I was afraid I'd pass out while driving), sometimes nausea, sometimes visual disturbances, only rarely the acute pain and nausea I recognized as migraine. Cleaning up my diet and having just a little caffeine daily (I'd given up caffeine a year before) has helped. I was offered meds but am trying diet stuff first.

 

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7 hours ago, ZiMom said:

I have pretty 'classic' migraines with the feeling of a knife going through my left eye, but I also will have a general fogginess that I know to be a low level migraine too.  

Neurologists are definitely diagnosing more and more things as migraines these days.  Mine have rollercoaster from about 6-20 a month since I was 16 and I have tried every med out there.  Among other things I have been on Botox for migraines for about 8 years now which has kept them down to around 6-8 a month.  I posted a month or so ago that I began Aimovig, a new monthly injectable April 1.  Since that time I have had about one a month and am currently at 41 days migraine free.   Hope that helps any other chronic migraine sufferers.   

 

This describes me/my migraines very well. My dh often recognizes I'm getting a migraine before I do because of the fog. I lose the power to problem solve or make decisions. However, mine always end up with sever pain on one side (usually right, but occasionally left). I too did everything imaginable for migraine treatments across the last 20 years, including botox. Aimovig has been life changing! I started it last fall and as long as I do the injection every 28 days, I only have 1-2 migraines per month. If I'm late (insurance messed me up one month) I start over and I lose coverage for about a week until it fully kicks in.

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13 hours ago, Mom22ns said:

Aimovig has been life changing! I started it last fall and as long as I do the injection every 28 days, I only have 1-2 migraines per month. If I'm late (insurance messed me up one month) I start over and I lose coverage for about a week until it fully kicks in.

Thanks for this information.  My insurance is not covering my Aimovig yet so I was just going to try to 'push' my Aimovig out past the 30 days I was scheduled to see how I would do.  Guess I won't try that now :(  

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Can anyone recommend a good migraine forum? I'm looking for a list of zero/low-calorie liquids I can drink besides water and herbal tea. I'm a big "drinker" and water just isn't going down as smoothly as all the stuff I used to drink (e.g. black tea, Sprite Zero, various zero-calorie flavored waters, flavored powder mixes/squirt bottles, G2). I fear my hydration level isn't going to be adequate.

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41 minutes ago, pitterpatter said:

Can anyone recommend a good migraine forum? I'm looking for a list of zero/low-calorie liquids I can drink besides water and herbal tea. I'm a big "drinker" and water just isn't going down as smoothly as all the stuff I used to drink (e.g. black tea, Sprite Zero, various zero-calorie flavored waters, flavored powder mixes/squirt bottles, G2). I fear my hydration level isn't going to be adequate.

 

I'm not sure why you think you need to avoid soda?  My neurologist told me to always drink caffeine when I had a headache.

Anyway, when I was pregnant and avoided caffeine and the water was awful I ended up buying SmartWater by the case at Sam's Club. Voss water tastes slightly better, but I didn't think it was worth the price difference.

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Have you had your thyroid ruled out? I only ask because in addition to all the other symptoms you mentioned heat and humidity intolerance. When my thyroid is untreated or undertreated I am never comfortable in my own body. Cold physically hurts all the way to my bones and heat is just miserable. Mind you I grew up in Phoenix, I've always had a great tolerance for heat until my thyroid started really acting up. I have passed out from heat on an 85 - 90 degree day before when my thyroid wasn't being monitored closely enough. Thyroid imbalance can also cause the headache symptoms you describe.

My husband has intracranial hypertension, also called pseudotumor cerebrii. Long story short, he has too much cerebral spinal fluid and it is not draining properly causing him pain and headaches on the level of a brain tumor daily. He also has sensitivity to light and had no idea how bad it was until we started getting him therapuetic spinal taps this year. He didn't realize how sensitive he was until he wasn't sensitive for a couple of weeks until the fluid built up again. It's a pretty rare ailment and even more rare for a man to have it.

I have migraines from stress and they feel like typical migraines, pain across the top of my head and behind my eyes, nausea, vomiting, even someone touching my skin hurts. Sensitivity to light and sound. The only thing that works for me is to lay down immediately and take 800mg of ibuprofen with caffeine as directed by my doctor. If I catch it quick enough, I can head it off. Otherwise it lasts up to a week and decapitation seems like a reasonable option to stop the pain.

We are a caffeine free family as well but migraines and as a remedy for dh is his spinal tap injection sight starts to leak, caffeine is then a medication so we deal with it. Luckily, I rarely get migraines (once a year anymore I used to get them more often) and dh hasn't had to use the caffeine after any of his spinal taps.

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Yes, I had a pretty complete workup with blood work, X-rays, and MRIs. I have one more vision test to take. We wanted to rule out MS and lupus, which my father and grandmother had respectively.

I have wondered about the heat intolerance, though, as it's a huge trigger. I'm cold-natured, so I often use a space heater under my desk during the winter. I have to be super careful how far away I set it. It will set my symptoms spinning within minutes. I also like hot showers. I have to be super careful with those too, particularly after eating, or else I'm pretty much done for the day.

15 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

Have you had your thyroid ruled out? I only ask because in addition to all the other symptoms you mentioned heat and humidity intolerance. When my thyroid is untreated or undertreated I am never comfortable in my own body. Cold physically hurts all the way to my bones and heat is just miserable. Mind you I grew up in Phoenix, I've always had a great tolerance for heat until my thyroid started really acting up. I have passed out from heat on an 85 - 90 degree day before when my thyroid wasn't being monitored closely enough. Thyroid imbalance can also cause the headache symptoms you describe.

 

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I don't drink regular soda, as I just don't like it. Haven't since I was a child. Most diet sodas (I pretty much only drink Sprite Zero and sometimes root beer) have aspartame in them. Many of the flavored waters/powders do as well. Some have caffeine too. Right now, I'm trying to figure out my triggers. Both caffeine and aspartame are on my no-no list.

43 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

I'm not sure why you think you need to avoid soda?  My neurologist told me to always drink caffeine when I had a headache.

Anyway, when I was pregnant and avoided caffeine and the water was awful I ended up buying SmartWater by the case at Sam's Club. Voss water tastes slightly better, but I didn't think it was worth the price difference.

 

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I don't have migraines, but my dh's family line has chronic migraines.  My dh had them every day for years.  His would always begin as a severe depression for one or two days before the headache would kick in.  It took him years to realize that the depression was simply a sign that the headache would eventually follow.  (Otherwise, the depression part never made sense to him.  It was actually a relief to him to realize that it was all migraine-related!  Apart from the migraines, he was a very positive, happy person.)  He also got very pale skin with an even paler "mask" around his eyes.  He would become physically uncoordinated.  So even though he was quite athletic, he would become very clumsy and drop things and trip during migraines, even if he wasn't experiencing the headache yet.  His sleep became more erratic as his migraines became more chronic.

One migraine was particularly bad and evolved into a massive stroke.  Since then, strangely, he no longer gets migraines!

One of our dd's is following in his path and has daily migraines.  She also has symptoms like depression pre-headache, plus clumsiness and brain fog.  She gets dizzy easily, and her arms sometime tingle.  Sometimes even thinking hard triggers a migraine.  She can control them slightly by keeping up with a very regulated schedule and eating simple and easily processed foods, getting enough sleep, light exercise, and trying to remain emotionally non-stressed.  But it only takes the edge off them.

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Thanks for sharing! Is you DH okay? Was it a type of stroke that he was able to recover from?

One day when my symptoms were at their worst, I woke up with a terrifying electric shock in my upper left thigh. It left me cold, clam, nauseated, and feeling as though I could pass out if I got up from the bed for about half an hour. I didn't know what was going on. It was really scary. The doctor said it was likely unrelated, but I'm half worried about have a stroke or aneurysm or something. 

7 hours ago, J-rap said:

I don't have migraines, but my dh's family line has chronic migraines.  My dh had them every day for years.  His would always begin as a severe depression for one or two days before the headache would kick in.  It took him years to realize that the depression was simply a sign that the headache would eventually follow.  (Otherwise, the depression part never made sense to him.  It was actually a relief to him to realize that it was all migraine-related!  Apart from the migraines, he was a very positive, happy person.)  He also got very pale skin with an even paler "mask" around his eyes.  He would become physically uncoordinated.  So even though he was quite athletic, he would become very clumsy and drop things and trip during migraines, even if he wasn't experiencing the headache yet.  His sleep became more erratic as his migraines became more chronic.

One migraine was particularly bad and evolved into a massive stroke.  Since then, strangely, he no longer gets migraines!

One of our dd's is following in his path and has daily migraines.  She also has symptoms like depression pre-headache, plus clumsiness and brain fog.  She gets dizzy easily, and her arms sometime tingle.  Sometimes even thinking hard triggers a migraine.  She can control them slightly by keeping up with a very regulated schedule and eating simple and easily processed foods, getting enough sleep, light exercise, and trying to remain emotionally non-stressed.  But it only takes the edge off them.

 

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1 hour ago, pitterpatter said:

Thanks for sharing! Is you DH okay? Was it a type of stroke that he was able to recover from?

