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Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)
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quietday posted:
I'm 49 yrs old. At 35 cigarette smoke started my journey with migraines. At 41 it was my birth control pills which I had taken since age 18 with no problems. Also at 41 I noticed a different headache which 8 yrs later my gynecologist suggested it sounded like maybe preservatives in food. My headache doctor, when I was 41 said it is rarely food when I asked him about it. I suffered needlessly for 8 yrs. I now eat only organic foods which solved that problem, but it's very restricting because of no more eating out or at other people's homes. I also get migraines from even slight dehydration, not sleeping enough, caffeine, animal products(even organic, might be tied to my perimenopausal problems), fish, shrimp, paint, magic markers, burning charcoal, scented products. I now use unscented laundry detergent, bath soaps, and cleaning products. I just moved into a new house and started having a headache which it turns out was from the pilot light from the gas fireplace(turned it off, headache went away). Also since it got cold and I closed the windows up for the winter I now have a headache back which I think is from the new carpet. I think this because last week I went shopping for some rugs for my house and ended up later that night with the most awful migraine. I put the rugs in the garage and after 2 days(that's how long my migraines last) my migraine was gone(but not the lesser headache from my carpet). Carpets(rugs) give off toxic gasses when they are new. I now live a quiet life mostly at home because of the smells I encounter in public. Some of the lesser smells just make me sneeze out of control and I have pulled back muscles because of this. I know the things I have to avoid might be excessive but if my story can help someone it's worth telling.
I've tried meds in the past without much help. I've tried daily Verapamil. And, as needed, I've used imitrex pills and shots, Amerge, Zomig, Torodal none of which worked very well, but they did take the pain level down enough so that I didn't feel "suicidal" anymore. Anyone who has had bad migraines knows what I'm talking about. It's a very scary place to be. Now, since I know my migraines will last 48 hours no matter what I do, I will take 2 Motrin(ibuprofen) every 8 hours to stay below the "suicidal" pain level until it is gone.
Sometimes a migraine will show up immediately as with cigarette smoke and sometimes it will show up after a few hours like after an offending chemical(preservative, pesticide) is digested and gets into your bloodstream thus causing the bloodvessels to inflame which causes pain(migraine). Get to know your body and what it is telling you. It takes time but it works. I'm NOT a doctor but I have learned from 14 years of experience with migraines. Check out WebMD and type in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity(MCS). There's no cure but there are things you can do with some awareness. Look for patterns in your migraines. Keep a detailed journal about your activities and also everything you consume. It just might help.
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yukonok responded:
I'm a 55 yr old female and have chronic migraines (20 -25 per month) for which I'm getting botox therapy an one week. Preventatives of all kinds did not work or side effects too severe. I get a migraine within minutes of exposure to most colognes, smoke (cigarettes, burning wood, BBQ), car exhaust, paint fumes, fresh tar (roofing/road repair) and other odors. Perfumes are everywhere, so I've become a recluse except for having to go to work. I can't go to functions where there are people so I've led a very lonely life for the last 12 years (when migraines exceeded 10 per month). I'm curious to see if my body still reacts with the "fight or flight" panic when I encounter these odorous triggers after receiving botox. I so hope the botox will lessen or end the migraine as well as the physical reaction/panic. It's completely involuntary...biofeedback, acupunture, a multitude of supplements and perscription meds never helped to prevent this chronic condition. I've kept detailed journals for more than a decade. Good luch to you and don't give up!
 
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marieh9 responded:
quiet day,
I hope you are well today. I have a lot of the same problems you mention. I get a migraine with MSG in food, red wine, excitement or stress, but I haven't notices a migraine with detergents etc. instead I get a allergy to all the things you mention which makes me either break out or sneeze all day. Now I'm getting aura's without the migraine and sometimes both aura and migraine. I have seen a neurologist and that is not unusual. I take imitrex for my migraines.


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A good read for overall migraine conditions
http://www.migrainetrust.org/factsheet-migraine-triggers-10505 More
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