Migraines and MS: What a Combo!

Mandy Crest Community Member September 21, 2008
  • I live with multiple sclerosis and migraines, two separate conditions with a great deal in common.

    The migraines began in my mid-teens and were a powerful force in my life into my early forties. In 2003, the use of the NTI put a stop to the bulk of my migraines, but it is not a cure. Coincidentally, during that same time period, symptoms of MS roared onto the scene.

    Since then, I experience full-blown migraines only about four or five times a year. What a difference from the old days! Because I have fewer, I also respond better to medication, provided I take it at the onset. Since symptoms of MS first appeared, I've also been introduced to what I'm told are ocular migraines. Although I have incredible visual disturbances, they are not accompanied by pain.


    Multiple sclerosis has profoundly changed my life... my ability to work, my financial status, and my dependence on others. I tell you this to make a point. With all the disability involved in having MS, it hasn't made me want to give in or give up. When in the throes of a migraine, on the other hand, I am no longer me. I am not so brave. The level of pain and sickness that comes from a full-blown migraine are hard to describe. I've had surgeries, given birth, and endured MS, but nothing compares to the hell of migraine.

    Migraines and MS share common ground. They are both widely misunderstood and often dismissed as psychological in nature. They are both more common to women than men. They both will change the way you live your life.

    Every time I have a migraine, I am reminded of how fragile life is, how an intolerable level of pain can affect you at your very core. Every day that my head is migraine-free, I sit up and take notice that this day will be a good one.

5 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Lola
    Aug. 18, 2011

    I have been seeing a neurologist for a year and a half now and have recently been getting terrible head pain which is followed by numbness in one side of my face or another. I had no idea it could be associated with MS until today at my visit. My doctor sent me for another infusion and have to go tomorrow for another one. With all that he's done for me he has...

    RHMLucky777

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    I have been seeing a neurologist for a year and a half now and have recently been getting terrible head pain which is followed by numbness in one side of my face or another. I had no idea it could be associated with MS until today at my visit. My doctor sent me for another infusion and have to go tomorrow for another one. With all that he's done for me he has yet to say "Yes, you have MS." . With this most recent head pain attack the vision in my right eye went very fuzzy. Light and sound do not bother me. However, the aftereffects are that I feel completely wiped out! Exhausted.  I also have developed what I call, "heavy legs." I always feel as if they are a second or two behind me. Feel the same way with my thoughts. I'm glad there are so many resources for people like me. It's always good to know I'm not alone.

  • Anonymous
    Joanne in Montana
    Jul. 28, 2009

    I also have lived with severe migraines starting in my teens and can fully sympathize with the agony you experience. I am now 39 and have been experiencing pins and needles in my arms and legs, occasional facial muscle twitches, extreme exhaustion, large bruises on my legs I don't remember getting, and tremors in my legs. But amazingly...

    RHMLucky777

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    I also have lived with severe migraines starting in my teens and can fully sympathize with the agony you experience. I am now 39 and have been experiencing pins and needles in my arms and legs, occasional facial muscle twitches, extreme exhaustion, large bruises on my legs I don't remember getting, and tremors in my legs. But amazingly my migraines are less frequent and not as excruciating. What were your symptoms? How were you diagnosed with MS? Thank you in advance for your reply. 

  • Shirley
    Sep. 22, 2008

    There is a doctor, a neurologist, at Swedish in Seattle, WA that specializes in both migraines and MS.  If you live in the Northwest it might be worth at least a phone call.  I'm trying to get my daughter in to see her.  She doesn't have MS but her migraines are out of control.  She can't get in to see the doctor till Feb. 2009.  There...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    There is a doctor, a neurologist, at Swedish in Seattle, WA that specializes in both migraines and MS.  If you live in the Northwest it might be worth at least a phone call.  I'm trying to get my daughter in to see her.  She doesn't have MS but her migraines are out of control.  She can't get in to see the doctor till Feb. 2009.  There is also a greater chance of having other brain disorders if you have migraines.  Such as major depression, bi-polar or epilepsy.

    • Mandy Crest
      Sep. 22, 2008

      Thanks, that's so nice of you! I am on the east coast, though.Smile

       

      There seems to be a lot of crossover with MS and migraines. Also, the MRI of a person who has suffered chronic migraines looks very similar to the leisions left by MS. It's an interesting topic.

       

      I hope you find relief for your daughter soon.

       

       

  • Nancy Harris Bonk
    Sep. 22, 2008

    Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!

     

    We are so glad you stopped by to share your story with us.

     

    The NTI device is FDA approved for Migraine prevention, and any reduction in pain is a good thing. It is very important to reduce the number of Migraine attacks we have because current thinking is that a long history with Migraines...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!

     

    We are so glad you stopped by to share your story with us.

     

    The NTI device is FDA approved for Migraine prevention, and any reduction in pain is a good thing. It is very important to reduce the number of Migraine attacks we have because current thinking is that a long history with Migraines and frequent attacks can put Migraineurs at an increased risk of silent brain damage. Yes, Migraines Can Cause Brain Damage.

     

    The Internation Headache Society's International Classification of Headache disorders, Second Edition, which is the gold standard in Migraine/headache diagnosis, does not list "ocular" Migraine in it. Ocular, Optical, and Ophthalmic Migraines is a very informative article.

     

    We have a discussion forum that you may want to check out. Especially if you have questions or are looking for information, you may find the interaction on the forum to be quite helpful. We hope to see you there. To get to the forum, just look for the orange box marked "Manage" and click on the Migraine Forums link. Because our forums are maintained by a third party, you'll need to register for the forum. You can use the same information you used to create your community log-in if you like. If you want to go directly to the forum, you can click HERE.

     

    Welcome again,

     

    Nancy Bonk
    MyMigraineConnection.com Expert