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Day 858- Why Didn't Losing Weight Solve All My Problems?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

To be fair, losing weight solved A LOT of my problems. I used to get upper respiratory infections, and a mix of bronchitis and pneumonia pretty regularly when I was overweight. My body struggled with breathing properly at 275 pounds, so it's no surprise that dropping 90 pounds has meant I've been upper respiratory infection free for almost 2 years now.

I also had terrible self esteem. This led to major jealousy issues with J.D. as well as just a depression about my life, that I never really verbalized, but that always weighed on me. My self-esteem and outlook on life has greatly improved. I'm definitely happier than I've ever been.

But the one thing that really bothers me, is that I've had headaches all my life. As a child, I had medicine in the nurse's office, and when I'd start to get a headache, I'd take some Advil, and be good in an hour or so. But since losing weight, I've developed some pretty serious migraines. One of the first ones I had was a few days after my half-marathon. This made me think that maybe I was just super dehydrated, but it lasted for almost four days. I've begun to have more of them over the past year. People ask if I've changed my diet, and I say YES, to MUCH healthier foods! Why would healthy food and an exercise plan trigger migraines?

It's such a downer for me, because I obviously want to continue on this journey, and I don't ever want to gain the weight back. I've contacted a local neurologist who can't get me in until May 20th. This morning I woke up with another terrible headache. I took my medicine for it, which helps, but makes me foggy headed and I just feel sick.

I know it was naive and silly to think that losing weight would make my life perfect. I don't think I ever believed that would happen. But I also didn't think that I would start having a problem after changing my diet and exercise routine, that I never had while overweight.

This is probably the third or fourth blog I've written on this topic, so I apologize for the repetition. I just wanted you all to know that I'm still here and still on track, but I've had a headache for the past 9 days, so I'm just trying to suffer through for now.

I'm thinking I may have to go to the Emergency Room tomorrow if it isn't better, simply to find some relief and possibly to be seen sooner than May 20th. I'm going to continue to try and research migraines and their causes, but every doctor I've seen so far can't find anything wrong with me.

I would never want them to find a tumor or something seriously wrong, but I just wish there was something they could pinpoint or tell me to change that could prevent them. I'm beginning to live in fear of the slightest tingle or inkling in my forehead that one is about to start because I know how debilitating they can be for days at a time.

Anyways. Thank you as always for you love and support Sparkfriends. I hope you all are doing well on your journeys.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    969 days ago
    1534 days ago
    Mrs. Carly has a good point. My first thought is food allergies. My second thought is Candida Albicans. You should research it because Candida was the cause of my headaches, sinus issues, asthma, ear problems, anxiety, depression, mood swings, paranoia, cloudy vision, balance issues, sore throat, itchy rashes, athlete's foot, yeast's a LONG list that goes on and on.
    Good Luck!
    1534 days ago
    I'm a migraine sufferer as well and have trouble pinpointing causes. Though by now, I figure it's just my lot in life (I've had them since I was a kid).

    I see you've gotten lots of comments, so someone may have brought this up, but it's possible that it could be a muscle issue. I had a solid month of migraine symptoms a few months ago and eventually figured out that I had the king of all knots in my neck that was pressing on a major vessel and I just wasn't getting enough oxygen to my brain. I think when you're used to the headaches, it can be easy to overlook simpler issues.

    If you're over pain pills, too, there are some alternative therapies. I make a feverfew tea that helps sometimes. It's not a miracle cure or anything...I can definitely tell that it works for me when I have a certain type of migraine, but it might provide you with some relief. Fair warning, though, it's SUPER bitter. Definitely tastes like medicine.

    Good luck.
    1535 days ago
    Have you ever thought about going to a holistic doctor and getting a food intolerance test? I used to get migraines so bad that I would vomit. Come to find out I'm allergic to Eggs, dairy, gluten, and yeast.

    I can always tell when I've had any of them because within 15 minutes I start getting a headache.

    A food allergy shows a reaction immediately…an intolerance can take up to 3 days to have a reaction. it is a huge reason why I could never pinpoint what was causing my headaches until I actually had blood work done. Now I get them so quickly after eating a trigger food because I have removed those foods from my diet. Otherwise I'm completely headache free.

