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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:There are two types of migraine, they used to be called 'classical' and 'common'.



The type I have suffered from, and which this thread is about, are the 'classical' variety.



Also known as 'aura' migraines due to the (usually) visual disturbances that preceed an attack.



In my case a small patch which, over a 20-30 minute period expands into a void encircled by jagged, pulsating lights, which, by the end generally take up over half of the visual field.



Initially very scary, but, once you realise it's just a normal precedent to a migraine, you get used to it.



The headache that follows can be horiffic- as a child it inevitably developed soon after the aura finished, and almost always involved a full day of really bad head pains and waves of nausea, relieved for a few minutes by vomiting, at which point the cycle would restart.



Growing older I found ways to help, doing several things and never being entirely sure which were actually helping, and by how much.



But, by doing them, I found that after the aura, the pain would be lesser, and vomiting rare.



One of those things was to follow the advice of Oliver Sacks, from his book on migraines, which is to drink a strong cup of tea and lie down in a dark room.



The idea being that, in a migraine attack, the arteries in the brain dilate (can't remember if that means expand or contract), and caffiene causes the opposite (hence the tea).



However, in some situations it's impractical to get a strong cup of tea- explaining to a cafe waitress why you want a cup of tea that's only half full and made from 3-4 heavily squeezed tea bags, whilst half blind from a migraine aura, can be difficult smile



Also, I was never quite sure if it was the tea or the other things that helped.



So, for the past few years I've had, roughly every 1 - 3 months, auras that generally led to a bearable headache, but, on rarer occasions, led to the really brutal type I had as a child.



After having a really bad one a few months back I decided to again put some serious effort into addressing the problem.



This involved keeping a log of incidences and circumstances that surround them, as well as internet research into the caffiene connection.



As that harsh one occured on a time when I had no access to tea, I decided to investigate other usable forms of caffeine.



From then on I ensured that, at all times, I had caffiene tablets in my wallet. Specifically, 'Pro Plus' each tablet containing 50 mg of caffeine.



Two months back I had a auro whilst in town, and immediately took 4 tablets. The ensuing headache was very mild- if it hadn't been preceeded by an aura I wouldn't even have considered it a migraine.



Today, having gone to the cinema to see 'Layer Cake', I was despondent to experience a migraine aura. Being in a cinema with an hours bus ride to get home is no place to be experiencing a bad migraine headache.



However I took three tablets and this time there was no headache whatsoever- just a slight woozyness.



I can't come to solid conclusions from just a couple of instances, but the extremely mild nature of the headaches on those occasions makes me feel optimistic about it.



Certainly, to anyone who suffers from aura migraines, I think it's well worth carrying some caffiene tablets around and taking them as soon as an aura occurs.



And, whether they help or not, it would be great if sufferers post the results here as it will help to establish if it works.



(being practical, if you suffer from aura migraines and are going to try this, then add this page of the thread to your 'favourites' list, otherwise you're unlikely to find it in a months time when you've got something to post).



I don't need to say to anyone who suffers full on migraines how useful this would be if it turns out to be true.



Lastly, I should point out that caffiene is a drug, that, according to the packet instructions you shouldn't take more than two 50 mg tablets in any given hour.



Also, don't take them for purposes other than migraine stopping- there are theories that caffiene is not only a way of relieving migraines, but that it is actually the cause, via caffiene withdrawal, so the last thing you need is a regular caffeine tablet habit.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Since getting into the habit of heading off migraines by taking caffeine tablets, things have started to get a little strange.



Whereas previously I was getting a migraine aura on average every 1-3 months, since October I've now had six! (in two months).



Admittedly, none of them were followed by headaches (almost certainly due to the caffeine), nevertheless it's a little unnerving.



It's almost as if these migraines are demanding expression, and my insistence on denying them by using medication is upping their frequency.



It's now 2.30 am, and I was just about to hit the sack when I noticed the little visual disturbance which is the precursor to an aura. So now I've just downed the caffiene pills and am going to stay up till the aura ends.



To be honest I'm feeling a bit pissed off- I can't, and never have been able to see any sense or reason behind these pointless migraines. I'm a big believer in trying to see bad experiences as learning opportunities, but I seriously don't see what I can learn from yet another migraine, other than that migrianes are bad.



It's good that I've found a way of avoiding the awful headaches that used to accompany the auras, but it's pissing me off that the little ****ers have now decided to pop up every fornight, especially at 2.30 am, in a blatent attempt to catch me while I'm asleep so I can't react by taking the pills!



