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swimshark
May 31st, 2012, 06:54 AM
I train with an age group team. Our normal Saturday practices are in a pool around 85º and for 2 hours. The practices may not be hugely high in yardage but very high in intensity. I normally have chronic headaches and lately I've been getting migraines after these Sat practices. I don't know if it's the heat of the pool for the long time or the intensity. I talked to the coach today about getting out after 90 min as I find that helps. He mentioned upping my fluid and nutrition intake. What should I up and what else can I do to avoid the migraines? They are making for very boring weekends for my family as I lay on the couch in pain.

gull
May 31st, 2012, 08:54 AM
The water temperature is likely a big part of the problem. You might try taking two Aleve before practice. I find that this works better than anything else I have tried for migraines (with the exception of Vioxx, which was taken off the market).

2fish&1whale
May 31st, 2012, 09:21 AM
My first thought would be heat related too.If you don't already,drink about .5 to 1 liter of fluids within the hour before practice and then small amounts throughout.Otherwise by the time you feel hot or thirsty it takes too much time for the fluids to really help.One thing that has helped me is switching from silicone to latex or neoprene caps.I found that silicone is too thick for my head to cool off enough-I also have very thick hair-and they can also constrict a bit.

Cokie
May 31st, 2012, 09:33 AM
Any chance these could be sinus headaches? I suffered headaches for about a year in a variety of pools. Went through all kinds of tests, a CT scan, meds, etc. Began to suspect it was sinus headaches (no nasal issues but high up in the sinus passages). Begrudgingly began using a nose plug. Viola! That was the issue. Have been using a nose plug now for about 8 months. Zero headaches after swimming. So maybe, just maybe.....

swimshark
May 31st, 2012, 12:31 PM
Thanks all. I will try to up the water intake and see how that goes. I normally go through 24 oz during the practice but I need to drink more. I tried silicone caps but they were too tight and caused the headaches to get worse. I use latex now.

jim thornton
May 31st, 2012, 01:16 PM
Alison, it sounds like what you are suffering is the "exertional headache." The Mayo Clinic has a nice explanation here:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-headaches/DS00641

I get these at swimming meets fairly frequently. They aren't migraines per se, but the article mentions that people with a history of migraines are more at risk for them. I have had migraines since my youth, though their frequency is much less the older I get (which one doc said is the consequence of hardening of the arteries--I knew there had to be some silver lining for these!)

Before trying the prophylactic drugs the Mayo Clinic recommends, have you ever tried drinking some coffee before (and maybe during) practice? A known effect of caffeine is to constrict blood vessels in the brain, and this might help you--no joke!

You could take some Jolt gum to practice and pop a chiclet every half hour, chew vigorously, then pop beneath your tongue for maximum buccal absorption!

I would also consider taking some pain pills before practice--Alleve or even Tylenol.

If the water's hot, stop periodically to cool off. Just don't overdo it. Maybe you could swim the main set and leave. Not sure why you have to ask your coach to leave after 90 minutes!

jaadams1
May 31st, 2012, 01:19 PM
I tried silicone caps but they were too tight and caused the headaches to get worse. I use latex now.

Better yet, shave the head, skip the cap. Long hair's not in fashion anyway! And the trapped bodyheat will be released quicker that way! :D

jim thornton
May 31st, 2012, 01:33 PM
Thanks all. I will try to up the water intake and see how that goes. I normally go through 24 oz during the practice but I need to drink more. I tried silicone caps but they were too tight and caused the headaches to get worse. I use latex now.

Try weighing yourself before practice. Our practices are only an hour long, and I almost always lose 3 lbs, or a little less than a half gallon, from sweating and exhaling water vapor. I usually don't drink during practice, and the loss of this much weight, though seemingly extreme to some, is trivial--3/180 = only 1.6 percent of my body weight.

If blood expansion of head vessels is your problem, which is what many suspect is going on with exertional headaches, overdoing the fluids isn't going to help you. Baseball pitchers have been known to lose amazing amounts of weight during a game in the heat. I am pretty sure performance doesn't slip till you are significantly dehydrated.

If you do a regular Google search for hydration and athletic performance, you will find all the standard hooey about drinking constantly, before during and after, pee as clear as a spring in the Colorado Rockies, etc.

However, if you do a Google Scholar search, where the results of actual research are to be found (as opposed to the wishful thinking of the bottled water and Gatorade industries), you will get another story altogether.

Case in point: the abstract from a trial of cyclists in the heat:

Conclusions (1) Compared with euhydration, EID (up to 4% BW loss) does not alter cycling performances during out-of-door exercise conditions; (2) exercise intensity and duration have a much greater impact on cycling TT performances than EID and; (3) relying on thirst sensation to gauge the need for fluid replacement maximises cycling TT performances.

Notes: Euhydration refers to not losing any weight from normal. 4 percent of BW, in my case, would be 4% x 180 = 7.2 lb, or about a gallon.