    I would strongly urge you to look into getting a blood test…..I was convinced I had a brain tumor, my head was hurting so bad all the time

    1535 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/9/2014 8:17:24 PM
    There is always a reason for what ever is hurting us. It is not normal to have headaches or anything else for that matter. Keep looking. Check your hormone levels, thyroid, vitamin and mineral levels, food and sleep patterns and medications you are taking. Sometimes medications have ingredients in them you may react to. My prayer go out to you. These migraines are awful.
    1535 days ago
    Thinking of you... emoticon Hope you can find some relief and tips from the medical community.
    1535 days ago
    Very similar experience here, my migraines got worse as I lost weight. A few things they can check:

    - hormone levels (mine went whack when I lost weight)
    - your SPINE (mine is all jacked up, compressing the nerve & veins going to the brain - they should DEFINITELY check this especially if you've been working out more & YES running can make this worse! I found this out when, like you, I had a migraine for almost a week straight, had to miss work, etc and went to my primary doc in a state and she xrayed my neck - it is not uncommon!)
    - Your levels of B, D, and iron vitamins
    - You are probably already tracking what you eat, but are you tracking your sleep as well? Keep a food/sleep journal as sometimes they can ID triggers for you if they look it over

    Overall - no one knows what a migraine is really like until they've had one. You're not crazy, it is NOT a joke, it is actually pretty darn awful. I really feel for you because it affects EVERYTHING and makes you feel miserable. It starts to drag you down hard when you can't find a REASON for it either. There IS a solution out there for you - keep trying hon! Hopefully they can get you on a healing path ASAP!

    1535 days ago
    yiu have had great dvice from the others cant help here just hope you find a cure
    1535 days ago
    -hugs- I have terrible headaches aswell, especially when I'm on my period. people always told me it would get bett if only I did something for my back. Now that I'm doing strength training as well as cardio ... it has improved only slightly. I don't get attacks as often as I used to but ... I'm still having problems. I'm just glad medication helps, though I always feel bad about taking pain killers :(

    I hope they find something to help you :)
    1536 days ago
  • JAMER123
    Don't ever worry about blogging on the same topic when you are in need of an open ear. We do read and listen. It may be suggested already but if not, have you thought of allergies? Ti' the season and they have been pretty strong this spring with all the weird weather conditions we have seen over the winter. Take care and I hope you can find an answer to you migraines. I was a sufferer as well so I really understand the frustration.
    1536 days ago
    You may have already explored this, but are you on oral contraceptives? And if so, are you on the same pill/dosage as when you were heavier? If this is the case, you may want to look into this to see if it's a factor. Good luck.
    1536 days ago
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but awhile ago you posted that you had chiari malformation, right? One of the symptoms is migraines. My mother has it, she'll get migraines that knock her out of the run for a few days. She takes high blood pressure medicine which helps a little. She had surgery to alleviate some of the pressure and make more room in her head and back for the chiari and she is much better. The headaches aren't as often, and the vertigo has stopped almost completely....

    I'm almost positive you posted about it though....that could be a huge huge huge factor of your migraines
    1536 days ago
    Chronic headaches are terrible. I also have migraines and know how debilitating they can be, not to mention sucking the joy out of life. I hope they find an answer. One thing that has helped me is taking magnesium supplements. It's a powder called natural calm on amazon. It might not be the thing for you, but it's worth a shot maybe? All the best to you.
    1536 days ago
    I hope you start feeling better soon. I am fortunate at this point not to suffer from routine migraines although I have had a few. But one of my friends has suffered from severe migraines since childhood and I know how bad they make her feel. I hope you find something that helps relieve the pain.
    1536 days ago
    So sorry you are having so much pain. With changing your diet have you switched to ANY type of artificial sweeteners? I've only had 5 migraines in my life and I can track each one of them to artificial sweeteners. The last one I had I was actually in my Mother's neurologist's office for her appointment. I was in so much pain I was almost in the floor. She insisted he take a look at me. He asked what I had been eating, drinking etc over the past few days. I had started the Slim Fast Jump Start diet 4 days earlier which, of course, was full of aspartame. He told me to stop and never use artificial sweeteners again. He said the chemicals are so incredibly bad for you and create inflammation in your body. He sent me to the ER for fluids and pain meds. It took 3 days for the headache to subside. I've tried all the new sweeteners (in very small doses) to see if I could take them. Without fail, a headache starts. So I steer clear of them all. I pray you can find some relief soon!! emoticon emoticon
    1536 days ago
    I'm really sorry to hear about your awful headaches. I do hope and pray that you soon get some relief and are able to pinpoint what causes them.
    1536 days ago
    emoticon I hope you find some answers soon. I had them many years ago and just knew I had a brain tumor (I also have MS) & demanded a MRI scan to rule it out. Thank goodness it was clear. I was throwing up they hurt so bad and really scared. My neuro put me on a med called Depakote. It took a few days but it worked. I stayed on this med for at least a year and then weaned myself off. I rarely have a headache anymore, even a slight one. Just be proactive in your fight to get to the cause.
    1536 days ago
    There are some foods that are linked to migraines (I have read about it because my husband started getting them) like overripe bananas. Also, artificial sweeteners may trigger them. There is an article on spark about it. Unfortunately, there are so many triggers it's hard to know what is causing them. You could try eliminating certain foods and see if it helps.

