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MS, Menstrual Cycle and Migraines

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Old 05-15-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
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MS, Menstrual Cycle and Migraines

Sorry "guys" but if you have a gal with MS then you may deal with these symptoms as well and I have searched posts in this forum for hours and not found any new posts on this that date newer than that a few years. I have been MS diagnosed since 2004 and started having daily migraines about 3 years ago. Those have been brought under control quite well but find them brought on during my monthly cycle. I have found as the years go by that my fatigue and weakness get harder and harder to deal with and I struggle to get through my days starting about 3 days ahead and about 2 - 3 days in. This month I was railroaded with my migraine for 4 days and they seem now to come with my monthly cycle. Doc says they are not MS related but I was in a flair when they started as they did an MRI at the time since they lasted for 3 months straight. I switched neurologists during that time as I was getting little to no answers and when the new doc looked at my MRI's he said, I would usually do a spinal tap but after looking at your past and current MRI's I have no doubt about your diagnosis and will not put you through that. I still work full time and struggle daily. I have stepped down from my supervisory position and taken a $6 an hr pay check cut having to file for bankruptcy (stupid for being in so much debt but that is another story) my husband is disabled (17yrs) from a motorcycle accident so I have been the bread winner and have tried to push myself through so many things. I struggle with depression but don't say anything any more because I don't like depression meds. They zombie me and most of them come with weight gain. I have recently taken off 40lbs and am at a healthy weight. Weight gain will only cause more depression. This is being about more than I posted so I will stop. Sorry. New to the site and a little beside myself right now. Thanks.

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Old 05-15-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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Re: MS, Menstrual Cycle and Migraines

Welcome. My wife does not have MS, I do, but she does have problems during her menstrual cycle. For her the pain is best controlled with her favorite dark chocolate. She only need it for 4-5 days each month.

Your depression can lead to MS flare-ups or pseudo-MS symptoms. I am sorry to hear of your husband's predicament. I am disabled and we live on my disability income only (SSDI). Income does not go far in Wichita as it does here in the Kansas sticks.

If your MS becomes debilitating, you might need to consider SSDI. For me, I could no longer assume the pressures of a general manager and the SSDI second life brought a great deal of relief. I will keep you in my prayers.
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><

Old 05-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: MS, Menstrual Cycle and Migraines

Hi LBWalker,

It is not uncommon for hormonal fluctuations to temporarily increase MS symptoms. This is not only seen in MS but those with other neurological conditions. As you have already found out, migraines can become worse or triggered by hormonal fluctuations and those with seizures notice more activity during that time.

I was diagnosed when I was 24 years old, I am now 50 and have found the older I get the more hormaonal fluctuations effect the MS (temporarily). I am actually looking forward to the end of my cycles.
Dx RRMS 1985
5/9/13/ Secondary Progressive without Progression

Old 05-15-2011, 04:31 PM   #4
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Re: MS, Menstrual Cycle and Migraines

Hi LBwalker,
Ill add that I too, have noticed an increase in symptoms around my cycle. I have had some extreme problems with my cycle ever since going on a clinical trial almost 3 years ago for Estrogen. My gyn believes the high amounts of estrogen are finally out of my system; however the trouble continues. Migranes are a part of my life as well.

We have tried a nasal spray called Migranol, which really seems to help, unfortunately you have to use it at the onset of the headache, and i am not always aware that one is coming. If I wait until its full blown, its too late. Then, I resort to one of the OTC migrane pills and wait for it to pass. Because I work in sales and am often on the road, I spend my life trying to "get home" and "lay down" often enough due to these headaches.

You are not alone! Cycles seem to affect all of in different ways- before the headaches started, I always felt less balanced, both physically and cognitively when it was "that time" and I also have additional pain in my already compromised hands and fingers. I kind of had to learn to live with it, but like Snoopy said, wait anxiously for the day when my hormones no longer control my life!

Your not alone! Feel better!
RRMS- dx 05

Old 05-18-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: MS, Menstrual Cycle and Migraines

I am so grateful to all of your posts, hopes, thoughts and prayers. I actually have consideres disability but I have heard it is much more difficult to get at my age than if I were older. I have come to realize the last few days that although the pain subsided the fatigue led to depression and I am finding it difficult to break this cycle. I have a friend who scolds me when he see's me talk this way (he as PPMS) and that just makes it worse because he is so much worse off than me, physically, but the fatigue and depression are debilitating (sp). I was finally able to tell my husband this evening I was depressed. That is very difficult to admit to. Giving up my insurance would be hard as well.

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