lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
So apparently modding 2 communities is a lot...sorry for letting this one fall through the cracks.

That said...does anyone have any advice for coping with cluster headaches? My partner has been getting them in increasing severity lately, and any coping skillz would be greatly appreciated.

Danke! Will attempt to be more active, and if anyone wants to try to take on more co-moderation of this comm, please PM me!

lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
The Washington Post has an interesting series in their Health section about "medical mysteries," i.e. medical problems that take ages to diagnose. Last week's medical mystery was chronic daily headache, and I thought some folks might find the article of interest.

"Unlike with migraines, the pain of daily headaches tends to affect both sides of the head; there is no aura or vomiting, nor does pain worsen with routine physical activity. Onset is typically sudden, and the disorder often affects those who do not have a history of headaches. Doctors say that patients can often pinpoint the day they developed a headache, unlike with other types, which tend to occur more gradually. "

Similar to migraines, there is no "cure", only management. Does anyone here have experience with this type of headache that they'd like to share/rant about?


Feb. 14th, 2012 10:27 am
wyldbutterflies: (Default)
[personal profile] wyldbutterflies
I suffer from headaches that went from just the average headache to full-blown migraine status over the last couple years. There are many reasons why I could be getting them, but I what I want to ask about is symptoms.

I usually get visual disturbances, sensitivity to light or sound, occasional nausea, and a few other things that make me want to rip my head off with my bare hands. But the other day I experienced something new that seemed to be a precursor to the migraine.

Does anyone else experience sensitivity on their scalp prior to or during a migraine? For example, I noticed (a good day before the actual migraine pain) that my scalp was sensitive to pressure. And right before the migraine (a few hours before) my hair began to hurt when touched our brushed - for example, it was if I had been wearing a ponytail tightly all day, or if I was wearing a cap full of little needles with a sunburn on my head.

Anyone else experience this strangeness?
killing_rose: I'm not on no yellow brick road. I've got a mind and a heart and guts of my own. (Yellow Brick Road)
[personal profile] killing_rose
Dear Chiropractor:

I <3 you. No, for serious. I've gone from migraines every couple days to maybe once a week. Maybe. That said, I don't particularly have funds and that thing called insurance. So thank you for working out a payment plan.

Dear Body:

It'd be awesome if we could get down to one visit to the chiro a month. As of right now, I can feel the ache building, and I don't have another appointment until Thursday. I think. My brain's the consistency of soup at the moment, and I don't quite remember where I wrote it down.

Dear Ache-That-Signals-Pain:

Good lord, how long have you been building? Are you why I was generally Stereotypically Blonde at work today? Because if you are--and I suspect you are--I am not amused.  Neither is my printer, which had to do three projects over several times.

Also. If you've decided after 10 years to start corresponding to my hormones, I might be a wee bit perturbed. I'm just saying. I noticed the coincidental timing.

Dear Meds:

I don't miss you. I mean, I miss abortives a little bit, but not noticeably enough to think that you were doing as much good as my doctor swore you were.


Jan. 16th, 2012 10:47 pm
lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (headache)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Dear Chocolate,

You are fucking delicious. Why do you have to cause so much pain and yet be so irresistible? I know, know, know that if I eat you there's at least a 50% chance that I will get a migraine. And yet tonight when some kind person at the knitting group laid out a platter of chocolate cookies I couldn't resist. You just overloaded my "don't do that" buttons and I wanted you so bad and suddenly I ate one of you. And then the taste was so great - the taste I'd resisted for over a month week and suddenly I'd had three cookies. And now I'm starting to get pain in the back of my neck and that is a Bad Sign, and I reallllly don't want to get a migraine.

Please can we be buddies?


Dear Headache Comm,

Things have been quiet lately, and I'm usually the one who makes posts. I have fun with the letter-style of [community profile] fucking_meds  and [community profile] fucking_docs . If you have any headache-related frustrations you'd like to vent, feel free to do so in one of those formats - or any others you so choose!


lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
So apparently even though I'm not working a traditional 9-5 job or going to school, I still freak out about Mondays. It's as though years of habit of freaking out about homework and tests and presentations on Sunday night have ingrained themselves in my body.

I've noticed a marked likelihood that if I'm going to get a migraine, it will happen on a Monday when all my anxiety spikes about the things I'm "supposed" to be doing. (The Puritan work ethic runs strong in this one, even though she thinks it's bullshit and tries to fight it.) If I don't have a lot of things I'm "supposed" to be doing, then I just freak out about how I "should" be doing more and I'm such a [bad person]. So that adds all sorts of stress, making it a recipe for instant migraine.

