1/21/08 #3 - Can thyroid problems interfere with Migraine treatment?

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  • Full Question:
    I have had a migraine headache since October 22, 2007, I have been to the ER twice and then in Novmeber my mom came to Maryland, (I am a student at the University of Maryland) and I was hospitalized for 5 days and given DHE and a variety of drugs through IV and nausea drugs also. I had a wonderful doctor, Dr. Stark as my neurologist. I was told that during my labs they notice my TSH (Thyroid) was very high 12.63 should be in 0.2 -4.2 range. The doctor started me on a 50mcg drug Levothytoxine and the next day the TSH was 5.63 but still above the range. After being discharged I withdrew from the semester and I am back in NJ. I have been seeing a neurologist, gastro and my family doctor. I will be seeing an endocrinologist this week and I have a question.

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    Can my thyroid problem interfere with the treatment I have been getting for the migraine?

    When I got back to NJ my neuro started me on Topamax as i was on it a few years ago and have had success with it. He is trying to see if this will help the with the migraine and now the daily chronic headache I have started experiencing? But he believes the thyroid problem may be prohibiting the medication from working properly. I also am having trouble sleeping, I DO NOT Sleep due to the pain in my head. The pain is always in the same area, around the ear, temple and shoots up from the back of my neck. The pressure behind my eye has been checked and it is normal.

    Please give me some advice as how to proceed. I need to get back to my life and my studies at school. Thank you, Kathryn.




    Dear Kathryn;


    Thyroid issues can certainly impact Migraines in that they leave the body more susceptible to Migraine triggers and can thus mean an increase in Migraines. I don't know of any direct relationship between the efficacy of Topamax and thyroid. It should be noted that, unfortunately, a medication that worked before may not work as well the second time around.


    Keep working to get your thyroid levels controlled, and be sure your doctor checks your free T3 and free T4 levels as well as the TSH.


    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

    Last updated January 21, 2008.

Published On: January 21, 2008