I'm not so sure there is a good place anywhere on earth. Keep in mind that air pressure and humidity as factors for migraines is pure speculation and no definitive study can link conclusively weather as a factor. The cause, I believe and have been researching, is more elementary. A better strategy might be to seek a medication that reduces the migraine storm within the brain. After 17 years of migraines, my wife and I have found the cause of her migraines and can actually reproduce the head pain and subsequent migraines. We presently have a leading headache center seriously interested in our findings. The good news is that my wife seems to be responding very well to a antidepressant called Pamalor (a generic version) that was prescribed by this center. Surprisingly it seems to work at very low dosage of 10mg. Consider this approach and see if it can work for you.
Hi Eddie, thank you so much for the info. I just recently realized that there seems to be a link between stress and my migraines. But I also have noticed that on windy days I tend to have more problems, especially when we lived in the high desert.
I seem to have a lot of triggers. Most of my migraines start in the middle of the night, which makes it hard to pinpoint the trigger, or to take medication in time to get ahead of the pain.
Since I do have major problems with depression, your suggestion about the antidepressant may be something that would work well for me.
Thanks so much again.
You hit a key ingredient of the research - wind. That, combined with some other substances such as humidity or dust create the right combinations to trigger migraines. Keep in mind that migraines are thought to be electrical storms within the brain. The antidepressants appear to help calm the excess electrical activity. You may need to try some different versions to find the right one.
Also, since you moved from the high desert, would you feel comfortable providing a nearby city zipcode from that area and just a couple of dates i.e. day/month/yr that you remember that you had a major migraine. From that information I can give you some general info as to whether your migraines fit the research model. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.
I have been living in the Los Angeles area for the last 16 years. Zip code is 91401. I had the worst migraine I ever had last Sunday. I posted about it earlier - a rather rambling post. It seemed to be brought on by stress, or I guess you could say emotion. I was very upset and explaining to my son about why I was upset, and I got more and more agitated. The pain hit me very suddenly. It also made my neck and back hurt. While waiting in the emergency room I think I had 2 minor seizures. These left me tingling all over and actually made me feel more relaxed and lessened the pain a little. At this point I felt like I could swallow something, and as I wasn't getting any help in the er, so I had my husband take me home and I took a Clonazepam,. That helped the pain somewhat. It was prescribed for my husband when he was having seizures after surgery. It's supposed to control seizures and anxiety.
I took Dramamine once a long time ago for a migraine, and it worked really well. I don't know what gave me the idea, or why I haven't tried it since then, but I am contemplating getting some. My mother used to use them a lot. I never knew why. I just thought they were her "mother's little helper."
I have been getting migraines since before I had ever heard the term "migraine." They were bad when I lived in the high desert, but they have not really improved since I moved down here. But I have noticed that when there is wind, whether here or in the high desert, I am more likely to get some sort of headache or migraine.
I used to get them a couple of times a month. Since menopause they have lessened, but not stopped. I can't stand the idea of ever having another one like Sunday. Maybe the right kind of depression and or anxiety medication will help me.
Thanks for your input.
I have also suffered from migraines since I was about 10 years old. Nothing seemed to work until my doctor finally prescribed sumatriptan. This will knock me out for 1/2 a day or more, but it does make the pain disappear once I'm alert again.
I've lived in a few different places. They started when I was living in the lower mainland in BC, Canada which gets a lot of rain and I attributed the headaches to the weather, but when I moved to Calgary, AB the migraines still came and there is a lot less rain. Both places can get pretty windy though, so possibly there is a bit of a link there. When I moved to Manitoba I continued to get migraines until I was pregnant, and even after a miscarriage, the migraines never returned.
I neglected to mention on a previous post about prodome periods of migraines. The prodrome preceeds the migraine by hours to a day or two. I can always tell when my wife is about to get a migraine as agitation is a hallmark of the prodrome period. I would suspect that the stress and agitation you felt was part of the prodrome.
I ran the historical data for Sunday the 13th. Winds were from the East beginning about 11:00 AM with slightly sustained winds from the East from 1:00 PM through 10:00 PM. Humidity was high through the morning and then again from 3:00PM. So there appears to be enough humidity and air particulates to generate EMF fields although it's on the lower side for the wind. The Easterly and Westerly wind direction seem to be key in our research. So your info does help. If it was a strictly North/South wind, that wouldn't fit our model and would be less likely to contribute to headaches. I thank you for the info.
