Dieting with Obstacles - Weight Loss and Migraines

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10-26-2009, 08:48 PM
Anyone else here suffer from migraines? I've basically had a migraine since mid January 2008. It's never truely gone away, just bounces around from dealable to debilitating. From January 08 to May 08 I was stuck in bed in a dark room doing practically nothing. Yeah, I've gone to many Drs., tried all kinds of meds...topomax, depokote, imitrex, treximet, maxalt, migranal, frova, prescription naproxen, herbal cocktails, ect., ect. For now frova and naproxen is keeping me out of bed.

Exercise is very difficult. It always intensified the pain. Anyway, I'm not here to complain or wine about my head. LOL Just wondering if there are others in my shoes?

So glad I found this place!!!! ;)

10-26-2009, 09:00 PM
Hi, Heyaim:

I am a migraine sufferer as well, but nothing as severe as what you are describing. I maybe get 5 to 6 a month and they are controllable by medication (relpax). I think the number I get may actually be decreasing with weight loss, but it is a bit early to be certain of that.

Sorry to hear about your migraines. I can't imagine what you are going through!


10-26-2009, 09:00 PM
wow, I feel your pain! I'm a chronic migraine sufferer, got really bad and tried all the meds after finishing chemo. Turned out my issue was that the chemo changed/disrupted my sleep. Started taking melatonin (high doses) instead of ambien and once I started sleeping right and eating better the migraines vanished. I usually only get one if I have a night of insomnia or go to bed too late to get a full night's sleep.

10-26-2009, 10:09 PM
I'm a migraine sufferer also, but not nearly as bad as what you are describing. Most times I can deal with them; other times I have to take 1 (or more) imitrex to get it to go away. Imitrex and sleep help me the most.

Since I've begun losing weight, I have had far fewer migraines. I'm not sure what I was reacting to; I suspect it was too much artificial sweetner though I can't be sure. I cut out junk (potato chips, Doritos, candy) around the same time that I stopped having my 2 diet Cokes for breakfast, so I suspect I was getting triggered of something in that group of junky foods and drinks.

I still have them from time to time, but I haven't had a "barfy" one in quite a long time; over a year for sure.

Suzanne 3FC
10-27-2009, 01:02 AM
I'm in the same club. I've had a 24/7 migraine for almost 4 years. It's there nonstop, sometimes I'm lucky and it's a dull pain, most of the time it's severe, and it's frequently debilitating. It wakes me almost every night, after dreaming about hammers to my head and other lovely images :p I go through periods where the pain is so bad I can't string my thoughts together, and can't walk without holding onto things. The headache is always there, but I'm learning more about my triggers that send me over the edge. Artificial sweeteners are the worst. Now I've discovered peanuts affect me. I eat as organic and natural as possible now. I'm on a headache preventative, but it doesn't work and I'm seeing my neurologist to get weaned off of them.

I've accepted that the pain will always be there, and hope I can learn enough about what I eat and what I do that makes them so severe, then work to control the pain naturally without meds. I'd be very interested in hearing more about what all of you find helps in your situations.

Thanks for starting this thread :)

10-27-2009, 02:35 AM
I've had migraines since I was 12. Mine seem to concentrate either on one side of my head above my ear or behind/around one eye. When they started I thought they were due to a recent eye surgery but they switch sides periodically {just to keep me crazy, I think!}. I've tried a few meds but nothing really helped. Plain asprin and sleep seem to work the best. I prefer the asprin to precription/migraine meds because I can take multiple doses as opposed to once every 24 hours. I've tried finding the trigger/s over the years but without much progress. I have had more this past few weeks than I have in a while, but I think I can blame these on the seasons change.

A few years ago I went from a couch potato to a regular exerciser and my migraines deminished in frequency and severity. I never made the connection with sweeteners, etc. That might have been part of it.

10-27-2009, 07:15 AM
Wow! It sucks that there are so many of you!! I've never thought about artificial sweeteners. I rarely ever use reg. sugar. I don't drink any pop. I drink lots of water, hot green tea, coffee occassionally, and beer when we go out with friends. I'm hoping changing my diet to a more natural, healthy way of eating will make a difference with how my head feels.

Suzanne 3FC - I've never heard of anyone else who has 24/7 migraine! That's horrible to go through this for 4 years!! I know exactly what your talking about when you can't put your thoughts/words together. It's the most awful feeling!

Thanks for replying everyone!! I know I can get myself back on track weight-wise. I just need to accept that it may take me a bit longer. Kind of hard to workout when your in pain.

