Migraine Aura w/out Headache - Scary

Doktor DynaSoar targeting at OMCL.mil
Sun Mar 14 01:03:58 EST 2004

On 12 Mar 2004 12:04:04 -0800, migraine_victim at yahoo.com (Migraineur)

} Doktor DynaSoar <targeting at OMCL.mil> wrote in message news:<r1u250t7n142tpglm1eksce64dh4a656a7 at 4ax.com>... 
} > Now, to be clear on this, these symptoms are WITHOUT medication?
} Yes. I am not on any medications. My doctor has just started me on a
} medicine that will widen my blood vessels. This is supposed to treat
} the migraine aura.

Yes, migraines are often due to vascular (blood vessel) spasms. If
they're narrow, it's easier for them to spasm because there's less
pressure to keep them pumped up.

} > Most definitely see a doctor right away and get referred to a
} > neurologist, or some other specialist on migraines. Some of your
} > symptoms may be migraine, or may be indicative of other problems that
} > are similar to, but not the same as, a migraine.
} My neurologist states that it in fact is a migraine w/out headache.
} The advice I was given is to avoid eating butter, cheese, betal leaf
} (an herb used as breath-freshener), coffee, or chocolate. The doctor
} calls these "bad" foods. He also suggested to avoid looking at 3-D
} designs and abstain from playing Virtual Reality games.

Try also having only incandescent (light bulb) light, and not
fluourescent light. Some people with some different problems find that
fluourescent lights are bothersome, possibly because they flicker.

You might also try relaxation and biofeedback.

Relaxation seems simple and lots of people think they're relaxing, but
they're not. I find the best way to learn to relax is with
"progressive relaxation". In this, you start with one hand, and make a
fist, squeezing it tight. You hold it for half a minute, and
concentrated on how it feels to be tightened. Then you let it relax,
and for half a minute, concentrate on how it feels when it's relaxed.
Then you do the other hand. Then one foot, then the other. Then one
arm, then the other. Do all parts of the body like this, including the
face. After doing this several times, you train yourself how it feels
to be relaxed, as opposed to tense, and so have a feeling in mind when
you want to relax. After some practice you no longer need to do the
tightening up part.

Many people claim biofeedback has helped them with headaches,
especially migraines. There is some scientific evidence. It is not
good evidence, but it's there. It is not good evidence not because it
says biofeedback doesn't work, but because most of the results are not
"clean", in that other things were involved (sych a medication, the
subjects being pregnant, etc.) and so it can't be certain biofeedback
is the one thing that helped. But it's worth a try, in that the worst
it can do is nothing -- it has no side effects.

The goal of the biofeedback is to make your hands warmer. Hold a
thermometer in your hands (it doesn't have to be accurate, just
working). Wait a few minutes until the temperature reading is stable.
Then watch the thermometer while you imagine your hand immersed in
warm water, or in some other way imagine your hand getting warmer. If
you see the thermometer going up, you know you're doing the right
thing -- keep doing that. The thing about biofeedback is no one can
tell you or even explain what it is in your head that makes it go.
That's completely subjective. You may not even understand what it is
you're doing, except maybe "wanting" it to go up. Despite not being
obvious about how you're doing it, you can learn to do it at will and
with practice, do it better and quicker. Just try making your hands
get warmer, and see if that helps. Don't strain or struggle to make it
happen, that sort of stress can make things worse. Just "want" or
"will" or "urge" it to happen. If it doesn't at first, don't give up.
Some people require several attempts before it happens. When it does,
you might see the temperature change only two or three degress, but
that's enough. If you can do more, great, but it's not necessary.
Again, if you are successful, your body can "remember" how to do it
and how it feels, and you won't need the thermometer anymore.

My doctor said the worst possible thing was smoking and caffeine
together. These fight against each other in making blood vessels
larger or smaller. One tries to do one thing, the other does the
other, and together they make them get bigger and smaller and bigger
and smaller -- and that's a spasm. I would imagine there's plenty of
things, even in some foods, that could do this.

Here's the NIH page on headaches and migraine:

There is always research going on on migraines, so keep an eye out for
it. You never know, you might be eligible for an experimental
treatment that the general public doesn't have access to yet. One of
the more promising in transcranial magnetic stimulation. This is
zapping a small part of the head with a magnetic field. It's not like
shock therapy, in that it doesn't shock you, or even hurt at all.  The
NIH page for clinical trials is at clinicaltrials.gov

Of course that's something to discuss with your neurologist. First,
see if what he has to offer takes care of things.

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