Could the reason I stopped having migraines be because I had a stroke?

11 answers | Last updated: Nov 12, 2016
Pawnee asked...

I had migraines from age 9 to age 54. They stopped when, at 54, I had a stroke. Could be a connection?


Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

That is a fascinating story - and there is probably a connection.  However, unfortunately, so little is known about the cause of migraines that I can't tell you for sure what science underlies your particular case.

It is known that people with migraines are at slightly higher chance than the general population to have a stroke, but what the relationship here was, I do not know.  Perhaps whatever center of brain was causing the migraines prior to the stroke was damaged, thereby stopping the cycle of migraines.  That is perhaps the first time I've heard of something good coming from a stroke!


Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

My life experience is the same.  Once I started having strokes my migraines stopped.  Doctor(s) could not explain.


Thebigpicturetoo answered...

Neither one of these answers specified if the stroke was a hemorrhagic or clot stroke. This is critical in making even an educated guess. They are not the same. They just are lumped into the category of “stroke” from the days when patients and their families were ignorant of medical terms. That is not the case today. Patients and family members are better educated and familiar with many medical terms. In fact they have to be because the doctors only have 15 minutes to spend with them explaining what is going on. Doctors need to stop this over simplification of stroke terminology. And also, the use of the word embolism without the qualifier as to whether it ruptured adds to the confusion about an embolism.


Pawnee answered...

Tests, done at the time, were inconclusive.  Csuse of stroke not determined.


Thebigpicturetoo answered...

I take it no CT-Scan was done.  Usually, they can see the bleed. 

Sorry for your stroke but happy to hear that the headaches have stopped and I hope the stroke did not do too much damage.

Good luck.


Helen61 answered...

I suffered migraines at 17 until 38 when i took atroke and needed brain surgery.never had a migrain since.now i'm worried they are back,as i am getting blurred vision then a sore head on one side.My dr things its migrain and is puzzeled that they went away after the stroke that was nearly 10 year ago.


Pawnee answered...

There was,no doubt, a connection between the cessation of migraines and the stroke. There were no facilities for CT scan. An MRI was attempted but a severe reaction to the dye stopped the procedure. An EEG and subsequent MRI detected nothing. 3 years later another MRI detected "something" in the area of the injury. That MRI revealed another injury, a slight bleed in the right half of the hypothalmus. I believe that that occurred 2 weeks following my initial stroke as I started experiencing severe pain on my left side. 20 years have gone by trying to find some relief from the pain, but nothing has helped. The pain has lessened little since the onset. I am anbulatory, my left arm and hand are of little use. One copes as best as one can. It is difficult for me to see the frustration of my doctors as they can do nothing to alieve my suffering.


Mary simpson answered...

PAWNEE CHECK INTO OUR CENTRAL PAIN SYNDROME ALLIANCE. ITS MY GUESS THE PAIN YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM IS "CENTRAL PAIN". YOU NEED NOT BE ALONE. WE UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.

I TOO HAD A BLEED THAT STOPPED MY MIGRAINES. THAT WAS ONE OF THE MANY BLESSING MY STOKE IN OCT 94 GAVE ME. MY STROKE WAS MAJOR AND LEFT ME PRETTY MUCH 1/2 A PERSON AND ALSO WITH CENTRAL PAIN SYNDROME AS ONE OF THE AFFECTS. BUT LIFE GOES ON AND WE DO WHAT WE CAN, AS BEST WE CAN.

FOR ALL STROKEES THAT ARE NOT AWARE OF THE CENTRAL PAIN AFFECT HERE IS OUR DEFINITION. HANG IN. .. HUGS MARY S.

http://www.centralpain.org http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/CPS_ALLIANCE/

CENTRAL PAIN SYNDROME A DEFINITION

A neuropathic pain with various names.....In an effort to get everyone on the same page term we use is  Central Pain Syndrome We will often use "CPS" for short.

Synonyms: Also known as

Central Post-Stroke Syndrome Dejerine-Roussy Syndrome Central Neuropathy Posterior Thalamic Syndrome Retrolenticular Syndrome Thalamic Hyperesthetic Anesthesia Thalamic Pain Syndrome

Central Pain Syndrome is a neurological condition.

24/7 Sensations can affect us all differently, in different places on our bodies, and at different levels of pain and suffering.

Extremely difficult to diagnose. Often sending the patient to many doctors to find one that believes in their suffering. Finding a doctor who is willing to treat and work to find relief for the person that suffers with this savage pain becomes a miracle in the mind of those that suffer.

Causes: Central pain syndrome occurs because of injury to central nervous system... CPS can be caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson´s disease, toxins, tumors and trauma to brain or spinal cord,  any diseases that eventually reach the central nervous system.

Sensations: It can be a steady, sometimes deep burning, aching, cutting, tearing, pressing, lacerating  mixture of pain sensation. Pain may be moderate to severe in intensity.

CPS may be  described  as weird sensations like Burning: "A chemical, not a purely physical burn" , "bone cold",  "wet" sensations, tingling, a "pins and needles", a " ballooning" sensation, throbbing, the feeling of a dental probe on a raw nerve, even metallic.

Intense skin reactions can accompany these symptoms, such as burning, stretching, tightness, itching, or a crawling feeling. CPS can be aggravated by any light touch such as the feel of cloth on skin making dressing an ordeal, as can the touch of a sheet or blanket. The touch of a loved one, may overwhelm the brain with the pain from CPS.

