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New Member - Vertigo Without Headache


#1

Since I was pregnant with my first child, I’ve had bouts of vertigo generally one a month, but sometimes as frequently as every day. I have nystagmus, full rotational vergtio, and each episode usually lasts 3-5 minutes. Last week, however, I was spinning very severely for about 10 minutes - which is very frightening if you are alone and even worse if you have a 3 year old and a 9 month old. I ended up vomitting in front of my children, which I have never done before. I know that all of you understand how absolutely debilitating this can be.

I’ve been to a neurologist and an ENT over the past 3 years, had 2 MRIs, an ENG - my current diagnosis is Migraine Associated Vertigo. I’ve moved to a new city and have an appointment soon with a new neurologist who specializes in dizziness.

I’m currently nursing so any medication is out of the question for now, but I was hoping some of you might have some insights on what medication or other treatment has worked for you. I have virtually eliminated caffeine and bananas. I know that I’m more likely to have an episode if I am tired or stressed (which happened last week), but I have not really identified any other food triggers.


#2

Hi, I’m Cami, I do not suffer from any of this, but my husband does. Verapamil seems to help my husband, and in regards to the vertigo, Meclazine is something that he took for a while when his vertigo was bad. It’s like Dramamine, (the off the shelf anti-dizziness, anti-nausea) but for some reason works a little better for him and doesn’t come with the drowsiness.
One thing I’ve noticed with my husband is he tends to get worse symptoms if he doesn’t eat any protein for lunch or sometime during the afternoon. He doesn’t really have food triggers other then sometimes coffee in the afternoon. Another suggestion might be to take short naps (if you are a stay at home mom) when your children do, this is something my husband has had to do before during his bad days.


#3

Hi There

Another thing that may help is Ibruprofen. It helps with the dizziness as well as headaches and other migraine symptoms. Although you should only take it 2-3 times a week to avoid rebound migraine symptoms.

Becky x


#4

Hi Becky,

I find that ibuprofen makes my dizziness worse sometimes for the first hour after taking it even though it stops the headache. Other times it has no effect on dizziness. Just typical with this junk … never the same two days in a row.

Scott 8)


#5

— Begin quote from "howhm02l"

Since I was pregnant with my first child, I’ve had bouts of vertigo generally one a month, but sometimes as frequently as every day. I have nystagmus, full rotational vergtio, and each episode usually lasts 3-5 minutes. Last week, however, I was spinning very severely for about 10 minutes - which is very frightening if you are alone and even worse if you have a 3 year old and a 9 month old. I ended up vomitting in front of my children, which I have never done before. I know that all of you understand how absolutely debilitating this can be.

I’ve been to a neurologist and an ENT over the past 3 years, had 2 MRIs, an ENG - my current diagnosis is Migraine Associated Vertigo. I’ve moved to a new city and have an appointment soon with a new neurologist who specializes in dizziness.

I’m currently nursing so any medication is out of the question for now, but I was hoping some of you might have some insights on what medication or other treatment has worked for you. I have virtually eliminated caffeine and bananas. I know that I’m more likely to have an episode if I am tired or stressed (which happened last week), but I have not really identified any other food triggers.

— End quote

Welcome to the forum, but I am sorry you need to be here. Your questions are good ones, and I can certainly understand your frustration in regards to your children. I have twins. a boy and girl. 2 yrs old. This condition is tough to manage with them, but it IS manageable, and it is my experience that once this condition is sorted out, The fear diminishes and you find that you can do things that you never thought you would be able to. So hang in there, you are in the right place!

As far as which medications work, well, they all work (various anti-seizure, anti-depressants, blood pressure med and calicum channel blockers) so it’s a matter of finding out which one (or combo) works for you. Everyone here is different and will react very differently to meds. some people do very well on a med which encourages others to try it, only to do very poorly on it so there are no guarantees or absolutes. GENERALLY, for “rotational” vertigo associated with migraine, verapamil has been reported to work very well. topamax is another popular medication which happens to be what worked for me, and a few other people I know, but they all “work” to some capacity.

As far as doctors go, if you can find a good neuro-otologist, that might be a better choice than a neurologist or an ENT, as these doctors specialize in migraine/vestibular disorders and are the best equipped to deal with the problem. Some neurologists are very good, however, so it depends on who you go to. I have never been to a good general ENT, but I’m sure they are out there.

Cutting out the caffeine complete is a VERY wise choice, and will prevent rebound migraine. But also watch out for MSG. A good book to read is “Heal Your Headache” by David Buchholz as it’s a good introduction to migraine, the process of it, as well as how to generally manage it with medications as well as diet. Many forum members have found it useful.

(NB from admin: this image links to a product this member has found helpful and at the same time helps fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!)