I don't know if anyone else gets a "case of the Mondays", but I wonder if anyone has noticed particular times of the week/month/year are more likely to be stressful and trigger headaches? (For example, the Joyful Holiday Season.)

lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I read somewhere (note: citation lost in my bookmarks folder) that missing meals can be a migraine trigger. I've been somewhat dubious about this, except recently I've noticed it as a definite trend in my migraines. I get super hungry, can't find something to eat (I'm out, no food, unprepared, yadda yadda), headache comes knocking. However, I have also read that hunger itself is a sign that a migraine is coming. So which is it, the chicken or the egg?

All I know is that today I noticed a slight head pain and a gnawing hunger....I told my partner I needed food NOW, we ate, I had a giant (caffeinated) soda, put on my sunglasses, and that seemed to ward things off.

Thankfully, because after last week's epic migraine I don't think I could have faced another one. (Why do they always hit on Mondays? I don't even start work on Mondays, I work part time on weird days? WTF, brain?)
lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
The Washington Post has an interesting article today about the high prevalence of migraines among returning veterans; apparently the US Department of Defense is also throwing some money into migraine research. The fact that 2/3 of the military personnel who were evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan for some form of headache did not return to active duty. In addition, "A 2009 study of more than 1.2 million U.S. participants in the Iraqi and Afghan military actions found the number who received a diagnosis of migraine increased 40 percent after a tour of duty."

Triggers for diagnosis seem to be traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and excess stress in general.

I'm hoping some of the extra research money will help create better treatments.

lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
My most recent migraine was a doozy that kept me off the computer for awhile. I think one of the main triggers was a TMJ headache caused by opening my jaw wide at the dentist. My worst headaches are usually combos, such as when I get really tense and the pain just migrates from my neck to the rest of my skull. Allergy/sinus flares can quickly evolve into the mother of all headaches.

Once these set in, I find them really difficult to shift, perhaps because I can't just do what I would do for "just" a migraine or "just" a sinus headache.

How do other people deal with having multiple headaches that merge into one horrible beast? Better yet, if you know you have a sinus headache, how do you prevent it from mating with other headache triggers?


Oct. 27th, 2011 10:47 am
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Does anyone else here endure weather-triggered headaches? I know sinus headaches can be bad in certain seasons or weather. I also find myself in a paradox where (1) bright sunny weather triggers photosensitivity-related migraines; (2) rain storms trigger barometric-pressure related migraines. What weather is good for migraines, then? I also know someone who has moved to be in a better migraine climate.

Poll #8398 Weather triggers
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 16

Which weather is a trigger for your headaches?

View Answers

Stormy weather
3 (18.8%)

Bright sunny days
5 (31.2%)

Any change in barometric pressure
6 (37.5%)

Abrupt temperature changes
5 (31.2%)

All weather is out to get me
1 (6.2%)

Weather isn't a problem for me
3 (18.8%)

I hadn't thought about it, but now that you mention it...
1 (6.2%)

Something else that I will explain in a comment
2 (12.5%)

lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Note: some of the following links (such as the one to a low-tyramine diet) have rather blindingly white backgrounds, which is somewhat ironic since it's the website of the National Headache Foundation. If such things bother you, you may want to visit the site on a day when you aren't suffering from a number of triggers.

I'm finally trying this whole low-tyramine diet thing my neurologist recommended to help prevent migraines (the effects of tyramine on migraines have been debated/studied with various results). For those who are interested, tyramine is a byproduct of the amino-acid tyrosine produced when certain foods are aged. Things include: aged cheese, deli meats, fermented soy products, etc.

In addition, some people blame foods with tannins (including many legumes, a category that includes peanuts) on the list.

I'm generally trying to follow the broad outlines my neurologist gave me. However, there are so many websites out there about how this and that food cause migraines. I don't want to jump on a nut-free bandwagon without checking things scientifically first. It's also worthwhile to note that not every food is a trigger for everyone.

I've also noticed that many of the foods on the maybe-don't-eat-this list contain protein, and are in fact my go-to sources of protein (e.g. hummus, beans/legumes, peanut butter, deli meat, aged cheese, etc.). I guess I'm going to be eating fresh meat for awhile, which is not exactly my favorite thing to do. (I was a vegetarian for many years, and I still prefer many vegetarian things.)

How have other folks handled food-related migraine triggers? What about types of protein?

Intro post

Oct. 23rd, 2011 10:22 am
lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Welcome to [community profile] headache, a community for those who have chronic/acute headaches of whatever flavor: tension headaches, migraines, tension-migraine combos, sinus headaches, etc.

If you're interested in more about the communtiy, please read the community profile.

I'll be posting periodically, but this is primarily a support place for its users. Ask questions, post advice, share gripes, and generally have at it!


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