I hope you don't get anymore migraines but if you do, just post the time it started and I'll plug-in the data again.
Is your wife still saving relief from pamalor for her migraines? Where have you found good doctors? My daughter has had a migraines daily or over 3 years
Pamalor hasn't quite worked out because the side effects (sedation etc) were just to much for her. We have determined that her migraines are triggered because of the wire sutures hold a bone flap together in her head. Apparently flawed sutures were installed back in 1994 when she had brain surgery and unfortunately the infection risk of replacing them is too great. We hope to try neuro biofeedback as soon as she can be approved. By the way, has you daughter had any head injuries such as concussions or contusions? Depending on her age, stress is another factor especially kids in college.
As far as speciality headache practices, it is my opinion that a good well trained Neurologist is just as good as a headache center.
I was diagnosed with Migraines at 5 years old. I've never met anyone who started this young with them. As a kid, it was all food triggerd and I suffered a lot. Today I am 33 and still suffer from them, but not as often. Hormones seem to play a role, as I have been using hormone cream to stabelize my levels. I'm not satisfied though because the headaches pop up even when I've been consistent with the cream. I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember and have been treating that with stress reduction and 20mg of Paxil. I've also experienced the effects of atmospheric pressure on the headaches. It's been so maddening to try and figure out how to stop suffering; especially when it seems to involve so many components. I'd love to hear anything you have to contribute here. Thanks, Beth
I too had migraines at that age and up till about 8 years old after which I never had another until about 6 years ago. I can also attribute mine to certain weather patterns and interestingly mine are different then my wife's. Her migraines are very debilitating but we can predict ahead of time when she will get one. By being able to predict them, we can at least get important medication before nausea sets in. If I were wealthy, I could also fly my wife between weather systems but alas I'm not monetarily wealthy. That would be the best medicine for her.
My headaches are slightly different and are not considered migraines, but chronic daily headaches. However I do find a direct and replicable connection to pressure. Unfortunately I live in Western Washington where the weather can change multiple times in a day. I'm not exaggerating.
My headaches started after I had a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage in January of last year. Since that day I have been not one single day without headaches. At this point it's being treated with migraine products as a migraine because the neurologists I've seen don't actually understand why I still have the headaches. I have a friend who I met sub-SAH who is very similar to me; avid ultra marathon runner, very healthy diet, super duper active, and lives in the PNW. She had her hemorrhage about 9 months before mine and likewise, has never had a day without headaches. However both of us had a good period last summer from August through mid-September when we were singing praises to the lord because we were feeling SO much better. Once our first Fall storm hit, it was back in the dumper. The difference? We had our most stable period of weather in over 50 years during August and into Sept. Nine weeks without rain, clouds. It was clear and sunny and we have found that regardless of temperature, clear and sunny is our best head. Snow is like torture, rain hurts as it comes in but if we get a longer period of rainy weather we can adapt and have very low grade headaches. Thunder storms are also torture. Sunday when we had three low pressure fronts come through I honestly wanted to kill myself. (This is not a cry for help--but if every day were like that, I would be seriously considedring it.)
She is in the fortunate circumstance where she can travel to the southwest and stay for periods of time trying to find the weather where she feels best. Her doctor is truly at a loss for how to proceed. Mine s a bit behind hers and next step is Botox. It did not help her but I'm still hopeful.
Ditto for my wife, 19 years since her SAH and clipping surgery. This is what we learned. The metal used in coiling and clipping is not pure titanium or platinum. Even minor traces of impure metals having a carbon base such as chromium or nickel can react to electrical field influences.
So why weather such as you mentioned? This is a complex discussion so let just summarize by saying that the combination of atmospheric particulates creates atmospheric voltage. This voltage, the same as any electrical voltage, can cause nerve impulse or muscle contractions. That is why on a clear day you were willing to sing praises. Again this is a complex issue that transcends what Doctors are trained to understand and treat medically. If you would want to know more, I'm willing to have this discussion.
As far as Botox, we considered this option but what concerns me is that it only treats nerve and scalp muscle above the skull. It never gets through the blood brain barrier so that's why I can't see how it can work. Additionally, some individuals end up with far worse migraine/headaches and to me that's scary especially with the number of episodes my wife has had to date (2,574 medication days since 1999- and that's not a typo).
That is very scary to me as well, Eddie. I did not have clipping or coiling as my SAH was perimesenphalic (no underlying AVM or aneurism, although there may have been an aneurism prior that burst).
