New Help for Menopausal Migraines
Normally I like to inject a little humor into my posts, but there is nothing funny about migraines. At all. If you have ever had one, you know what I mean. They are debilitating and miserable.
I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager. They run in my family - last year my sister had a six week migraine that finally ended when she was admitted to the hospital and given IV medication. These headaches can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, flashing lights, or certain foods. Mine seem to be related to my period, and have gotten worse since I've entered perimenopause. Dr. G told me that the fluctuation of estrogen is to blame. The good news is that many women get better or actually stop having migraines once they enter menopause - a light at the end of the tunnel!
My estrogen is fluctuating and apparently that's not going to change for a while. What can I do about the migraines? If I catch mine when it is just beginning, a combination of advil, tylenol and caffeine will often take the edge off, but the headache doesn't completely go away. I have tried various prescription medications and none of them really work, plus they leave me with awful side effects.
However, there is good news to report! Two treatments have been approved by the FDA and are expected to be great alternatives for those with chronic migraines, defined as those who have headaches 14 or more days per month.
BOTOX. This has already been in use for chronic migraine sufferers. Injections are given around the head and neck area every 12 weeks to help prevent migraines from starting. My friend has had this done and says it works well for her - she is only getting one or two headaches a month and feels like she can function normally for the first time in years. Plus, her forehead has never looked so smooth!
THE CEFALY DEVICE. This is so brand new, it's not even available in the United States yet, but patients will be able it get it by prescription soon. The Cefaly device is a "crown" that is worn on the forehead once a day for 20 minutes. It works by stimulating a nerve that results in less migraines. Users in Canada have reported great success with Cefaly. I like the idea of this treatment - I think all women should get to wear a crown every day!