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Old 01-05-2009, 10:48 AM   #1
Jennie Yundt
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Migraines - anyone get them?

I used to get migraines a LOT. By a LOT I mean 3 per month. My migraines would last about 12-14 hours with all the usual fun stuff (nausea, light sensitivity...wishing for death)

I started CrossFit and the Paleo diet last January, and went almost a WHOLE YEAR without a migraine...but now I'm getting them regularly again. I've had 4 or 5 in the last 45ish days. YUCK. I have kept my diet pretty consistent, and same with my working out, so I am stumped and saddened that my migraines are back.

I have been keeping a log, and here are the common factors on days I get a migraine:

Wake up early - don't eat breakfast
Do a hard workout
Return home and eat a big meal (lots of protein)
2-4 hours later, get a migraine

Does anyone know anything about migraines? Do you think the no-breakfast + workout thing might trigger a migraine, or is that just a coincidence?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
Carter Jee
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Hi Jennie,

I've suffered from migraines all my life.... started when I was 13... like you, I would be laid out for days at a time...

Over-exertion is a trigger for my migraines, esp. in heat (it's in the middle of an aussie summer - 37-40 of dry relentless heat). I try not to overdo it.

Hydration plays a large role in overcoming this as well.. I notice that when I don't drink enough water and exercise (esp. metcons), I trigger a migraine.

Maybe have a small 1 block snack when you wake up and drink a litre of water to rehydrate yourself before you work out...

Have you had your eyes checked out as well? I had a disparity in my vision. One eye was way worse than another. as a result, the good eye would be straining to focus, and there goes a migraine. it's always the first thing i check when I get a migraine (very very occasionally now).

a female colleague who suffers from migraines also noted that hormonal shifts during her period would make her more prone to trigger a migraine. have you noted any difference during your log??

all the best!!!

carter
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:08 PM   #3
Sara Fleming
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Jennie,

I have been suffering from migraines for about 8 months now and have been having a constant headache since August. Not exaggerating. I'm about to be admitted to the hospital on Friday by my neurologist for a big old drug infusion and workup by an endcrinologist to see if they can stop this runaway train and figure out what's causing it.

Anyway, my husband is a physician and we've been pretty much on top of this from the beginning so I'll share with you what I have learned so far about the possible causes.

Thyroid. Probably what is causing mine. I had a tumor removed from my thyroid in October. Apparently, although your TSH levels can be in the "normal range", endocrinoloists have a much narrower definition of this "normal range" from individual to individual. So, two doctor have told me that nothing is wrong with my thyroid, including the one who took out half of it, but my neurologist took one look at my numbers and told me they were abnormally low. We'll see. Message here, get some blood work done and if the numbers aren't dead center, start asking questions.

Cervical spine straightening or subluxation. See a chiropractor. Apparently staring at a computer screen for many years causes the natural curve in our neck to straighten out and this can pinch a lot of nerves. And then when we start throwing heavy weights over our heads, its just not good. I went for a consult and my X-rays were a bit disturbing. My constant headache also seemed to coincide with a perfectly beautiful 65 lb clean and jerk which I'm not giving up for anything!

The only exercise induce migraine I ever had was actually 4 years ago before I ever had regular migraines. I had pushed myself way too hard without enough food or water before hand or during and ended up with a good case of rhabdo. I did too many pullups and couldn't straighten my arms out for four days afterwards. Got a full blown aura and everything. If your migraines are always connected to not eating before your workouts, then, by all means, try and get a little better hydrated maybe before bed or have a little something before your workout. However, it may not be the actual cause, just an exacerbation of an underlying condition.

The fact that you didn't get them as often and they are increasing is concerning. I think its important that you investigate the cause. See your doctor and get some bloodwork done. I think its also worth seeing a chiropractor and seeing if there is some neck issue that geting irritated by your workouts. I will also highly recommend seeing a neurologist. I didn't see one until 3 weeks ago and I have been letting my family doctor try and manage this problem up until now and the truth is, she doesn't know how to treat migraines. Its not her specialty.

Again, rule out any underlying dangerous causes such as thyroid etc. Something like that can be dangerous if left untreated. Families care about that sort of thing. Take care of yourself. I truly feel your pain.