In your case, assuming you weigh 130, you can lose 5.2 lb. of body weight from water loss and suffer no performance deficit.

Bottom line, as the article points out, (3) relying on thirst sensation to gauge the need for fluid replacement maximises cycling TT performances. (repeated for emphasis!)

Drink when you're thirsty, not when you're not!

swimshark
May 31st, 2012, 02:39 PM
Jim, you bring up some good points. I find myself very thirsty during this practice which means I'm drinking a lot but no more than during a usual 80 min weekday practice which is in a cooler pool. The pool deck is really hot as well so I swim in the lane next to the door and the door is usually propped open by the coach, even with snow coming in.

Reading the article, if sounds like I have primary exercise headaches after this practice (I occasionally get them at meets as well). I do take excedrin before practice, which gives me the caffeine. I'm thinking a small protein bar during practice might help as well.

As for why I ask my coach to get out... because he's my coach :)


James, there are days when a shaved head sounds so good!

smontanaro
May 31st, 2012, 02:55 PM
I say go for it! It would be so Sinead O'Connor, and you'd be able to ditch the cap. :D

swimshark
May 31st, 2012, 05:55 PM
I say go for it! It would be so Sinead O'Connor, and you'd be able to ditch the cap. :D

Don't say that near my husband. He has already threatened me with his hair cut (full shaved)

selkie
May 31st, 2012, 06:05 PM
I'm prone to migraines when I run more than about 4 miles in the summer heat & humidity. Your hydration issues may very, but I find it's important to rehydrate with more than just water. Gatorade helped a little; Vitamin Water was slightly better; the stupidly expensive unsweetened coconut water seems best at keeping my electrolyte levels from going kablooey and I've had a lot fewer headache issues since I started using some of that as a recovery drink.

swimshark
May 31st, 2012, 08:41 PM
I'm prone to migraines when I run more than about 4 miles in the summer heat & humidity. Your hydration issues may very, but I find it's important to rehydrate with more than just water. Gatorade helped a little; Vitamin Water was slightly better; the stupidly expensive unsweetened coconut water seems best at keeping my electrolyte levels from going kablooey and I've had a lot fewer headache issues since I started using some of that as a recovery drink.

I do drink Boost after a workout. I use it for the protein. How does coconut water compare in the protein department?

jaadams1
May 31st, 2012, 10:49 PM
How does coconut water compare in the protein department?

About the same as "fast food is good for you." :D


Coconut Water Info (http://www.fyiliving.com/diet/coconut-water-craze-are-the-health-benefits-worth-the-cost/)

selkie
May 31st, 2012, 10:55 PM
No protein in the coconut water. (I generally avoid it after a workout because it doesn't sit right in my stomach for an hour or so after heavy exertion.) I think what helps me is that it's an easy way to regain a whole bunch of potassium I've sweated out. Add in a handful of pretzels for the sodium, and I'm good.

swimshark
June 1st, 2012, 07:26 AM
About the same as "fast food is good for you." :D


Coconut Water Info (http://www.fyiliving.com/diet/coconut-water-craze-are-the-health-benefits-worth-the-cost/)

And we know how well that fast food works for you. :)


No protein in the coconut water. (I generally avoid it after a workout because it doesn't sit right in my stomach for an hour or so after heavy exertion.) I think what helps me is that it's an easy way to regain a whole bunch of potassium I've sweated out. Add in a handful of pretzels for the sodium, and I'm good.

Okay, thanks. I'm thinking about taking a break after about an hour of practice to eat or drink something and see if that helps.

KEWebb18
June 1st, 2012, 07:51 AM
I would also suggest making sure that on Fridays you should hydrate well too. Don't just think about Saturday morning during practice to get your fluids in!
I have a problem with getting hot too, in places where that was a problem I would always be taking my cap off in between sets and during kick sets if possible. Easy to do if you have short hair.

jaadams1
June 1st, 2012, 08:22 AM
And we know how well that fast food works for you. :)

There is a difference between "works for you" and "good for you". :)

knelson
June 1st, 2012, 12:12 PM
I often get headaches after meets. I know it's not a hydration issue because I drink constantly at meets (a mixture of sports drinks and water). Strangely I rarely if ever get headaches after practices, but I do drink throughout workouts.

swimshark
June 1st, 2012, 01:15 PM
I would also suggest making sure that on Fridays you should hydrate well too. Don't just think about Saturday morning during practice to get your fluids in!
I have a problem with getting hot too, in places where that was a problem I would always be taking my cap off in between sets and during kick sets if possible. Easy to do if you have short hair.

Thanks Katie. Good point about Fridays and hydration.


I often get headaches after meets. I know it's not a hydration issue because I drink constantly at meets (a mixture of sports drinks and water). Strangely I rarely if ever get headaches after practices, but I do drink throughout workouts.

For me, a headache trigger is noise. That's why I get them at meets. Is that the same for you?

knelson
June 1st, 2012, 01:26 PM
For me, a headache trigger is noise. That's why I get them at meets. Is that the same for you?

