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clusters, hemicrania continua and a pituitary adinoma
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clusters, hemicrania continua and a pituitary adinoma

I am a 28 year old female and was diagnosed with cluster headaches about 5 years ago.  About 3 years ago I was also diagnosed with hemicrania continua.  I have been on a constant stream of medications to control and prevent my headaches ever since.  No medication has been able to completely control my headaches, although the clusters are the most easily managed.  I am unable to function when I am experiencing a headache.  Not taking medication is simply not an option in my case.  A year ago I was also diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma.  I have seen several specialists who all feel that my tumor is not connected in any way with my headaches, although one of my neurologists disagrees.

My husband and I want to have children, but unfortunately I cannot become pregnant while taking any of my medications.  To stop taking the medications would render me totally incapacitated.  I am also taking birth control pills.  I have heard that taking birth control pills can make headaches worse, is this true?  I am so frustrated and confused with my neurological situation that I have tried just about everything to rid myself of headaches.  I am going to soon start seeing an acupuncturist to see if natural medicine can help.  Do you have any advice about my pregnancy quest and how I can succesfully treat my headaches and still be able to have children?
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hi,
yes birth control pills can make migraine headache worse as migraine can be triggered by hormonal factors, but you have been diagnosed with cluster headaches so i don't think stopping birth control pills will help. You can talk to your doctor about melatonin to treat your cluster headaches. Hope you feel better soon.
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Erin - YEEEEESSSSS birth control pills can make migraine headaches unbearable.  They also increase your risk of stroke.   However, some people have had luck by not using the placebo pills (if they still have those in the pack) of course under a doctor's care.  The logic is never let your harmones - Estrogen is my most difficult - jump or dive quickly causing the neurological response. I can go to 20 doctors all of which can tell me something different based on their specialty.  There are very few specialist (my experience) that want to dive into a patient problem spanning over multiple specialties.  I know this sounds boring but start tracking your headaches.  If you have any of the food triggers, you've probably heard wine, cheese, etc... well if you want the real list, dig up the list of those who take MAOI's food restrictions.  Tyramine is in a lot more food than just the wine, cheese etc...  One guy on that med almost died because he ate a banana peel.  Spinach in large amounts is really bad.  I never really considered myself a big spinich eater until I realized that all those designer take out salads I love are made with tons of spinach leaves.  I thought I was eating so healthy.
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Thanks for your comments.  It's so hard dealing with everything.  Unfortunately, I have tracked my headaches for food, drinks, sleep, everything I can think of and nothing seems to be a trigger for me.  No one seems to have any answers and it is so frustrating because all I want is someone to tell me what to do, I'll do anything!  Thanks for listening!
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Hi,
I know how difficult it must be for you, but please do not lose hope. Yes i think trying out alternative therapies like acupunture, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga under supervision might help.
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Birth control pills can make migraines worse, but in some circumstances they can make them better. I have found that lots of people are ready to give me advice on things I should quit because of my headaches, including watching TV, living near roads, eating certain foods, sleeping too much, sleeping too little, etc, etc. I found that listening to all this "advice" did not help my headaches at all. I think people need to reassure themselves that bad things happen for a reason, and they can avoid the bad things and manage them by avoiding certain behaviors, foods, or whatever. This attitude makes them feel more safe. But unlike migraines, hemicrania continua doesn't seem to be very sensitive to hormones. At least that hasn't been my experience with it. There doesn't seem to be very much that affects it at all, though I must admit I'm still quite new to it and still have lots to learn. I'm just starting melatonin and I sure hope that helps! It's my understanding that the name of the game with HC is to endure and to do one's best to survive the side effects from the drugs.  
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