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:
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
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:
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
dutch tests (hormone tests) - need to be off of birth control for 3 months
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)
the art of being well podcast
@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
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!