No, I don't think so. Noise doesn't usually bother me. Coud be a combination of things: noise, wearing tight cap and goggles, stress, etc.

Karl_S
June 1st, 2012, 01:53 PM
I'll add one more vote in agreement with gull, 85 degree water sounds like a likely culprit. I believe that I have read that the frequency emergency room visits due to migraine correlates strongly with temperature.

I also think James is on to something with his comment. Is there any way that you can lose the cap? How long is your hair? "Wear a cap" is a common suggestion for helping to deal with cold water. It stands to reason that, "don't wear a cap" might be a good strategy for dealing with warm water. If you must wear a cap, maybe get a lycra one.

I'm usually faced with the opposite problem, water that is too cold for me, but on the rare occasions that I have been faced with water that is too warm, I have found that having a bottle of cool water available to splash on my face and hair between swims is quite useful.

Bobinator
June 1st, 2012, 03:51 PM
Have you tried loosening your goggles a bit during longer practices? Normally I like tight goggles but if I practice much more over an hour they give me headaches. This is an easy thing to fix too!

selkie
June 1st, 2012, 04:10 PM
I also swim in v. warm water during the summer, and a very easy 100 with no cap after every somewhat hard 1000ish yards/meters does seem to help stay a bit cooler. Going to a workout bikini instead of a one piece suit also seems to help a little in terms of coolness/ comfort level.

mlabresh
June 1st, 2012, 04:33 PM
I have two different pools that I swim in. One (for Masters group) is nice and cool, the other (days there is no Masters practice) is 84+. I'm far more likely to end up with a headache after swimming in the warmer pool!

Other factors that will add to whether or not I end up with a post-swim headache - tightness of goggles, hydration level, iron level, amount of sleep. I have a tendency to to get migraines when I'm not getting enough iron.. or water.. or sleep.. etc. If I know I will be working hard the next morning/day I will usually eat something with lots of iron (spinach is my favorite source), drink lots, and try to get a little extra sleep.

I hope you find a solution that works for you! Headaches are miserable. :badday:

swimshark
June 1st, 2012, 07:59 PM
Thanks all. You all have given me a lot to think about. I do think the pool temp has something to do with the level of exertion, which leads to the headaches. As of this week, we are in a different pool for Saturdays. We go back to the hot pool in Sept :( I do need to wear a cap but I can easily take it off and swim a bit without it at the end of practice or in the middle, if needed. My goggles are as loose as I can get them without them coming off when I push off. Off to eat some spinach and work on that iron thing.

swimshark
June 2nd, 2012, 11:03 AM
Another intense practice today. I tried different things like relaxing more while I swam and took 2 NSAIDs before swimming. And I felt good in the water! Nice descending set. I got out after about an hour and 35 min. Now is the test as the headaches usually come on after practice has been over for about an hour. Thanks all for the help. I'm going to beat this!

aquajock
June 4th, 2012, 08:59 PM
I train with an age group team. Our normal Saturday practices are in a pool around 85º and for 2 hours. The practices may not be hugely high in yardage but very high in intensity. I normally have chronic headaches and lately I've been getting migraines after these Sat practices. I don't know if it's the heat of the pool for the long time or the intensity. I talked to the coach today about getting out after 90 min as I find that helps. He mentioned upping my fluid and nutrition intake. What should I up and what else can I do to avoid the migraines? They are making for very boring weekends for my family as I lay on the couch in pain.

Headaches bother me, too. You can keep a headache chart and identify specific triggers. Here are a few suggestions for what helps me:

1 - make sure goggles don't pinch suborbital nerve - this was a chronic problem for me at meets for awhile and that's why I'm wearing Barracuda and Kayenne goggles now (thanks to some folks on the forum who suggested).

2 - if you swim outside, wear mirrored lenses. Sun can be a trigger.

3 - I can drink lots of water and still get a headache. Mix up an electrolyte drink instead (I like Hammer mandarin orange) and drink before, during and after. A little caffeine before also helps (I had iced tea yesterday before a hot midday swim).

4 - Wear a bikini so you can cool off faster or put ice on your forehead between sets. Take a cool shower afterwards.

5 - Eat very soon after the workout. For me a deficit of calories soon means a bad headache.

I hope this helps:)

ElaineK
June 4th, 2012, 09:49 PM
Hey, 'Shark, I'm sorry to hear you are having problems with migraines. :bighug: Unfortunately, I don't have any advice to contribute; I just wanted to wish you good luck in finding a resolution to your headaches. :cheerleader:

jim thornton
June 4th, 2012, 10:54 PM
Avoid post-practice alcohol, especially if you are prone to hangover headaches.

bamueller
June 5th, 2012, 12:14 AM
I don't know if any of the information in my post from some time ago will help you, Nutrition, calories, avoiding hypoglycemia and migraines - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums. I did purchase and read the book suggested, The Brain Trust Program, and I have been taking magnesium supplements for almost three years.