My neurologist was very honest that they don't know why Botox works, but for some patients it does. He said his theory is that it breaks the cycle of the brain pain --> tension --> increasing pain but that he honestly doesn't know.
I have a good friend who also had an SAH about nine months before mine. We have very similar lifestyles (avid runners, healthy eaters, so active and tons of energy). She had Botox and it didn't help. She also got the rebound headaches. I feel like I have to try anyhow. I have no choice. If that is not the answer then when summer break comes I will seek out headache specialists in Seattle.
Today we have a storm blowing through and my pain woke me a number of times last night. I'm not at work because it hurts to lift my head or move, and not moving only means the pain level goes down to an 8--and that's after 2 doses of pain meds. (I am careful about those so I do not have rebound headaches.)
With just about 16 months I feel completely defeated--I don't know how your wife handles 19 years. I'm the most up, Pollyanna in the world but this has got me so far down I don't know how to even look up.
No obvious cause, so each head pain episode is scary, WOW. The only foreign object would be the residual discharge. I've read that it takes quite a while for it to be reabsorbed - so it must be something related to the blood brain barrier. Just as an FYI, the University of North Carolina/Duke describes Magnetohydrodynamic effects when an electrically conductive fluid, such as blood, endolymph fluid, or aqueous fluid flows within a magnetic field, an electric current is produced, as is a force opposing the flow. I can't provide much more on this effect because my research is limited to metal devices in the cranial environment but maybe this might provide you a lead as to why your head pain occurs. Most folks are apathetic to ambient environmental effects as a cause of their headaches, but I place quite a bit in the credence in electromagnetic fields as a primary cause because I see it occur first hand. Apparently the research at Duke understands some element of it as well.
Thanks Eddie. I'll look that up. It's interesting because when I first brought up that I noticed pain changes in relation to weather my doctor disagreed. (Because you know he was living in my head.) I'm not a complainer by any stretch of the imagination so when I say I'm in pain, I am in pain. As an athlete I listen to my body very closely and have a high pain tolerance. (I am a long distance runner. Ran a 50k yesterday, in fact. Had headaches off and on throughout, but it was manageable.) Right now there is a storm blowing through and my head is KILLING me.
Anyhow, finally after a year and after he had another patient who had the same residual chronic headaches, he's starting to believe me. I will have Botox treatments on Thursday. I'm not sure if they will be the answer, but I do like the idea of not having to (eventually) take medications daily.
I get the acronym now :) That's interesting, I too taught computer science courses about ten years ago as a adjunct, I really enjoyed it but had to give it up. Maybe some day I'll restart it again.
Just as a FYI, I read a report yesterday about botox now causing some residual problems for some patients. The topic dealt with the body developing antibodies to the toxin and it not working. If you do a web search you may find additional information about this subject.
My wife is in the 2nd day of a migraine and this morning she developed a severely painful pinched nerve just below the neck. What a double whammy! I was able to get her good relief by applying a strip of a Lidoderm patch that I use for certain joint aches and I used it in the past for a stiff neck as well and it worked for both of us. She got such great relief that she asked if she shaved her hair, would it work for her migraine pain. I didn't know but tomorrow I will ask her Neurologist whether a similar medication could be specially compounded and applied as a gel so she won't have to cut her hair.
So you see, innovation isn't for technology only. If it can be done and we get it I will let you know. (Give my regards to your live-in Doctor :)
Thanks for the posts. I had migraines starting before age 5, had chiropractic and they stopped from 6-20 when I had a car accident. I've since been bothered by them with differing frequency, duration, debilitation, etc. Subscribe to the theory William Walsh, M.D. has that it's a combination of factors--Barometric pressure changes are the leading culprit for me along with food or airborne allergens (including fragrance), with stress the icing on the cake. I had hoped aging would make them less frequent (as my mother suffers less post menopause) but so far not the case for me. Moving from MN to CA has helped, although the weather changes enough here (95350) to still cause outbreaks.
