I never thought I'd say childbirth is easier than dealing with migraine...

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Has anyone found that migraines seem to get worse when you're menopausal? Recently, (and I've suffered from migraines for over 40 years) my migraines tend to occur several times a DAY! My neurologist says taking daily doses of amitriptan will cut back on the frequency, but I've had so many setbacks that I just don't know what to believe. Also, have any of you found that weather affects your headaches as well. I swear, as soon as it started to get warmer my aura went into overdrive. And I hate explaining to people that a migraine is not JUST a run of the mill, take 2 aspirin, headache. Sorry I'm venting,,,,been in the throes of pain for 2 days, but it's getting better. Thanks for listening.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I am 62 and have suffered with migraines since I was 17 and only 3-4 times a year and manageable but for the last 20 years they have become increasingly worse in frequency and intensity.

    At the moment, I am on Amitriptyline as a preventative but still get 2 or 3 a week which are mostly relieved by either paracetamol with aspirin or if that doesn't work sumatriptan. I don't have any specific triggers but being out in hot weather can sometimes trigger them despite wearing sunglasses, a wide brim hat and keeping hydrated.

    After trying almost every preventative and having an MRI scan, if this is the best that it gets, I'm prepared to live with it but would prefer not to have to suffer.

    Good luck to you.

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    • Posted

      Hi kath 1955,

      Thank you for responding. I'm sorry we're a part of the same club. I haven't really wanted to take the Amitriptyline daily, but who knows. Isn't it something how these migraines can mutate and get worse or better over time? I hope you don't have to suffer too. Currently, I'm reading the book "The Migraine Brain" by Carolyn Bernstein MD. I find it pretty helpful and proof that it's not all in my mind.. no pun intended. Be well.

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  • Posted

    Weather is my main trigger. On rainy days or with cold fronts, I always get a migraine. I used to have them 1 time a month. Now it’s 5 out of seven days a week. I’ve been on most of the preventives but little help. I think you mean amitriptylene which is an antidepressant.  

    There is a new preventative out in US. It’s made by Amgen. It’s called Aimovig, an injection, and supposed to significantly reduce frequency.  I’m waiting to get it. Good luck to you. 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi gaye 39866,

      Thanks for the info about Aimovig. Hadn't heard about that one. Also, you're right about amitriptyline. I didn't realize or had forgotten that it is an anti depressant. It's a shame that migraines have been around forever, and yet we still have so far to go when it comes to the treatment of them. Please let me know how the injection works out. Stay well.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Like you have suffered with migraines for many years and as i reached my late 40's they became much more severe and often. 2 years ago i went onto hrt and what a difference. I truly believe that as you reach the menopause and your hormone level of oestrogen drops your migraines get worse. 2 years on and i can count on one hand how many migraines i have had. Hrt patches have changed my quality of live. Hope this helps

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    • Posted

      I’m on estrogen. I’ve had a hysterectomy so don’t need progesterone. It is the drop before your period that causes migraine. Wish it had helped me. 
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    • Posted

      Hi mitch83295,

      Are the hrt (heart)? patches something that you can request from your regular doctor or should it be something my neurologist suggests? Sounds promising. Continue being migraine less.

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  • Posted

    Yes - I am also one whose migraines worsened during peri-menopause and now menopause. I didn't get migraines until I was 30 something. They would always precede the start of my period. I would never get them other than that. Now I get one every 10-12 days. They vary in intensity. Some brutally awful - others not as bad. They tend to last 24-36 hours and affect my whole system. I get nauseous and my neck pain is terrible. I don't take prescription because I also get heart palpitations/racing heart and am afraid of the side affects of the triptans. So I rely on tylenol, magnesium and a muscle relaxer. It gets me through but doesn't make it go away - just dulls it. I am seeing a neurologist next month to discuss other meds that may be an option.