One day when my symptoms were at their worst, I woke up with a terrifying electric shock in my upper left thigh. It left me cold, clam, nauseated, and feeling as though I could pass out if I got up from the bed for about half an hour. I didn't know what was going on. It was really scary. The doctor said it was likely unrelated, but I'm half worried about have a stroke or aneurysm or something. 

 

Thanks, he's still working toward recovery.  Doctors think so many migraines weakened a point in his carotid artery, causing it to dissect.  But that is very, very unusual.  It's not something I would worry about even with chronic migraines -- his was a very freak case.  

 

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Hello I posted and pm'ed as my son was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines. His are near constant and very difficult to control. I am still trying to figure it all out but thought I would say hello

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Dd20 has painful migraines with aura. Nausea is always major component of these migraines.  She doesn't use classic migraine meds, but takes zofran (nausea med) and goes to bed. When she wakes up, the migraine and all the symptoms are gone.

She was diagnosed at 6yo with abdominal migraines and had her first MRI at that time.  She moved to more traditional migraines in middle school.

But she also has migraines, that have symptoms like mental heaviness, nausea, brain fog, and she has a feeling like she is having to push herself through her day. It is a feeling like she is getting really, really sick.....without getting sick. There really isn't much of a headache with it.  She doesn't usually use triptans (prescription migraine meds) for treating her migraines, but uses them for these ones. Otherwise, they just linger for days and very, very slowly fade. We know they are a migraine, because the triptan makes them go away. She may need to take the meds once per day for a week or so, to keep the migraine at bay.  These migraines aren't as painful, but are much harder for her to treat. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 2:31 PM, Katy said:

Yes, you're having a migraine, it just isn't super painful.  I didn't realize mine were either until my neurologist (for a different headache disorder) told me there was no such thing as sinus headaches and every time I thought I was having one it was a migraine.  The nerve involved also caused my nose to run.

People with disabling migraines typically also have lower pain tolerance.  Sounds like you have a normal to high pain tolerance.  Either that or your "typical" migraines aren't migraines but are something else.

Thanks to your post I started reading and discovered that the “sinus” headaches I have dealt with for years are almost certainly migraines.  Thank you!  Maybe now I can find some relief!  My mom had migraines and took injections for them, but my symptoms have always been different than hers so I assumed they weren’t migraines.

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As far as drinks, have you tried unsweetened but flavored sparkling water? I also have trouble just drinking plain water and I sometimes want something different without sweetness. 

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On 7/3/2019 at 1:31 PM, pitterpatter said:

Can anyone recommend a good migraine forum? I'm looking for a list of zero/low-calorie liquids I can drink besides water and herbal tea. I'm a big "drinker" and water just isn't going down as smoothly as all the stuff I used to drink (e.g. black tea, Sprite Zero, various zero-calorie flavored waters, flavored powder mixes/squirt bottles, G2). I fear my hydration level isn't going to be adequate.

Have you tried Zevia?  Some of their sodas have caffeine, but many don’t.  They are sweetened with stevia, so calorie-free, and have no artificial ingredients. 

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Hi there! I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. It's been a rough migraine week.

I was diagnosed with chronic migraine with aura July 1, 2019. As I am not keen on taking medications, I opted to try supplements and diet modification as first-line treatments for migraine. I took 400 mg of both riboflavin and magnesium oxide for seven months. I also followed (try to follow) the migraine diet as outlined in Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz. Initially, I had some success with this combo, but after a couple of months, near daily migraine returned. I think this success was primarily due to cutting all caffeine and aspartame from my diet. This past week, I dropped the supplements and started taking 10 mg of amitriptyline. As I am taking this medication to prevent/lessen migraine, I do not expect to see results for several weeks/months.

Overall, my migraine symptoms have improved some in terms of daily severity. (Every day used to be a bad day. Now, some days aren't so bad.) However, my ups and downs have become more extreme. My auras have increased and the aftermath of those auras are often way worse than before I was diagnosed. I recommend reading Heal Your Headache, as it will help you pinpoint food triggers (and other types of triggers). It also lists various treatment options. I'm still trying to figure out my food triggers. Several are difficult to eliminate completely because so many packaged foods contain them. I have an especially hard time with lunch because nearly all convenience lunch-type foods are out. I'm getting rather tired of sun butter and jelly sandwiches (on a particular kind of bread that I get from Aldi; our local grocery store literally sells no bread that I can eat). Unfortunately, I've also gained some weight in trying to follow the migraine diet, as I've had to cut many foods that I used to eat and replace them with higher carb foods. (For example, I used to use low-sugar/low-calorie maple syrup. I have to use real maple syrup now, which has a lot more calories.)