I am NOT recommending the following for you or anyone. I like to think it has been working for me, but that doesn't mean it will work for everyone. I did see a neurologist about migraines and he put me on one baby-aspirin a day and magnesium. He recommended those two dietary additions. He said magnesium would need to be in the 1200-1600 range to be effective. My sister has lived with migraines for years (since she was in second grade), and magnesium has been working for her as well.

Please consult your doctor before taking anyone's advice to be safe. If I can make it until September, I will be migraine free for 3 years. Good luck!

swimshark
June 5th, 2012, 07:02 AM
Hey, 'Shark, I'm sorry to hear you are having problems with migraines. :bighug: Unfortunately, I don't have any advice to contribute; I just wanted to wish you good luck in finding a resolution to your headaches. :cheerleader:

Thanks Elaine. I'm working on them!

Thanks for the advice Alex and Susan. I'll check in to the magnesium. Susan, I do watch the goggles. I take them off, even if for 5 sec, every chance I get.

Sat practice was intense but not too bad and no headache. Yesterday morning's workout was super intense (100's on 1:20 and 1:10) and I had a huge headache. So I'm thinking it's the intensity issue. Today was lighter (all IM work) and so far, so good.

couldbebetterfly
June 6th, 2012, 10:50 PM
Another vote for magnesium! A friend of mine put me on to it as I tend to suffer at from headaches around that time of the month. I have been taking a 400mg tablet plus whatever is in my daily multi-vitamin and while it has not completely elimitated the problem it has helped a great deal. (I really should talk to my doctor about it, but I don't like going :afraid:)

Also keep hydrated. all. the. time. I've always been prone to headaches from dehydration, and right now my water bottle is a constant companion, workout or not. Today I put 1/2 an electrolyte tablet in there too to keep up my salt levels - it reached 100 this afternoon and I was teaching outside for 3 hours. However I still feel human tonight - unlike last night :bed:

swimshark
June 7th, 2012, 07:32 AM
Another vote for magnesium! A friend of mine put me on to it as I tend to suffer at from headaches around that time of the month. I have been taking a 400mg tablet plus whatever is in my daily multi-vitamin and while it has not completely elimitated the problem it has helped a great deal. (I really should talk to my doctor about it, but I don't like going :afraid:)

Also keep hydrated. all. the. time. I've always been prone to headaches from dehydration, and right now my water bottle is a constant companion, workout or not. Today I put 1/2 an electrolyte tablet in there too to keep up my salt levels - it reached 100 this afternoon and I was teaching outside for 3 hours. However I still feel human tonight - unlike last night :bed:

I think I'll try the magnesium. Thanks. As for water, I drink, on a low day, 72 oz. On a higher day of swimming or exercise, It's usually around 100 oz. I have my water bottle with me at all times, too.

quicksilver
June 7th, 2012, 08:06 AM
Athletes who drink water during practice are actually already in fluid debt. It's important to "hydrate" well in advance and that process starts the moment you leave the pool.

Jim pointed out that he's about 3 lbs lighter after a practice. That's fairly common especially if the water temp is over 80 degrees and you've been sweating for over an hour. 2lbs is about the weight of a liter sized bottle. If you're not topped off with the right fluid level, headaches aren't surprising.

As a good habit I carry a liter sized water bottle and usually down it right after leaving the building. The rest of the day I carry a refill and usually finish it off before early afternoon.

Herb
June 7th, 2012, 11:41 PM
Since this is a migraine thread - anyone ever had the visual migraine aura? I suffered through intense migraines through my youth and then they stopped around 18. Twenty years later got hauled away in an ambulance after blurred vision, scary stuff thought I was having a stroke or something. They thought it was blood sugar, I was back to 100% in an hour after eating a bagel. I've had 5-10 more since, MRI of the brain, etc.. Everything checks out. They are like 45 minute bad acid trips that I learned to comfort myself I would come out of. Haven't had one in a couple of years now ....

swimshark
June 8th, 2012, 07:12 AM
Since this is a migraine thread - anyone ever had the visual migraine aura? I suffered through intense migraines through my youth and then they stopped around 18. Twenty years later got hauled away in an ambulance after blurred vision, scary stuff thought I was having a stroke or something. They thought it was blood sugar, I was back to 100% in an hour after eating a bagel. I've had 5-10 more since, MRI of the brain, etc.. Everything checks out. They are like 45 minute bad acid trips that I learned to comfort myself I would come out of. Haven't had one in a couple of years now ....

