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Migraines and Altitude?
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Synergy0309 posted:
So I have a general question for everyone and maybe their experiences with traveling with in Mountains. I went on a trip to Colorado recently and I am from New Mexico, the altitude change was so significant that when I returned to New Mexico I had terrible Migraines upon my return. (thats my thought, I cant think of anything else that it could have been.... nothing else really changed, some weather...but not that drastically). Just wondering if that may be the cause or MIGHT be one of the causes. It just feels like all of sudden once I got home my medicine stopped working 100%. Its that bad at times.
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allie_bf responded:
Altitude is definitely a trigger for a lot of people, myself included. Just give yourself a few days to recover, and you should be back to baseline. Air travel can cause problems for the same reason. I always bring along more migraine abortives whenever I fly or travel over the Rockies.
 
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Synergy0309 replied to allie_bf's response:
Thanks. My medicine just didnt seem strong enough once I was coming back down, but while I was up there I was perfect! At least I got to enjoy my time up there
 
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Timothy Collins, MD responded:
The headaches from altitude sickness are probably migraine type headaches. There was a very nice study of how imitrex works for altitude sickness published about 10 years ago from a ski resort.

I have many patients that have headaches triggered by air travel (if your trip was by airplane)
 
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Synergy0309 replied to Timothy Collins, MD's response:
Actually we traveled via car from New Mexico to Colorado, but we backpacked in some very high altitudes and camped for a few days. The highest altitude I believe we were at during some point was 12, 090 ft which was on the highest highway, but I didnt get my migraines until I got back into New Mexico back towards 4,900 ft...this being after a week in Colorado hiking and staying hydrated.
 
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SunRae51 responded:
I found that altitude and barometric pressure can cause me severe headaches. When I discovered this years ago I began taking a generic Sudefed and haven't had a problem since. This is especially critical for me when flying in airplanes.
 
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aneradprc responded:
I am originally from Illinois and just returned. However for the last 8 years I lived in the west with Albuquerque being the lowest elevation I lived at, but most of my time was spent at 7,000 feet or above. The day before I moved back I was up at 12,000 feet. The day after returning to Illinois barometric pressure rapidly changed and I experienced a full blown aural migraine that presented like a stroke ie numbness, slurred speech and impaired motor skills. The neurologist told me that this type of migraine is very common with changes in barometric pressure. Its not natural for a human to be at 12,000 feet one day and 700 the next in pouring rain. In the future I have to be very careful about slowly ascending and descending. I loathe taking phamaceuticals however I will procure migraine drugs for times when I must severely change elevation. But like you I experienced a very severe altitude related migraine. Also if it helps to know I am male and 27. At the time this happened I was a smoker, though I am not anymore.


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