Health and Wellness
I’m 20 weeks. My sister found a combo of medicines that are safe during pregnancy. I get awful migraines, and I obviously can’t take my rescue medication(immitrex). I’ve recently had some headaches that last 2+ days. I start by trying Bengay on my forehead or sniffing peppermint oil and an ice pack on the back of my neck. When it gets really bad I take 2 Tylenol 2 Sudafed (4hr from the pharmacy) and 2 Benadryl. I wouldn’t recommend it daily, but it works. My sister has 2 perfectly healthy boys and she used it whenever she had a migraine. I’ve used it multiple times since being pregnant after multiple days with a headache. My doctor perscdibed me Fioricet, but the cost is outrageous. I’ve heard that drinking 8oz of grape juice can help. You might also try a massage and an adjustment. Hope you find some relief.
There may be some good news for people that struggle with migraine headache headaches. An additional gadget is now FDA-approved for prevention, and it’s already made use of for dealing with intense pain from migraine headaches. The Spring TMS tool provides single-pulse transcranial magnetic excitement to the brains of chronic migraine victims.
5 helpful smartphone apps for migraine sufferers – PhillyVoice.com
5 helpful smartphone apps for migraine sufferers From tracking to prevention, these are some must-download migraine apps Rahul Chakraborty/Unsplash .
Migraines, as you know if you suffer from them, are a sneaky, sneaky beast that can overtake your life for, well, anywhere from an hour to two days.
And no, migraines are not just a “really bad headache.” The severe throbbing pain or pulsing sensation is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound, according to Mayo Clinic .
It is often suggested that people keep track of their headaches — when they occur, if they experienced any known triggers and any new symptoms, for example — in an effort to identify patterns. While a pen and paper might be the better option when you’re in the throes of a migraine — with the light sensitivity and general discomfort and all — an app on your smartphone might be the more realistic option. The phone is most always nearby, after all.
RELATED READ: The Monthly Migraine: I qualified for the buzzy migraine injection
As it turns out, there’s actually quite a few options when it comes to migraine and headache apps. Below you’ll find a roundup of helpful apps for migraine suffers including a brief description of what the app does, it’s rating in the app store and how much it costs. Migraine Buddy
How it works: Arguably the best feature of this app is its “bother me later” button, which allows you to delay prompts until your migraine has passed. Also, it helps your doctor to assess the effectiveness of prescribed medication and relief methods. App store rating: 4.8 stars Cost: Free N1- Headache
How it works: This fully-personalized app tracks your triggers, and also maps out “protectors,” which are things that decrease your risk of an attack, such as medications, caffeine and exercise. Additionally, N1 data is reviewed by experts and shared in clinical studies (the National Headache Society backs it), so make sure you’re OK with the privacy statement before use. App store rating: 4.5 stars Cost: Free to download, eventually charges $49.99 for a lifetime premium subscription. BrainWave: 35 Binaural Series
How it works: Neurologically, our state of mind is influenced by specific brain frequencies. The concept behind this app is to alter your brain frequencies to achieve an ideal state of mind or, in this case, migraine and headache relief. The app sends inaudible frequencies through headphones and your mind automatically falls in line with the brainwave frequencies needed to achieve your desired state, like “headache relief.” App store rating: 4.9 stars Cost: $4.99 Ouchie
How it works: This app, centered around chronic pain in general, rather than migraines specifically, is a community-based platform that connects you with others who are sharing your pain. Similar to Facebook, you create a profile to record your symptoms, treatments, frequency, and so forth. The app then connects you with fellow patients with similar experiences, so you’re able to swap feedback and tips. App store rating: 4.6 stars Cost: Free Migraine Relief Hypnosis
How it works: Sure, hypnosis sounds a little off-kilter, but if you’re migraines are bad and frequent enough, you’re probably down to try anything. The app aims to train you to ease and relax your body to ease the discomfort of migraine pain through the soothing voice of a certified hypnotherapist, plus peaceful nature sounds and background music. With daily listening, it claims to reduce the pain and discomfort of migraine pain in just one to three weeks. Rating: 4.1 stars (only available with Google Play) Cost: Free
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Managing Migraine During Pregnancy and Lactation – Neurology Advisor
Managing Migraine During Pregnancy and Lactation Share this content: Print A particular challenge in this population is the effective management of migraine during pregnancy and lactation, while minimizing the risk for harm to the fetus.