I have never gotten the aura although I've had migraines that have left me in a dark room throwing up (Portland LCM Nationals was the worst one!). But I have noticed I can feel my blood sugar dropping and that "bad acid trip" feeling and a headache will come on if I don't eat something fast. I now keep a Fiber One bar with me at all times so I can combat that.

arthur
June 8th, 2012, 10:49 AM
Since this is a migraine thread - anyone ever had the visual migraine aura? I suffered through intense migraines through my youth and then they stopped around 18. Twenty years later got hauled away in an ambulance after blurred vision, scary stuff thought I was having a stroke or something. They thought it was blood sugar, I was back to 100% in an hour after eating a bagel. I've had 5-10 more since, MRI of the brain, etc.. Everything checks out. They are like 45 minute bad acid trips that I learned to comfort myself I would come out of. Haven't had one in a couple of years now ....
I don't get migraines very often but they pretty much always come after a visual aura. I can see everything except what I am trying to focus on becomes blurry. I also usually see a line which look like a crack where I am focusing. It is maybe a good thing though as if I take a 400mg liquid gel ibuprofen immediately I can often avoid the migraine or make it much more mild.

Herb
June 8th, 2012, 12:53 PM
When I was a kid I got ones where all I could do was put covers over my head and cyclically vomit for 8 hours. I think I might be getting one right now thinking about my mother coming in and turning on the lights to check on me - oohhhh the pain. My utmost sympathy to those that now suffer from these.

Don't think I had the aura with the headaches at least nothing like I got later. The visual ones I got later had no headache at all. I read these were more common in people that used to get the migraine headaches. They seem harmless but can cause a serious panic attack. Even though I am now confident I will come out the other side eventually they still scare the crap out of me.

They have some pretty cool video simulations of these. Most of them don't look quite like mine, but this one is pretty close:

[FONT=Calibri]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYLXaR9frHg[/FON"]Migraine Aura - what does a migraine headache aura look like? - YouTube

bamueller
June 9th, 2012, 11:44 AM
Since this is a migraine thread - anyone ever had the visual migraine aura? I suffered through intense migraines through my youth and then they stopped around 18. Twenty years later got hauled away in an ambulance after blurred vision, scary stuff thought I was having a stroke or something. They thought it was blood sugar, I was back to 100% in an hour after eating a bagel. I've had 5-10 more since, MRI of the brain, etc.. Everything checks out. They are like 45 minute bad acid trips that I learned to comfort myself I would come out of. Haven't had one in a couple of years now ....

Herb, this is the migraine I get. Sadly, I live in fear of having them. I've had maybe 4-8 in my life, and I think about them daily. What I have done to prevent them is magnesium, baby aspirin, and fueling/hydration. I feel like I can associate all the ones I have had to lack of nutrition/hydration and exercise. So I always eat and drink, adjusting as necessary. I eat because I know I am going to swim in an hour, not because I am hungry. So far, I have not had one in almost three years (knock on wood), and I think it is because of the magnesium and baby aspirin.

The headache wouldn't be bad, it's the aura, confusion, tingling in fingertips, lips, etc that I dread. It is like having a stroke. One time I had one after a swim at the Y, and the Y staff wanted to get me into an ambulance and off their campus asap. All I needed was something to eat and drink, but I didn't get that relief for about two hours as the hospital was treating me like a stroke/heart attach victim.

Anyway, good luck with yours. Try not to dread them (as I keep telling myself).

Herb
June 9th, 2012, 05:01 PM
Herb, this is the migraine I get. Sadly, I live in fear of having them. I've had maybe 4-8 in my life, and I think about them daily. What I have done to prevent them is magnesium, baby aspirin, and fueling/hydration. I feel like I can associate all the ones I have had to lack of nutrition/hydration and exercise. So I always eat and drink, adjusting as necessary. I eat because I know I am going to swim in an hour, not because I am hungry. So far, I have not had one in almost three years (knock on wood), and I think it is because of the magnesium and baby aspirin.

The headache wouldn't be bad, it's the aura, confusion, tingling in fingertips, lips, etc that I dread. It is like having a stroke. One time I had one after a swim at the Y, and the Y staff wanted to get me into an ambulance and off their campus asap. All I needed was something to eat and drink, but I didn't get that relief for about two hours as the hospital was treating me like a stroke/heart attach victim.

Anyway, good luck with yours. Try not to dread them (as I keep telling myself).

Did anyone ever succesfully diagnose yours? They had me convinced of the blood sugar thing so I too made a habit of always seeking protein and water. I'm not sure any more how related they even are since glucose levels and everything else was always good. I was actually somewhat relieved when I found out what it was myself on the Internet, although I don't know of any way it can be medically confirmed and my doctor didn't seem overly impressed with my diagnosis. The descriptions I have read are just so similar. At least one guy said he learned to relax and enjoy the show - a lot easier I imagine if you don't get the headache afterwords.

I used to live in fear. Everytime I saw a spot from a bright light I would think "here we go again". But it has been long enough that I don't live in fear any more, but I suppose I could have another one any day.

Come to think of it the one thing I did have around that time was high blood pressure so that might have been a factor.

bamueller
June 10th, 2012, 12:39 PM
I did have an MRI after my last one. The neurologist said it is migraines, and that they are not happening frequently enough to warrant meds. He did give me something to take during, in the event it happens again. Bright sunlight reflecting off anything can cause temporary blind spots, and I too think like you, "here we go again." I just tell myself, give it a few minutes to settle before panicking.

