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Expert help required...extreme medication tolerance
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lindseyvanbeek posted:
I posted on her about two years ago about the problems I have with medications and I was hoping that someone would have some new ideas for me.

I am 24 years old and I have been dealing with chronic migraines, severe anxiety, and insomnia for almost a decade. I have tried almost every preventative medication they make for migraines as well as every abortive medication that they make for migraine patients. I have been to dozens of doctors ranging from primary care doctors to neurologists to migraine specialists and no one can find the cause of my migraines.

The main issue I have is that every time I start taking a new medication it either doesn't work at all or it only works for a few days and then it has no effect on me whatsoever. It's like my tolerance for medication is severely sped up and I don't know what to do anymore. When I was in the hospital to have my appendix removed they started me on a morphine drip to control the pain and after only three hours, I was curled up in a ball crying my eyes out because I was in so much pain. This was the first time I realized that something was wrong because having a morphine drip control the pain for only three hours and then stop working altogether is definitely not normal.

Almost every doctor I've gone to doesn't believe that I'm telling the truth and they all just say that I am looking to score narcotics (which is really ridiculous because narcotics are not a good treatment for migraines anyways) despite the fact that I have never once asked for narcotic painkillers. Since I'm so young and I look even younger than my real age, they all just think that I am an addict looking to get a fix. I have never been addicted to or abused narcotics or alcohol or anything, but because there are so many young people trying to get pain meds from doctors, they automatically stereotype me.

I can take 15 OTC tylenol pills and have them do nothing at all for pain. I can take 8 10mg vicodin and have them do absolutely nothing. I can take 15 50mg tramadol tablets and have them do nothing. Just recently, a friend tried to help when I was in the middle of a really really bad migraine and they gave me this stuff called roxycet in liquid form. I had never heard of it before but I was willing to try anything to get rid of the pain. The standard dose for it is a teaspoon every four hours and my friend is pretty much stoned out of his mind after he takes the standard dose. He gave me enough for a couple of doses just in case. I started off taking half a teaspoon because I am always extremely cautious when it comes to meds that I've never tried. The half teaspoon did absolutely nothing to help me and over the course of a couple hours I took 3 tablespoons altogether and it still had absolutely no effect on me. It didn't take the pain away, I didn't get drowsy at all...it basically felt as if I had taken nothing. I don't know what to do anymore. I have read that there is a genetics test available that can show how a person metabolizes medication but I'm afraid that it won't give me the proof I need to show the doctors that a regular dose for other people has absolutely NO effect on me. And it's not just pain medications that don't work for me, it's pretty much everything. Antibiotics don't work most of the time (they always have to put me on the strongest ones). Anxiety medications only work for a couple of days before they stop working. I've even had to increase the dose on my nausea medication because a regular dose stopped working.

I guess I just need to know what I'm supposed to do now...even if this test shows what I've been trying to tell them, how are they supposed to treat my pain? Will they even be allowed to prescribe the amount of medication that I need? I guess I'm just hoping that someone will have some advice for me that can help or that maybe someone else has this problem as well and can tell me what they did.
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Anon_2912 responded:
I have that issue, BUT, mine is also with food that I eat.

However my screwed up metabolism is due to untreated graves/hyperthyroidism about 20yrs ago. My wiring is all messed up...

I burn up everything quickly.
 
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Jenn_Smith responded:
I unfortunately don't have an answer for you, but I have the same problem, my thyroid is messed up so I wonder if that's not why I burn up meds like crazy. I have severe migraines, bipolar disorder, chronic nerve pain, cervical spinal stenosis & lumbar spinal stenosis, I also have bad anxiety problems. If you do find out what to do Please let me know because I can barely walk & I have tried every pain medication, vitamin, physical therapy, etc. You name it, I've tried & am at my wit's end. I don't know how to handle this anymore. I hope you find some relief because I can relate to being miserable & having no one believe you about the meds. Hang in there, surely we'll both get relief someday.
 
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wendy2231 responded:
Hi there, I read your post and I feel bad that you are in so much pain. Have you gotten an MRI or CAT scan? And are you seeing a Pain Management Specialist? PM drs really do have the most sympathy when it comes to pain.
If I were you, I would keep a log of all of your symptoms, what meds you take, how much, and how it affects you.
Then go see an appropriate dr who can figure out why your tolerance is so high. If he/she does not believe you, go to another. Good ones are out there, believe me, I have had my share.
Good luck, keep me posted.
 
