I’ve had headaches since a young age, and they have progressively gotten worse as I’ve grown older. If I were to describe the pain, I’d say it’s like a throbbing tooth ache in my brain.
More than anything, I want to know what is causing the headaches. I’m not interested in masking the pain with medications, because I feel like there is an underlying problem. What I’m experiencing is NOT NORMAL. I’ve compiled a long list of everything I can think of that might be relevant. Please respond with suggestions such as disorders that might cause my symptoms or tests I can ask for.
Patient Description:
Weight: 121lbs
Height: 5’ 9”
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Current Symptoms:
- Persistent migraine headaches.
o Migraines last between 48hours and a week.
o Migraines are usually so painful that any kind of activity is unbearable.
o Have missed countless hours of work, school, and social opportunities as a result of the migraines. The social damage is especially severe.
- Headache aura includes:
o Tiny white squiggly dots
o Vision difficulty
o Increased blood pressure and faster heart beat
o Brain fog (confusion, detachment from my surroundings, lightheadedness)
o Heart palpitations usually precede and follow a migraine.
- Migraine symptoms include:
o Throbbing pain on one or both sides
o Accelerated heart beat (even while resting, I can feel my heart hammering away)
o Cognitive difficulties (slurred speech, difficulty forming thoughts, difficulty communicating)
o Light and sound sensitivity
o Lethargy
- Other symptoms
o Dramatically decreased sex drive. Can go 2 months with no desire for sexual activity. However, sexual activity seems to make me more sensitive to my known migraine triggers.
o Occasional stabbing chest pain (maybe once or twice a month)
o Sinuses tighten up. Usually can’t breathe through nose during a migraine.
o Sometimes have excessive yawning during the afternoon that leads to a migraine later in the day.
o Almost always craving sweet foods.
- Anything higher than 40 on the glycemic index will bring on a migraine aura, and depending on how much is consumed, possibly a headache. The higher on the scale, the more intense the headache.
- Brain fog is sometimes felt only minutes after consuming certain types of food. As an example, drinking a fruit juice brings on almost immediate brain fog.
- Going too long without eating, or eating too much in one sitting.

Patient History:
- Pediatrician diagnosed me with ADD. Complained of frequent headaches and an inability to concentrate.
- Took Ritalin until around age 14. Had a bad hallucinogenic episode after several months of use, and so I stopped taking it.
- Went to emergency room for severe headache. Had severe motor function problems due to intensity of the headache. Doctors didn’t find anything wrong in the blood work or CAT scan. Morphine didn’t really do much to stop the pain.
- Took Adderall off and on up until around age 22. Medication helped with concentration issues, but not head pain.
- Visited a general practitioner around age 25. Told him I had persistent migraines. Recommended I see a neurologist. Standard blood work checked out fine.
- Visited neurologist, and checked out fine.
- Visited an allergen specialist and requested food allergy tests. Determined I had no food allergies.
- Visited a different general practitioner. Nurse commented that I had “very thin blood”, and doctor noted that I had high blood pressure. Blood work checked out normally, otherwise. Doctor prescribed propranalol for blood pressure.
- Visited same doctor again. Reported the propranalol made me very slothful, and didn’t seem to help with migraines. Doctor prescribed topamax and zomig. Neither had an effect on headache frequency or intensity.
- Visited same doctor again. Doctor prescribed ametryptaline. Ametryptaline seemed to have a very minor effect on headache frequency, but I had horrible nightmares and was falling asleep at work. Stopped taking the medication.
- Visited a different doctor. This doctor gave me a glucose tolerance test, which showed my blood sugar dropping to 49 and reaching a high of 170 or so over a 4 hour period. The doctor described this as “reactive hypoglycemia” and said I should closely monitor my diet to avoid headaches.
Related Informations:
- Only time in memory when I did not get a headache from eating normal, everyday food was when I was on the wrestling team in high school for a few months. During that time, I had an intense daily workout, and consequently, had mental stamina and focus greater than at any other point in my life. To show what I was like without migraines, I had easily achieved a 4.0 GPA and had met my first high school girlfriend. After I stopped wrestling, my grades plummeted to Ds and Fs, and I ended my relationship. The reason I quit wrestling was because of vertigo problems (tumbling or spinning would make me nauseated and dizzy).
- I literally eat nothing above 40 on the glycemic index. My diet is strictly controlled, but still, I sometimes get migraines if I miss a meal. I rarely eat out, and every ingredient is meticulously chosen for each and every meal. Even the slightest slip up can ruin the next 2 weeks.
- 2 or 3 advil is the only thing that reduces the migraine symptoms. In order to completely eliminate the migraine pain, I estimate that I would need to take 12 per day.
- Without a migraine, I’m a pretty smart, funny, and industrious guy. I get high praises for my professional work. (I’m a software developer) With migraines, I’m mean and impatient, and my work is sloppy. The difference in my behavior is tremendous. I often feel like I’ve been robbed of some of the best years of my life because of constant pain.
Family History
- My family has a history of diabetes.
- My half sister has graves disease
- I have a 1st cousin who has migraines that cause her to black out.
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First Helper captainheadache