10-27-2009, 01:33 PM
I was diagnosed with epilepsy about seven years ago and in the past few years I've begun to have migraines that grow considerably worse around my period when the seizures are most likely to appear.
I want to say that my migraines have gotten a little easier to deal with after my change in what I eat, I was eating stuff that I shouldn't and drinking a lot of caffeine, my doctor said that these would definitely make migraines worse, but after changing what I eat and exercising more I feel a lot better, they aren't gone, but not as strong.

10-27-2009, 02:12 PM
I would say it is the sweetner. After two years of treatment/searching, found out is was sweetner and of all things...raw onions. How bizzare is that?

10-28-2009, 01:34 AM
I was a migraine sufferer since adolescence. I had jaw surgery last december for my underbite and the headaches have disappeared, my now-harmonious skeletal structure is probably key to that. I am thankful for that now, but I still have memories of blinding pains and migraine-induced vomitting. Cutting back on cheese, chocs and coffee helped for me, which was hard to keep to cos I love all that! I never pooh-pooh someone's migraine problems. *Hugs* to you guys.

10-28-2009, 11:27 AM
Wow! It's fascinating that there are several chronic migraine sufferers here! I thought we were a rarer breed.

Sadly, I think I've got the record so far: 24/7 migraine for 10 years now. Yes, it totally sucks. :dizzy:

10-28-2009, 05:15 PM
Annie, raw onions are also a trigger for me.

South Beach Diet (since May) and Topamax (for 5 weeks) (150 mg/day (50 mg in am and 100mg in pm)) have done wonders for me, I used to get 4 or more migraines a week (all week the week of my period, most of them barfy) and now I'm down to one a week. I had taken Topamax before but it was too expensive. Now it is generic and I can afford it again (grad student married to pastor).

Plus, incredibly, I'm one of the lucky people who have the taste/appetite side effect associated with topamax: I can't stand pop, I'm never hungry, and even when I am hungry, I only want half of what's on my plate. To give you an idea, I have a hard time ensuring I eat a 1200 calorie per day diet, and I've been losing 3-4 pounds a week with diet and exercise the last 5 weeks!

10-31-2009, 04:16 PM
To those who try to deal with the migraines without prescription meds, :wave: I bow to you. There is no way I could handle the headaches without some medication.

There is a trick that I learned and will still employ when I can... Get a large bucket, big enough to put both of your feet into it. Fill it about 3/4 of the way or so with hot water, as hot as you can stand it. Get an ice pack large enough to cover the entire back of your neck.

I recommend lying on the end of your bed, so you can dangle your feet over the edge and lie back at the same time. Put the ice pack on the back of your neck while you have your feet submerged in the hot water.

I have absolutely no idea what the mechanism of this is, but I usually start feeling relief within about 15 minutes or so, and by half an hour there is at least enough relief that I can try to sleep.

10-27-2010, 07:12 AM
Not really sure if this forum is still active. But i've been suffering from migraines forever. Trigger foods I've managed to identify include - chinese food, dark chocolate, red wine and olives. Of course the day before my period is due to start it hits bang on target. Usually unable to function for atleast 10 / 12 hours with severe vomitting etc. Sipping lemonade helps me tremendously.

healthier living since June 2010

10-27-2010, 11:23 AM
I had them quite frequently, and dibilitatingly. I started on CoQ10 and never have one now unless I miss a dose. They were always worse when I diet, until I learned to keep 100% caffeine free.

10-31-2010, 02:42 PM
I am so sorry. I know how painful migraines can be and to have a constant one must be awful. My a frequently caused by stress and weather fronts (change in the pressure). Luckily meds have helped for me (unfortunatly they also make it harder to lose weight). So good luck!

10-31-2010, 02:56 PM
I'm happy to see this thread popped back up! Migraines are very hard to deal with. It is hard for people who don't suffer from them to understand how truly horrible and frightening they are. I feel blessed because mine are not as long as some of yours, although they do last for 5-6 days frequently, and I frequently have to hit up the ER.

I don't respond to Topamax, Imitrex, Amerge etc. I swear I've tried everything and NOTHING works. A chiropractor helps a little. I find that exercise helps bad headaches a little, but obviously, when you're nauseous, vomiting, have vertigo, have tunnel vision etc., exercise is only gonna make it worse!

