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    Old 02-15-2004, 11:07 AM   #1
    Alayna
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    Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Hi,
    My husband has had a constant headache now for 3 yrs.
    It has been hell.
    He had tried everything, and we are $20000 as a result. We have seen many specialists, and in the end analysis, they did not want to help him, because they certainly felt their own inadequacy when he was in their office.
    The first 9 months were the worst. By the end of every day, he had a full blown migraine, that was completly untreatable. He has been given every narcotic, some, like anything with codein in it, made it worse. He has taken all manner of herbal treatments, for extended periods of time, to no avail.
    He has had a CT, that showed no anomolies, and has even had lidocain injections directly in the temple.
    We had to start looking at the whole body, not just the head.
    He also suffered from gastric trouble, and had been on renididine (zantac) for quite some time. He had horrible bouts of what seemed like coli-systitis (gall bladder attacks) and he would, well, belch, prolifically.
    I was listening to this burping one day, and I noticed that the burps were getting bigger, not smaller, as you'd suspect, when someone is letting go off excess gas. I thought if a mental picture of bread dough rising, producing air bubbles. My next thought was, hey, what makes bread rise in the first place? Yeast. Then my mind was flying at a thousand miles an hour, excess yeast causes toxins in the body. Any female who has had a yeast infection knows how painful this can be. Well, what if the toxins from the yeast were causing not only the belching, but the headaches!
    I did a quick google, asking if yeast was related to migraine, and bang, a thousand hits or more.
    I flew to my van, and went to the health food store, asking what they had to kill yeast. I got Candida, grapefruit seed extract, caprilic acid oil, oregano capsules, and we imediatly cut out any and all sugar, flour, rice, pasta, dressings like salad dressing, ketchup, mustard, and also anything with vinegar, anything that has undergone a fermentation process or has been aged, in esssence, anything good! (lol, sorry, gotta laugh or we'd cry) We also added more salmon, and ate only low glycemic fruits and veggies.
    The effect, while not imediate, was felt, as the end of the day migraines stopped entirly, leaving only the dull pain that marked the beginning of each day, but at least it was getting no more intense. As an added side effect, he was able to get off the zantac entirely, and has had no more gastric episodes. If he eats very strictly, the headach is barely perceptable. If he has one bowl of high glycemic anything, he develops a migraine within the hour. One would think this would be enough of a deterent, but he really likes his mom's peach pie!
    We also had to look at other factors, other than dietary. That being allergies, and environmental toxins. Working downtown, on a street level, smogged out street has got to be a factor. And we are only now dicovering the effect of sitting in front of a computer screen all day. But aside from chucking it all and moving up to the wild north of Saskatchewan, I'm not sure what more to do.

    I hope this can be of some help to someone. It might seem worse than the headache, to some people, but it was the only thing that even remotly helped my husband. If anyone has any more sugestions on how to help the constant dull pain, I'd love suggestions. Alana

     
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    Old 02-16-2004, 11:40 AM   #2
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Hi Alayna, I must be brief at the moment but I had suffered horrible tension type/migraines for 7 months straight with no relief. I have read of people having success adding essential fats to their diet. The salmon contains omega 3 fatty-acids. You can use fish oil pills too. My favorite brand at the moment is the NOW brand as it is a fish oil concentrate and supposed to be a good manufacturer/company. I use the Super EPA. Flax seed oil is another good fat that can be helpful for headaches. I went to alot of Dr.'s before finding the one who could help. For that 7 months all I did was research headaches. I had an MRI to look for tumor and then an MRA to see if I had an aneurysm maybe pressing on a nerve. The latter test I insisted on after getting paraniod from all the reading and researching I had done. I can tell you that I had to go cold turkey on anything that helped the pain, painkillers, aspirin, ibuprofen. Aleve is supposed to be the safest one in that it is least likely to cause rebound headaches. Going cold turkey helped to break the cycle. I also developed panic attacks and anxiety from the experience and that had to be treated too. I was prescribed Tofranil PM and Xanax which helped alot. I was hospitalized overnight but the program I was on usually lasts about a week. I left because I have a phobia of Hospital and I was afraid of taking new medications. I can tell you my first night their off of anything to mask the pain was hell. I was literally wrapped in blankets with withdrawal symptoms like I was a junky. They were going to use DHE 45 which has been shown to break a constant headache giving relief for up to months at a time and allowing new meds, diet, biofeedback, etc. to start working. My Dr. is Mathew T Ninan and he for intensive purposes saved my lifet. I will check in again. Tony