As far as vestibular migraine is concerned, have you come across The Dizzy Cook blog? The author has written about her experience with vestibular migraine in great detail and generally provides some good information. I've referred to it several times over the past months.

https://thedizzycook.com/

I'm not sure I've been particularly helpful, but I do hope you find something that works for your son. Having daily migraine isn't fun. I'm usually spent by late morning/early afternoon. Trying to accomplish much beyond the morning hours is typically fruitless. Typically, taking a nap helps, but I don't want to sleep my life away, so I try not to lie down unless I truly have to. Post back if/when you find something that helps.

PS - I was all set to try a specific ear piercing until I asked my doctor about it a couple of weeks ago. He said none of his chronic patients have reported success with it. His other patients are 50/50.
 

On 2/6/2020 at 10:35 PM, exercise_guru said:

Hello I posted and pm'ed as my son was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines. His are near constant and very difficult to control. I am still trying to figure it all out but thought I would say hello

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Your DD's symptoms sound a lot like mine. And, I also feel like I have a fever or the flu without the coughing, sneezing, runny nose-type symptoms...just the feeling really crappy part of it. It's funny you mention Zofran...it gives me a headache. 🙃

I hadn't heard of abdominal migraine. I used to get stomach pain right in the middle of my belly when I was a child for no apparent reason. Still do, on rare occasion. Hmm. 🤔

On 2/6/2020 at 10:55 PM, Tap said:

Dd20 has painful migraines with aura. Nausea is always major component of these migraines.  She doesn't use classic migraine meds, but takes zofran (nausea med) and goes to bed. When she wakes up, the migraine and all the symptoms are gone.

She was diagnosed at 6yo with abdominal migraines and had her first MRI at that time.  She moved to more traditional migraines in middle school.

But she also has migraines, that have symptoms like mental heaviness, nausea, brain fog, and she has a feeling like she is having to push herself through her day. It is a feeling like she is getting really, really sick.....without getting sick. There really isn't much of a headache with it.  She doesn't usually use triptans (prescription migraine meds) for treating her migraines, but uses them for these ones. Otherwise, they just linger for days and very, very slowly fade. We know they are a migraine, because the triptan makes them go away. She may need to take the meds once per day for a week or so, to keep the migraine at bay.  These migraines aren't as painful, but are much harder for her to treat. 

 

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I haven't. I'll look into it. I've tried Perrier flavored mineral water (icky), Stur water drops (icky), and Bubly (a little less icky than the other two). 😁 I'm trying to acquire a taste for the Bubly. Progress is slow, though.

On 2/7/2020 at 9:32 AM, *Jessica* said:

Have you tried Zevia?  Some of their sodas have caffeine, but many don’t.  They are sweetened with stevia, so calorie-free, and have no artificial ingredients. 

 

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I have migraines, or at least that's what my doctor says, where at the beginning the only symptom is a visual aura where patches of my vision look like someone spilled cooking oil on it, with sparkles around the edges.   It's disconcerting because it comes on really fast, and if I'm driving when it does, I need to pull over.  Luckily, I don't need to drive much these days.   Later they'll progress and I'll get really sensitive to smells, tastes, and to a lesser degree sound, with any of those triggering nausea, and I'll get a headache that's just on the right side .  But the headache isn't debilitating, it's annoying as heck, bu I can go about my regular business (as long as nothing smells and I don't need to eat).

I always assumed they couldn't be migraines because migraines involve very bad headaches, but that's what the doctor says they are.

The thing that helps the most is drinking salty liquid, like broth.  I'll take motrin or something, and it will help the headache but not the other symptoms, caffeine helps a little, but then it disrupts my sleep, and sleep deprivation is a trigger.  When I had a less rigid sleep schedule, then either sleeping when I get one, or drinking when I had one worked OK.  

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I have had regular painful migraines. I had hemiplegic migraines which were like strokes when I was in college. In late perimenopause, I developed abdominal migraines.  Now I get fogginess, etc

Now my one daughter gets both painful migraines and also vestibular migraines that happen with flashing lights like strobe lights but other types of flashing too like light through trees.

 

 

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Mine are only casually diagnosed.  I usually don"t have really severe headaches but I have nausea and brain fog both the day I have the headache and the day after.  I often have mild visual disturbance but a couple of times all the lights have gone purple and there have been huge black spots surrounded by rainbows (but purple tinted).  It was scary but quite amazing.  I just hate the inability to deal with anything unexpected.  I can function as long as I can just work on auto pilot but when I have to make a decision or solve a problem I just stand there like a toy that has run out of batteries.

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