    There is also a natural supplement called mig-relief and it's a combination of calcium and magnesium. We got it from Vitacost. Butterbur is supposed to help with migraines and it is natural.

    We got a prescription for migraines but were told to only use in case of extreme emergency and it can actually trigger more migraines if used too much. My husband has avoided it.

    A friend has them and she uses Excedrin

    Hope you feel better soon! emoticon emoticon

    1536 days ago
    I'm sorry for your pain and I hope that the headaches ease off soon! Hang in there!
    1536 days ago
    Go to the ER.... Not to scare you but I have a friend who had a very bad headache and it was a tumor. Just for piece of mind...
    1536 days ago
  • KLYNE00
    Hugs and prayers for you, my friend, and I hope you get relief and answers soon. emoticon emoticon
    1536 days ago
    1536 days ago
  • DAWNESS0404
    I hope the neurologist can help you. I have suffered from migraines since I was 10 years old. I have been on many medications. I do know there are certain foods that are triggers for me. I also know stress brings on migraines for me as well as that time of the month! . I dont get nearly as many migraines now as I used to. I think school and stress was a big one for me! I also now am able to take excedrin migraine and that usually does the job. I do know many people that do have to go to the emergency room for their migraines because they are so bad. Hopefully you will get some answers soon and maybe be able to learn what some of your triggers are and be able to avoid some of your migraines. Good luck!
    1536 days ago
    hang in there
    1536 days ago
  • KATD13
    Migraines are the worst.

    I've had mine since I was a child. I'd come in from playing, with the worst migraine.

    As I've grown older I've been able to pinpoint my triggers. Each person needs to learn what they're individual triggers are.

    Due to severe stomach issues, I can no longer take the meds that used to help me. I was forced to try a homeopathic remedy. I was skeptical, but it actually worked.
    It's a nasal spray of capsaicin. It burns like fire, turns your eye's beet red. But it works, for me.
    1536 days ago
    There is a lot of wonderful advice here. My son suffers from food allergies and we've learned over time how powerful food is. I hope you find whatever is causing your migraines soon and get permanent relief!
    1536 days ago
  • LARABY34
    I am so sorry about your migraines. They are truly the worst. I had them from the time I was 20 to early 40s and was never able to completely master the art, but here are my humble tips:

    1) if you take a beta blocker, you probably don't like the way it impacts your cognitive abilities. I know it is tough, but you have to force yourself to take the medication the MOMENT you feel it coming. Don't try to pretend it isn't a migraine or that you can hack it. By taking the medication early, you stop it from getting out of control. This in turn will allow you to take less meds overall and have a shorter "hangover"

    2) Don't try to catch up on sleep. Messing with your sleep schedule is nearly a guarantee, but for me it is better to go sleepy for the day than to sleep through the morning and end up with an ice pick in my eye socket.

    3) This one should be easy for you because you are already tracking. There has to be a trigger. It might not necessarily jump out at you but it is there somewhere. To make it fun, it isn't always consistent and sometimes it is a combination. My triggers were MSG, red wine, chocolate (sometimes) and swiss cheese. Needless to say, always avoid your trigger foods.

