That M Word: A Migraine Blog

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Join Us For The Next Migraine Book Club!

Please participate in our August migraine book club discussion! To switch it up a bit, we chose not to read a book and instead to look at two other options for this month:

Not caught up and want to participate? No problem! Read the recap here.

Join us Tuesday, August 13 at 1PM EST/6 PM UK time.
To enter the chat room MMBookClub click here. Enter the password: mmbookclub and join in our fantastic discussion and meet some new migraineur friends!

Will you be joining the August book club discussion?

New Research on Cause of Migraines


Have you read about the new research out of the University of Pennsylvania suggesting there might be a “cause” for migraines? According to this study, adults who suffer from migraine are more likely to have an incomplete network of arteries to the brain.

While the traditional “vascular” theory of migraine has been widely discredited, this seems to be a different look at blood flow and the brain.

Read the full article here and a recap on Migraine.Com

On a different note, I have always wondered about the relationship between migraines and Raynaud’s phenomenon, which I’ve had for over 10 years. My migraine specialists swore no connection existed, but I wish we knew more about whether a connection was possible since so many migraineurs have it.

What do you think about the new research on the potential cause of migraine?

In positive migraine news (or why I have been MIA for the past few months), I got married this summer! (All photos above were taken by Leeann Marie Photography.)

As you might remember, one of my biggest fears was migraines ruining my wedding. It didn’t happen, and I was so relieved. It took a LOT of planning to make that work. I will definitely talk more about all of this later, but I wanted to give you all a quick update that it IS possible to have a full-day, fun wedding without migraines ruining the whole thing. What a relief, right? Don’t worry, I am happy to share my tips with any brides or event planners in a future post (when I have a little more time…)!

As for now, I am getting packed and ready for our honeymoon. It will be so lovely to have no obligations for a few days. Any tips for migraine prevention/relief in a tropical climate? Any other brides-to-be or summer brides that are also managing migraines?

I’m a spoonie times three now…

imageSPOON 1: Lately, my migraines and I have come to an understanding. I’ve followed the low-tyramine diet for almost two years now. I’ve left a very high-stress career for an occupation I truly love and enjoy that is much lower stress. I’ve been able to spend more time with friends and family, and I’ve even gotten engaged to my wonderful fiance. I’ve been exercising more. Things are going well and the migraines, while present, have calmed down significantly. (Hint: here’s what a spoonie is!)

imageSPOON 2: My other spoon, Raynaud’s, is under control since it’s summer time!

But as my girl Bridget once said…


So that’s a bit dramatic. Regardless, I have had intense stomach pain since I was a little girl. I remember getting an upper GI done when I was 7 years old and drinking what the doctors called a “barium milkshake,” forever turning me off of milkshakes. I remember calling my mom from the floor of the elevator of my freshman dorm in college, crying because my stomach hurt and I couldn’t stand up.

As I’ve become more of a health activist over the past few years, I decided to pursue the source of my stomach pain. Over the past year, I’ve gone to the ER twice, met with several doctors and gastroenterologists, and had the following tests done:

  • Food allergy test
  • Endoscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood tests (several)
  • Urine tests (several)
  • CT scan
  • Abdominal x-ray
  • CT scan with and without contrast (barium - gross)
  • HIDA scan (the WORST)
  • Thyroid test

There are probably a few more that I’m forgetting. After all that I finally have a diagnosis…

imageSPOON 3: Gastroparesis.

This basically means that I have a weak stomach that empties slower than it should. It also means that the way I have been eating: lots of high fiber vegetables, beans, legumes, and fruits is actually making everything a lot worse. Who knew that being so healthy was actually hurting me??

I’m going to have to find a way to merge my gastroparesis diet with my low tyramine vegetarian diet, especially since my doctors say I can no longer be vegetarian because my sources of protein (beans, legumes, nuts, leafy greens) are too high in fiber and gas for my stomach to process. If anyone has tips or resources, I would greatly appreciate it. I am a spoonie all over again and it feels like being a new migraineur except this time I am ready to start looking for resources from the start!

Is anyone else a spoonie several times over? What resources do you recommend for “starting over” as a spoonie again?

Migraine Finally Has A Voice!

Is it really true?!?

I’ve been so busy this month with wedding planning, grad school, and work, that I haven’t been able to focus on Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. Truthfully, I figured I’d just catch the next one next year. What could possibly change between then and now? Nothing ever does, right?

Little did I know…

Cindy McCain went on the Today Show this morning to discuss her migraines and advocate for 36 Million Migraine, a campaign with the goal of raising $36 million for federal funding for a cure for migraines.

(image from @cindymccain Twitter feed)

HOLY COW. I have literally hoped and prayed for the moment when a legitimate, respected celebrity would come out and bring migraine into the national spotlight.

So how can we support this cause? To start, you can follow 36 Million Migraine on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll keep posting as I know more.

Please share what you know about 36 Million Migraine in the comments! What do you think about 36 Million Migraine?