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-   -   Ideas to help with migraine? (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/general-health-medical-issues/799349-ideas-help-migraine.html)

fiddlejen 03-13-2013 09:50 AM

Ideas to help with migraine?
I am susceptible to (relatively mild) migraines. I don't get them too often, unless something sets them off.

(Thankfully, as migraines go they're relatively mild. Flashing lights & blind spots, then mostly just headache. It ranges from aggravating to painful, but, it's Not debilitating.)

When I'm Not doing low-carb, these headaches are easy to deal with. They will usually go away when I combine some headache medicine (like excedrin or butalbital) with some high-carb, non-healthy foods (sugar plus starch--ie, cookes or cake).

UNfortunately, without the starches, headache medicine by itself lessens but doesn't seem to actually end a migraine-cycle. I've had this one for about 36 hours. Right now it's only at the "very aggravating" level, but it's definitely not ignorable.

I had been hoping to stick to the induction-level Low Carb for a while.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for getting rid of Migraine without going higher-carb?

inspiration 03-13-2013 10:03 AM

i'm not sure what your water intake per day is.. but I drink about 3 to 3.5 liters per day which is about 100 - 120 oz per day and that seemed to help me now I rarely if ever get them and I am still in the induction phase as well.

Annabel Lee 03-13-2013 10:06 AM

I am in the same boat!
I have suffered with migraines for years and I know what you are saying about carbs making them feel better, but I really believe the carbs are really part of the vicious cycle.
I have found that if I take Advil Liquid-Gels the moment I think I am getting a migraine, the headache never develops into full blown misery.
The Liquid-Gels get in to your system much faster and that is important when it comes to migraines.
I had some bad headache during induction but now I hardly ever get them.
I hope this is helpful.

Annabel Lee 03-13-2013 10:08 AM


Originally Posted by inspiration (Post 16313686)
i'm not sure what your water intake per day is.. but I drink about 3 to 3.5 liters per day which is about 100 - 120 oz per day and that seemed to help me now I rarely if ever get them and I am still in the induction phase as well.

I agree getting enough water is important.....so is making sure you are getting enough salt. I found broth very helpful.

DD80 03-13-2013 11:14 AM

Plenty of water, massage (to loosen up neck/shoulder muscles), a good pillow, and caffiene help me with my migraines.

I also have imitrex if they get really bad, but I only take if it is terrible.

Otherwise, ice on the back of my neck, dark room, sleep.

Clueless 03-13-2013 11:21 AM

A big ole does of calcium and magnesiums gets rid of mine almost every time. I get them exactly like you described. When the visual symptoms start, I hit the cacium and magnesium, I take 3000 to 4000mg calcium and at least 400 mg of Magnesuim.

reddarin 03-13-2013 11:33 AM

Are you gluten-free and wheat-free?

ravenrose 03-13-2013 12:56 PM

I had AWFUL migraines before menopause. one big advantage of getting older people rarely mention!

Midrin is a blessing for me. very good.

also, surprisingly, a little exercise often helped when I was seriously low carbing and couldn't eat carbs. I guess it causes the release of glycogen, such as it is, from the muscles? anyway, nothing too vigorous--a walk, say.

fiddlejen 03-13-2013 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by Clueless (Post 16313859)
A big ole does of calcium and magnesiums gets rid of mine almost every time. I get them exactly like you described. When the visual symptoms start, I hit the cacium and magnesium, I take 3000 to 4000mg calcium and at least 400 mg of Magnesuim.

I bet this is the answer I was looking for!!

(Unfortunately, I did not read this answer in time before I needed to leave. I caved in, and had a pak of belvita crackers. So I'll go back to the Intermittent Fasting right away, and see whether I can hopefully once again slide easily from that back into strict low-carb.)

And I can still feel this migraine trying to come through. I'm gonna try the calc-mag. I always have it on hand, but I haven't used any this week.

fiddlejen 03-13-2013 04:48 PM


Originally Posted by reddarin (Post 16313879)
Are you gluten-free and wheat-free?

Only when I'm carb-free. Which, atp, now I'm not. (I did not see the post about trying calc-mag until I had already caved in.)

I actually have less problems from wheat, than from almost any other grain. And potatoes are nightshades. And as for nutmeals -- well, nuts are active migraine triggers. (Specifically, I believe it was one stupid spoonful of almond butter that triggered this one!)

lc-chica 03-13-2013 05:24 PM

Magnesium glycinate. If you are taking magnesium for migraine, make sure you take a well absorbed form, not oxide. Something like citrate, gluconate, glycinate.