    4) See if there is a monthly pattern related to hormones. Try an alternative to anti-inflammatories (heat etc) because migraines actually happen from the blood vessels opening wide, not squeezing shut like it feels.

    5) This is not going to sound like a good idea, but I found that it works for me when I am in a full blown blind rage of pain. Have some squeeze your temples/head with a hot towel

    6) Don't panic! It is common to feel like this time it really is it, your head is going to explode, but it is important to stay calm and breathe steadily.

    7) If as part of your routine you vomit, ask your doctor for the medicine as an inhaler.

    Be nice to yourself and I hope you feel better soon. Stay off your computer until you do!

    1536 days ago
    Hey Honey:

    Don't let the headaches derail the awesome progress you have made in weight loss and exercise. My trigger for migraines according to my doctor was the caffeine I was ingesting (mostly through Diet Cokes). I have cut them down a lot and the headaches are not as often. I can relate to migraines - they are horrible. However, from your pictures, you are so beautiful and have a great looking boyfriend who looks like he loves you so much.

    Keep up with the healthy habits. Go to the emergency and get a referral - but DO NOT GIVE UP ON THE PROGRESS YOU HAVE MADE.
    Love and hugs and prayers.

    FIONUALA7 emoticon
    1536 days ago
    So many good ideas here that were shared. As a massage therapist, I can attest to the fact that massage and chiropractic care is a HUGE help for those with chronic migraines. That being said, there is a "nutritional" trigger that contributes to migraines also. As we age, our bodies develop difficulties with certain wheat gluten, corn, soy, sugar, milk properties and a few others. A good rule of thumb, if you want to move on from your migraines, is to visit a "good Nutritionist" and go on an "Elimination Diet" for 21 days. Basically you eliminate all the "offender type of foods" for just 21 days. Hey, 21 days is easy! Anyone can do it for 3 weeks. Then you re introduce the foods one at a time. You would eat them two times in one day along with your normal food program you have been on, and then wait 3 - 4 days to see if you have any reactions. Sometimes an issue will show up as you are eating the food. Most foods are not the issue, and believe it or not, if you give your body a rest from these foods, most likely you will be able to eat them in the future with out all the problems they can cause. This is something that I have done and now know the foods that, if I want to feel good, I know what to stay away from. It takes some effort, but it is so much better than medication that puts a heavy load on your liver and other organs. Just a thought, take it if you like, or not. Just wanted you to have the tools/ideas that could possibly help you. Hope you feel better real soon.
    1536 days ago
    1536 days ago
    Possible migraines? There are migraine diets to suppress the triggers that cause the headaches.
    1536 days ago
    so sorry for your pain. i hope they are able to figure out something that is causing it and can be a quick fix. i'm sure if it were allergy or food related it wouldn't last that many days. but i don't really know. i discovered aspartame caused me severe headaches, they usually only lasted a day or two. imagine my surprise when i realized the cause of all that pain! haven't had one since i figured out the cause. i hear onions can be a cause, but that's a fairly common ingredient. maybe a pinched nerve?
    1536 days ago
    1536 days ago
    Are there any toxins in your environment that you are inhaling - anything at work like cleaning products? If you can smell them, they are toxic and might cause headaches.
    1536 days ago
  • KMS41289
    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have been having chest pain for 9 months. I had Urgent Care and ER visits and no one could pinpoint exactly what it was. I was convinced every time I had a pain that my heart was messed up.

    If going to ER will give you peace of mind, I say go for it. I did that for my chest and it cost a little bit, but I was a disaster and depressed and in so much pain it was worth it.

    Good luck, hang in there and stay positive
    1536 days ago
    emoticon I've never had a migraine but my husband had them basically constantly for over a year. He was put on very expensive medicine for SEIZURES. The neurologist was supposed to wean him off but he accidentally quit cold turkey when he got pneumonia. Strangely, after the pneumonia his headaches were totally gone. I don't recommend this path!
    1536 days ago
    I also get migraines and have had some terrible ones lasting over the last 7 days. I have a prescription that also helps with the majority of the pain, but, like you, I still get brain fog even when the pain is not full there. I've had the migraines since 17, and sometimes they only show up once every six months or year, but this spring has been really brutal. I know that the doctors aren't going to have a solution so I don't even want to waste my time going in, but my career requires a lot from me mentally and I can't afford the brain fog and pain for this many days in a row.

