Q. Three nights ago, I was awakened by a feeling of the room whirling around. Ever since then, I cannot bend down or turn my head without vertigo, and I have vomited as well.
I have taken Bonine, but it does not seem to help. What can I do about this condition?
A. If you are suffering from benign positional vertigo (BPV), medications won't help. The cause of this condition is calcium crystals in the inner ear drifting out of position.
You'll need a diagnostic work-up to see if this is the problem. If it is, a manipulation called the Epley maneuver can be very helpful to get the crystals back where they belong. A recent article in Neurology (July 24, 2012) reported that YouTube videos can help patients with BPV learn to manage this at home.
Q. I suffered from migraine headaches for nearly 27 years. I would have one or two a week this entire time, sometimes more. The longest I ever went without one was about two weeks.
They were usually so bad that all I could do was go to bed. In addition to the horrible head pain, I would vomit. I felt depressed because I never knew when the next one might come and disrupt my plans.
I went to many doctors and tried everything I could, from powerful drugs to biofeedback. Nothing helped.
Then I looked into the causes of migraines and altered my diet accordingly. I eliminated all trigger foods, including aged foods (cheese, salami, etc.), beans, tea, MSG, sulfites, chocolate, red wine, alcohol, oranges and red meat. I switched to omega-3-containing foods like salmon and simple fresh vegetables.
If I feel as if I might get a headache, I eat some hot Mexican food, which seems to stop it. I also get acupuncture regularly. I get about one migraine a month now, and they aren't as severe. I hope this helps someone else.
A. Thanks for sharing your success story. We, too, hope this helps someone else.
There are more than 300 possible headache triggers, from perfume and secondhand smoke to sour cream and potato chips. People who would like to learn more about possible triggers and treatments for migraine may wish to request our Guide to Headaches and Migraines, with many natural approaches. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (65 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. M-98, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com. There is more information and a support community for headache sufferers at www.WePatients.com.