I prefer glycinate, and I take very high doses when I have a migraine. Otherwise I take 500 mg daily. It works, but not always. I guess it depends if the lack of magnesium is the reason for the migraine.

I don't like excedrin but I do recommend a migraine abortive (like Maxalt) or even just some advil (since you state your migraines are mild) PLUS caffeine. Something very strong. No sugar or starch needed :) However I know what you mean, I often get the feeling that I need carbs to "absorb" the migraine, as odd as that sounds, it's how I feel. But coming from a chronic migraine sufferer, strong coffee + pain killers works a lot better. Plus rest if you can. Excedrin does contain caffeine but I find my own combo works better, plus it's easier with excedrin to get rebound headaches.

The only thing that has worked as a preventative for me is bio identical progesterone. But that's another story.

Hope you feel better!

fiddlejen 03-13-2013 08:04 PM

Oh wow, I think the cal-mag fizzy-drink did the trick!!

At the very least, it's taken away most--or maybe, all--of the migraine right now. Within a pretty short time of drinking it!! IF it returns tomorrow I'll repeat the same thing, but I'm actually really hopeful that this may have taken care of it entirely.

Thank you Clueless, so much!, for the suggestion! :)

saltnpepper 03-14-2013 05:17 AM

Thanks for all the infor here. I too suffer from migraines. I cut all gluten 2 yrs a go, and that helped. BUT I still get them, not as often.

I too had one yesterday, I'm deep in TX, and wonder if the weather plays a part?

I had all the symptons, but did not remember to drink broth, or anything..... I usually use otc migraine type medications. BUT I now suffer from ringing in the ears all the time(tinnitus). I went to a ent dr and he said cut all caffeine, I told him I took migraine meds, and they all contain caffeine. He said well you'll find something else.

I have not found anything else. Just wondered if anyone had any suggestions or if you had the same problem?

Also, what do you do on a daily basis to prevent migraines. tia


baileygirl3 03-14-2013 07:58 AM

Hi, I am a migraine sufferer. I am on a preventative called Topamax. It has really helped me, but be forewarned that some people can't take, it has a lots of side effects that bother people. I have been lucky and can handle it verses the migraines. Good luck to you.

lc-chica 03-16-2013 12:21 PM

Giving up caffeine might help. Most OTC "migraine" medications contain caffeine, that is true. You would have to try a plain advil or something - aleve, etc.

You would probably have to change to an Rx like Maxalt or Imitrex.

As far as daily preventatives, there is Topamax (was already mentioned) but I am not a fan for many reasons :) There is also Inderal which is a beta blocker, and I was on that for years and it works very well for migraines (not long term though, as most preventatives don't). But Inderal causes blood sugar problems in many people.

Could also try herbs or vitamins... daily magnesium, the herb feverfew, butterbur, etc. I have tried pretty much everything. Progesterone was my fix.

You can also try reading Heal Your Headache the 123 Approach

You can discuss your options with your dr (either pcp or a neurologist) it doesn't sound like your ent is very helpful in this aspect so I would talk to a PCP.

saltnpepper 03-16-2013 02:27 PM

Thanks baileygirl3 and lc-chica. I have not heard of Topamax, but I hate side effects.......I might have to decide the lesser evil???

I had another migraine late Fri, so I called an made a appointment with my pcp for next week. Hopefully he can help me with something. Fri I did remember to drink plenty of water, broth, and mag/cal. The only thing that got it under control was otc migraine medication with aspirin and caffeine. Both I'm told make tinnitus worse. :dunno:

I've used feverfew it did not work, for me, as I have hay fever. Progesterone, that's interesting. Maybe that's what I need. Thanks for all the suggestions.


Also our humidity is very high.....I'm wondering if that is part of the problem.

lc-chica 03-17-2013 11:25 AM

It's just me but I would go on Inderal before Topomax. There are other things as well, like amitryptaline and nortriptaline, and also periactin (this is often prescribed to children with headaches but it's not always successful, however it is probably the best med as far as side effects go). The reason many dr's like Topamax is because it often helps weight loss, but it's usually pretty minor, and in the medical field they call this drug "dopamax" because it makes people dopey. Sorry I am not trying to discourage anyone, and if it works for some without side effects, that's great. But I always like to research things before I take them.. I have been on topamax btw when I was in high school. I went from top of my class to almost flunking, so you get my drift ;)

Hope your PCP can help! If you are interested in reading up on this stuff, I would recommend some Hormonal books (if you think it could be your hormones) like The Miracle of Bioidentical Hormones, Natural Hormone Balance (Uzzi Reiss), and Hormone Balance Made Simple (John Lee).

