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Old 01-31-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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I have had migraine since I was about 9 and am now 24 and still get them. For me its light and smells that are the worst. When she starts to get a migraine try an ice pack and caffine, the caffine opens the blood vessels and the ice helps the pounding. Also the best is to catch it early for me if I take exceeding when its only a headache it can prevent it from becoming a migraine. If nothing works and she's in that much pain try the ER.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
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No, we are waiting still for the neurologist. For some reason, most have a 3-6 month wait where we live, but we got in 2-3 weeks, so mid February.
My husband is the one who wrote her the script for the migraine meds. We got her Axert, which is one of the only migraine meds approved for children under 18, and I do think it helped her however, there is a limit of 10 a month for some reason, so she does not want to take them too much then run out.

Ha! She would never, ever take Botox, she is philosophically against it, that would be too ironic if it ended up helping her. I think at this point she is willing to take whatever would help though.

I agree, I really hope to learn what triggers this. So far it does not seem that there is any time of pattern, but there might be.




Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I agree -- work on finding out the triggers.

Have you already met with the neurologist, or are you still waiting? I never experienced anything as bad as what your daughter is going through, but figuring out the triggers was one of the top advice.

My current neurologist (I see for something other than migraines, though) treated some of his chronic migraine patients with botox; I believe it's only been recently approved by the FDA for that purpose (I know he was having trouble earlier getting insurance to cover it as a medical expense, but presumably that has now changed), so if you haven't spoken with neurologist yet and just got the other medication from your regular doctor, maybe the neurologist can tell you whether that, or any other new treatment, would be appropriate.

I'd also ask the doctor about the caffeine. Caffeine helped mine, but I know that for some people it can be a trigger.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 6,803,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 121804 View Post
Have you taken her to a ENT specialist? It could be a deviated septum/sinus issue or allergies.
I've had a few migraines in life along w/ horrible sinus headaches due to hormonal changes during pregnancies. Light was a BIG stimulant.
I've always suffered from headaches from an early age. My mom told me when I was in the early teens, too much chocolate or sugar brought them on.

Also make sure your child is getting enough proper food & liquid. Dehydration & hunger play a big role.

What is your daughter's age? The headaches could be brought on by hormonal changes.

Good luck!!
Thank you! She is 15. My husband also thought it could be brought on by hormones but her pediatrician does not agree. She drinks ALOT, she is often thirsty, we are always joking about it, and I am making sure she eats enough. We are very health conscious and she does not eat hardly any sugar or chocolate, maybe a couple small things a week.

After the allergist this Friday, maybe I will take her to an ENT. Its interesting that you mention it, she does have an ear infection/nasal infection but her pediatrician said her migraines started before the infection, gave her antibiotics and said its not related. But maybe it is.

Her worse habits are a cup of coffee with breakfast (which I thought I should make her stop because of the migraines but I see people are saying caffeine helps), and occasionally she has a diet soda (fresca, root bear or coke), but I've made her stop drinking the diet soda since the migraines started. Also, she uses Splenda so I have made her stop using that, which I feel kind of bad about, but at least temporarily. Otherwise she eats alot of vegetables, whole grains, and takes vitamins.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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My wife has suffered from migraines for years (they actually believe they started around age 4) and it took until she was in her teens to get the right combination of preventatives and triggers down to where they only occasionally bothered her.

However, after the last pregnancy, she was suffering from other neurological issues that no one seemed to be able to peg down (they went so far as to thinking MS or Lupus). Finally had a doctor smart enough to check her B12 levels. Long story short, she has pernicious anemia which means she can't absorb B12 into her system. It has most likely been a lifelong issue for her coming in flares and then going away when the levels rebounded. She started B12 replacement therapy with regular injections and once her levels came up to the normal range, not only did her other symptoms go away, she also noticed no migraines. She stepped down off of her medications and has now gone 3 months without taking the migraine meds and has not had a single headache.

I only mention this as B12 is not regularly checked and symptoms of deficiency can be incredibly varied. At the very least, insist on having her B12 and intrinsic factor (protein that lets the body absorb B12) checked as part of the lab work they are going to do. This can help determine if that may be the problem. It is more common than most people think.

Outside of that, so much with migraines comes down to the person treating them. It will take a lot of trial and error to get the combo of meds and triggers figured out. One thing they may ask her to do is keep a diary of what she eats and what she does and when her headaches occur. It can help narrow down the triggers.

I would also recommend taking her to a university style medical center and seeing a neurologist if there is one near you. Many private practice neuro's are very stuck on what they think is the right course, whereas the university ones are exposed to a much wider range of treatment options.

Edit: Just wanted to add that fountain colas like a Coke or Pepsi sipped slowly seemed to help her when the migraines were really bad. It HAD to be a fountain soda though, something with the syrup and seltzer.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:21 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,362,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davachka View Post
she has a diet soda (fresca, root bear or coke), but I've made her stop drinking the diet soda since the migraines started. Also, she uses Splenda so I have made her stop using that, which I feel kind of bad about, but at least temporarily. Otherwise she eats alot of vegetables, whole grains, and takes vitamins.
This could be a Bingo!

Artificial sweeteners are a migraine trigger for a lot of people. I never touch them, will not buy/eat/cook with anything that contains them. Be sure you tell the doctors she's consumed them in the past!
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
This could be a Bingo!