Sara
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:22 AM   #4
Jennie Yundt
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Sara - I had both an MRI and xrays done about 2.5 years ago. The MRI showed some slightly bulging discs in my neck, and the Xray showed that I have an unusually "straight" neck, and possibly early arthritis. (WHAT? I'm 29!?) I guess there's a big part of me that doesn't want to believe my neck is causing the migraines, but I think it might be a big part of it. I saw a neck guy (sorry, I can't remember exactly what his specialty was called) and he recommended physical therapy 3 times a week. My normal Dr. just prescribed Imitrex and sent me on my way. Since starting CrossFit though, I thought that I had resolved any muscle imbalances that were causing the bulging discs...at least I assumed that's why they went away.

I am going to seek out a neurologist in my area - thank you very much for the advice!

As far as hormonal issues, I haven't found any correlation. I only get my period 4 times a year, so it's not that big of an issue for me. Now, Hydration COULD be another big part of the problem. My morning workouts where I don't eat breakfast, I will usually stop and grab a grande Americano from Starbucks on my way to the gym, but that would be the only liquid I drink before working out.

Tonight will be a "test". We did Fran on Thanksgiving, and I had a migraine that afternoon. If the migraines are truly induced by a specific exercise, then I should get another headache. If the migraines are caused by hydration or lack of food however, I should be perfectly fine. Let's hope for the latter....
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
Carter Jee
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

hi jennie...

good luck with your "test".... i dreaded that part of the testing that my doctor gave me to find my food triggers...

caffeine has a diuretic effect so it does dehydrate you more.... if i have coffee and workout, i most definitely get a migraine. drink a bottle of water with the coffee...

GPs are pretty much useless in trying to solve problems. I only go to them to get a referral to a specialist, and even then, I ask my mate (who's a orthopeadic surgeon) who to see.

cheers!!!

carter
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:43 PM   #6
Jennie Yundt
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

EPIC
FAIL

I did Fran yesterday around 7:30PM, and woke up at 2:20AM with a splitting migraine. It was awful. I had to sit on the floor of the shower and let the hot water numb my pounding head.

Well, I guess that answers THAT question. I am officially retiring from Fran.

I made an appointment with the Diamond Headache center in downtown Chicago, so hopefully they'll be able to help.

Thank you everyone for your assistance! I'll start drinking water with my coffee.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:00 PM   #7
Sara Fleming
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Good luck Jennie.

I hope you get them managed quickly. I'm hoping that the cause behind my disaster is simply that I didn't get it under control and that once we stop this mess, the preventative medicines will start to work for me.

Nothing like a migraine to make you want to die, oh wait, there is natural childbirth . . .

Big hugs.

Sara
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #8
Duke McCall
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Ouch! I have done the sitting in the shower with the lights out thing. I have never felt worse (and no, I have not experienced natural childbirth, but I did watch my wife threated to decapitate a young anesthesiologist, who then shook so bad he had a hard time giving her an epidural--but that is a different thread ). I ultimately concluded my migraines were stress-induced. I made a few changes at work, and my migraines stopped. I do not see that as a likely possibility based on your description, but I would not ignore mental (in addition to physical) stress as a potential factor.

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
Jennie Yundt
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke McCall View Post
Ouch! I have done the sitting in the shower with the lights out thing. I have never felt worse (and no, I have not experienced natural childbirth, but I did watch my wife threated to decapitate a young anesthesiologist, who then shook so bad he had a hard time giving her an epidural--but that is a different thread ). I ultimately concluded my migraines were stress-induced. I made a few changes at work, and my migraines stopped. I do not see that as a likely possibility based on your description, but I would not ignore mental (in addition to physical) stress as a potential factor.

Good luck!!!
Duke, what changes were you able to make at work to reduce your stress? I have been feeling pretty stressed out lately at my full time job...do I need a zen garden and a stress ball at my desk? I'm willing to try anything.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #10
Mike Kahn
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Re: Migraines - anyone get them?

Migraines....oh migraines. My wife delt with them for 12 long months. Lots of them, sometimes 10-15 a month.

After 5 specialist, 2 MRI's, and 1 CAT Scan with no luck, we had to stop everthing, including birth control - and that was it. It was the Birth control Medicine. No one figured it was that easy. From the day after her last pill, she has not had another migraine. (unfortunately no one offered a refund for their wrong diagnosis). Our prayers are with you. We know they can be very challenging.
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