Migraine patterns in women are closely linked to various reproductive stages. During puberty, migraine prevalence becomes more pronounced in females compared with males, and remains so throughout the remaining life span. An estimated 40% of women experience migraine during the reproductive life cycle, and one-fourth of reproductive-aged women suffer from migraines. 1 Up to 70% of female migraine patients report changes in headache frequency or severity during menstruation, hormonal contraceptive use, pregnancy, and menopause. 1
A particular challenge in this population is the effective management of migraine during pregnancy and lactation while minimizing the risk for harm to the fetus. For many women with migraine, the frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches improve during pregnancy. Some research has shown similar effects with lactation, although findings have been mixed overall. 2
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In a recent paper published in Current Pain and Headache Reports, 2 Simy K. Parikh, MD, from the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, reviewed evidence pertaining to preventive and abortive therapies for migraine during pregnancy and lactation. 2 Her findings are highlighted here.
Preventive treatment during pregnancy Among nutraceutical options, findings suggest that riboflavin (400 mg/day) and coenzyme Q10 (100 mg 3×/day) may be effective in preventing migraine if initiated 3 months before pregnancy. Anticonvulsants, including valproic acid and topiramate, should generally be avoided because of demonstrated risks for cognitive and motor impairment and for congenital birth defects, respectively. Among beta blockers, atenolol has been linked to low birth weight when used during the first trimester. The use of other beta blockers warrants close fetal monitoring for issues such as bradycardia and intrauterine growth retardation. Tricyclic antidepressants are associated with cardiac and craniofacial malformations, whereas serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors have not been linked to these outcomes. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers should be avoided during pregnancy. Use of these agents in the second and third trimesters may lead to pulmonary, renal, and skull malformations. Evidence for use in the first trimester is inconclusive.
Abortive treatment during pregnancy As prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increase the “risk for premature closure of the ductus arteriosus during use in the third trimester and are therefore contraindicated during that time,” whereas a recent study reported no adverse effects with the use of ibuprofen during the first trimester. 2 Findings indicate that metoclopramide is safe for use in pregnancy, including during the first trimester. No significant adverse outcomes were noted in a prospective observational cohort study of 432 pregnant women taking triptans. 3 As sumatriptan has the most supporting evidence, this is the recommended option among the triptans.
Preventive treatment during lactation Topiramate is likely safe for use during breastfeeding, whereas valproic acid should be avoided. Propranolol is the preferred beta blocker for use during lactation because of its low maternal plasma levels With maternal use of tricyclic antidepressants, as “active metabolites are secreted into breast milk in small amounts[, infants] should be monitored for sedation, poor feeding, and anticholinergic side effects.” 2 Although angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers do not generally transfer to human breast milk in significant amounts, there have been concerns about renal toxicity when used in premature infants.
Abortive treatment during lactation Ibuprofen is the preferred nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, based on studies showing very low levels of the drug in breast milk, even with frequent doses. Naproxen has been linked to drowsiness and vomiting in infants. Aspirin should be avoided because of the associated risk for Reye’s syndrome. Sumatriptan and eletriptan have low concentrations in breast milk.
“It is important for clinicians to think critically about pharmacologic options, as medications misattributed as teratogens or as a lactation risk could lead to poor treatment of episodic migraine in pregnancy, while use of true teratogens could lead to unnecessary exposure,” Dr Parikh concluded. 2
To get a better idea of current treatment trends in this population, Neurology Advisor conducted a roundtable discussion with several experts across neurology and headache medicine, as well as women’s health: Teshamae Monteith, MD, a neurologist at the University of Miami Health System n Florida, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology; Huma Sheikh, MD, assistant clinical professor of neurology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York City; and Paru S. David, MD, FACP, NCMP, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Women’s Health-Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona. Related Articles Migraine With Aura Increases Risk for Carotid Thickening in Middle-Aged Women
Neurology Advisor: What are some of the challenges of treating migraine in patients who are pregnant or lactating?
