Migraine questions re food, Amitryptaline and Riboflavin

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I have suffered from migraines accompanied by horrendous earaches for over 30 years. They do get much worse due to my food sensitivities (cow and goat dairy/gluten/wheat/grapes/alcohol). I am vegetarian so as you can imagine I have to have eyes in the back of my head as far as buying food and eating out goes. Any mistake results in days of awful pain.

Anyway, my question is about 4 things....

  1. Do any of you get earache with migraines and are they caused by food sensitivities/intolerances? Have accompanying earaches been explained to you? No one has a clue about mine! Ears checked, nothing wrong.
  2. My neurologist recommends Amitryptaline, should I take it? I have concerns about bone density/calcium loss etc and other side effects.
  3. Has your GP recommended riboflavin for migraine, this is of particular interest for me as my GP says its a load of rubbish, it cannot help with migraines and I would just be peeing it out. Has your GP recommended or prescribed it for you?
  4. Butterbur...any of you had any success with it?

Please feel free to just answer any bits you can.

thanks so much

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10 Replies

  • Posted


    Ive suffered from migraines for several years. Im only 21 so I haven’t been having them as long as you have!! My neurologist suggested Amitryptaline to which I just agreed to because I’ll take anything and everything if itll help me. I was concerned about them being anti depresseants because I have no idea how thatll effect my mental state but so far everything is fine (I hope lol). I was also slightly concerned about the weight gain, and drowsiness but I think really it’s a trial and error kinda drug. I take 20mg a night normally around 11pm and I get up at 7am and then drive 2hr for my uni commute and normally I’m quite awake. However my aunt takes the same dosage for her arthritis but takes it around 7pm therefore is rather sleepy around 10pm and she wakes up at 8 still feeling a bit sleepy. I don’t suffer from any side effects other than very slight weight gain. I still drink alcohol with them, the only thing that happens is it makes me rather drowsy in the morning but I only drink on non school nights so it doesn’t effect me.

    I’d recommend you try them out because they can really help some people. Unfortunately for me it’s only taken about 3-4 migraines off a month. I still have on average 13per month. I also always suffered from neck pain due to tension but these tablets have sorted that right out!!

    See how it goes. For some it works wonders but for others it doesn’t touch them. Worth a try 😃

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    • Posted

      Hi Fellie

      So it doesnt really help that much does it.

      Im wondering if you have had a good quality food sensitivity test, migraines could be triggered by something you are eating.

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    • Posted


      It doesn’t help massively unfortunately but 3-4 less migraines a month is better than nothing for me. I’m trying to stick with Amitryptaline because the other option for me was Propranolol but the side effects are a lot more nasty apparently.

      Yes, I had a food allergy test earlier in the year and cut out the foods suggested and unfortunately no changes apart from a few less stomach complaints. Someone suggested I try a daith piercing as they can significantly reduce the pain caused by migraines. My only worry with that is the pain of the actual piercing!! I’ve done some research into butterbur as I had never heard of it and I’ve ordered some to try out. Fingers crossed!

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  • Posted

    Hi Frances,

    I've suffered for about 40 years and get on average about 12 attacks a month and nothing works, Amitryptaline is just one of many prophylaxis that I have tried and none of them helped, although it and they do work for others.

    I did try magnessium and riboflavin for about a year and yet again it didn't work, but it has worked for some people.

    I haven't tried butterbur.

    I finally went down the dietary route going wheat, alcohol & chocolate free and also carb and sugar reduction. It has made a difference but not completely, but I'm happy to stay on it as it is healthier and I have had some weight loss.

    I suffer from tinnitis, but do not have earache.

    I also have cervical spondylosis which of course doesn't help with the pain as my neck constantly hurts.

    I have resigned myself to the fact the headaches/migraines are part of my DNA and there is nothing I can do.

    Sorry I can't be of any more help, but it's worth giving the amitryptaline a go. Side effects weight gain and sleepiness.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Yorkshire Lass

      You sound similar to me in some respects . I think I will give the Amitryptaline a miss as I dont want to feel sleepy or gain weight. Since food sets most of mine off I think it is a matter of strict dietary monitoring.

      Just wondered if you have tried to exclude dairy. It is the worst thing for me regarding migraines.

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    • Posted

      Hi Frances,

      I excluded diary about 15 years ago and then gradually started on it again, but now the only dairy I consume is a little cheese now and then. I drink herbal teas so don't need the milk, so really I am almost dairy free.

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  • Posted

    Sounds good, maybe you have beaten the reactors if you dont get migraine within 72 hours of consumption. Im hoping to be able to eat a little dairy some day. Unfortunately i cant eat wheat or gluten either 😦

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