Artificial sweeteners are a migraine trigger for a lot of people. I never touch them, will not buy/eat/cook with anything that contains them. Be sure you tell the doctors she's consumed them in the past!
That was another big area for my wife as well. Do to the pernicious anemia she had developed a whole list of food intolerances that were at one point diagnosed as the actual issue and tied to her migraines. Through trying to avoid those products we became very aware of a lot of crap that goes into otherwise healthy sounding/looking food. Even though we found those weren't the triggers, just a symtpom of the underlying condition, we still eat as holistically as possible.

Many of the new diets coming out are also recommending this approach. We've pretty much eliminated anything artificial or that contains high fructose corn syrup...which is pretty much everything. Our one food "sin" is that we still have soda on occasion (even then we tend to lean towards the new "natural" lines that have real sugar, not corn syrup), but that isn't nearly that bad once you've eliminated all the other crap.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Are the headaches pinpointed to the same basic spot in her each (typically one side) each time? Does she become very sensitive to light and is her sense of smell heightened? Does she vomit?

Hormones can certainly play a role. Also, the triggers are often found in cheese, chocolate, red wine (sulfates), raw onions, MSG among other things. Google migraine food triggers and you will see. And here's some info:
Food triggers link: http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/triggers-specific-foods

Some things you can try: ice packs on her forehead or wrapped around her head (you can buy these 'headbands with cold packs', meditation (biofeedback?) to "make her hands and feet warm" (that is, concentrating on sending the bloodflow in her body to her extremities - I know this sounds bizarre, but you just try to focus on making your hands warmer and you will see what I mean. The cold and the meditation apparently help to constrict the dialated blood vessels in the brain and better redistribute the blood thoughout the rest of the body, thus decreasing the head pain).

Some people are prescribed beta blockers to help prevent migraines.

When she gets one, SIPS, just SIPS of Coke (the read thing, not caffiene free or diet) or ginger ale can help with hydration if vomiting is a problem. And caffiene helped me, although not enough to really make the experience tolerable.

A dark room, medication (I did Zomig, Imitrex and some others which made me sick initially but eventually worked) sleep and time are sometimes what it takes. But the meditation/biofeedback honestly does help to relieve migraines a bit. Biofeedback for the treatment/prevention of migraines

Good luck - they are such a miserable thing to have to live with.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davachka View Post
Thank you! She is 15. My husband also thought it could be brought on by hormones but her pediatrician does not agree.
I am not a doctor. I do, however, have migraines. Mine are very much synched with my cycle, which suggests that hormones are likely a factor, at least for some.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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My son had migraines starting in 4th grade. He saw every specialist. They did MRI's looking for brain tumors. It wasn't until he was in 9th grade that we learned his migraines were due to anxiety. I wish we would have learned about it when he was younger. We could have rescued him from the pain years earlier!

History: In 4th grade, the pediatrician sent him for MRIs and him to a neurologist. They found nothing. When I switched pediatricians in 6th grade, I mentioned that he has always had migraines, and the new doctor said that wasn't normal. He sent him for all sorts of tests but found nothing. By 8th grade, I took it upon myself to do whatever was possible to identify the cause. I took him to an ENT. Then I took him to an allergist. He received allergy shots for a year.

To make a long story short, the solution to relieving his pain: physical therapy! I tease you not.

I took him to an orthopedic surgeon in 9th grade. When he was in preschool, he had fallen off the monkey bars while hanging upside down and came crashing down onto the ground at the top of his head. I decided that MAYBE there had been damage to his neck that had gone undiagnosed all of those years. That's why I took him to an orthopedic suregon.

The orthopedic surgeon looked at his x-rays, MRIs (totally normal, no neck damage) and asked him about his symptoms. He immediately identified that his migraines were the result of tension headaches that turn into migraines. The tension headaches were the result of his back muscles being tense from anxiety--- a permanent knot in his back somewhere between his shoulders that caused him to have neck pain that resulted in headaches that turned into migraines.

Within just a few weeks of physical therapy, his migraines went away. He continued with the therapy for a few months and then he was supposed to do it at home for maintence. Being a kid, he stopped doing the exercises at home. A year later, we were back at physical therapy again for a few months. For the past three years, he has been migraine free because he has been doing the stretching exercises on a daily basis. It only takes 15 minutes of his day and he is pain free.

Anxiety can cause migraines via this problem in the back muscles. But poor posture can cause migraines the same way too. My son doesn't have poor posture. He just had anxiety that was causing him to tighten his upper back muscles, which ultimately caused him to get migraines.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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The hormones may or may not be a contributing factor, but I think it's at least a possibility; I, too, got my first migraine somewhere around 15, which seems to be relatively common. I used to lie in a dark room with a cold pack and slowly drink a (regular) Coke. The Coke also helped to settle my stomach. Mine didn't happen very often, thank goodness, and they dropped even more in frequency once I had hit my mid-20s. I'm not sure why, but I'm not complaining! (I still have two or three a year just to remind me of what I'm not missing) Good luck! I'm sure the neurologist appointment can't come soon enough.

Oh, I looked up the Botox for migraine information, and here's something on it from the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/health/16drug.html
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