     
    Old 02-19-2004, 01:33 PM   #3
    Alayna
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Thank you for your reply.
    Over the last 3 yrs, we have discovered much about headaches and their causes. My understanding of why diet was the most sucessful thing to date was that his attacks were as a result of an excess of yeast.
    We tried the fatty acid route and the flax seed oil for more than a year, and no luck.
    We are now trying the 'cold turkey' route as you had said, and it is very difficult. Right now he is upstairs suffering horribly.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but am losing hope. Alayna

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tony1
    Hi Alayna, I must be brief at the moment but I had suffered horrible tension type/migraines for 7 months straight with no relief. I have read of people having success adding essential fats to their diet. The salmon contains omega 3 fatty-acids. You can use fish oil pills too. My favorite brand at the moment is the NOW brand as it is a fish oil concentrate and supposed to be a good manufacturer/company. I use the Super EPA. Flax seed oil is another good fat that can be helpful for headaches. I went to alot of Dr.'s before finding the one who could help. For that 7 months all I did was research headaches. I had an MRI to look for tumor and then an MRA to see if I had an aneurysm maybe pressing on a nerve. The latter test I insisted on after getting paraniod from all the reading and researching I had done. I can tell you that I had to go cold turkey on anything that helped the pain, painkillers, aspirin, ibuprofen. Aleve is supposed to be the safest one in that it is least likely to cause rebound headaches. Going cold turkey helped to break the cycle. I also developed panic attacks and anxiety from the experience and that had to be treated too. I was prescribed Tofranil PM and Xanax which helped alot. I was hospitalized overnight but the program I was on usually lasts about a week. I left because I have a phobia of Hospital and I was afraid of taking new medications. I can tell you my first night their off of anything to mask the pain was hell. I was literally wrapped in blankets with withdrawal symptoms like I was a junky. They were going to use DHE 45 which has been shown to break a constant headache giving relief for up to months at a time and allowing new meds, diet, biofeedback, etc. to start working. My Dr. is Mathew T Ninan and he for intensive purposes saved my lifet. I will check in again. Tony

     
    Old 02-19-2004, 01:35 PM   #4
    Alayna
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Thank you for your reply.
    Over the last 3 yrs, we have discovered much about headaches and their causes. My understanding of why diet was the most sucessful thing to date was that his attacks were as a result of an excess of yeast.
    We tried the fatty acid route and the flax seed oil for more than a year, and no luck.
    We are now trying the 'cold turkey' route as you had said, and it is very difficult. Right now he is upstairs suffering horribly.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but am losing hope. Alayna

     
    Old 02-20-2004, 12:39 PM   #5
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    I know that stopping pain meds to break the cycle was very important. And yes I remember how mad it was but its really worth it. If you have a constant headache the meds only help lessen the pain temporarily, at least for me. When I first stopped I got super bad ones at the same time every night and I would just sit a rock and stare at myself in the mirror. It was incredibly sad. Again if you use anything something like aleve is what I was would be best to reduce rebound headaches. Have you asked about intravenous DHE 45 to break the cycle?

     
    Old 02-20-2004, 12:45 PM   #6
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Is he having lots of anxiety? My anxiety and stress were through the roof and so xanax was part of my regime to beat them. Keep hope. I began to think about suicide as my only hope for relief but light at the end of the tunnel could just be around the corner for him. I am infact having problems with chronic chest tightness and pressure along with panic attacks and anxiety again. Seeing internist and cardiologist now but it's like deja vu with the my chest instead of my head. I am also having some recurrent bad headaches. I am sure you have read everybook out there on headaches too and there are some really good Dr.'s out there but you might want to look into Dr. Nina T. Mathew. I have come across people from across the country in his waiting room during checkups.