Intestinal reactions Gut pain, stomach  nausea and vomiting can be a part of CPS.

Numbness The hands, feet, head, and trunk can be affected with a numbness that is painful, and does not offer any relief, only adding to the pain.

Onset CPS  can begin from day one of the stroke/injury or can take months, even years to make it's appearance.  Central Pain Syndrome can be a life threatening condition: It can often cause depression, anxiety, anger, frustration and hopelessness.. When a person rates the pain as a 9 or 10 on a pain scale, and there seems to be no relief in sight, with no hope or understanding or support from family and professionals, they may even come to feel that suicide is the only way out.

Triggers and Sensitivity reactions Stress, anger, depression. Movement, daily activity, ROM exercising, tiredness. Exposure to sun, rain, cold, snow, breezes, AC, drafts, unseen sun flare activity, barometer changes. Environments of warmer and cooler from the particular person´s comfort zone. Added pain or swelling. Light touches of another person, blanket, clothes, splints. Sudden movements: Yawning and other reflexive involuntary movements such as sneezing, being startled, loud noises, bright lights and even vibrations as from riding in a car.

Light sensitivity for the eyes, noise sensitivity for the ears can be  triggers for higher pain levels.


7 Types of pain sensations

Any or all of these pain types can overlap. A person could have one or all of these that can come and go as time passes.

  1. Burning dysesthesia: A mixture of pain sensations in which persistent light touch is perceived as a thermal sensation. There are four overlapping subtypes.

Burning: "A chemical, not a purely physical burn"; "A mentholated burning"; burning it up with fire and acid".

Cold: "Like touching dry ice"; "bone" cold.

Wet:   Wet and uncomfortable underneath the burning."

Motor or Kinesthetic Dysesthesia: A feeling of cramping and contraction associated with burning. "A terrible fatigue in my muscles, "A feeling of drawing, pulling, crushing."

  1. Hyperpathia: Heightened response to a noxious stimulus.

  2. Allodynia: Pain from a very mild stimulus. Can also describe referred pain. Can relate to touch, location, temperature or muscle loading.

Touch: "Light touch from clothing becomes unbearable after a few minutes, like an awful sunburn"; "Paper laid on the legs begins to burn unbearably after a minute or so."

Location: Touching the face might show up as burning on the outside of the forearm. Sitting long enough for the skin to burn can become  burning out to the side on the legs and behind."

Thermal: Picking up a warm drink, it feels hot in the hand. Warm ambient temperature sensitizes the skin so that all the other pain features appear more easily."

Muscle loading: Movement makes the body unbearably sore. The day after exercise, the body might have  awful feelings of lactic acid buildup. Lying in bed can feel like sleeping on rocks.

  1. Shooting or 5. Lacerating: Sharp stabbing pains with an electrical quality.

  2. Circulatory: A very common type in which circulation feels compromised.  The feeling of pins and needles in parts of the body.

  3. Peristaltic: Feeling of fullness,  burning, cramping, nausea or distention.

===========================================

Central Pain Syndrome can require a multidisciplinary team of pain specialists. Anesthesiologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons, rheumatologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, family doctors, nurses, physical therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and chiropractors all have different methods of treating chronic pain. www.painonline.org and www.painonline.com for more detailed infomation


Kaoticjester answered...

As far as an answer to your question i have nothing. However, my wife has suffered from a stroke 3 moths ago. Prior to the stroke she was experiencing frequent migraines and loss of breath. She is still in a special care clinic requiring care. Your question and answers have at least givin me an idea of what to expect if she recovers. She had a clot the size of a fist in the right side of her brain. Currently she has no control of her left side while she retains control of her right. She is slowly recognizing and comprehending us. The care facility has recently put her into speech therapy because she is able to answer yes or no questions through sign language. I am sorry for your incidents but am grateful for your input. Thank you.


Pawnee answered...

I am indeed touched by the pain and suffering that my fellow victims are undergoing. We must concern ourselves with this malady as most people do not associate pain with stroke. If someone in "authority" and had the ability to address this problem, had the same symptoms research would forge ahead. We, the suffering, must pray for each other's endurance under what seems to be the unendurable.


Luckyray answered...

Many years ago, I read an article about a kid or a teen who had severe migraines / seizures . After many harrowing years visiting many families and doctors, they finally met one guy who did a radical surgery. He inserted very tiny metal electrodes right through the brain tissue to the point where electrical mis firing was causing seizures and migraines. He either zapped them permanently or these electrodes acted as a short for the electrical discharges making them harmless.. Subsequently the seizures / migranes went away...

The tendency today amongst pharma / doctor / research community is that if a medicine works to mask a symptom or a pain, why research it further. Perhaps there is a economic angle to keep the golden goose alive( You ) ,,, so that you can keep buying medicines...

Anyways , long story short... Medicine is advancing further and further .. With or without the greed to make money...In some cases I am sure big pharma is actually supressing cures to keep the 'cash cow' alive....

So probably you had similar affect and it must be a great relief to have the migrane eliminated period!... Good luck to you and to your recovery ahead. . God bless ...

The scientific Temper is very lacking amongst doctors who play is safe and conservative versus experimentalists like mayo clinicians..