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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    Default Cluster Headaches

    Anyone here get cluster headaches? If ya do, what do you do to treat them? I'm currently a junior in college and my cycle just started and it's killin me and my GPA. Anyone have any tips for getting through the pain or unconventional methods of aborting them? Imitrex works sometimes but mostly doesn't do much. At the beginning of each cycle I get a shot of steroids and that puts them off for about a week but I have seen about 8 different doctors and none of them have been able to do anything else except give me Vicodin.

    If you aren't sure what they are, you can read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_headache

  2. #2
    5150 LudwigVonDrumCrazy's Avatar
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    go get an brain MRI if you haven't already. It's what I do for a living.

    It can help
    If cleanliness were next to Godliness, then that would make you the devil...(CLUTCH)...

  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
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    Probably shoulda mentioned that...ya I got one of those already too. It ruled out tumors and everything and all the doctors I have seen got copies of the results.

  4. #4
    On Fire Eddie's Littler Monster's Avatar
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    First of all, you're sure these headaches are not migraines?

    I used to suffer terrible migraines.

    I did these things and they virtually went away.

    1) stay hydrated. You said you're in college. Are you drinking a lot of alcohol or caffeine? I drink almost all water now. Alcohol and caffeine will dehydrate you to no end.

    2) sleep. I know you're busy, but you have to rest.

    3) relieve your stress. Go for a run or walk. Do something to get the blood flowing.

    4) be careful of food triggers. For me it's onions. For you it might be something you don't even know. Think back to your meals 24 hours before your headache, any common item?

    Nothing would set my headache off like a combo of stress, lack of sleep aand too much caffeine. It was almost a guarantee. Sounds like to me you may be in the same boat. Try to avoid putting yourself in that situation.

  5. #5
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    Default

    some headache clinics are reporting success with Botox injections...the type of migraines I get are ocular, which are scary, but so far, infrequent and not painful....but for me, there is a definite stress relationship


    my aunt used to get headaches so bad that it took a trip to the emergency room and some heavy duty pain killers. She'd be out of commission for days. For her, it just took learning to deal with stress, which she had in abundance

    I know someone else who is using a holistic approach through an osteopathic doctor, but I don't know the details....all I know is that there are a lot of people suffering migraines and a lot of snake oil salesmen out there trying to make a buck off them

    good luck, I hope you get relief

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  6. #6
    Baluchitherium
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    the current mosteffective treatment for cluster headaches is Oxygen, although it can take a couple of canisters before theres any relief (theres no cure for cluster headaches) research has been carried out using a form of LSD that has been modified to not cause halucinations but medical councils around the world have called a halt to its further development (apparently it was VERY effective at relieving the symptoms) so maybe drying out some 'shrooms' and making a tea would help, although i would never advise anything illegal or potentially dangerous. What people should realise is that true cluster headaches are nothing like migraine, they are 100 times more painfull and painkillers DON'T work.

    how severe are your attacks?...i have seen people literally smash their heads against walls/floors etc to try to relieve the symptoms. my thoughts are with you on this buddy.

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  7. #7
    Good Enough wip5150's Avatar
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    I've had cluster headaches (epsiodic) for 20 years and, if anyone remembers chewbaccamonkeylunch, he has them as well.

    First of all, make sure you have an accurate diagnosis from an accredited neuro who specializes in headaches. Assuming you've done that, treatment is really trial and error - what works for one person may not work for another. Additionally, what works in one cycle may not work in the next one.

    Oxygen utilizing a non-rebreather mask is a very good option for many but, for some reason, it doesn't really work for me. Here is how I handle my cycles:

    * At the onset of a cycle, I IMMEDIATELY get on verapamil (180 mg standard release, three times a day(
    * If I get hit particularly bad, I will use a 20mg nasal of Imitrex (pills don't work fast enough)
    * During the day, I will pound a can of Red Bull (for the taurine, not the taste) at the first shadow of a headache
    * I'm a big believer that diet STRONGLY influences the length/severity of my cycles so when I'm in cycle I avoid the following: alcohol (this is an obvious one for anyone who suffers from clusters), garlic (sends me to the freaking moon in cycle), MSG and dairy products

    Just make sure you're working with a doctor who is sympathetic with what you're going through as the pain can be just about unbearable. They aren't called "suicide headaches" for nothing.