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An_252283 responded:
You are not alone, I have an extremely high tolerance to pain meds , but don't tell a doctor that, because they will always assume you are seeking narcotics, and not in a pain kind of way. When I was twenty, I had a blood cyst burst around my ovaries, the first shot of demeral didn't do anything, the doctor told me he had never seen a 98lb woman have to recieve so much demeral, and I should notify dr's in the future,as to my tolerance. I am past 50 now, and not one dr has believed me, so unfortunatly, I have experience dealing with pain. My brother is the same way, I quit saying anything a long time ago, due to being treated like I am a drug seeking, person, which just isn't so, I have only wanted to control my pain, and hate putting so many chemicals in my body. I had neck surgery, and the pain never went away. wish I had something positive to say
 
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1lionheart replied to An_252283's response:
I have been on so many different types of opiates over the past 8 years I tend to have allergy's to a lot and cant say that I really feel anything but tied. I hate them as I am sleeping my life away. I have found a natural way. Fresh Turmeric. I think that is how you spell it. it is the Orange root. Either in tea or grate and have fresh with a meal once to 3 times a day. Generally about 3 heaped table spoons each time. don't cook it it must be fresh. It is helping me. Not the be end to end all but it does take away quite a bit of pain. They have been doing studies over here in Autralia so have a go. I personally can't eat the root raw, the flavour is a bit full on but just mix it a bit with anything even add with the tea some ginger. Hope this help. ta
 
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1lionheart responded:
I suffered from migraines for up to 10 years. They suddenly came on with the aura and then the pain. I tried everything as well. You have to understand what they are and what causes them. though I also had similar problem's to you. No med's worked. The Morphine would help a bit but not much, then nothing. I have a lot of med's I cant' have because of side effects though. I did find that no migraine med's worked only Imagrain but for a very short time, then nothing. I did do the aspirin as it thins the blood as a lot of migraine patients it is the thickening of the blood cells, which then put pressure on parts of the brain. I went into the hospital a few times before they went away.(will tell soon). They now don't put you on Morphine but fluids and some type of anti depressant. they don't know why it works but it does. How my migraines went away believe it or not. I suffered from epilepsy which started a few years after when the migraines got worst. I would have migraines 3 to 5 days a week for years. back to story, I had a seizure and ended up in hospital. They did not have the bars up. I fell and had the biggest contusion about 1 half inch's wide and about 2 cm high. The pain was so bad but after the pain went so did the migraines and epilepsy. Medical mystery. Though I am cured I still live in fear about getting them back. this new treatment is done in Australia in the major hospital's. You are aware that if you suffer long term and at least once a month that you should have an annual brain scan. I saw every specialist and most had no idea about Migraines. Best to research and find the doc's who are writing good reports as I have found that most have no idea. it is frustrating and time consuming. When it comes to any opiate though you can't feel it psychologically or even pain relief do not keep increasing the dose as it is doing things to your liver and kidney and though you can't feel it you could Cardiac Arrest. I have to take so much. 1 tablet that would have 3 men sick and throwing up I have 3x per day but I actually don't feel it as others do. It helps for my other medical conditions though. I really feel for you and would never wish on any 1 ever. I did find that out of a lot was Valium as is relax's muscles and that is what the brain is. Try to see a Shiatzu( Master Only) I had 1 that helped a bit. Also if your neck is out it will increase the migraines quite a lot. See a Chiropractor but must be Osteopath as well. Not just the 1. I know not much but any bit of info that can shed some light on this condition and stop the time wasters is a good thing. Good luck. I wish you the best and I don't advise giving yourself a head injury LOL. Keep up lot of water or Gaterade as it has the salts etc to stay in the body and cleans it out and not just bloat you.
 
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1lionheart responded:
Oh I did forget to mention. It is can be dependent on where you live. if in a higher attitude it could be causing them. though I am pain free but everytime i used to visit my mum my migraines came back found out the higher the altitude the more my Migraine would come on. I can no longer visit her. So do an environment check. Also the new thing and does work as a natural pain killer is 3x heaped table spoons of fresh Tumeric root grated up or in tea. I put ginger in the tea and the grated on all food. Others love the taste. Not so for me so grated goes on food 3x3 per day. ta
 
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ctbeth replied to Anon_2912's response:
How unusual, anon_2912.

Perhaps you could return to the doctor who diagnosed you, but oddly did not treat you, with Graves Disease/ hyperthyroidism.

Since untreated Graves disease can be fatal, and you've been living with this for about twenty years, it would seem that getting the Graves disease properly managed (treated) would be high on your to-do list.

Once your "messed-up wiring" is resolved, you should ,metabolize foods and medicines to be properly nourished and your pain can be more appropriately managed.
 