Part of me is wondering if next time I should just leave things as they are and spend a day in agony, puking every hour, so whatever it is can work itself out then leave me alone for the next three months.



Having said that, it is nice to sit here with arcing, jagged lights cutting across my visual field, reasonably certain that, due to the caffeine, I'm not going to be in loads of pain for the rest of the day.



As a little experiment, this time I've decided to drop the dose from 3 Pro-Plus, to just two, to see if a lower dose stops the headache occuring.

EDITED_BY: onewheeldave (1104894909)


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Moondance


member
Location: Haarlem,Netherlands

Total posts: 65
Posted:Hello there,

My view towards migrainestoppers is quite drastic and not at the same time. I personally have allergic reactions towards painkillers so I simply don't take them, and had to find another solution for treating serious heavy pains. Against migraine I use a few leaves of a nice herb called:

Chrysanthemum parthenium Berrnh /or/Tanacetum Parthenium.
(Eng. Feverfew)

Here in my country we call it mothersherb. Its used for centuries allready and it contains ingredients that solve the cramps of the vains and prevent for new ones. 3 leaves raw or as tea (leave5 min) The other one is called:

Filipendula ulmaria maxim. (Eng. Queen of the meadows)

This herb is known for its painkilling effect,bloodcleansing,reuma and bladder/kidney problems. This plant contains salicyc acid which is found in aspirine and has been used chemically in lots of painkillers. Drink it as tea coffeespoon for each cup.

Hopefully someone can use this information,
it has helped me out and it doesn't matter at all which is the cause of the pain, for its natural. And aura migraines can be solved by it as well. If you work with universal energy you can send that towards your head for healing as well.

Greetz Lil


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:What effect do the herbs have on your migraines- do they completely stop them or just take the edge off the pain?



--------------------



My previous post of over a month ago was a little stressed smile I was concerned that using the caffeine was stopping the migraines but possibly causing them as well.



Looking back though, I think that little 'cluster' of migraines may have just been a coincidence as I've now gone a month without any.



I guess that, prior to using the caffeine tablets I was using a 'herbal' approach in that I'd make extremely strong tea when I got an aura.



But, for me, the tablets are much better because I can use them any where, rather than having to be in a place where I can boil up tea or herbs; but mainly because they seem to 'kill' the headache completly, before it develops (the tea often just lessened it).



The 'Universal energy' approach was something that I found very appealing- ultimately I found that, for me, it wasn't effective where migraines are concerned.



Much as I used to hate the thought of taking pills, the fact is, for me at least, they do the job- for the first time in my life migraines aren't a problem, I can make them go away and get on with my day.



This is especially important as I'm running workshops and I need to be reliable. Before, an aura during a workshop would be disasterous, but, during a recent unicycle workshop I got an aura, took the pills, and just got on with it.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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PrayerFireAngel
BRONZE Member since Mar 2005

PrayerFireAngel

member
Location: Merced, Ca

Total posts: 30
Posted:My earliest memory of a migraine is when I was 4. Wow, that means I have been getting them for 40 years now. I have had a few aura migraines but usually the ones where the pain is behind my left eye. I also get cluster headaches which can suck as well. Migraines have always scared me especially since I have had 2 strokes in the past 4 years and I had a migraine for 3 straight days before my first stroke. I have taken different types of medications, trips to the hospital to get a shot, sometimes 2 shots. A lot of the time I just black out from the pain. I am on Clonodine for high blood pressure along with 2 other high blood pressure meds. The Clonodine is sometimes used to treat migraines. I have had quite a few migraines during the week including today. I think the longest I didn't have a one for was for about a year one time. Their have been other times where I have had them daily, sometimes more than once a day. I also know that sometimes they are an indication of an infection in the body as well. I have tried changing my diet, keeping a journal of what I ate, how my day was going, etc. Their is no rhyme or reason to my migraines. No patterns that the doctor and I can find. Sometimes caffine helps, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes throwing up helps, sometimes it makes it worse. This morning I took a hot shower, got my lungs cleared out as I have the flu right now, took a couple of benedryl, had a cup of coffee and it went away and I now feel great. I wouldn't wish a migraine on my worst enemy.

May All Your Prayers Be Heard...

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Adya Miriyana
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 6554
Posted:*Adds this thread to favourites*

I've never heard of caffeine in tablet form before.. I have previously read all the theories about caffeine and migraines, and believe there is some merit in some of them.

