One final update on migraines and more (okay, maybe not final, but close)

Posted on | Monday, March 15, 2010 | 5 Comments

I just wanted to wrap up the discussion I started on a previous post. I wanted to wait a little while to make sure the remedies were working on me. :) I hope to at the very least, help 1 person, hopefully more!

So I have suffered with migraines for years. Debilitating. Nauseating. Crazy-making. Think of the worst story you've heard about migraines... that was/is the kind I suffer from. Sledge hammer to the temple, sensitivity to light and noise.. yada yada. It made me feel crazy, really. It kept me from work, social activities, everything. It is one of the most frustrating things too because you can feel so misunderstood and as if no one can sympathize since it isn't a real "sickness" or "disease".

Things I have learned along the way (maybe it will help someone else too?):
1. I cannot tolerate chemical fragrances. If I use a perfume made with chemicals or if I smell someone else's perfume on them that is made with chemicals, it will trigger a migraine.
2. I cannot use deodorants with chemicals. It triggers migraines in me.
3. I cannot tolerate MSG. There are certain popular potato chips, chinese restaurants and deep fried foods (probably can't list them for legal reasons) that use MSG and since I was little, they made me sick. It wasn't until a few years ago that I made the connection with MSG.
4. I can't use aerosal chemical room fragrance sprays or chemical fragrance candles. Ditto above.

Things I have learned recently:
1. I just learned about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and most of my symptoms sound like they could be described by it.
2. I am low on vitamin B and iron. That *could* be making my migraines and fatigue worse from what I've read so far.

The results:
I started taking a vitamin B12 supplement in addition to a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, omega 3, and iron supplement. I've tried to phase out most sources of chemicals through the years. Remember my strange 2+ year battle with eye pain that would result in migraines? WELL, after cutting out most chemical triggers, 95% of my remaining unexplainable migraines would come from initial eye pain. I went to see an optometrist, opthamologist, and got an MRI. The guess from the experts? Chronic dry eye or some mechanical kind of problem. The opthamologist suggested I start using a sticky eye drops before I go to bed and a couple times during the day. After several days of consistent use, the eye pain went away! This is the first time in over 2 years that I don't feel like something is stabbing my eye. I know some readers were experiencing similar eye pain/migraines. Maybe you should consider this remedy as well (of course after doctor consult)? I'm using Systane Ultra... I haven't researched it, but for now, living without eye pain is worth it for me. Since the eye pain was fixed, I haven't had a migraine! Hooray (knock on wood)!!!

**I am trying to be vegan and eat mostly organic, limited corn and sugar. I do know that vegans can have lower iron and B12... contrary to the norm, my symptoms all started years before becoming a vegan and the symptoms were lessened after becoming vegan (I sometimes eat cheese though... bad vegan, tisk tisk, I know!)

I hope this blog post can help others suffering the same problems! Email me if you have specific questions on any of the above.


5 Responses to “One final update on migraines and more (okay, maybe not final, but close)”

  1. Anonymous
    March 15, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    hope you get better real soon, sweet!

  2. ally
    March 16, 2010 at 6:36 AM

    I'm not surprised at a sensitivity to MSG - unfortunately many companies bank on most people not recognizing that monosodium glutamate IS MSG, so they can add it as a "flavor enhancer". I know that while plain Triscuits do not have MSG, the flavored ones (rosemary and olive oil or cracked pepper flavors) do have them.

    Good luck in your quest to feel better!

  3. dandra
    March 16, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    I'm so glad that you have found some relief. I do have dry eyes and should use the drops that I have. I've just been stubborn or more so lazy. This does push me to use the drops more often.

  4. Elaine
    March 17, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    My mom has had MCS for several years now...her condition was very very severe following an allergen prick test that trigered a severe reaction to mercury and the subsequent removal of all her amalgam fillings for composite. She also developed electrical sensitivities as well, which was quite the challenge growing up.
    Every case is different, but if you'd like to contact her, I can set that up!

  5. Jade Sheldon
    April 7, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    I am also a migraine sufferer: congratulations on finally discovering your triggers and finding remedies that work for you! I still haven't figured out how to resolve mine :(

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