Blood circulation and migraines

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Blood circulation and migraines

Post by Sarah on Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:13 pm

I had no idea where to put this thread really!

My limited understanding is that the latest research suggests that the vascular theory of migraine is wrong (although, why do triptan drugs work then? Neutral )

I've had poor circulation for as long as my migraines have been a problem. My feet and hands are always icy cold.

Anyway, this is going to sound really stupid, but I've just been on holiday and, during the holiday, I came across a touristy thing with a thermal camera in it. Me and the husband stood in front of the thermal camera, and we looked completely different in the areas of our head and hands. My hands were registering as cold, which didn't surprise me, but my head was registering as very hot. His head and hands were registering as warm - ie the same colour.

So, surely it has to be a factor. And, if it is, how do I get the blood out of my head and into my hands? Shocked
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Re: Blood circulation and migraines

Post by sarlyka on Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:51 pm

Hi Sarah,

I think the latest research is saying that some migraines are vascular but others are muscular and/or nervous in origin. This would explain why triptans work for some people but not for others.

Triptans used to work for me 99% of the time. Now, since my migraines changed in frequency and intensity, the triptans only work about 10% of the time. So I'm guessing my migraines have changed.

Your thermal imaging stuff is interesting. Maybe someone else can enlighten us.

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Re: Blood circulation and migraines

Post by pīwakawaka on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:34 am

I also have very cold hands and feet, which has been diagnosed a Raynaud's disease. This phenomenon is more common among migraineurs than among the general population.

I'm not sure if my head gets hotter than the rest of my body - it's something else to look out for. It does explain why many sufferers get some relief by warming their hands and feet and cooling their heads.

As for migraines being vascular or muscular, I'm not really sure. I don't doubt the pain associated with migraines has its origin in either of these 2 places, but I am not convinced that either of these are the the source of the actual migraine. I feel it's just one of the manifestations of a migraine, just as confusion, aphasia, auras etc.

I guess it depends on whether you consider the pain as being the migraine, or you consider the time from prodrome through to postdrome as being a migraine. I'm of the latter opinion.

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Re: Blood circulation and migraines

Post by Sarah on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:39 am

Hmm... thanks for the replies. Interesting food for thought there!

I was once diagnosed with Raynauds, but I really don't think I have it - I don't get numbness or pain in my feet and hands, just coldness.

edit: I should have said that when I saw myself with the hot head and cool hands, I was actually having a rare good day with my head.
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Re: Blood circulation and migraines

Post by pīwakawaka on Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:01 am

The numbness or pain is caused by the extremities becoming very cold. It depends on the environment you are in. In summer I don't normally display those symptoms, but my wife still notices how cold my hands and feet are compared to hers.

However, during winter I do suffer the pain. Most homes in NZ are poorly insulated due to our very mild winters. In this area we have snow once or twice in a lifetime. As a consequence homes can be quite cold inside. It's about 13°C (55°F) in the room I'm in now and at this temperature I feel very comfortable, but my hands are showing symptoms. The finger tips are quite white, but not yet numb. So it's about time I put a pair of gloves on.

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Re: Blood circulation and migraines

Post by Tee on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:01 am

this is interesting as my sister has raynauds but not migraine - she only has the cold too no pain, but her hands go blue.

I am certain that we do not all have the same thing - just the same symptoms and in time they will sort this out and re group us.......

Sarah have you tried cold n your head - does it work for you?


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