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Migraine Cure?
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Sillly1 posted:
My question is, is there a cure for migraines? I know all my triggers and stay away from them, except stress is the main one I have problems with. I am on a preventive but still get 2-3 migraines a week. Two different doctors have told me it is the stress. They are probably right, but these migraines are driving me insane, plus I am missing so much work and missing out on so much of life. I take the pain pills and they knock me out, it just seems to be a never ending cycle.

Is there a cure???
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KatInTheCorner responded:
No, there is no "cure" for migraines. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease. You can manage it, but you cannot cure it. FYI, any book/product/person who claims to have a cure is LYING and usually selling something.

Here is the thing though, it's not stress. Stress may make you more susceptable to your migraine triggers, but you have a neurological disorder. Any doctor telling you it "just stress" is uninformed.

If you are not getting help from your preventive, it's time to change it. Keep in mind though it takes 3-6 months at full dose to see if a preventive will be helpful for you. There are currently four medications approved by the FDA for migraine prevention, but over 100 used off label. It's a matter of trial and error to find the right one for you.

You need to be careful with pain medicaitons though, because they can cause Medication Overuse Headaches, and over time can lead to Transformed Migraine. A general guideline is no more than 2 days per week of medication, no more than 10 days per month.

Also, pain medications only mask migraines, they don't abort them. Have you tried any abortive medications like triptans, DHE or Midrin? Those medications are designed to stop the migraine in its tracks, instead of just covering the symptoms.
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Timothy Collins, MD responded:
Nice discussion by KatinTheCorner. She is right, the underlying cause of migraines can't be "cured". Mainly because we don't know why some people get headaches and others don't.

So far I've found at least 4 reports of different genes associated with migraine, so it looks like there are genetic influences, but not one single gene as the cause for all migraines.
 
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carpetcrawler5 responded:
Sillly next time you have a headache coming on, drink some coffee right away.
 
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carpetcrawler5 replied to carpetcrawler5's response:
Oh and also you can go to a physical therapist that can teach you how to manage your stress.
 
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carpetcrawler5 replied to carpetcrawler5's response:
Also go to a physical therapist who can teach you how to manage your stress.
 
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Sillly1 replied to Timothy Collins, MD's response:
Dr. Collins, what does Katlin mean when she says a genetic neurological disease? I know what genetic means but what about the neurological disease?

Also I have tried the triptans and Midrin and didnot work. Also is she correct about the stress part? Its not that I don't believe her, I just want all the "correct" info I can get.

Thank you very much for you answers and for your time.

Sincerely,
Silly 1
 
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KatInTheCorner replied to Sillly1's response:
Hi Silly:

I should have been more clear. Neurological disease means a disease that effects the nervous system. To put it simply, the problem with migraineurs is we have a hyper sensitive nervous system. We are the "canary in the cage" so to speak. Our delicate internal balance gets upset by something (migraine trigger) and our nervous system reacts with a migraine.

I hope that helps clear up what I meant!
 
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Timothy Collins, MD replied to Sillly1's response:
Migraine seems to run in families. There have been 4-5 genes that seem to be associated with migraine, but migraine is not a simple genetic problem (color blindness or cystic fibrosis are simple genetic problems with one gene causing the problem).

Stress is a common trigger for migraine, so stress reduction can work to reduce headache severity.

A headache diary can help sort out other triggers like diet.

As far as treatment, have you tried all 6 of the triptans? There are other medications used for headache treatment, so it may be something to talk with a headache specialist about.


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