    PM me if you want to discuss more and best of luck.
    "There is a fine line between stupid and clever" - Nigel Tufnel

  8. #8
    Good Enough wip5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie's Littler Monster View Post
    First of all, you're sure these headaches are not migraines?

    I used to suffer terrible migraines.

    I did these things and they virtually went away.

    1) stay hydrated. You said you're in college. Are you drinking a lot of alcohol or caffeine? I drink almost all water now. Alcohol and caffeine will dehydrate you to no end.

    2) sleep. I know you're busy, but you have to rest.

    3) relieve your stress. Go for a run or walk. Do something to get the blood flowing.

    4) be careful of food triggers. For me it's onions. For you it might be something you don't even know. Think back to your meals 24 hours before your headache, any common item?

    Nothing would set my headache off like a combo of stress, lack of sleep aand too much caffeine. It was almost a guarantee. Sounds like to me you may be in the same boat. Try to avoid putting yourself in that situation.
    Assuming BBB does have cluster headaches - and I for one believe that he does - getting rest is really not an easy option. For most of us who suffer with clusters, the pain comes fast and furious about 30 minutes after falling asleep. When the cycle is peaking, this can happen 4-6 times a night and several times during the day. So, as we never really hit solid REM sleep during a cycle, sleep becomes most elusive. Plus, when I'm in cycle, I DREAD going to sleep as I know that I'll be up in 45 minutes dealing with some severe pain. Stress isn't a cause nor is dehydration. Prevailing medical theory believes it's a disorder of the hypothalamus that causes this little disorder.

    No harm, no foul as I know you were trying to help. Cluster headaches are very misunderstood and I really don't share with people that I have them - in fact, only my immediate family and several friends know as I have grown very weary with people saying some variation of, "Oh, I get painful headaches too". Cluster headaches are very different than migranes (and I'm not belittling the pain of a migrane sufferer). For example, most migrane sufferers have to lie down and be perfectly still when they are hit with a headache. For people with cluster headaches, the pain is so intense that it's damn near impossible to sit still. I usually rock back and forth in a chair or pace around the basement but that's just me - everyone is different.

    The bottom line is that there is really nothing CH sufferers can do to avoid the headaches. We can manage them and not let them rule our lives, but there isn't a cure nor is there a way to avoid them.

    Now is when I will shut my pie hole.
    "There is a fine line between stupid and clever" - Nigel Tufnel

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk sixstring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wip5150 View Post
    Assuming BBB does have cluster headaches - and I for one believe that he does - getting rest is really not an easy option. For most of us who suffer with clusters, the pain comes fast and furious about 30 minutes after falling asleep. When the cycle is peaking, this can happen 4-6 times a night and several times during the day. So, as we never really hit solid REM sleep during a cycle, sleep becomes most elusive. Plus, when I'm in cycle, I DREAD going to sleep as I know that I'll be up in 45 minutes dealing with some severe pain. Stress isn't a cause nor is dehydration. Prevailing medical theory believes it's a disorder of the hypothalamus that causes this little disorder.

    No harm, no foul as I know you were trying to help. Cluster headaches are very misunderstood and I really don't share with people that I have them - in fact, only my immediate family and several friends know as I have grown very weary with people saying some variation of, "Oh, I get painful headaches too". Cluster headaches are very different than migranes (and I'm not belittling the pain of a migrane sufferer). For example, most migrane sufferers have to lie down and be perfectly still when they are hit with a headache. For people with cluster headaches, the pain is so intense that it's damn near impossible to sit still. I usually rock back and forth in a chair or pace around the basement but that's just me - everyone is different.