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 08:44 AM   #7
    Alayna
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    I ended up taking him to the ER. They gave him a few things, that helped. The drugs he has to get off of are tylenol, and caffine. He took both of those everyday, and like you said, it would help, a little, but without them, it's hell.
    My question is, if Doctors know this, then WHY THE HECK DIDN'T THEY TELL US!!!! We had no idea that taking 6 tylenol a day could cause rebound headaches! Had we known this, we could have been saved years of agony!
    We just discovered this, and the other night in the ER I brought it up to the Dr, and all he said was, ya I thought that might be it. I was livid. How many other dr's have thought it, but never shared that bit of info?
    Sorry, I'm mad right now.
    We will try the aleve, but what is DHE 45? I'm interested to know. Thanks for your help. I've got more help in 3 days here than the 3 yrs in doctor's offices! Alayna

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tony1
    I know that stopping pain meds to break the cycle was very important. And yes I remember how mad it was but its really worth it. If you have a constant headache the meds only help lessen the pain temporarily, at least for me. When I first stopped I got super bad ones at the same time every night and I would just sit a rock and stare at myself in the mirror. It was incredibly sad. Again if you use anything something like aleve is what I was would be best to reduce rebound headaches. Have you asked about intravenous DHE 45 to break the cycle?

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 11:28 PM   #8
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    DHE 45 is diydroergotamine. "Injectable DHE-45 is also used for the treatment of status migraine (a prolonged and severe attack lasting for multiple days). It is given by slow intravenous injection with an anti-nausea medication and can be repeated every eight hours. Some patients may require up to nine doses." I know when I was hospitalized this is what they were using to help break the headache. I believe they may have a few others they use now too. Nothing will work without detoxing all pain relievers whether they are over the counter or prescribed. I can't stress this enough. When I say try eleve this is because I was told this was the safest pain reducer. I would use 3 when I had a bad headache with some xanax to combat the stress of the headache. But I wouldn't use this everyday either. Infact I wouldn't use the aleve until after detox. After I started breaking the cycle if I got a bad one I would use the aleve but not until then. I remember after I left the hospital after detoxing I had bad headaches everyday still. At the time I had a phobia of medications and was even too afraid to have the dhe treatment in the hospital even as bad as I was. One night it was so bad that my wife took me to the hospital emergency room where Dr. Mathew treats patients. I couldn't take it anymore and thought I would go to the hospital and see if they would start me on some dhe 45. They wouldn't put me on it and a nurse came into the room with a syringe of something to help with the pain. I asked her if it was a pain killer of some sort and she said no and told me it was something (can't remember the name). I said no thanks because I was still going cold turkey on anything to help the pain and I was on something like day 5 of my journey through hell. My parents had shown up at the ER and they were ****** I refused the shot to help with my headache along with my wife. I went home and looked up the med and found out it was a pain med of some sort and I let my family know if I had taken the shot I would have had to start all over with the detox. But that is how it has to be done. Stay clear of any Dr. that doesn't know what a rebound headache is and how it is caused. Again just as it states on the web site for the Houston headache clinic, no treatment will work without detoxing from the meds that are causing the chronic headache.

    Last edited by Tony1; 02-22-2004 at 11:29 PM.

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 11:51 PM   #9
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Alayna, what medications is your husband using for his headaches? Especially what preventive? I use Imipramine (tofranil) as a preventative. If I get a bad one I use Aleve. Aleve is Naproxen which is also a prescription medication. When I first came out of the hospital my dr. wanted me to use Propranolol too but being a medication phobic I was too scared to use that one. Usually you have to break the cycle of the headache and use a preventative med at the same time. "Rebound headache generally has the following clinical characteristics:" Taken from the internet.

    chronic daily headache for at least six months;
    medication gives only transient or partial relief;
    headache is present upon waking;
    no medical cause (i.e., hypertension, sinusitis, etc.) for the headache;
    history of taking prescription or nonprescription pain relievers daily or almost daily, contrary to directions on the warning labels;
    with overuse of medications, the headache "rebounds" as the last dose wears off, leading to a cycle of taking more and more medication.

