Change in frequency and character of migraine is disturbing?

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Full Question:

Change in frequency and character of migraine is disturbing.

I have a history of migraine since age 10. They peaked around adolescence, disappeared in adulthood except for one with each pregnancy, and then returned during menopause. I have always been able to handle them, as my aura usually gives me enough warning to OTC medicate and hide in a dark room. After sleep they are gone except for the weak feeling. By the next morning I am fine. The frequency has been one every 2 - 3 months until this past week when I have gotten one 4 days in a row, then 2 days off and then again this morning. However today I had the aura, but the headache never came. I am a healthy active 55 year old, I only take thyroid replacement which is current by lab. I saw my MD who said exam was normal, but sent me for MRI. I had my teeth cleaned on July 1st with an ultrasonic whatever and it left my teeth feeling all out of place. In addition, I have been experiencing more hot flashes than normal. I get very frightened by the aura now that I am older, and this increase in frequency has me scared. The aura is the same, and the actual headache is mild, one not even requiring medication. Is it possible for your pattern to change like this, and don't most women decrease in number of migraines after menopause? I would feel better knowing this is not abnormal. Have others had this daily occurrence, does it end? Joyce.


Dear Joyce,

First, stop and think about the week. Is there anything you can think of that could have triggered these Migraines -- foods, weather changes, heat, anything?

Yes, it's possible for Migraine patterns to change over time. Most people's do. Still, you do need to discuss all of these symptoms with your doctor in detail. You mentioned hot flashes. Menopause could explain the hot flashes, and the hormonal fluctuations of menopause can affect your Migraine pattern. Women progress through menopause at different rates. Some women unfortunately have more Migraines during menopause. Thyroid levels can also affect Migraine, so if you haven't had them checked recently, this is as good a reason as any to do so.

Four Migraines in one week would definitely warrant discussing preventive treatment, if the increase persists. It could also be a one-time issue that doesn't happen again. Just keep in touch with your doctor so you and he or she can be sure that there's nothing else going on and that you get treatment if you need it.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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