Only having experienced auras a few times, i usually have migraines without auras. I've tried coffee at the beginning of a non-aura migraine which has seemed to help. though, there is not much difference between a normal headache and a migraine before it really starts to hit... and it is at this point that it's crucial to do something. And with 'normal headaches', I've found caffeine to make it worse. So the problem is in taking notice of what's happening quickly and doing something, the right something, to make everything okay.

I'm interested in caffeine tablets though. Are they available at a regular chemist?


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: PrayerFireAngel


Migraines have always scared me especially since I have had 2 strokes in the past 4 years and I had a migraine for 3 straight days before my first







That's harsh; I feel for you.



The thing that's a little disturbing about auras is the fact that they're so obviously neuological, and that there is a similarity with strokes.



My Auras are purely visual, but I know of people who experience numbness/paralysis instead.





------------------



Written by: Adya_Miriyana


*Adds this thread to favourites*



I'm interested in caffeine tablets though. Are they available at a regular chemist?





The good thing about auras is that they let you know a migraines coming and intervene with the caffeine.



In the Uk, 'Pro-Plus' are pretty much caffeine tablets- they're 'over-the-counter' stuff so should be pretty safe.



However, there's no harm in checking with your doctor, and I think it would be a good idea to try half a tablet (without a headache), then a full tablet etc, just so you're sure there's no adverse reaction.



Also bear in mind that 'Pro-Plus' is marketed as basically a legal 'Upper/energy booster' and please go into it with a commitment to using them only for migraines, as you don't want to get dependant on them for maintaining energy levels.



-----------------



Incidently, I'm declaring my experiment with caffeine tablets for migraine-stopping, to be, for me (not saying that they'll work for everyone), a success.



Since starting to use them (I now always carry 3 in my wallet) since 1 Aug 04 (been keeping a record), I've had 9 migraine auras.



After taking, usually 3 Pro-Plus, I've had either a mild, or no headache whatsoever, develop.



This is a huge contrast to the past where pain would frequently be severe and lead to vomiting and a lost day.



Using the caffeine tablets I've had an aura attack during me giving a unicyle workshop, felt no dismay, simply taken the pills, and continued with the workshop.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

The thing that's a little disturbing about auras is the fact that they're so obviously neuological, and that there is a similarity with strokes.

My Auras are purely visual, but I know of people who experience numbness/paralysis instead.




I'm a person who has regular stroke-like migraines. I've never had one without an aura and all my auras are both visual as well as cause me to go numb.

It is a freaky/scary thing indeed, but at least I know that when my vision starts to go all wonky on my (I see spots of some variety) to pop a pill and head straight to bed. For me, that's simply the best option. I have not found a med yet that will allow me to continue with my daily routine. Because of the type of migraine I get (and yes, there are distinct different types), the majority of meds that you can take and resume your normal activities migraine free will be lethal to me. Luckily, I only get one about every 6 months, and I have plenty of sick leave from work.

OWD, I'm glad that you've found a solution that works well for you. I think that is all anyone who gets regular migraines can ask for. hug


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Adya Miriyana
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 6554
Posted:Adding to the experiment.

I was getting a migraine last night, had some visual disturbances, no auras, but it had already begun to hit. Thinking *oh bugger* i never got around to getting any of those tablets to test. Anyways, deciding to test the caffeine theory a little more, i dissolved a spoon of coffee in some water, drank that and went to lay in bed without taking anything else for the purpose of the experiment. 3/4 hour later, the migraine had reversed itself, and i was only just feeling slightly dizzy.

theres something i have i found to be helpful i forgot to mention. I have this little roll on stick thing called a 'migra-stick' which is just a mixture of pure lavender and peppermint oils, applied to the temples. While not a pain relief, it is a comfort, especially when trying to sleep off a migraine. It's about $AUD13 i think, i just got it from the chemist down the road.

well, hope my offerings as a guinea pig have helped someone. I know not all migraines are the same, but I want to help as many people as i can because i know how terrible they can be.

Lou


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Cheers for the input smile

Prior to the pills I used to use super-strong tea (2/3 teabags squeezed in half a cup) which wasn't as consistent (or convenient) as the pills, but seemed to lessen the migraine considerably.

Thing about the pills is you need them on you at all times- as I'm sure migraine sufferers know, auras can occur anytime.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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