Friday, July 18, 2014

Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV)

It's been a while since I last posted and I wanted to share where I'm at right now with my illness.

I posted several times before about my vestibular disorder that I've been living with since January. My doctor has no idea what's causing it and lumped me into the "it must be uncompensated Labyrinthitis" group. She knows for sure it's not Meniere's Disease, but other than that, it's a mystery. I've been successfully doing vestibular rehabilitation therapy since March. It has helped reduce my symptoms dramatically, although I still have major set backs any time the pressure changes or I get my monthly cycle. 

I shared my story on a few different dizzy forms the past several months and got responses from some very nice women who suggested I might have Migraine Associated Vertigo. I had read about it in the past during my research, but never explored it in depth.  One of the women recommended a book called "Heal your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for taking control of your pain" by David Buchholz, MD.  I ordered the book from my library and went to pick it up before my vestibular therapy appointment yesterday morning. While at my appointment, I talked more about my symptoms with my therapist.  I didn't mention anything about the book. She said I reminded her a lot of another one of her patients who has Migraine Associated Vertigo. Apparently she had seen some top doctors at John Hopkins University who diagnosed it. She gave me a hand out to read and suggested I get a copy of Heal your Headache.  I couldn't believe it; I told her I just got the book from my library!  I often look for confirmations from the Lord that He's telling me something because I don't want to seek any kind of treatment outside of His will, believing wholeheartedly that He will make good on His promise to heal me because His word is true, always. I took this recommendation by my therapist as a confirmation since I had been praying for Him to use her and guide her in a mighty way regarding my treatment.  I had also been praying for His wisdom, knowledge and guidance.  

I read through the entire book yesterday. I just could not put it down. All my symptoms were described in the book as migraine related: head pain & pressure, sinus pressure, ear pain and fullness, dizziness! I always knew migraines could cause visual symptoms, not just intense headaches, but I had no idea they could cause vestibular (and a whole host of other!) problems too.  I used to get horrible migraines when I was younger, the kind that cause horrendous head pain, light sensitivity, nausea and vomiting. I only had a handful and then they went away, though I struggled since then on and off with dizziness.  Could it be that what I'm experiencing is migraine related?

I'm going to follow the diet recommended in the book, eliminating all common migraine "triggers" to see if it helps with my symptoms.  If it does, praise God!  If it doesn't, praise God! I thank Him for this opportunity to give something a try, but if this is not something that will help me, then I trust Him to bring it to pass in His time and in His way.  

I highly recommend this book though.  It's an excellent read and a real eye opener. Any doctor that challenges the status quo is okay in my book.   

If you've read the book or tried the diet, I'd love for you to share your experiences! For more information on recipes related to this specific diet, the follow links are highly beneficial:

Migraine-Free Cooking (a blog with recipes based on the book)

Migraine-Free Cooking (recipe book based on Heal your Headache)

I ordered the Migraine-Free Cooking book today and look forward to receiving it!  I spent the day clearing my cupboards of any triggers.  My loss is the food pantry's gain!

UPDATE: I tried the Heal your Headache diet for 6 weeks and then I called it quits.  For the entire update and all of the details, please refer to this post: "Heal your Headache - Migraine Diet Update".  In a nutshell, it did not work for me.


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