    Try finding articles by Dr. Ninan T. Mathew or Mathew NT (both the same person) on the web. Searching Mathew NT may pull up more articles. His specialty is chronic headaches and rebound headaches.

    Last edited by Tony1; 02-22-2004 at 11:51 PM.

     
    Old 02-23-2004, 12:04 AM   #10
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Try doing searches on chronic daily headaches, rebound headaches, status migranous (sp), intractable migraine. I found a good article going on the use of dhe 45 for status migranous but it was on an Aetna site and I have been banned before because a link I posted pertaining to health also had items for sale so I can't post it.

     
    Old 02-23-2004, 05:31 AM   #11
    zip2play
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Alayna,

    I have gotten remarkable results with ergotamine to stop cluster headaches that were blindingly, screamingly, and frantically painful.

    I've never done the intravenous but the pills worked in short order (but not without very spacey side effects....worth it though!)


    Has your husband ever been on daily Sansert (methysergide). My sister took it for years and it stopped her daily migraines very well.
    This drug also stops my headaches after they've started but the extra-pyramidal side effects are just too much for me....Both methysergide and ergot compounds are one step removed from LSD and FEEL like it!
    But ANY side effects are tolerable if they prevent me from thowing myself in front of an oncoming subway!

    From my plain vanilla "migraines"...the kind that need dark and quiet... I find that Inderal (propranolol) 80 mg. taken IMMEDIATELY at the onset (or even at the first twinkle of aura) can often block the headache!

    Three years of pain is so awful for your husband. Were you without insurance so that the bills ran so high????

    Last edited by zip2play; 02-23-2004 at 05:33 AM.

     
    Old 02-24-2004, 08:43 PM   #12
    Alayna
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Darin is currently on Naproxen, ( I wasn't aware that it is also Aleve) But since he has had stomach troubles in the past, he can only take it sparingly. He was, up until now, controlling it only with the use of Tylenol, and Ibprophen, along with Candida, and Grapefruit seed extract as well as diet. Interestingly enough, as soon as we cut sugar, all aged and feremented stuff, and ate very low glycemic whole foods, the migraines went away for quite some time. But then he got lax with the food, and gradually added back more tylenol, to make up for eating the odd sugary thing, and the migraines came back. The constant dull pervasive pain, however, never ever really left. It was there, like you had said, upon awakening, and got worse all day.
    The dry winter months are the worst. I'm not sure why, and my theories aren't tested.
    He never took narcotics, unless the pain was unbearable, which it has been recently. When in the ER he was given Torodol, and maxeran for nausea. It helped a bit.
    Aside from this, I also beleive that weaning is best, and we have started. When he went cold turkey last Sat, it was a nightmare, so he's chosen to go off more slowly, but the tylenol is GONE. Now for coffee, ibprophen, and next is to switch anti-depressants that aren't as hard on the liver. (He's on wellbutrin, and we thought this might have started the headaches, and I think it's a factor, but his depression is too severe without them to stop suddenly)

    I want to thank you very much for your input. Any other thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Alayna