    The bottom line is that there is really nothing CH sufferers can do to avoid the headaches. We can manage them and not let them rule our lives, but there isn't a cure nor is there a way to avoid them.

    Now is when I will shut my pie hole.
    I've tried to deal with these for YEARS( more than two decades...). Loss of clear vision (eye floaters, STARS, and tunnel vision like you would not believe...), MASSIVE POUNDING of the head follows...thanks SO much for all the advice, bud.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


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  10. #10
    Hot For Teacher
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    Thanks for all the replies everybody. But yes I definitly do have cluster headaches. I don't drink or smoke and got a blood test to find out all the foods I'm allergic to which I now avoid. I'm definitly gonna look into the oxygen and give the red bull thing a try.

  11. #11
    Good Enough wip5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixstring View Post
    I've tried to deal with these for YEARS( more than two decades...). Loss of clear vision (eye floaters, STARS, and tunnel vision like you would not believe...), MASSIVE POUNDING of the head follows...thanks SO much for all the advice, bud.
    Good to see you again, Six - hope you are well!
    "There is a fine line between stupid and clever" - Nigel Tufnel

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing! chewbaccamonkeylunch's Avatar
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    whats up fellows? the beast is back for the time being dammit. The new generic Imitrex that Walgreens is carrying here now aren't Dr. Reddy anymore and while they work fine, they tend to give me a pill hangover which I strongly dislike. Fresh bottle of 180mg Verapamils ready to roll!!

    I totally agree with WIP about MSG and diary...especially fresh parmesan cheese. Scary that MSG is in so many things.

    Has anyone so far tried the shrooms at the cycle beginning? We are in such a drought right now that there just aren't any. Probably not until around Halloween. I am going to try them next time and post my results in case anyone might be interested. Should be right when the first cold front hits in the fall. Sounds too good to be true for sure, but I'm game.
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  13. #13
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    I have had Cluster Headaches for 30+ years and they are the worst. For those of you that don't get them It is unfair to judge someone that does. They have been referred to as suicide headaches because anyone that gets them has considered suicide as an option, THEY ARE THAT BAD!!! Imitrex injections are the only meds that have helped me. The pills and nasal don't work. Insurance limits the amount of injections to 4 per month so be sure if you go this route to have your Dr. explain your need for more during an episode. I can go for 2-3 months without them and then I will have 2-3 weeks of pure hell. I fill every prescription and store up on them so I don't run out. Narcotics don't work for me. They help in managing what I refer to as "shadow headaches" which are the after effects I get when the main headaches subside. PM me if you want more information and good luck!!!!!

    Check out www.clusterheadaches.com
    Last edited by WhenPushComesToMud; 08.11.11 at 09:26 AM.

  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! chewbaccamonkeylunch's Avatar
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    Yup, lots of good info there. Here is a link to the boards:
    http://www.clusterheadaches.com/wwwboard2/index.html
    The trashman was my hero.......
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  15. #15
    Eruption
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    Some body get me a doctor, Feel'n no pain...

    My 2 cents worth...

    I rarely ever get a headache, I mean next to never, and I cant remember the last time I even had one. But, my great-grandmother always told us that a headache is the body telling you something is wrong. She would also say take your multi-vitamins (which I do regularly, and not generic multi's- but pharmaceutical grade multi's), some vitamin deficiencies and chemical imbalances in the body can cause headaches. I am in college also- I dont drink energy drinks, coffee or alcohol but, I drink lots of water, hit the gym 4-5 days a week with cardio activity. Been active like that since 7th grade, my body hates me if I don't work out and do cardio now. I do remember a severe headache in high school after a game where I had a minor spinal injury, and after learned that all the nerves along the spine have a direct correlation to other areas of the body including the neck and head which in turn may cause severe headaches.





    Last edited by Magic W. Meanstreet; 08.11.11 at 11:52 AM.

 

 

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