    I'm sorry that you feel your weight loss has potentially been a factor in making them worse. I can say that for me it really hasn't seemed to make much of a difference. I can't pin point what will cause them or when they will strike.

    I know some people who recommend seeing a chiropractor. It may be that losing the weight has shifted your spine and is putting new and different pressure on your nerves, especially in your neck. Maybe a little adjustment in that area can make a huge difference for you.

    Anyway, feeling your pain, and wishing you wellness.
    1536 days ago
    I went through the same thing you did, but in a different way. My healthy eating flared up the psoriasis inside me and my adventureness made my runner's knee so beynod worse. It sucks that being healthy can lead to so many more problems. Keep your head up i hope things get better!
    1536 days ago
    I am sorry about your migraines. I know how awful they are. Maybe you can ask the neurologist to call if there is an appointment cancellation sooner than May 20th? If you have to go to the ER. Why suffer if you don't have to? emoticon
    1536 days ago
    Hey Bobcatgirl! My niece has suffered with migraines all her life. In the last 5 years she has become a massage therapist. She took a class on migraines and pressure points. She has not had a migraine since. She has taught many other migraine sufferers what to do. Talk to some massage therapists in your area to see if they can teach you what to do. You never know it just may relieve your headaches. Good luck!
    1536 days ago
    Yikes, migraines sound like they are tough to deal with (understatement). Best wishes.
    1536 days ago
    I will be praying for you, and hope that nothing serious will be found when you go to the neurologist. Take care and emoticon .
    1536 days ago
  • NICOLES0305
    I find that now, since changing my eating habits, if I don't drink enough water I will get a headache. I never had that issue before changing to a healthier lifestyle!

    You probably have already done so, but have you tried eliminating known trigger foods?

    I would also try alternative methods of treatment as MATTEROFHEART suggested.

    Good luck! I hope you get an answer soon!
    1536 days ago
    Please get medical advice but think about this ... are you having low blood sugar? When we change how we eat sometimes we need to eat more often.

    We have greatly reduced our intake and our bodies have become programed to eat tons of food more than likely high starch/sugar. Now we are not eating volumes of crap but our blood sugar hasn't hit our new norm. I too have suffered most my life with migraines and have found that the better I eat the more often I need to eat. Like now ... I am not hungry but will eat yogurt and fresh pineapple to stave off a headache. If I let myself go too long without eating, I get a headache that does not go away for days even though I get myself back on track. I eat five times a day.

    I am not a doctor ... just someone who found a solution that no one ever mentioned.

    Take care
    1536 days ago
    I am so sorry about your headaches! It could be completely unrelated to your new life style. Lots of folks don't develop allergies till they are in their 20's or later. Maybe some headaches are like that, though you mentioned having less severe ones as a child. I hope it's nothing serious and that you find an answer soon. Did you doctor recommend this neurologist? ER might give you some relief and they might have a referral that can see you sooner. I will say a little prayer for you. Feel better!
    1536 days ago
    I am one of your Spark stalkers, but have never commented on your blogs - lol! You may have already tried this, but you might want to try some alternative treatment, such as chiropractor or massage therapy. With all of your weight loss, something might be out of line causing the migraines. Just a thought. I'm silently rooting for you and hope you find relief soon!
    1536 days ago
    I really feel for you, migraines are no joke. I've found that mine correlate to what I eat. Also, splenda is one of my known triggers. Its pretty strict, but have you considered an elimination diet to try and find a culprit?

    I hope you feel better soon!!
    1536 days ago
  • KRYSTL719
    ;) Try to see if there are things like smart meters installed around your home. If there already were and hasnt caused you any issues, then that may not be an issue. They emit strong frequencies that can cause these types of things. My mom dealt with a lot of headaches. I think hers were stemming from the diet sodas she used to drink a lot. Those things are horrible.

    I hope you get well. I truly dont like seeing anyone suffer.
    1536 days ago
    emoticon I suffer from frequent headaches. And migraines that can last up to a week at a time. I have yet to find an answer. I find if I can relax and not think about anything but my breathing, they tend to not feel as bad, or once in a while can stop one before it can start.

    Sorry you are suffering. I hope they can find answers for you.
    1536 days ago
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