The same situation occurred for both my Mother and my Grandmother-In-Law, however, an interesting correlation between both were that they worked until age 65 at which time both retired. Their migraine episodes also stopped at that age. It's my belief that hormones or menopause wasn't the cause for their relief, but that both left work environments whereby they were exposed to electric fields all day, every work day. One worked in a large retail store having large and numerous floursecent (sp) lights and the other worked in a garment factory surrounded by electric motors, fans humming all day long. I've long advocated that EMF's are at the root of migraines for quite a few reasons. I am also consulting with a Neuropsychologist currently whom is using EEG coupled to a small stimulating electric currents that help bring the brain neurons and central nervous system back into a harmonious balance as it would be in it's un-assaulted state. The first treatment of a patient yielded some amazing and unanticipated positive results. I'd like to discuss this treatment more but the data is proprietary and I don't have permission to discuss it. I hope to be able to have more information after a few more treatments with this patient. Let me also say that the triggers you mention all have substances in common with each other.
Just wanted to update. I had the Botox treatment about a month ago and have not noticed any improvement. SSDD I guess. Head is the same; weather stabilizes and I'm good with low pain, but when it changes the pain soars.
Beginning to wonder if I am going to live with this forever. That is not a happy thought.
I am an IT teacher (aka Nerd Herder) to students who are interested in a career in IT. In fact, lunch is over and I can hear them coming in so I suppose I should get off the computer.
To msteechur, The first time I got Botox, it didn't help me either. Doctors tend to start at lower doses, then increase them. The second time I got more units and got tremendous relief. Find out how many units of the Botox you got and let me know. Also repeated doses help. And occasionally, Botox doesn't work, so I wouldn't give up on it yet. But it's up to you.
I'm assuming that you have tried at least several daily preventative migraine meds that didn't work. Those are the people that are most helped with Botox. I didn't respond to the daily preventatives until I took Petadolex (an herbal one) and off-label Namenda. You only take 25% to 50% of the dose usually given to Alzheimer's patients, but it did work for my migraines.
Thanks so much Sara. That is really good to know. I am not sure the dose, but I think it might be on the paperwork I have at home. I will definitely try it one more time, at least.
I have gone through all of the required protocols (beta blockers, neuro pain blockers, calcium blockers, etc.). I'm still on Amitryptiline although I don't think it helps. I'm afraid of going off of it because if it is helping, I can't imagine how much worse it could get.
I have had a few stretches of good days that make me very hopeful. If I were to be very honest I would say that perhaps my good days are better, with some periods of no discerinble headache up to level 3 of 10. But the bad days are not any better. This week I had four good days, with 2 really good days, and three bad days.
I have not tried any herbal supplements. I have a lot of concern about taking herbals because they are not deemed safe or effective by the FDA (doesn't mean that they aren't, but there is a lot of quackery going on out there). I will read up on Petalodex and will ask my neurologist about it. Thanks for your help.
Oh you are so right about the herbals. My nephrologist said absolutely no to herbals for that reason. Then my neurologist pointed me to Petadolex, a butterbur herbal which is made in Germany where they do evaluate all of their herbal medications. So this one does not have toxins. In fact other butterbur herbals can have impurities in them that can be hazardous.
Do you have any neck or shoulder tightness? Have you tried nerve block or trigger point injections?
Even if the Botox does give you improvement, you may still need your daily preventative med to help you further. Keep in mind Namenda too.
Yes, I do know about how severe migraines can be. When I can't stand the pain and am vomiting, I go to the ER and then get meds by IV that my neurologists hate for me to get because they think it sets me back. A Butrans patch single handedly stopped me from going to the ER, although I've had some close calls. If your migraines are so terrible, maybe you could get them, but if you go in specifically asking for a specific pain med, they can think that you are drug seeking. But tell the doctor that you are thinking about suicide when they get so terrible. And say that you need more. Look up Butrans patches on-line. They give you a very low dose of opiates 24/7, so no rebounds from them.
Hope that you can get your migraines better.
I am reading this with interest as I have been trying to find an answer for almost life-long migraines. Two of my children, now teenagers, have them. I am sick right now! Mine have always seemed to be mostly weather related which means I fight these daily. Could it be EMF's? Please keep me posted. I have always wondered that, if I should move from southern NJ, my pain would lesten? I lived outside of Chicago,Ill.in Elmhurst for nearly a year with NO migraine. But it may have been hormonal as I was a brand new mother. The day I visited Jersey I hit the floor, literally, with a migraine.
You owe it to yourself to take an extended trip to some place, like Illinois where you were migraine free to test your theory. Interesting question. It might be worth moving if that were the case. Don't know what constraints you have to consider with moving. If not, did you consider any of my suggestions right above your posting? (In my case, they know that my severe migraines were caused by a major stroke.)