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Migraine Preventive Sought

I have a 10 year old son who has had migraines since he was a toddler. We have tried almost everything, but traditional medications either work SOMEWHAT, but have horrid side effects or they don't work at all and still have horrid side effects.

I've read with great interest on what many on here do for migraines, but I'm having trouble finding anything on prevention.

He is a child who is missing out on so many fun things - birthday parties, field trips, etc. - due to migraines. I would just like to find a way to decreases the intensity, duration, frequency or any combination of the 3!

The other symptoms I notice are that he gets pale, has dark circles under his eyes, gets very nauseous, vomits repeatedly if pain does not ease up, avoids light and sound, talks softly, gets sleepy but cannot sleep due to the pain, and can hardly walk upright. All of this is during a migraine.

Triggers seem to include low pressure fronts, sleep changes, sometimes meat preservatives, bright light, and certain sound frequencies. Sometimes long car trips can trigger them unless we give him ginger first, so I'm guessing he has some motion sickness as well.

Thank you to any advice you can provide. I feel horrible for him as my other child has autism, and it's very hard to focus on two strong needs at one time. We live in constant worry about the next migraine. He has 1-2 a week right now, but it has been as low as 1 a month when on preventive meds . The every day side effects (tiredness, being overly emotional) were just too much, though.
[message edited by cindyb1969 on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:41:25 BST]
  cindyb1969 on 2011-10-20
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
Homoeopathy prevents migraines by curing them, by curing the source of them.

I will post some questions here, if you can answer them we can start the process of determining what remedy will help him.

1. Describe in detail the main problem - appearance, colour, shape, symptoms, behaviour etc. What happens, when it happens etc.

2. Describe any pains or behaviours associated with the symptoms.

3. Describe anything that makes the problem worse ie. position, temperature, food etc.

4. Describe anything that makes the problem better ie. pain is better for cold bathing or at night in bed.

5. Go through each symptom or problem he/she has, doing the same thing (answering questions 1-4), even if the problem does not seem connected to any others.

6. When did each problem start? What happened around that same time?

7. What is his/her character like? What kinds of fears or anxieties does he/she have? What makes him/her irritable? Flesh out his/her personality.

8. What foods does he/she crave or hate? What drinks does he/she crave or hate? Is he/she sensitive to anything he/she eats or drinks?

9. How does the weather or season affect him/her?

10. How have all his/her milestones gone? Does he/she have any issue with speaking, learning, walking, climbing etc

11. How is he/she with socializing with others?

12. What is his/her bowel habit like? Any problems? Any odours, strange colours or stool shapes?

13. Where does he/she sweat? Does it have a smell or does it stain a particular colour?

14. History of illnesses in his/her life?

15. Has he/she reacted to any vaccines or medical drugs?

16. Problems with sleep? Position he/she sleeps in? Nightmares or any dreams he/she talks about?

17. How is he/she with animals?

18. How is he/she with adults or strangers?

19. What is the family history of illness and disease?

20. What was the pregnancy like? Any odd symptoms or feelings that disappeared once he/she was born?

Try as best you can to describe precisely what he is like, what happens to him, during a migraine, and especially anything he says about how it feels or what it is doing to him, or what his attitude to the pain is.

Also, any homoeopathic medicines you have tried and their results, should be listed.

David Kempson
Professional Classical Homoeopath
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Sure! No problem.

1. Main problem - one-sided, severe migraine pain with nausea; pale appearance with dark circles under eyes, weak, suddenly quiet, withdrawn, irritable, intolerant of light and noise, lying down, wanting darkness and wanting cold, speaking in a barely audible voice

2. Other behaviors - hair pulling, not wanting any pressure on head, squinting and turning away from light, not able to sit upright or walk standing up tall, avoiding movement, avoiding interacting, seeking solitude and silence, seeking darkness and quiet, seeking cold, but wrapping up in blankets, avoiding food and drink; dull thinking; slow reacting

3. Made worse by: any light, any noise, but some frequencies are far worse, eating and drinking worsen nausea, movement or walking makes it worse, riding in a vehicle makes it severe and unbearable, talking makes it worse, concentration makes it worse, reading, focusing with eyes

4. Made 'better' (but not permanently or long-term - just helps some) by: cold on neck, pulling hair, darkness, silence, eyes closed, lying down, avoiding interaction, being still, vomiting eases pain & nausea temporarily, sleeping; ginger (if able to be tolerated) can ease nausea to a degree; caffeine if he has a headache. Otherwise it can cause a headache.

5. Hard to separate the pain and nausea as they are always together. Both are worsened and helped by the same things as far as he can tell me. The pain usually starts first followed by the nausea, but motion sickness HAS caused the nausea to start first before then move quickly to pain.

6. Problems first began when he was a toddler when we would be traveling and our routines and sleep cycles would change; most often occurs around 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon when getting out of school, but can come on when he is getting tired in the evening; sometimes occurs upon waking in the morning - sometimes due to sudden changes in light, but it can happen without this. The morning ones started in March of this year. I don't recall any changes in our lives that have triggered the new patterns.

7. Character: highly intelligent, but somewhat anxious and high-strung, always looking for the right choice and slow to make decisions due to looking for the best answer, analytical, wants to clarify everything, technical-minded, difficulty with gray areas, desires to control situations in order to feel comfortable; gets irritable about not feeling 'heard,' someone not understanding his point of view or not seeing his perspective, yet he has trouble seeing others' perspectives, yet at the same time has a strong desire to want justice for those who are less-able; kind even though sometimes not attentive; thinker, dreamer, never spiteful or having ill-will; not aggressive or fighting, yet argumentative at times; questioning, extremely creative; marches to the beat of his own drum; not terribly concerned about following the crowd; Often misses the forest for the trees - gets lots in details and misses the big picture; extremely verbally polite to adults

8. Craves: carbs, sugar, sweets, all of the foods parents would not choose, soft drinks, pizza, lemonade, sports drinks (Gatorade, etc.), crawfish (!), shrimp, chicken, beef

Hates: vegetables except corn; anything new and unfamiliar; anything too spicy or unusual; fish; chocolate;

Seems to be sensitive to red dye (may cause irritability and hyperactivity); blackberries - migraine; meat preservatives - migraine; maybe aged cheese?; caffeine - migraine unless he already has one, then it helps alleviate it;

9. Weather - changes in pressure and fronts will sometimes cause a headache. It is usually prior to the front, but can be after it has passed through. Haven't noticed anything besides that.

10. Milestones: Always ahead in academic milestones; 'lazy' articulation; social skills lag and seem obviously so due to vocabulary and academic / reasoning skills; extremely verbal; some clumsiness and hesitation with gross motor skills; fine motor skills are great; auditory processing skills are weak, but visual processing skills are well above average; academically gifted especially in the areas of math and science, but also writing skills

11. Social: I believe social skills are weak. He seems younger than others as he does not 'consider his audience' when he speaks. He will go on and on about things he's interested in, but not attend to what others are saying when he's not; rarely remembers names; loved by younger children; thought to be 'different' by many of his same-aged peers; avoided by older students as his behaviors can annoy them; Adults think he's funny and fascinating as an 'adult trapped in a child's body' but can grow weary of his talkativeness over time.

12. Not sure as he is very private about bathroom habits. I think he's fairly regular, and seems to have a fast metabolism. He is very underweight due to picky eating habits.

13. Yes, he sweats, but no noticeable stains. The best smell I can describe is a puppy dog or a pre-teen boy! Grassy, sweaty, but not terribly unpleasant...yet. Has had some recent mild body odor as he is getting to that age.

14. Illnesses: Not many illnesses; no strep and not many stomach viruses; did have swine flu; mild cold / allergy issues once or twice a year; ear infections until age 3; family history of allergy on dad's side, but not a huge issue for him as far as I can tell; migraine on both sides of family, but not mom or dad - mainly cousins and grandmother who died of c-----;

15. No, though some migraine preventives have made him sleepy, irritable, lethargic

16. Trouble falling asleep ALWAYS. Sleeps on back and sides mainly...usually left side; Rarely has dreams that he remembers. Once asleep, sleeps very soundly.

17. Loves animals, but has to be reminded to be calm and gentle with them. He is not purposefully hurtful, but gets overexcited at times and wants to train them or get them to do what he wants. (sit by him, lay in his lap, etc.)

18. Friendly, polite; warms up quickly if interested or not distracted by more interesting things going on.

19. c-----, (won't allow this word in the forum?) migraines, extra pinky fingers, missing adult teeth, brother has autism; allegies

20. Difficult pregnancy; lots of fetal movement, but some off and on bleeding, pre-eclampsia, abrupted placenta resulting in emergency c-section; He was born 3 1/2 weeks early, but was fine; no NICU or resuscitation required. Blood pressure returned to normal after he was born, but I had a difficult recovery due to massive hemorrhaging and trauma. I also had some post-partum depression, probably mainly related to shock of events surrounding his birth. (He was born days after Sept. 11, which caused lots of stress for me, ending with events that led to abrupted placenta)

He says that pressure makes his migraines worse as does noise, light, interacting, etc. The pain makes him sad at missing out so much. He feels melancholy about the unfairness of it all.

ONE MORE THING: He does not have any visual or other type of indication that he's about to have a headache, but I am noticing that he will start to seem tired and lethargic beforehand, usually yawning frequently. He often doesn't tell me when he gets one because it doesn't occur to him to do so. This is very unusual for him as he is a very self-aware child. It's almost as if the migraine dulls his ability to relay information because he mentally slows down so much. Once it hits, if we don't do something to treat it right away, it will rapidly progress in intensity. We can only stop it by either catching it early and getting meds in him, or finding a way to keep enough medicine down to help ease the pain enough to take more medicine to abort it. Not treating it results in waves of pain and vomiting that won't stop until he goes to sleep. Sleeping without keeping meds. down will result in a continued headache when he wakes up. Nothing but pain meds ever breaks the cycle. Once the headache starts and reaches a certain intensity, food, drink, and swallowing pills is impossible.

We have not tried anything homeopathic yet. We have tried prescription and herbal supplements.

Herbal supplements tried:
magnesium glycinate - some decrease in intensity and frequency

butterbur - smell made him nauseous, so we had to discontinue

feverfew - some decrease in intensity

ginger - helps some with nausea if taken BEFORE an episode

ciproheptadine - decreased frequency and maybe intensity, but side effects were extreme moodiness plus 'hangover' effect in the morning

Elavil - same as above; less hangover at 10 mg. dose, but not effective at that dose at all except will allow the abortive meds to work better


ibuprofen with a drink with some caffeine will make pain and nausea tolerable if taken very early, but it is rarely caught this early. If he can keep this down then sleep, it will make the headache not be present upon waking.

Zomig - does work, and sometimes works completely; drowsiness will remain, but has potential of making the day livable and pleasant, unlike anything else he has tried.

Sorry this is so long. I am a desperate mom who will go to the ends of the Earth to help my child. Hopefully I've painted a clear picture.
cindyb1969 last decade
One more thing (after reading a post about what you are seeking in my answers):

Untreated, he has at least one migraine a week, sometimes two.

Treated, he has between one and four migraines a month, but sometimes the regular amount but less intensity.

The best month ever (since age 3) was 1 1/2 months of only 1 migraine when he first started cyproheptadine. Unfortunately, that did not continue. Then the side effects started outweighing the benefit, pretty much the story of all preventives we've tried.

Also...reading for too long, watching TV for too long, playing a video game for too long, going to a movie at the theater, and strobing lights are all triggers as well.

Sorry I left this information out the first time.
cindyb1969 last decade
Ok this is a good amount of information. I will look over it and see what I can suggest.

brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Sorry it's so much! I was just trying to be as detailed as possible!
cindyb1969 last decade
No it's good. I struggle coaxing people into giving me enough information, so it is great to get lots straight up.
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
What noise frequencies is he more sensitive to?

What kind of caffeine helps the headache?
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
And when exactly did he get his first one? What was happening then? Any medical treatments, vaccines?
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Oh and what are his fears?

This is a tough case - just simply gathering the symptoms doesn't seem to lead on one direction.

How much movement would affect him?

What kind or intensity of light?
[message edited by brisbanehomoeopath on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 01:50:04 BST]
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
I had to ask him to help clarify some of these.

Sounds- high pitched sounds that are steady can cause a headache. A short high pitched sound can cause a quick headache and startle reaction, but it will go away if the sound is brief. Low, rumbling sounds can make a headache worse, but only until the sound ends. All sounds are unpleasant during a headache, though, with louder or higher pitched sounds, those are worse.

Light-intense or bright white light can cause a headache. Strobing light or light from a movie that changes often with movement can cause nausea followed by a headache. All light
makes a headache worse.

1st one...not sure because we think he had abdominal migraines first. They were first while on vacations, so sleep changes, new locations. No vaccines. Possibly traveling via plane or car beforehand.

Fears: being alone in the dark for too long, unknown things (aliens), getting bad grades (he makes straight A's!), getting in trouble at school (very rare), roller coasters / scary rides

Movement: long car rides, sometimes plane trips, any turning in circles to make dizzy, inverting his head for more than a second is a huge one. These all cause headaches.
cindyb1969 last decade
Can he describe the pain of a migraine?

And what kind of caffeine helps the headache?
[message edited by brisbanehomoeopath on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 05:31:28 BST]
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Is it specifically Aliens he is afraid of? What does he say about them that is so frightening? Does he ever draw them or describe them?

What is is reaction to getting into trouble, or to thinking he will get bad grades? How does he compensate for that fear?
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Sorry for multiple posts I keep thinking of something else lol.

What is it about the rides he doesn't like, specifically?
brisbanehomoeopath last decade

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