Off to the pool for me...

tpost2
June 11th, 2012, 08:21 PM
The headache wouldn't be bad, it's the aura, confusion, tingling in fingertips, lips, etc that I dread. It is like having a stroke. .

Interesting - almost sounds like a hemiplegic migraine.

I get them too, but more classic - typical prodromal fuzzy headedness, visual aura (fortification), light sensitivity, nausea, and then the pain.... I was getting them more frequently before I started swimming regularly, but occasionally a workout will trigger them. :( I just use abortives since I don't get them enough to warrant prophylactic meds. But they can still take me out for a couple of days. The best feeling is when one finally breaks. Ahhhhhh...

Bottom line, migraines suck.

I agree with whoever suggested keeping a migraine diary. There are so many possible triggers that keeping a log might be a good way of identifying a few likely culprits, and once those are identified, a good way to see which are the best to avoid (by themselves or in combination) -

swimshark
June 12th, 2012, 06:57 AM
Interesting - almost sounds like a hemiplegic migraine.

I get them too, but more classic - typical prodromal fuzzy headedness, visual aura (fortification), light sensitivity, nausea, and then the pain.... I was getting them more frequently before I started swimming regularly, but occasionally a workout will trigger them. :( I just use abortives since I don't get them enough to warrant prophylactic meds. But they can still take me out for a couple of days. The best feeling is when one finally breaks. Ahhhhhh...

Bottom line, migraines suck.
-

I agree. Migraines suck! What are abortives?

Sat I did my first 2 hour practice in weeks. I took 2 NSAIDs before, drank a lot before and rested half way through the workout. The headache wasn't as intense as in the past but I still got one. Still a work in progress to cure.

tpost2
June 12th, 2012, 08:12 AM
I agree. Migraines suck! What are abortives?

Sat I did my first 2 hour practice in weeks. I took 2 NSAIDs before, drank a lot before and rested half way through the workout. The headache wasn't as intense as in the past but I still got one. Still a work in progress to cure.

Abortives describe medications that are used as needed to abort the problem once it starts. So for migraines, typical abortive meds are in the triptan class (e.g. Axert, Imitrex, Zomig, Relpax, Frova, etc.) but other prescription or OTC meds can be used, too, like NSAIDs. Axert and benadryl work well for me (in combination with sleep, usually).

Preventives are usually prescibed meds that one would take daily to prevent the migraine from ever starting. Typically these are prescribed if you have more than 4 or so per month. The things your trying (e.g. NSAIDs before a headache, resting, drinking water) are preventive efforts.

I'm glad that you're trying some things that seem to help, but sorry this one didn't seem to be the whole answer for you. Keep trying!

swimshark
June 12th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Abortives describe medications that are used as needed to abort the problem once it starts. So for migraines, typical abortive meds are in the triptan class (e.g. Axert, Imitrex, Zomig, Relpax, Frova, etc.) but other prescription or OTC meds can be used, too, like NSAIDs. Axert and benadryl work well for me (in combination with sleep, usually).

Preventives are usually prescibed meds that one would take daily to prevent the migraine from ever starting. Typically these are prescribed if you have more than 4 or so per month. The things your trying (e.g. NSAIDs before a headache, resting, drinking water) are preventive efforts.

I'm glad that you're trying some things that seem to help, but sorry this one didn't seem to be the whole answer for you. Keep trying!

Now I understand. Thanks. I've had Imitrex (knocked me out too much and roo painful) and Relpax (worked so-so). I have never heard of Axert. What is it?

And I've done Topomax. It didn't help and the side effects weren't worth it.

I'm going to keep trying. Next Monday we start our 2 hour summer practices. I go M, W and F for 2 hours but in a better pool. We'll see how it goes.

tpost2
June 13th, 2012, 08:46 AM
Now I understand. Thanks. I've had Imitrex (knocked me out too much and roo painful) and Relpax (worked so-so). I have never heard of Axert. What is it?


Hi there - Axert is in the same class of meds as Imitrex and Relpax. I personally like it a lot better than Imitrex which also knocked me out too much. I find Axert much less sedating and it worked better than Relpax for me. When my migraines were much more frequent, I was on Topamax for a while. Worked well at first but the side effects were too much (typical - foggy brain, hand tingling... the weight loss was nice :)... but mostly the difficulty word finding was the biggest problem)

Anyway, how did your practice go this morning?

swimshark
June 13th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Hi there - Axert is in the same class of meds as Imitrex and Relpax. I personally like it a lot better than Imitrex which also knocked me out too much. I find Axert much less sedating and it worked better than Relpax for me. When my migraines were much more frequent, I was on Topamax for a while. Worked well at first but the side effects were too much (typical - foggy brain, hand tingling... the weight loss was nice :)... but mostly the difficulty word finding was the biggest problem)

Anyway, how did your practice go this morning?

I'll ask about Axert. Thanks. I had similar experiences with Imitrex and Relpax as well as Topomax as you.