Coq10 is something else you might want to take. It's great for many things, and my neurologist has me on it for my migraines. Also avoid artificial sweeteners (splenda and aspartame are known to give me migraines). I avoid all of them, I use stevia and erythritol.

Also be careful not to take pain killers too often. There is a rule I follow. You can take any pain killer (otc) for 1-2 days (2 days max) in a row. Then you must have 5 days OFF no pain killers at all before you can take one again. It doesn't matter if you only take it one day or 2 days, you cannot have it for 5 days after taking it. So if you have it one day, then you feel like you need it again two days later, you can't have it lol. 2 days in a row is fine, then 5 days off. Hope I am making sense. I found this info online and it worked for me. If you follow that, you can avoid or eliminate rebound headaches, which I also dealt with.

just some tips :)

fiddlejen 03-18-2013 10:03 PM

Saltnpepper -
If you are taking a Lot of otc headache medicine (even if you stick to the label directions) the aspirin might be causing the tinnitus. Taking aspirin for an while can do that.

Also the tylenol in the otc medicine can cause "rebound" headaches when it wears off, so you then have to take more of the same medicine... vicious cycle!

fiddlejen 03-18-2013 10:07 PM

Also, Saltnpepper -

Are you aware of migraine trigger foods?

Migraine sufferers can have some triggers that might be unique to themselves, but some are very common. Most migraine trigger foods have high levels of an amino acid called Tyramine:

-Hard and/or aged cheeses
-Red Wine
-Anything fermented
-Any cured meats (like deli meats, hard sausages, bacon)
-Aspartame (Nutra-Sweet)
-MSG (monosodium glutamate)

This is a lot of stuff to avoid, but, a lot of it is negotiable. Don't eat any of this stuff if you're trying to get a migraine to go away. But at other times, moderation with most of the triggers may be all that is needed.

saltnpepper 03-19-2013 05:08 AM

Thanks fiddlejen and lc-chica for your helpful ideals/suggestions.

I have "fought" migraines most of my life, at least 30 yrs. I've done the food thing, and stuck with it, but maybe something has changed. I should journal my food again.

I got so tired of my dr acting like it was nothing I just gave up about 10 yrs ago. Now I'm trying to work for a cpa, and I can't afford to have a migraine every week. Plus I think they are getting worse, but my stress level is more now also. So hopefully as I tackle this yet again, I can get some relief.

Thanks again for your help.


saltnpepper 03-19-2013 05:11 AM


If you are taking a Lot of otc headache medicine (even if you stick to the label directions) the aspirin might be causing the tinnitus. Taking aspirin for an while can do that.
I just found this out, about 3 mos ago, here. I had no ideal.

I do try to very careful, but I did not know. So going back to a dr, and see if I can get something without aspirin, or caffeine. I have also learned there is no cure for tinnitus. :sad:

fiddlejen 03-19-2013 10:04 AM

I used to do medical transcription for a neurology office. They treated migraine patients all the time. IF you haven't been to a neurologist for the migraines previously, you might want to try that. Neurologists typically will take migraines seriously, & can work with you to find a treatment that works.

saltnpepper 03-20-2013 07:28 AM

Just an update, went to my pcp yesterday. (New one) he put me on Imitrex 50 (pills), as needed. He was nice and at least listened. He ordered a CT, for next week. So at least I'm on the road for help. Hopefully. I'm still drinking my broth and drinking my fizzy mag/cal.

Again, many thanks.

fiddlejen, no I've never seen a neurologist, that is a great advice. Thanks.


lc-chica 03-20-2013 10:56 AM

Great! That is a start.

Imitrex will help the pain once you have a migraine. Just make sure not to take it too often (I'm sure your dr. discussed this with you).

If you continue to get frequent migraines, you will probably need something to prevent them, which a neurologist or your PCP (if he is familiar with this) can help you with.

I work for a dr who is a PCP and patients are often much happier with his treatments for migraines than our local neurologist, so it really depends on the dr. However if you go to a well known neurologist, they can certainly help you.

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