Sleep and stress seem to set off a lot of people here, including myself. Right now, those are the only 2 factors that really disrupt my 90% functioning level. Since I cut out all MSG and all caffeine, most of my triggers have been eliminated anyway. The only remaining triggers that I can’t avoid are light, weather, and a few misc. ones but I can control diet, stress (some of it) and sleep. The condition improves for many people. A lot of people here have had it bad for a very long time and many still do, but many will also tell you that improvements have been made. I had it VERY bad for about 11 months total now, but after 6 months into it, I started topamax and the rest of my program, and I went from functioning at 20% to 90%. I have most of my life back as a result. So, there is hope as I see it. I remember listening to success stories and thinking that will never be me. Eventually it was. But stress was a BIG part of it for me. Once I let go and stopped thinking about the condition all day, things gradually got better with the help of the topamax. Stress may not affect everyone that way, but it had an obvious effect on me. Again, welcome.

Rich


#6

— Begin quote from “howhm02l”

I’m currently nursing so any medication is out of the question for now, but I was hoping some of you might have some insights on what medication or other treatment has worked for you. I have virtually eliminated caffeine and bananas. I know that I’m more likely to have an episode if I am tired or stressed (which happened last week), but I have not really identified any other food triggers.

— End quote

Your in a tuff boat right now. Nursing, not only can you not take “most” meds, but you also probably don’t have a good sleep schedule, or eat very regularly right now. All of the advice I usually give is to try to maintian a regular schedule for as much in life as possible, and a baby makes that near impossible. Klonipin at bedtime has helped a few of us, but that might make it hard for those middle of the night feedings, unless there is a way that your husband can help with that.

Once your baby stops nursing, I hope that you are able to work things out.

Brian


#7

Hi there -

I do not have a lot of advice to offer as I am still trying to find answers for myself. But I too have small children, 3 and 5, and this started for me 15 months ago when I was still nursing my then 20 month old (Yes… I nursed for a long time.) I am so sorry that you are having a hard time. It is hard enough to take care of yourself when you feel like crap. There are days when I do not know how I get us all fed, dressed in clean clothes or anything else for that matter.

I will say this as someone who obviously believes in breast feeding - don’t forget to take care of yourself first. If you can’t take care of you, things are really difficult. With my first child, I had postpartum depression when she was 10 months and I needed medication. I wouldn’t think of taking some of the things I should have taken because I wanted to keep nursing. I let my depression go on too long. I totally respect that you are nursing, but just know that taking care of yourself is so important.

I so hope that all of us here figure out a way to get our lives back. Here’s to a good 2009!

Best,

Molly


#8

Get that book “Heal Your Headache” and read about the lifestyle management stuff and possible triggers. It is very helpful. There is a chapter in there that discusses migraines without headaches, vertigo, etc. You may discover all kinds of things you can do that don’t involve drugs.


#9

— Begin quote from “thornapple”

Get that book “Heal Your Headache” and read about the lifestyle management stuff and possible triggers. It is very helpful. There is a chapter in there that discusses migraines without headaches, vertigo, etc. You may discover all kinds of things you can do that don’t involve drugs.

— End quote

I will second that , the book will help you understand all types and if you will follow it to the tee it will make things better and manageable. Not cured but to a point where you can at least function, or at least it has for me.

You have to be very disciplined in the approach to doing what he recommends in the book and you may well be surprised how much better you will feel.


#10

I could have written exactly the same description of my vertigo episodes. I would always get about thirty seconds warning when I’d just feel very dizzy and then the spinning would begin. Episodes lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to 8 minutes. During the longer episodes I’d be right on the edge of throwing up by the time they were over. Interestingly objects always appeared to spin counter-clockwise for me. I’m interested to know if you have any “ear specific” symtoms like tinnitus or ear fullness. In my case I developed both of these symtoms in my left ear about 18 months after having the initial vertigo attack.

I’m much better now than I was although I’m not sure exactly why. I am on verapamil so that may be part of it. I’ve also made some life style changes, eliminated caffeine, etc. Hang in there, I’m convinced that, given enough time these types of things do have a tendency to resolve in most people.

Chaz


#11

Thanks for all the responses. You have all given me hope!

Like you Chaz - I also spin counter clockwise, sometimes it starts clockwise and then reverses after slowing down.

I have an appointment on 1/27 and will certainly talk to the doctor about the medications you all have mentioned.


#12

Hi:

Keep a diary of the food and activities that you do everyday. That way you may be able to establish what your specific triggers are. As many members have mentioned, the primary triggers are cafeine, MSG (it is also listed under different names under ingredient labels sometines), sulfites as in wine or balsamic vinegar, smoked or fermented foods, aged cheeses, stress and lack of sleep or a poor sleep pattern. Do you have a history of ear or sinus infections? When you visit your new ENT ask about getting an extensive ENG done. This type of test will determine if it is something more than just MAV. For years I was told that I had MAV and then I lost my vestibular system from ototoxicity (toxic poisoning) this is usually caused by large doses of antibiotics, especially when given through IV.

I also found that Ibuprofin to be helpful for both dizziness and headache before being diagnosed.

Good luck,

Karen


#13

Hi,
You may want to have your hormone levels checked, hormonal fluctuation is a big trigger for migraine activity. Besides a good Neur=otologist, a Gynecologist who understands hormonal imbalance and Bio-identical hormones-, I would not take any synthetic hormones, only Bio identical.