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migraine/headache for two weeks now... help?
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migraine/headache for two weeks now... help?

I'm thirteen, and my headaches have been going on for two weeks now.
They started a few days after my period, which followed a virus I caught. Oddly, my period lasted for two weeks, probably as it was late by two weeks(I suspect this was because I was under a lot of stress/anxiety over that month...). The first week was brown discharge, and the second was normal, and a LOT of blood was lost.
I have to admit, I hadn't been sleeping really well, and didn't eat anything for 15 hours when I had the virus beforehand. But now, four days after my period has stopped, i'm beginning to worry as my migraines haven't ceased at all! I've been so stressed lately. I've taken basic pain medication for quite a few days, and today I woke with a pretty bad headache in the morning. (could it be a rebound headache? D:) It lasted during the day but ceased a little before becoming bad again.

I've told my parents and my doctor says it's because of a lack of iron in my diet; but my mum has been feeding me properly, so I really don't understand.

My migraines are generally pulsing, one sided with heaps of nausea, occasional dizziness, fatigue, and sometimes my neck is quite stiff. Sometimes they go away for a few hours or so, but they come back again. Could anyone tell me if this is normal because of all the hormone imbalance/medication? Any tips on getting better? My yearlies are coming up, i'd really like to be better, and soon!
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768044_tn?1294227036
Hi,

First off, I am not a doctor or a health professional of any kind. I am just a migraine sufferer like yourself. Please don't take any of my advice without first checking the advice with your parents and your doctor. I think that Neurologists, migraine doctors, usually have the final say when it comes to the treatment of migraines.

Well, if your family doctor confirmed that they were migraines...

Then, yes, migraines are triggered by BOTH hormone changes (your period) and by physical stresses (getting ill). A migraine can also be triggered by medication (medications used to treat other illnesses, or medication overuse to treat the migraines themselves which are called rebound headaches like you mentioned).

After your period has stopped, then the migraines probably are not being triggered by your period anymore. Migraines triggered by your period usually happen the week before your period and during your period, but not after your period.

If the migraines are being triggered by your other illness (the virus that you caught) then you can expect that the migraines will resolve themselves once your illness has completely been resolved. A virus can take some time to completely resolve even after you have started to feel better, so give it some time and keep drinking lots and getting enough sleep every night and doing all the other good things we do to keep our bodies healthy.

After the virus is gone completely, the migraines should go away for the most part too and and you will only get migraines every now and again very rarely and you can just take an over-the-counter pain pill for them or you can get a prescription from the doctor for a special type of medication that is used to treat migraines specifically... although I don't know if this type of medication is prescribed to children&teens so you may have to wait until you are over 18 until you can get this type of medication but for future reference it is called "Triptans" and it is used to stop a migraine once it starts. Ask your doctor about this type of medication, it is very useful for stopping migraines once they start.

If you ever start throwing up during a migraine you can take over-the-counter medication for nausea. Ask your parents to ask a pharmacist for a type of nausea medication that is suitable for teens your age, because nausea medications usually make people very sleepy and an adult dose would make a 13 year old VERY sleepy and you wouldn't want that... so, it is important to get the right dose for your age, so make sure to get your parents to ask the pharmacist prior to buying anything.

You mention a stiff neck. Did you mention the stiff neck to your doctor? If you did not mention the stiff neck to your doctor and this happens again or continues, please go back to your doctor and tell him about the stiff neck as this can be a sign of a serious infection. If you get a very stiff neck that is so stiff you cannot bend your chin to your chest OR you get a very stiff neck and a high fever at the same time, then please get your parents to take you to the emergency department at the hospital right away, but tell them why first and they will probably know why you are asking them to take you and they will agree it is a good idea because a VERY stiff neck is a sign of something very serious. A mild to moderate stiff neck or a painful neck can be normal with headaches, but a very stiff neck or a stiff neck with fever is something to watch out for.

You will get better on your own with time, don't worry. Just keep eating healthy, try to reduce stress, drink enough water, don't change your sleep schedule around too much (you mention you haven't been sleeping well, try to get back onto a very regular sleep schedule... as changes in sleep schedule is a major migraine trigger), and if the headaches don't mostly go away once you feel 100% better from the virus then go back to the doctor and ask to see a Neurologist. A neurologist can tell you if the headaches are more serious then migraines.

Also, don't take too much over-the-counter pain medication, because you are right, too much pain medication can cause rebound headaches. Although, with that said, what I do is if I am in moderate to severe pain, especially if I am in severe pain, then I do not let the pain continue and I treat the pain with my pain medication. If you are in doubt about when to take over-the-counter pain medication, it would be best to discuss this with your parents and, if possible, your doctor. I believe that it is never a good idea to let pain go on for a long time because then you can get into a pain cycle which can be difficult to break. But, at the same time it is also important to try to avoid over-the-counter pain medication use whenever possible... it is a balancing act, but, only you know when the pain is bad enough that you need to ask someone for over-the-counter pain medication, trust yourself to know when to ask for over-the-counter pain medication.

Another thing that stood out to me in your question, you mentioned that one of your headaches woke you up. If a headache ever wakes you up and you would say that the headache is very severe (makes you want to cry or scream), then it could be a cluster headache which is different from a migraine and requires very specific treatment. If you ever get woken up by a headache because the pain is so severe that the pain itself is literally what is waking you up and the pain is so bad that you want to cry or scream or more likely you do cry or scream, then get your parents to take you to the hospital because you may have a cluster headache and you may need oxygen treatment. At the hospital, tell them that the headache woke you up and that the pain is very severe. But I am only suggesting this if the headache itself actually wakes you up in the morning and is very severe. If you wake up normally (your alarm clock wakes you up, etc.) and you find that you have a headache, that is different from a cluster headache and it is more likely a rebound headache or a normal migraine headache.

I hope some of that information helps.

Mostly migraines are just caused by random things out of our control like weather changes and stuff like that... or getting our periods, or getting a virus and getting sick. But, Once we feel better or once things settle out, the migraines get better. So... just try to stay calm and be healthy... and the rest of the things that are out of your control, just know that they will settle out too, because the weather always settles out (usually it is weird between seasons for a week or two but then it settles out) and when you are younger your period is more irregular then when you are older too, so even that settles out. But, if the headaches don't go away just know you can go back to the doctor, but for now... I would just wait for things to settle out a bit, as long as you've already seen your doctor already, because probably things will settle out. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Thankyou for your advice so much! I appreciate it.

My headaches today were less in intensity, thank goodness. I guess at the moment, my migraine is because of the chocolate I ate earlier today, one of my triggers that I had forgotten about. Way to go, self. c':

Again, thankyou for your advice and i'll try to relax more. (:
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Avatar_f_tn
My name is Nikki. I have had this migraine for the last 2 weeks and some nights it is easier to deal with than others.  Last night it was so bad that I only got one hour of sleep because I was up crying. I have tried the otc medicines for migraines and it doesn't touch it. I have also tried the warm shower, it doesn't help much either. It just feels like there is so much pressure on my head. I was told that it might have something to do with my bipolar disorder but I'm not so certain. I didn't make a doctors appt. yet because I wanted to see if anything else would help first. If there is anything else you could suggest please let me know.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi Nikki,
How are you? Migraines usually respond well with rest, ice pack and pain medications. If your medicines are not helping, you may benefit from stronger prescription medications from your doctor. Additional tests like CT scan or MRI may also help determine the underlying cause. Try to avoid using OTC pain relievers excessively also since this can lead to rebound headaches. Have this checked by your doctor for proper evaluation. Direct clinical examination is important. Take care and regards.  
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