Surviving Migraine Medication Free

Being held hostage by my body is (sadly) not an unfamiliar feeling for me, as I’m sure both other migraineurs and chronic disease patients of all kinds can understand. The things I can’t do when hit with a migraine attack can include: reading, watching a movie, listening to music, leaving the house, tolerating light, moving without pain, and speaking properly. I also can’t be anywhere with fluorescent lighting for too long, or out in the summer heat for more than a few minutes, without fear of setting off an attack.

When I was pregnant nine years ago, I felt much the same way. I had a troublesome pregnancy, and there wasn’t much I could do except come home from work exhausted and sleep the night away. I also couldn’t work out (my heart rate got too high), relax in a hot bath, or indulge in a much-needed margarita or glass of wine.

Now, my husband and I are considering having another child, and even though I’m not pregnant yet, I’m already feeling the effects of what lending my body to another human being will mean.

My 52-year-old mother died suddenly and unexpectedly just a couple of months ago, and I’m not sleeping well. My anxiety levels are high, and my exercise routine has been interrupted. All of which equal increased migraine symptoms. But, my neurologist (understandably) won’t prescribe me anything for sleep, anxiety, or pain, in case I become pregnant.

I understand that this is one of the trade-offs of pregnancy, but I’m not sure how I will be able to survive the coming months (until I get pregnant) plus the 40 weeks of actual pregnancy without medication. I have chronic migraine with aura, and it is quite likely that my migraine attacks will only increase during pregnancy. It would be beneficial to know how other chronic migraineurs have managed to make it through pregnancy. Have any of you readers suffered through pre-pregnancy and pregnancy medication free? How did you do it? Would you be able to do it again?

As always, I appreciate your comments.


6 thoughts on “Surviving Migraine Medication Free

  1. I’m so sorry to read about your mother. I’m very glad that I found your blog, though. I’ve got quite a few meds to get off of before we start trying to get pregnant, and I have no idea how I’m going to deal with migraines and anxiety. without the meds. I just found a new neurologist and am going to start taking CoQ-10 and Riboflavin. How did your CoQ-10/Magnesium supplement regimen work out?

    • Anne-Marie,

      Thank you for your post and your kind words. I am taking 100 mg of CoQ10 three times per day, 250 mg of Magnesium once per day (my neurologist recommended 400 mg, but I haven’t been able to find the correct pills to get to that dosage yet), and Riboflavin once a day. I feel my pain levels have decreased since starting the CoQ10, but the frequency of my attacks hasn’t seemed to change. My ob-gyn went ahead and put me on Buspar for anxiety and Ambien for sleep. She said those were okay to take while we’re trying to conceive. So, maybe you can take those, too. I wish you luck with your new treatments. Warm regards, Sarah

  2. I am in the same boat…. had to go through my twin pregnancy medication free (I get migraine without aura). The only things that helped me get throught were regular massage, ‘fore-head stick’, possibly acupuncture. The migraines weren’t as intense though. We want another one and I am scared of the going through this again. My migraines stopped at 18 weeks pregnant until after the birth. Are the supplements you mention ok during pregnancy?

    • Jodi,

      Yes, you can take magnesium and CoQ10 during pregnancy. I haven’t asked yet about taking them while breastfeeding, but I imagine they’re ok. (Of course, if they’re not, I’ll deal without them.)

      I’m glad to hear your migraines weren’t as bad during pregnancy, that gives me hope. I get migraines with aura, though, and my neurologist said that women who get aura typically get worse migraines during pregnancy….so we’ll see.

      I wish you luck with the next one.

      • This was a question I had, too! The supplements seem to be making a huge difference, but we’ll be TTC next year and I was nervous I’d have to stop taking them.

        My sister’s migraines went away completely during pregnancy, but they were the no-aura kind. They’re also back, now, with a vengeance. (Her youngest is 19 months.) So anything you can do to prevent them coming back is a good idea!

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