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  • Writer's pictureliz panella

my migraine journey, entry I: my story, resources, + recommendations

my health story:

after a debilitating migraine this past weekend, my eyes were opened by so many followers + friends who shared similar stories of dealing with migraines, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, + more. this blog is the first entry in my migraine / health journey as a goal to be transparent about my experiences in effort to hopefully help other women.


unfortunately, I have been experiencing some other symptoms which I feel may now be related to these migraines. below is a list of these symptoms:

  • migraines

  • chronic fatigue

  • low energy

  • always feeling cold

  • motion sickness / nausea (never had this before last year)

  • neck + shoulder pain / spasms



this weekend was not the first time I experienced a severe migraine. at 27 (almost 28) I experienced my first migraine in july 2022 (the day before I got engaged...but that's a story for another time). at the time, I didn't know what was going on because I had never suffered from migraines before. I ran to get an IV to try + make me feel better, which it did significantly.


fast forward to labor day weekend (sept 2022) + it strikes again. this time, 10x. I experienced excruciating pain in my head combined with nausea + vomiting. after 1 night of non-stop discomfort, I looked up at-home IV's because I just couldn't get off the couch. I found mobile IV medics + they came within 10 minutes! I didn't know it was a migraine at the time, so we just did a saline bag + vitamins to treat my symptoms. I felt much better, but the next day I was still vomiting. Vin + I decided to go to the ER on labor day where I got another IV + instantly felt better (saline + benadryl + reglan). aside from feeling so miserable, the worst part about that weekend was that we had a few sets of friends that were in town with dinner plans at my favorite chicago spots.



since then, I had mild migraines in-between these severe episodes which I treated at the onset of symptoms with the following medications:

  • but/acetaminophen/caffeine 50 mg-325 mg-40 tb

  • naratriptan 2.5mg

  • ondanestron ODT 4mg (zofran)

after this past weekend's episode (3/10/23), I decided that I need to take things into my own hands and advocate for myself. I got an influx of responses on my IG story box, DM's, + texts over the weekend with women going through similar issues. It was so comforting hearing from everyone who shared stories, provided recommendations, resources, and more! I decided to compile a list of all of that information + will continue taking you with me on this journey to getting to the root of this issue!


resources, recommendations, + more:


physicians:

  • PCP

  • order thyroid labs, vitamin levels, thyroid ultrasounds

  • make sure bloodwork checks for tsh, free t3, free t4, anti tpo, etc.

  • see if the following medications could help:

  • sumatriptan 25mg & naproxen for onset of symptoms

  • butterbur-150mg daily divided into 2 doses

  • get an MRI ordered

  • see if PCP can prescribe botox for migraines

  • Integrative / Functional Medicine

  • chiropractor

  • acupuncture

  • naturopath

  • dutch tests (hormone tests) - need to be off of birth control for 3 months

  • Integrative OBGYN

  • could be vitamin deficiency: get vitamin / iron panels to see if iron infusions or adding in vitamins daily are needed

  • try a birth control that doesn’t contain estrogen or a lot of hormones (copper IUD)

  • Dr Torphy @ Chicago Headache Center

  • Therapeutic Health in Hinsdale

  • Dr Batista @ the Fitz (Chicago)

  • $150 for 30 min virtual consult

  • Avery Integrative Health (Tinley Park, IL)

  • Aligned Modern Health

  • Doctor Amen Clinics (Chicago + nationwide)

resources:

  • @drjolenebrighten

  • @doctor.paria

  • @drwillcole

  • the art of being well podcast

  • @themigrainedoctor

  • @mensturationqueen

  • cyclical podcast

  • @medicalmedium detox

  • @gracie_norton (advocating for yourself, wellness, healthy living)

  • check family history of hypo / hyperthyroidism

at home prevention / treatments:

  • take magnesium (400-600 mg daily) + vitamin b12 aka riboflavin (400 mg daily) + vitamin d

  • at-home b12 shots?

  • "stop pain" gel

  • add LMNT packets to water

  • brazil nuts

  • track hormones around migraines (diet, cycle, etc.)

  • cycle syncing your food to your menstrual cycle to find the root of symptoms


my next steps:

part of the frustration in this journey is not knowing what to do next. I'm starting with my current medical providers as well as research + advice from this community. here's what i've done this weekend:

  • set up a virtual call with my psychiatrist this week (he originally flagged my symptoms + thought I may have a thyroid condition)

  • reached out to my PCP to get a referral to see an Integrative Medicine physician (I am looking at Northwestern's Integrative Health Center: https://ocih.nm.org/)

  • reached out to my neurologist who diagnosed my migraines as hormonal to see if she can order an MRI + let her know the medication I am on did not work

  • reached out to my OBGYN to discuss the hormones in my IUD (I have the Kyleena IUD) + see if switching birth controls or completely getting off is the best route

  • ask my chiropractor to do acupuncture at my weekly visits


If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading! because of the outpouring of advice + support I got, I just want to return the favor. I know healthcare is extremely personal, but overall these issues aren't talked about enough. I will continue to keep you posted as I advocate for myself + get to the bottom of this!


xo, liz

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