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ctbeth replied to Jenn_Smith's response:
Jenn_Smith,

Again, if you've been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, it would seem odd that the MD who diagnosed you would not treat your "messed up thyroid".

Hyper or hypo thyroidism is a serious diagnosis.

I am curious as to why at-least two respondents have been diagnosed with thyroid disease and the diagnosing MD would not follow up with treatment.

Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can be successfully treated and both conditions can be very serious if not treated.

Have others had this situation of being diagnosed with an endocrine disease followed by an MD NEGLECTING to treat your disease?

In all of my life (as a patient and a nurse) I have not once before heard of this situation, and within the past five days, two claim to have experienced the same neglectful treatment.
 
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Anon_2912 replied to ctbeth's response:
I apologize, I should have mentioned that YES I did finally get treated by another doctor, but only because I hit a thyroid storm. I had RAI & then when that did not work I had the TT after the second thyroid storm. This was almost 19yrs ago.

I am on medication for this. However, the lingering effects that the untreated graves/hyperthyroidism left are what cause my problems with as I say "messed up wiring".

I don't sleep much and YES I have been sent to sleep doctors all to no avail. I eat but don't EVER feel full....I do weight about 100 lbs.

My thyroid levels are being monitored every 6 months;
 
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1lionheart responded:
Dear Lindsey, I really feel for you as I had exactly the same problems when it came to migraines. At 1 point i would have ice and a wet towel (even in winter and very cold then) wrapped around my head. That did actually help heaps. I did find out of all the things, at some times was just plain Aspirin. Some theory's is that the blood vessels expand which then puts pressure on other parts of the brain. You must ask Doc on max dose and how long as it thins the blood in the brain and also allows more oxygen.
I have had so many med and only 1 worked a couple of days. the dose I think was max of maybe 5. my doc was shocked that i was taking 15 so I had to get off. Imagrain helped for a bit. Opiates actually can cause the Migraine to increase. Even Morphine. though it can help when you are so bad and need to go to hospital. I was fortunate that i was seeing my Doc for so many yrs and knows I hate opiates but still she gives me 1 ampule of Morphine for Locum doc's instead of waiting for hours in ER to get it. There is also going to an Osteopath so they can re align you back and neck as it takes that excess strain and pressure from stress in shoulders and also with you neck, if it is out it will cause major problem and also lack of oxygen to the brain. I would see mine once a fortnight and that did help as well. For what ever reason (I also HAD Epilepsy) I was in hospital for seizures, they did not put up the guard rail and i fell and hit the front right of my forehead and had a massive lump that took about 3 to 4 weeks for the intense constant throbbing pain to go away. When it did so did my Migraines and most of my Epilepsy to go away. DO NOT ADVICE LOL. Also if you live in a place of high altitude you will get them. It could be at the top of a big hill for people as well. i suffered for about 8 years as well. 3 to 5 days a week. I was house bound most of that time. I hope any of these things will help. Ta
 
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cweinbl responded:
Many of us have a very high tolerance for pain medications. But people can tolerate large dosages of opioids, as long as they increase it very gradually. At high dosages, respiratory depression becomes a risk. These medications are natural substances that bind with opioid receptors in the brain. Once you reach the maximum safe dosage, the only real solution is to rotate to a chemically different drug temporarily. After a few weeks, you can return to the original medication with enhanced efficacy.

Getting your doctor to prescribe high dosages might be very problematic. If you have a family doctor that trusts you, this might be the best physician to prescribe. That doctor will also know exactly what other drugs you're taking and the dosages. It' s the trusting relationship that makes all the difference in the world.

For non-migraine pain, which responds better to opioids, another good method is to use a long-acting opioid for your mainstay and add a short-acting opioid for breakthrough pain. The combination can work many times better than either one would alone.

Migraines do not often respond well to opioids. Good luck working with your doctor to find something new that can help.
cweinbl
csw2@bex.net
 
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annette030 responded:
Who knows what the test will show???

Antibiotics do not work on your body, they work on the bacteria that are making you ill.

It may be that you are genetically non-responsive to meds, I don't know, nor do I know everything. I would certainly tell you if I did.

I would stick with one doctor, and do what he suggests.

Take care, Annette
 
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annette030 replied to ctbeth's response:
I have found in my professional and personal life that if a doctor goes to the trouble of diagnosing something, they treat it. But I have found on the internet that self-diagnosed thyroid problems are fairly common. I would suggest you try visiting some FMS sites, thyroid problems are fairly common there. That is where I was exposed to them.

Hugs, Annette


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