Dr Monteith: The majority of patients with migraine without aura actually improve during pregnancy, but some may worsen, especially if they have to be taken off their migraine-preventive treatments. The biggest challenges are the lack of safe and effective treatments for pregnant patients.
Dr Sheikh: The main challenge is providing effective relief that is not harmful to the developing fetus. Trials usually exclude pregnant women; therefore, there is little information about which therapies are safe to use in pregnancy. Most of the evidence is based on observational trials. There are few treatments that have a level A rating for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The other challenge is making sure that a headache is a primary headache caused by migraine or tension-type headache and not a symptom of another more dangerous disease, as pregnancy can increase the risk for certain disorders, including clots and stroke.
Dr David: Very little research has examined which medications are safe to use for migraine treatment during pregnancy and lactation in humans. Most medications have safety labeling based on animal studies, but many medications require a risk/benefit analysis because fetus or infant risk cannot be ruled out. Many clinicians who take care of pregnant or lactating women who also have migraine headache may not feel comfortable in deciding which medications are safe, either because they are not experts in migraine (obstetricians) and are unfamiliar with many of the migraine medications or because they are not experts in female hormones and their effects on migraine throughout the reproductive years of a woman (neurologists).
Acetaminophen has been thought to be safe in pregnancy, but some recent research has questioned this, so now the recommendation by the US Food and Drug Administration is that a risk/benefit analysis needs to be performed. It does appear to be safe in lactation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were felt to be safe in the first and second trimesters, and unsafe in the third trimester, but recent studies have shown possible harm in the first trimester, so now the recommendation is to do a risk/benefit analysis.
Neurology Advisor: What appear to be the best treatment options for these patients?
Dr Monteith: Metoclopramide and acetaminophen can be used safely. More recent large observational studies suggest sumatriptan is safe during pregnancy, and little drug gets excreted in breast milk.
Nonpharmacological treatments such as aerobic exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques may be effective for migraine prevention. Increasing evidence suggests nerve blocks may be effective and are safe during pregnancy.
Dr Sheikh: The first line of treatment should be ways to avoid known headache triggers, including poor sleep or stress. Stretching exercises and mild yoga tailored specifically for pregnant women can be helpful in preventing migraine attacks. Other approaches such as a warm compress or resting, especially sleeping, can be helpful and a way to avoid taking medications. Complementary methods such as relaxing breathing exercises or mindfulness can also provide great relief and are more likely to be effective if they are used as a daily practice or as a preventive.
In general, most medications should be avoided if possible. However, if needed, a large registry now shows that triptans are safe to use in women who are pregnant, although it is still important for physicians to consider other alternatives and whether triptans are safe in each situation.
Dr David: Healthy lifestyle changes such as regular meals, adequate sleep, stress management, trigger avoidance, exercise, and smoking cessation may reduce the frequency of migraine attacks during pregnancy. Biofeedback and relaxation are safe and beneficial for pregnant and nursing women.
Neurology Advisor: What are additional recommendations for clinicians?
Dr Monteith: Clinicians should emphasize lifestyle modifications including good sleep, stress management, and regular meals. Pregnancy planning should include a plan for migraines. Good communication between obstetrics/gynecology and neurology early on may lead to the best success.
Dr Sheikh: Most headaches during pregnancy will be primary headaches, but they can still be disabling. It is important to discuss the possible worsening of headaches before getting pregnant to set up strategies to help alleviate possible anxieties. It is important to work on healthy lifestyle techniques that are very effective at preventing headaches.
Always look for red flags in women with worsening headaches, so that a dangerous secondary headache is not missed. Thankfully, for most women, their migraine attacks improve during the second and third trimester, most likely as a result of stable hormone levels, but they can worsen again during the postpartum period. [ Editor’s note: A prospective study published in 2003 reported that up to 83% of female migraineurs experienced a reduction in migraine frequency during the second trimester. 2 ]
Neurology Advisor: What should be the focus of future research in this area?
Dr Monteith: Studies are needed to determine the safety of exposure to calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibodies for migraine prevention during pregnancy. In addition, evidence-based guidelines are needed.
Dr David: Exploring nonpharmacologic ways to manage migraine headache could be helpful because to date, no randomized controlled studies looking at the effects of migraine medications have been conducted on pregnant or lactating women, or likely will be, for ethical reasons.