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    • Posted

      Hi kim87727,

      Thanks for responding kim87727. You know what I just noticed? Every time I click the reply button and it flashes blue, I feel like it can trigger a migraine. You'd think a site that discusses migraines would not be a site to induce them, but I know it's just one of those things. Actually, I think I'm going to get an anti glare screen for my computer as well. I was told years ago to take a magnesium supplement daily for the prevention of migraines, but like you, there seems to be nothing to actually kill the pain, just dull it. I guess the only thing worse is being tennis champ Serena Williams, and having to play at Wimbledom. I'm currently reading the book "The Migraine brain" by Carolyn Bernstein and she mentioned Serena is also a migraine sufferer. I'm not a big fan of the triptans, but they have helped. My go-to choice though is Excedrin Migraine. Please stay hopeful that your neurologist will find the best meds for your migraines.

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  • Posted

    YES!!! So much conflicting information out there. One gynecologist told me they would stop when I went thru menopause. Either she was lying or misinformed because they got much worse. I've learned quite a lot since then. Any dramatic change - be it in weather, hormones, sleep, stress, activity, etc can bring on a migraine. The body strives for homeostasis. I personally have had success using the alternative approach. I hate the side effects of drugs. Check for any imbalances - magnesium, serotonin, progesterone can all be low in menopausal women suffering from migraine. I also use essential oils - peppermint, lavender, and rosemary. Ice for the head and neck. And just plain R &R. Menopause is a HUGE transitional period especially if you have had a lot of trauma in the past. The body is trying to adjust to everything shifting at once. You WILL get thru this. Hang in there. Keep trying different approaches. Identify your triggers. The drs want to take the easy way out and throw a prescription at us, which does not get to the root of the problem. Too many of us have suffered, sad to say. But we are fighters who want to be healthy. You will be too. Keep us posted!

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia,

      I like your train of thought. I also thought menopause would bring an end to the torment, but alas, it has not! 

      Years ago I was advised by the headache center to start taking at least 500mgof magnesium daily to ward off migraines. However, I hadn't heard about checking for low levels of serotonin or progesterone. I find that whenever I bring up a more natural approach to dealing with migraines, my doctors tend to be somewhat dismissive. I want to try the oils, but once that aura hits Sound, Light, and Smells are deadly for me. Maybe I'll try the peppermint cause that one would probably be the least nauseating, at least I hope so. And at times I've actually awakened to a migraine. That tends to happen more frequently in the summer so I have to make sure my room is quite cold and dark. Thank you so much for your encouraging words Patricia. You're quite right, we migraine sufferers are fighters, and I pray for the day when the worst is behind us. Stay healthy! 

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  • Posted

    They are absolutely worse than childbirth! Not menopausal yet, but mine were also set off by hormones (pregnancy, and oddly, not even my first one). I did notice weather and chocolate made it a little worse, but when I stopped eating chocolate, I had two good weeks and then the headache came back. I have really low blood pressure that takes forever to go up in the morning, and it kind of seemed like the migraine was worse if I got up too fast. It was bad on weekdays and on the weekends when someone dragged me out of bed at seven-why-o'clock, but better if I miraculously got to sleep in. Never had a chance to get to a neurologist and figure out a treatment, because there's not much I can take and anyway it went away after three months. I hope that yours gets better once the hormones stop jumping around, and you find something that helps in the meantime!

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    • Posted

      Hi a49459!

      The mere IDEA of no chocolate is giving me a headache, but I know I have to work on my diet which isn't the greatest. I've noticed recently that when I'm in a middle of a really bad migraine extremely spicy food seems to help. Probably isn't making my stomach very happy, but it tends to slow down the effects of the migraine. I've heard sleeping in on the weekends isn't the best thing to do, but like you, getting up at seven-why--o-clock ( which is a hysterical phrasing) doesn't make it better either. I guess these migraines transform and you've just got to figure out how to head them off before they come back. I'm glad yours ended when it did. Stay healthy, and best to you and your family.

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