No swim today. I was out late at a meeting last night. I'll be back in tomorrow morning and off Friday as I'm going to the Neil Diamond concert tomorrow night. Time to :banana:

swimbody
June 13th, 2012, 11:23 AM
Seriously folks, these meds address the symptoms. Check out the root cause. I have no more issues with headaches once I got my genes tested and addressed the issue with supplementation. With this new frontier you owe it to yourself to get your genes tested and to go get a good analysis of them. Headaches were an early sign for me of a bigger issue. My body was telling me that there was something off. I was foggy, out of it for the most part, and just started forgetting things that I should not have at my age. It was so depressing that by chance I got my genes tested due to the recommendation of a nutritionist and now I'm feeling incredible.

You can get your genes tested through www.23andme.com. It's cheap and easy. Lot's of good info. But to go further you need a professional set of eyes who can look for SNPs and markers that are related to headaches. This can be fixed without lining the pockets of the drug companies.

Just my .02 and I mean no offense to anyone who loves drugs.

tpost2
June 13th, 2012, 09:33 PM
Seriously folks, these meds address the symptoms. Check out the root cause.

??... I'm guessing you didn't read the thread because that's where it started.... headache logs, etc... but if you did, I didn't realize we had to limit the discussion :)

If it were only so easy... but truth is that root causes cannot always be discovered, and even if some triggers or causes are identified, they can't always be avoided. Glad you were able to find your solution and that it was so easily treated.

lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies... heh, heh... Thanks for the chuckle - are genetics labs are that much different? :)

swimbody
June 14th, 2012, 10:09 AM
I said it was my opinion. I mean no offense. I just don't give much credence to meds anymore. Have a great rest of the week TPost2

tpost2
June 14th, 2012, 08:08 PM
I said it was my opinion. I mean no offense. I just don't give much credence to meds anymore. Have a great rest of the week TPost2

None taken at all! Thanks - and happy swims to you :)

jim thornton
June 15th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Have any of you with classic migraine symptoms--aura which lasts for a while, then disappears, issuing into the pain phase (usually on one side of the head), which eventually gives way to the nausea and vomiting phase--noticed another odd symptom: a change in the scent of your sweat?

My mother pointed out she could often tell when I was going to have a migraine because I started to smell a little different. I am terrible at describing smells, but it's a noticeable change--more pungent in the arm pits, but not like the stench you get from using the same gym shirt for a couple weeks without washing it. It's a unique smell, almost a tad skunky.

Anyhow, just wondering if that is something any of you have experienced.

For any of you interested in another migraineur's experience, I wrote a vlog about my last attack (they've become mercifully rare in my dotage, perhaps due to hardening of the arteries according to one headache doctor I interviewed a few years back.)

You can check it out here: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=3702

swimshark
June 20th, 2012, 08:52 PM
I have good news to report so far. Summer practices started on Monday. They are 2 hours in LC. I have been taking precautions like NSAIDs and making sure I keep hydrated. On the way home I eat a banana as well. So far, no migraines after 2 very intense practices. I hope this keeps up and thank you all for the advice/help.

knelson
June 20th, 2012, 10:01 PM
Anyone use marijuana to treat help migraines (that wants to admit to it, anyway)?

jaadams1
June 20th, 2012, 10:19 PM
Anyone use marijuana to treat help migraines (that wants to admit to it, anyway)?

Kirk, do you have a "friend" that is asking this question, or.... :bolt:

knelson
June 20th, 2012, 11:45 PM
Kirk, do you have a "friend" that is asking this question, or.... :bolt:

They were talking about medical marijuana on a radio show I listen to this morning. These pot dispensaries are all over Seattle now. It seems to work very well for treating pain and I'd certainly give it a try if I had the need!

tpost2
June 26th, 2012, 09:38 PM
noticed another odd symptom: a change in the scent of your sweat?

My mother pointed out she could often tell when I was going to have a migraine because I started to smell a little different.

Wow. My work brings me into contact with A LOT of migraineurs, but I have never heard of this. Folks with olfactory auras, yes, osmophobia, yes, body odor as trigger, yes.... but I've never heard of a migraineur whose family members noticed an actual change in the odor of the migraineur. Very very interesting. Has this always been the case? Maybe an autonomic response to migraine causing more perspiration than normal?

tpost2
June 26th, 2012, 09:47 PM
I have good news to report so far. Summer practices started on Monday. They are 2 hours in LC. I have been taking precautions like NSAIDs and making sure I keep hydrated. On the way home I eat a banana as well. So far, no migraines after 2 very intense practices. I hope this keeps up and thank you all for the advice/help.


That's awesome. How are things going now? FYI, not sure if you already mentioned this or if anyone else did already, but I came across an article that talked about the importance of gradual warm ups in folks who are sensitive to exertional headaches. Just something to keep in mind that might also help-

Herb
June 27th, 2012, 11:50 PM
Anyone use marijuana to treat help migraines (that wants to admit to it, anyway)?