replied February 12th, 2011
Sure, I'd be willing to investigate the possibility. My zip code is 70809. One thing I didn't mention was that I get pretty severe pain on one particular spot on the back of my neck around the time of a headache. On my left side, it's a spot on my lower neck. The pain feels like getting a tooth drilled, and the pain is most severe when pressure is applied to the location. I also have a similar spot on the top of my head near the front left side. Kind of weird.

Another thing, I have a very noticeable under bite, and have minor swallowing dysfunction. Lastly, no matter how much I gargle, brush, and floss before bed time, I almost always wake up with sore tonsils and am often coughing up tonsil stones. My last dentist didn't seem to think anything of it.

These details maybe aren't important, but I'm sharing everything I can just in case.
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replied February 19th, 2011
Chronic Migraines
I assume you know about rebound headache? My neurologist won't allow any OTC or RX painkillers except Aleve (does nothing for me) and Imitrex (helps sometimes). I also assume your high blood pressure is now under control and your thyroid has been checked?
I also suffer from chronic migraines seemingly brought on by activity, but I've never investigated foods high on the glycemic index as a cause. I also wake up with a minor sore throat when I have a migraine, but it seems to be due to post nasal drip. My tonsils and adenoids were removed. I'm going to look in to an NTI system for teeth grinding to see if that helps. Finally, have you looked into pyschological causes? You might want to read, The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno, MD. Fascinating. Wish you all the best.
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replied February 22nd, 2011
Suggestions on Migraine Pain Management
Hello fellow migraine sufferers......unravelling migraine pain is like peeling an onion with many, many layers and when you think you get the problem solved it is usually only another layer removed.....the onion remains and the pain.....perhaps less intense, perhaps less frequent but still as insiduous and awful because chronic pain is so dabilitating and no one specialist has all the answers.......I have found tapping as many resources as I can has been a great is a quick list of what I have done in the last 8 yrs since I began to have daily migraines (prev- headaches since 16 am 50 now, 3 migraines in the 2 yrs after children born and then 2 yrs after partial hysterectomy and months after starting counselling for past abuse issues they began again and were daily within 6 months sending me to the hospital with the pain)
1) migraine clinic (diagnosis, no tumors etc and meds and pain management classes, plus learning your trigger and how to deal with them)
2) counselling for 5 years - stuffed memories needed sorting out
3) changed to healthier diet, cleanses, etc
4) dental work (big help) - fixed bite issues
5) chiropractic - since 16 yrs for 2 major accidents at age 12 and numerous other life events
6) Active Release Therapy (ART) - painful process that removes scar tissue but work on neck, jaw and inside mouth permanently reduced headache pain (another layer gone)
7) Massage Therapy (I am a register massage therapy, needed to get out of the office and a less stressful occupation) - find a good one especially one that can do sports therapy and or Active Release therapy and or Cranial Sacral Therapy
Cool Cranial Sacral Therapy - aside from helping the immune system, it works on releasing adhesions (think of scabs inside the body) between ligaments and muscle and bone etc and when you remove these you reduce compensation pain, get better blood flow, nerves aren't restricted so they can do their job etc***this therapy alone has majorly helped to reduce pain during a migraine attack and overall -- go to the upledger website and the find a practitioner menu and see someone or better yet take a class plus they have tools to buy for home use - ie the Stillpoint Inducer was a major tool in my pain relief
9) I keep learning, sometimes it is the little things that have made the most dehydration can be a trigger...drink water...stuff like that

I am now off most of my meds, just Prestiq for depression, which is a by product of chronic pain and from past injuries/traumas but after 8 yrs I might start getting some of my life back...instead of work, my bed, my manatory errands and not so cheap pharmaceuticals

I hope this helps good to yourself and know that my heart goes out to fellow migraine sufferers
cheers and hugs
Just Me
"peeling that onion one day at a time"
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