I typically get 2-3 a month--right around when I ovulate and TOM, and one thrown in there for good measure lol. Every few months, I'll get a doozie that is hard to describe but is so horrible :(
:hugs: to everyone who has migraines

05-22-2011, 10:50 AM
I've had menstrual migraines since I was 15. Cutting out dairy helped, and I know now that I can't have chocolate anywhere near my period - which is when I crave it, naturally. Stabilising blood sugar helps a bit too, especially wholegrains. Unfortunately there aren't any painkillers that I can take that do a thing for the migraines (or much else, come to that). Aromatherapy can sometimes help a bit, basil and lavender oil on the burner. White tiger balm on my forehead can help a bit too, but then there's the risk of accidentally touching my forehead and then touching my eyes or worse, and there was once a nice moment when my partner kissed me on the forehead when I had tiger balm on and he had cracked lips. Normally I just curl up on a heat pad in a dark room and zone out.

Actually, there's one thing I discovered recently that helps a bit as well. The Miracle Ball Method. This involves two balls about the size of a grapefruit, semi-squeezy. You lie on them and do deep breathing and the idea is that it gets your muscles in that area to relax in ways they otherwise wouldn't have. It's the best thing I know for back pain. I only ever use one at a time, so the other is with my neighbour who has problems with chronic headaches. When I get migraine, it's as if someone has flicked a switch and everything from my shoulders upwards has gone into spasm, so relaxing the muscles in my shoulders is always a good thing to do, and with mild migraines may chase them off entirely.

Does anyone else get the stabbing eye pain (left eye for me)? Apparently it's connected to an area around the back of your neck, not that I've found a treatment from that. Very annoying, that part of things.

I've occasionally used ginger if I get nausea with the migraines. I haven't tried ginger capsules or tincture for it yet, though I am now on both to help with poor circulation (started getting freezing cold when I started dieting, which it has completely cured), but I've been known to munch the odd bit of pickled ginger. It's not just the nausea alone, I need to keep eating when I'm migrainous, otherwise it gets worse.

Being on Depo Provera stopped my migraines dead in their tracks, but on the other hand I ended up getting half the symptoms of the menopause at the age 22 from it, and generally feel that it's the most dire contraceptive and shouldn't be in general use any more.

05-22-2011, 01:19 PM
The closest I came to a continuous migraine was one February about 10 years ago when I had 20 migraines in 28 days.

Ginger helps me a lot, and not for it's obvious stomach soothing properties - that's rarely an issue for me. Ginger has some kind of anti-inflammatory effect that really helps me. I drink strong ginger tea (Yogi tea makes a great one) or eat crystallized ginger or sushi ginger while I wait for the Relpax to kick in. During my horrible February, I also started taking ginger capsules every day, and then tapered off once my noggin was under control.

Sparkly Blonde
05-22-2011, 01:28 PM
The chiropractor has become my best friend! I have migraines for one of two reasons - my neck is out of alignment or I've lost a contact lens.

05-22-2011, 01:39 PM
Riddy - interesting that you're doing well with ginger. I believe there's been a bit of research into it for migraines, and isn't there some migraine product out there which combines ginger with feverfew. I'm taking ginger every day at the moment to stop the chilliness that is common with dieting, and I'm hoping that it will generally improve my pain levels. Ask me again in a week or two when I get my period.

For anyone who likes pickled (sushi) ginger, I urge you to make your own. It's dead easy and it tastes out of this world. Google "pickled ginger", I think it's the first recipe that comes up. A good tip is to peel the ginger using the edge of a teaspoon.

10-05-2012, 11:27 AM
Hi everyone, I'm new to this... I've been having very terrible migraines for years now maybe about 10 years and finally my doctor put me on Topamax and Lord do they work.... :D... But these weird tingling sensations that I've been getting on my fingers and toes are very annoying... Ever since I started taking Topamax ( well Topiramate ) I started losing weight insanely... My Doc started me on 3 25mg for 7 days then 2 25mg for 7 more days then 1 25mg for 7 more days all in the morning and then after that i started on 100mg at bedtime. I sleep well, but i don't eat, all i do is drink water and coffee all morning and all afternoon... I've lost 9 lbs in the first month and now im losing a pound a day so a total of 14 lbs... i know this isn't normal.... but i'm loving the no headache and the weightloss... :carrot: :carrot:

10-05-2012, 11:47 AM
Ugh. I get horrible headaches/ migraines especially when my diet changes. It makes it difficult to stay focused and even exercise. It seems lately with the headaches I am extremely exausted, I feel as if I didn't even get any sleep at night.

well Justified2 look on the bright side, at least weight loss is one side effect most people wouldn't mind having! Good luck!