Saturday, 1 September 2012

Suffering with migraines

I thought I would share with you my experience of migraines and how I have helped to reduced them. Please do not confuse migraines with very bad headaches as they are actually a different condition. Where as headaches will indeed be very painful and make it difficult to carry out daily activities migraines are much more debilitating.

From the age of 13 I have suffered with migraines. These are migraines with aura. This means that before a migraine starts I will get flashing lights and my vision will distort in my left eye (much like a kaleidoscope). This can be scary and as I can't see properly I have never learnt to drive through fear of losing my vision whilst driving. After 5 - 10 minutes the same thing will happen to my right eye which means I won't be able to see properly at all. I will then start to get 'pins and needles' up and down my arms, hands, head and even my tongue. After 30-45 minutes of this I will start to feel pain in my head which will be so intense it will make me feel very sick. This can last for days. My temperature will also drop and I will be freezing. The only thing I can do after this is lie in bed in a dark room. Now painkillers I have found don't really do anything. I have tried Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Migraleve, Sumatriptan and Co-codemol.

After many years of badgering doctors to help me with my condition I was referred to a neurologist. I was prescribed Beta- Blockers called Proprenolol (which did not work), medication for epilepsy called Topiramate (which did not work - but some migraine sufferers actually have epilepsy so it maybe worth getting this checked out) and anti depressants that also did not work. During this time I cut out cheese, bananas, red wine and chocolate from my diet. I was told by my neurologist at the age of 25 that my migraines were probably caused by my getting older and stress. When I said that I had suffered from 13 he said it may have been caused by hormones.

Now at this time I didn't know what to do. The medication had given me terrible mood swings and my weight had initially dropped with the Topiramate and then increased considerably with the anti depressants (these anti depressants actually seemed to make me feel depressed probably because I wasn't depressed to start with) . Plus I was still getting at least 3 migraines a week with no distinct pattern which made it difficult to work.

Then I moved out of my parents house and in with my partner. He started to notice that I would seem to get migraines 2 days after popping around my mom and dad's for tea. So I started looking at what I would eat round my parents and started to eliminate these foods one at a time from my diet. I found my culprit after a year - GARLIC! Now I love garlic but found whenever I would eat it, 2 days later I would get  a migraine. So I no longer eat garlic and after the last 2 years I have had about  6 migraines - result! I have also found that parsley, coriander and Asian spices can bring on migraines.

I'm sorry for rambling on but after years of suffering I would have been willing to try anything so if there's anybody out there in the same position I would urge you to give this a try as it may help you and doesn't cost a thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment