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anxiety and maybe migraines.

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For the last 2 years I have had some very strange sensations in my head. Hard to describe but have tried my best. It all started when I was driving my car. I suddenly get a sensation that feels like a wave like movement going across my head from the right to the left. Almost like my brain had decided to begin to spin. At the same time I feel like I'm falling and have to catch myself. Never actually fall and have never lost consciousness. These can happen once a day or multiple times. I have also now been suffering with headaches for the last 5 months. One sided usually on the left, throbbing but not dibilitating. I've seen a neurologist and had a CT and MRI and all was clear. My family GP believes it to be anxiety and maybe migraines. Also ruled out vertigo with a dizziness clinic. Currently taking Escitalopram and Noratriptylline which has helped but has not got rid of the symptoms entirely. Looking for some help as I don't know what else to do or where to go.
Thank you


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replied September 23rd, 2014
Anxiety and Stress Answer A49351
Thank you for asking

Your doctor is right. It is migraine and migraine leads to such dizziness episodes. Anxiety trigger it too.

Migraines are the common cause of recurrent headaches and family history of this issue makes it more likely.
I want you to know that Migraine treatment involves acute (abortive) and preventive (prophylactic) therapy. Patients with frequent attacks usually require both. Measures directed toward reducing migraine triggers are also generally advisable.
Acute treatment aims to reverse, or at least stop, the progression of a headache that has started. Preventive treatment, which is given even in the absence of a headache, aims to reduce the frequency and severity of the migraine attack, make acute attacks more responsive to abortive therapy, and perhaps also improve the patient's quality of life. An overview of migraine treatment is shown in the image below.
Migraineurs should be screened for cardiovascular risk factors, which, if present, should be aggressively treated. Migraineurs with aura should also be counseled on the increased risk of stroke with smoking and oral contraceptive use.
avoid factors that precipitate a migraine attack (eg, lack of sleep, fatigue, stress, certain foods, use of vasodilators).use a daily diary to document the headaches. This is an effective and inexpensive tool to follow the course of the disease.discontinue any medications that exacerbate your headaches. If an oral contraceptive is suspected to be a trigger, you may modify, change, or discontinue its use for a trial period. Similarly, if hormone replacement therapy is a suspected trigger, should reduce dosages, if possible. If headaches persist, consider discontinuing hormone therapy.
Biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and relaxation therapy, occipital nerve stimulators,FDA recent approved Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (Cerena TMS), are some non pharmacological approaches which help the migraines.
Use some preventive agents (eg, frovatriptan) perimenstrually as most of the migraines in women are associated with menstrual cycles.
SOme CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) techniques have been proved effective too.Biofeedback and behavioral therapy, herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus),riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, and feverfew,coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10),Melatonin,Body work - Eg, chiropractic, massage, and craniosacral therapy,Nutritional/herbal supplements - Eg, vitamins and herbs,Acupressure and acupuncture, yoga etc are some of the level 1 recommendations by American college of neurology for these migrainous headaches.
Some dietary triggers which trigger migraine need to be avoided.Common dietary triggers include the following:
Alcohol - Particularly wine and beer
Caffeine overuse or caffeine withdrawal
Chocolate
Aspartame - eg, NutraSweet and Equal
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - May be found in Asian food, canned soup, frozen or processed foods, and the seasoning product Accent
Fruits - Citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, and dried fruit
Nuts - Peanuts, soy nuts, and soy sauce
Tyramine, a biogenic amine that accumulates in food as it ages, may provoke migraine. Sources include the following:
Dairy - Aged cheese
Meat - Bacon, sausage, luncheon meat, deli meat, pepperoni, and smoked or cured meat
Pickled foods
Heavily yeasted breads - Eg, sourdough
Vinegars - Especially wine vinegar
Some types of beans
exercise for migraine prevention (40 minutes 3 times weekly for 3 months) has been proved effective.,Tonabersat,Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 antagonists,Prostaglandin E receptor 4 receptor antagonists,Serotonin 5HT1(F) receptor agonists and Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors are some of the novel managements for the migraines these days.
I hope you see the depth of it. Discuss all the possible options with your doctor and let them select what is best for you. COnsult your neurologist and hope for the best.

Visit our migraine headaches health centre for further guidance.

Take care


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