I suffered severe daily migraines since April, 2010. I was treated with almost every FDA approved prophylactic without any success. The only triptan that worked to stop the headaches was relpax. I would get several headaches a day. The triggers are horns honking, sirens, jarring, light, expressed anger, anger expressed at me, sugar, strong odors, among others.
In January 2014, I woke up with a seized neck on left side, and pain on left side of head piercing through my left eyeball. I could not move my neck or eyeball to the left without triggering piercing pain. This continued for close to 2 years.
I changed doctors to headache center at University of California medical Center (UCSF), where I was eventually treated for hemacrainia continua with indomethacin. It worked well. But not as a prophylactic.
I spent 3 years at UCSF headache center and went for second opinion with Dr. Robert Cowan at Stanford headache center. Dr. Cowan told me I had new daily persistent headaches superimposed over hemacrania continua. Dr. Cowan told me to continue with indomethacin up to 300 mg per day, and use an herbal supplement called Boswellia when the indomethacin did not provide enough relief.
I continued on that protocol for a several months. I went to Rite Aid pharmacy one day, and saw a topical get called stopain migraine (that is exact spelling). The cost was approximately $10. When I get the eye pain, I immediately put a small dab of the stopain on my left cheek and over my eyebrow, and on the left side of my eye. The eye pain goes away almost immediately.
My left eye starts tearing for a couple of minutes. I clear it up with a tissue.
I was able to lower my dosage of indomethacin to 50 mg at night before going to bed. I now take indomethacin approximately 1 time every 2 to 3 weeks. I do not take relpax anymore.
I take just boswellia during the day if the headaches become numerous. The stopain migraine will last about a year for a bottle. You can get it on Amazon.
My biggest fear is that the company that manufactures it will go out of business, so I stocked up with several bottles.
I urge anyone with hemacrania to get stopain migraine. The cost is very little and the potential benefit is great. Boswellia also works well. Neither is a prophylactic.
The stopain migraine also works on migraine headaches. The instructions say to rub it in occipital area at base of back of scull. I find it works better if you dab it around the headache area.
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Safe acupressure points for frustration relief during maternity are located in the feet between the 4th as well as fifth metatarsal bones. Safely relieve frustration pain while pregnant with a presentation from a doctor of Asian medicine in this cost-free video clip on natural remedies.
Expert: Hillary Talbott
Bio: Hillary Talbott is a medical professional of Oriental medicine practicing at Acupuncture & Herbal treatments in St Petersburg Florida.
Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz.
Series Description: Acupressure is the art of using mild to solid pressure on sensitive factors along the body’s meridians. Find out the art of acupressure from a doctor of Oriental medicine in this free video clip series on different remedies.
I’m actually in the same boat as you . Except for my anxiety I have Xanax which I hate Bc it slows my digestive system down as is plus pregnancy . Since I got pregnant , I’ve had horrible morning sickness , horrible headaches (can’t take Tylenol without it hurting my stomach) I don’t eat much Bc I’m nauseous so I do smoke marijuana. I have smoked it in the early weeks with the last 2 pregnancies and this one as well. My babies are fine but beings my stomach can’t handle breaking down any medicine without it tearing my stomach or physically hurting me , then I’d rather smoke . I have digestion issues tho. I don’t have a medical marijuana license Bc it’s just becoming legal and able to let the people in my state who have certain diseases take it .
I only smoke maybe 2 times a week right now and I can’t immediately stop my anxiety medicine Bc it will literally kill me and the baby. I have to prolong the weening process which sucks but my little smoke helps so much. I was at 160lbs and I’m now down to 137lbs in just 2 weeks . That’s from throwing up and having a migraine 24/7 I can’t get rid of unless I smoke. TMI (too much information) – I suffer from constipation (not going for a week or so) , I bleed everytime I go , I have issues down their so what I put in my stomach really goes hand and hand . Hence why I can’t take Tylenol and why I’ve had a migraine for 4 days with no relief even when I did cave and take Tylenol New Year’s Eve.
I’ll probably get a lot from this post but I’m tryong to have a healthy body, mind , and baby.