Two Teens And Their Mama: Help For Menopause Migraines

Monday, April 28, 2014

Help For Menopause Migraines




Normally I like to inject a little humor into my posts, but there is nothing funny about migraines. At all. If you have ever had one, you know what I mean.  They are debilitating and miserable.

I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager.  They run in my family -  last year my sister had a six week migraine that finally ended when she was admitted to the hospital and given IV medication.  These headaches can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, flashing lights, or certain foods. Mine seem to be related to my period, and have gotten worse since I've entered perimenopause.  Dr. G told me that the fluctuation of estrogen is to blame.  The good news is that many women get better or actually stop having migraines once they enter menopause - a light at the end of the tunnel!

My estrogen is fluctuating and apparently that's not going to change for a while.  What can I do about the migraines?  If I catch mine when it is just beginning, a combination of advil, tylenol and caffeine will often take the edge off, but the headache doesn't completely go away.  I have tried various prescription medications and none of them really work, plus they leave me with awful side effects.

However, there is good news to report!  Two treatments have been approved by the FDA and are expected to be great alternatives for those with chronic migraines, defined as those who have headaches 14 or more days per month.    

BOTOX.  This has already been in use for chronic migraine sufferers.  Injections are given around the head and neck area every 12 weeks to help prevent migraines from starting. My friend has had this done and says it works well for her - she is only getting one or two headaches a month and feels like she can function normally for the first time in years. Plus, her forehead has never looked so smooth!


Injection Points

THE CEFALY DEVICE.  This is so brand new, it's not even available in the United States yet, but patients will be able it get it by prescription soon.  The Cefaly device is a "crown" that is worn on the forehead once a day for 20 minutes.  It works by stimulating a nerve that results in less migraines.  Users in Canada have reported great success with Cefaly. I like the idea of this treatment - I think all women should get to wear a crown every day!

She looks very Zen, doesn't she?

Hopefuly one of these new treatments will help if you suffer from menopausal migraines. There is enough to worry about during this period of life - headaches shouldn't be one of them.

22 comments:

  1. Super interesting and timely (at least for BB) article. Keeping this one in my "pocket".Gracias y BB2U

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    1. Hope it helps. Migraines are the worst! Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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  2. Hmmmm...comment disappeared after I hit submit...

    Thanks for the info! Daughter has suffered from migraines since puberty. She's had headaches since she was old enough to express that her head hurt, but they became more frequent and full-blown migraines in her early teen years.

    A physical therapist eventually picked up on a neurological eye issue, which was further diagnosed by a neurological eye doctor...was corrected with glasses with prisms in the lens... That seemed to alleviate some of the severe headaches, but not all of them.

    I'm sending her this article to put in her "back pocket," too! Thanks for sharing! And, yes, I think we should all be allowed to wear a crown every single day, even if for only 20 minutes! ;)

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment. Your poor daughter! Maybe the crown could help her.

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  3. My daughter also suffers from bad migraines. (ok, is there such a thing as a good one?). This crown is an option for her! As you say, who doesn't deserve to wear a crown?

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    1. I'm so sorry that your daughter suffers from migraines. I hope the crown will be able to help her. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. These are awesome away to rid headaches! I rub a little natural progesterone cream on my neck and temple and that takes it away.

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    1. I hadn't heard of that before - might have to give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    2. Lana, Progesterone cream will help with estrogen dominance that so many men and women no suffer from. It can help with a whole list of health problems. Definitely worth looking into!

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  5. I've suffered from migranes for years. Have tried everything and seen a variety of western and non-western doctors. I finally started taking a strong prescription every day. It wasn't the path I wanted to take, but it's changed my life for the better. I finally had to accept that I needed to do whatever it took to get my life back. I'm always excited to hear about new possibilities for treatment. People who don't get migranes don't realize how serious this is.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'm so sorry to hear about your migraines. Hopefully one of these new treatments can help you.

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  6. Hi Lana - sorry to hear you have migraines too. I have a similar life story - and migraines definitely can be debilitating! After decades of a variety of treatments, nothing was working. I finally was prescribed Frovatriptan, a slow acting triptan which does not prevent a migraine, but can stop or reduce the onset of one. It has helped me a lot - might be something to ask your doctor about. I still get migraines, but it helps knowing that most of the time I can feel better in under 4 hours. Good luck - and useful, helpful post!

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    1. I'm sorry that you get migraines too. They are the worst! I'll have to check with my doctor on that medication.

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  7. Wow...there is some really cool stuff here! Sometimes it's nice to know that I'm not the only one to suffer from such horrible headaches. I'm definitely not looking forward to menopause, though...I hadn't even thought about the fact that they might get worse because of the hormones. Ugh! Thanks for sharing this important information!

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    1. I'm amazed at how many women have migraines. Hopefully new treatments will continue to be discovered.

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  8. Interesting. I'm lucky, I guess, 'cause if I stick to my diet and keep away from the chocolate I rarely get migraines. I've had three in the last two weeks because I wanted to prove to myself again that I really can't eat chocolate daily. That crown thing fascinates me.

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    1. The key for me is getting enough sleep and water. I'm really interested to see how people like the crown.

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  9. Ugh. I get them just about every month now, too...I have to catch them early, sleep for a bit and that usually does the trick...if not, I just have to sleep them off.

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    1. Yes, sleep definitely helps me too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I'm not a migraine sufferer, at least not very often. But I am the mother of a teen and I do know how much trouble they can be. I wonder if meditation might help? I actually had the easiest menopause transition ever - a few hot flashes and mood swings and I was pretty much over it. I think that's because I just believed that I would have an easy menopause, so I did. I just read a study in a blog post just today where they took lucky and unlucky people and gave them a test. There was a hidden trick within the test and the "lucky" people usually found it, while the "unlucky" people generally overlooked it completely. The power of positive belief can be pretty amazing. #SITSSharefest

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    1. I agree that everything is easier with a positive attitude! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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