     
    Old 02-24-2004, 09:07 PM   #13
    Alayna
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Dear Zip, is it?
    Thank you for your post. He has never tried an ergotimine type of drug, but it is worth looking into. We live in Canada, so the physician's care was at least covered, but the drugs, and the hundreds of herbal remedies were NOT. Not to mention lost wages, from days of missed work, long past sick days, ( he even took extended sick leave for a month at reduced pay) And having to look after him instead of the household, cooking, kids, etc took there toll financially. Three years has been an awfully long time. My son, who is 2, has never known his dad without a headache.
    The migraines, it seems, are the more controllable form of headache, albeit the most unkind. It is the constant dull pain that has really taken it out of him. And now I find that it is rebound headache, and the tylenol and ibprophen, 3 cups of coffee a day and his antidepressant are the culprits. But now, to cut it all off is unbearably painful, as they were helping, to an extent, but also causing the pain.
    My little theory, (and it is only my theory) is that because he is alcoholic (sober nearly 10 yrs) he has a compromised liver. He ate sugar like mad, and he thought he could, being natually thin. He and his family has a natural tendancy towards yeast growth. He had a few cases of a thrush like yeast mouth infection, and persistant stomach gas problems, that I now thing were as a direct result the yeast growing, and releasing gasses, like it does to make bread dough rise. He just kept feeding it, and taking things like zantac, for the gas, which only masked the actual problems that the yeast were causing. So, mask the early warning signs, for long enough, and there was an explosion of toxins released into his body, because his poor liver could only clean out so much at a time, and the toxins were shunted up to his brain. So, on comes the reams of drugs, all of which, by the way, your liver has to deal with, and we wondered why his troubles were getting worse, and not better. Through sheer dumb luck and reading, I found a link for yeast and migraines, along with a list of other symptoms that mirrored his, and we cut all sugar, refined white anything, high sugar fruits and veggies, and also cut anything known to produce migraines, ie, vinegar, cotton seed oil(which is in EVERYTHING!) anything aged or fermented, peanuts, etc. We lived very sparsly, and still do. Whole cuts of meat, vegies, fruits, etc, are all we really eat. I also ran to the healthfood store and got anything that was supposed to reduce yeast. The headaches reduced within a week. He reported only the dullest of pain, but that never left.
    He had cut his yeast/toxin production by a huge margin, but was still taking things that stressed his liver out, ie, tylenol, welbutrin. It is what is known as the rain barrel effect. Once it starts to overflow, it takes alot to get it empty again, if at all possible. So now, we have, what I beleive to be the final peices of the puzzle. Remove all liver damaging/stressing drugs, and only treat the occasional migraine, which I also think is due in part to environment/smog. Toxins are toxins, right?
    I also believe that the reasons that the doctors really couldn't help, is becuase every dr we went to, only looked at one part of his body. The neurosurgeon looked at his head only, the allergist only looked at his blood, the gastrologist only at the stomach. When are we going to have dr's that can take into account that a whole person is just that, a whole person! That your stomach CAN be related to your head, and so on.
    It only took 3 yrs to figure this all out. ( add defeated head shake here) This is only my opinion. I can back up none of it with any science, other than what I have peiced together from 3 yrs of reading.
    Thanks again. Alayna

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    Alayna,

    I have gotten remarkable results with ergotamine to stop cluster headaches that were blindingly, screamingly, and frantically painful.

    I've never done the intravenous but the pills worked in short order (but not without very spacey side effects....worth it though!)


    Has your husband ever been on daily Sansert (methysergide). My sister took it for years and it stopped her daily migraines very well.
    This drug also stops my headaches after they've started but the extra-pyramidal side effects are just too much for me....Both methysergide and ergot compounds are one step removed from LSD and FEEL like it!
    But ANY side effects are tolerable if they prevent me from thowing myself in front of an oncoming subway!

    From my plain vanilla "migraines"...the kind that need dark and quiet... I find that Inderal (propranolol) 80 mg. taken IMMEDIATELY at the onset (or even at the first twinkle of aura) can often block the headache!

    Three years of pain is so awful for your husband. Were you without insurance so that the bills ran so high????

     
    Old 02-24-2004, 10:34 PM   #14
    Tony1
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Has your husband every considered imipramine or elavil for the headaches? The tricyclics are supposed to be good as preventatives. I have found that imipramine worked better for me but it might also help with depression at the same time.

     
    Old 02-25-2004, 05:57 AM   #15
    bamboodoug
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    Re: Headache for 3 yrs and counting

    Have you tried benadryl injections?

    I have chronic migraine problems, and intramuscular benadryl injections really helped me. I give them to myself at home, of course through a script from my neurologist.

    -doug

     
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