Like I said, my migraines stopped in my teens....

I haven't myself read of marijuana being used medically to treat migraines, but it seems perfectly plausible. Is there any evidence out there?

I would speculate that if you became a complete high-on you would never have another migraine. It might hurt your swimming career though.

Incidentally, I guess the other major change to my lifestyle was that I had given up swimming in my teens so maybe swimming really does cause migraines for some?

swimshark
June 28th, 2012, 09:30 AM
That's awesome. How are things going now? FYI, not sure if you already mentioned this or if anyone else did already, but I came across an article that talked about the importance of gradual warm ups in folks who are sensitive to exertional headaches. Just something to keep in mind that might also help-

Thanks for asking. I did 3 intense 2 hour work outs last week and no major problems. I've added in eating a banana on the way home which I think has helped. This week I'm in Oregon swimming with my former masters team which isn't as intense and the headaches have been okay.

Emmerich
December 8th, 2017, 05:33 AM
Hello there folks. I simply needed to inquire as to whether any of you had a go at utilizing restorative weed for headache? I've been languishing serious headache over very nearly a year now and been given a solution for pills for my prescription. In any case, I heard alot of individuals disclosing to me that weed soothes headache however im not im not certain if its actual so I came up to look something about this thought and ran over this maryjane strain from https://www.bonzaseeds.com/blog/presidential-og/ it says that I can dispose of all types of stress and its euphoric buzz it conveys frequently is helpful in battling headache. I needed to hear your musings about this folks and on the off chance that you can give me any tips that can help me with my headache. Much obliged to you!

knelson
December 11th, 2017, 12:05 PM
Hello there folks. I simply needed to inquire as to whether any of you had a go at utilizing restorative weed for headache?

I have not, but I'd say give it a try. Go to a good pot shop and ask them for their recommendations.

jim thornton
December 13th, 2017, 11:41 PM
I apologize if someone has already mentioned this, but exercise headaches respond to a specific type of NSAID known as indomethacin.

I wrote about this for Swimmer in the Jan-Feb 2016 issue. Here is the relevant excerpt:

Researchers have learned that neurotransmitters like serotonin and nitric oxide play critical roles in this process. For PEH and closely related headaches, the role of nitric oxide here was discovered serendipitously thanks to the unique efficacy of one medication: indomethacin.

Indomethacin is a member of the NSAID family, a broad drug class that includes over-the-counter pain killers like ibuprofen and naproxen. Like its more famous chemical relatives, indomethacin reduces inflammation and dampens the discomforts of everything from arthritis to dental pain. But indomethacin has an additional effect, one the others lack. It quickly stops the pain of primary exercise headache, cough headache, and sex headache alike. This effect is so specific, in fact, that headache specialists refer to these conditions as indomethacin-responsive headaches.

But why does this one NSAID work so well when all the others don’t? That’s when researchers discovered that indomethacin impacts a specific target the others fail to hit: an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase. How this, in turn, turns off a sufferer’s pain is still far from fully elucidated. The good news, though, is that it works well in a high percentage of cases.

NOTE: you will need to get a prescription for indomethacin--not available over the counter.

Karl_S
December 14th, 2017, 09:26 AM
...I wrote about this for Swimmer in the Jan-Feb 2016 issue. ...
For domestic tranquility I toss my old issues. Is there a way to get this on-line? I went to back issues, but nothing related is clickable.

mig
August 21st, 2018, 08:28 PM
Hello there, I have found this thread after some research on migraines after swimming. I have now been swimming for 22 years and had migraines for 22 years. Not until 3 months ago did I stop for a longer period (2 months) because of bronchitis. My migraines have stopped and gone away. What a miracle, but how sad that I don't see myself able to swim again. For now I am so relieved to have finally found a reason for my migraines. I have been to see doctors and neurologist over the years, and no one has ever mentioned swimming could be a reason. I do remember once in 1998 I thought about swimming and stopped for 2-3 days, but I still got migraines. Now I am thinking that it was too short, that it must be seen over a longer period. I have never been able to link one migraine to a swim session, I think it is more of a long-term thing. I have been on preventative medicine for the last 3-4 years (Sandomigram) but am now stepping down and hope to be finally and completely rid of midicine. Let's see. I read this thread with interest but am not brave enough to keep swimming until I have managed to drop all medicine, at least. Maybe I will never swim again. I read on another thread (triathlon forum) that a person had tried salt water for swimming and also there got migraines - so maybe it is not the chlorine, which I thought first it would be. Any comments would be greatly appreciated, would love to hear how it is going others with same problem. Cheers

jim thornton
September 3rd, 2018, 10:27 PM
For domestic tranquility I toss my old issues. Is there a way to get this on-line? I went to back issues, but nothing related is clickable.

Karl, you can go to your My USMS page, click on read Swimmer Magazine, which takes you to another page where you can select the year (in this case 2016) and the edition (Jan-Feb) and it will open up the whole issue in digital form.