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Migraines in exam

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    So basically, when I get stressed I get migraines. Recently, due to stress of exams,I experienced a migraine during the actual exam! The worst thing is, is that I get them with an aura (visual disturbance - almost like temporary blindness but still can see a bit lasts for 30-40mins). I panicked in the exam, and ended up missing a question because i felt sick and dizzy. I didn't reach my full potential because of the stupid migraine! I have tried going to GP to get medicine for them - I was with a training GP and it turns out that she gave me medicane for ANXIETY? :mad: So now I'm stuck :confused:- what should I do if i get one again? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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    Go to a different doctor. My mum used to get awful migraines, they gave her some pills to take when she feels them coming on, I haven't even seen her have a headache for years now

    As for the exam you did, I would've thought if you ask a teacher or the exams officer at your school, there's some way you can get special consideration for illness affecting your exam? I know a firned of mine got put down for sympathetic marking because he had an operation really close to the exam. Worth a try?
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    As Todd said, go talk to your exams officer at school/college. If it was as bad as you say it was it might class as mitigating circumstances, therefore allowing your paper to be marked more sympathetically.

    Which level of exams are you doing if you don't mind me asking? GCSE? AS? A2?
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    I asked about that, but as the migraine came towards the end of the exam (15 mins left), the exam officer said that it would not be likely, but I could always ask again. I'm currently doing GCSE, i slipped up on as ESSAY question in exam eek.
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    There is a reason why she may have given you anxiety tablets for headaches/migraines to do with stress. I am a low dose of anti-depressants due to getting them because of stress and it makes a difference. So you could try them and see how you go. Yes maybe you should have medicine for when you get them but the anxiety tablets are probably there to try and prevent the migraines from happening when you are stressed.

    The best thing will be to go to the exam officer at school. You would have to go through them anyway to get in touch with the exam board so they will be the best to go to. Do you have a doctors note or have you been before the exam to the doctors about migraines? If so, I take them to the exam officer as well. I have previously had to sit through an exam with a cold water bottle on my head when I had a bad headache/migraine which was not fun.
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    I used to get these wierd headaches a few years ago. Luckily they've just about stopped and I've never had them during an exam. I was worried about what would happen if I got one during an exam though.

    (Original post by Todd)
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    (Original post by super_kawaii)
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    My class had issues with our chemistry teacher who resigned about a month before our AS unit exam! The 6th form wrote a letter to edexcel explaining everything that had happened including 18/21 people getting Us in the January unit. Unless that means we might get sympathetic marking as a result, what else could happen to us? It wasn't exactly mitigating circumstances or anything.
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    I used to get migraines but they stopped when I stopped drinking as much caffeine. It seems to trigger them for me and they are very debilitating when they happen. Mine involved blind spots, numbness in face and hands and a deep, throbbing headache for a day or so.

    The doctor gave me medication but the side effects were worse than the migraine. Whenever I took them I felt like everything (including myself) was literally ten times heavier. It felt like I was balancing my car on my shoulders. So I stopped taking them.

    Perhaps there is something you are consuming which isn't helping?
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    In *some* cases, there might be something that triggers migraine. Like caffeine, or a walk in the hot sun, or staying hungry for long and so on - it varies from person to person. Look for a pattern, make notes whenever possible. If you can figure out the culprit, you may be able to avoid it.
    Secondly, if you are taking (some kinds of) medication, they need to be consumed when you feel the migraine coming on - if you delay it, the medicines may not have much effect.
    If you think the anxiety medicine isn't helping, maybe it is time to see someone else...
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    I get migraines and have to avoid things like dairy and coffee if I get one. Can fully sympathise with you as I used to get ones with aura which made it even harder to work. Have you tried anything like ibuprofen or codeine?
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    (Original post by hannah_dru)
    I get migraines and have to avoid things like dairy and coffee if I get one. Can fully sympathise with you as I used to get ones with aura which made it even harder to work. Have you tried anything like ibuprofen or codeine?
    Yay someone who shares the nasty experience. Ibuprofen tends to not work, as soon as a get an aura, I take it and it still persists, in terms of codeine - don't know what that it is, or if it works, does it?? I think its amazing how no-one knows why auras are caused, apart from the liquid filling in your brain - maybe thats something I will venture to discover when I hopefully become a doctor!
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    (Original post by cmab52)
    Yay someone who shares the nasty experience. Ibuprofen tends to not work, as soon as a get an aura, I take it and it still persists, in terms of codeine - don't know what that it is, or if it works, does it?? I think its amazing how no-one knows why auras are caused, apart from the liquid filling in your brain - maybe thats something I will venture to discover when I hopefully become a doctor!
    I've found codeine to be a bit stronger and even better, although it did leave me a bit drowsy and didn't cure the initial problem.
    If you find out, let me know cos I hate them!
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    Did you tell the doctor they're stress-induced migraines? If so, that could be why you were given anxiety medication.
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    I would suggest aspirin to anyone who has migraines and hasn't previously tried it. I thought my GP was mental when he prescribed it to me, having assumed it would be as useless as paracetamol or ibuprofen, but actually it's the first thing that's really worked for me. It completely averts a migraine for me if I take it in time, and really lessens the affects if I take it after a migraine is in full swing (brings skull-crushing-omg-I-think-someone-has-driven-a-spike-into-my-brain type pain down into just regular horrible throbbing headache). Codeine never did a lot for me, helped a little pain-wise but not that much.

    It's definitely a good idea to note what you think might bring your migraines on (maybe keep a diary of what you've eaten/done etc before each migraine?) so you can discover what the biggest triggers are for you. Common triggers include chocolate, red wine, coffee, MSG, tiredness and of course, stress.

    It's hard to avoid stress completely though; exam periods set my migraines off too and I had the misfortune to have one right in the middle of one this year (no headache, just really sick, clumsy and vision all wonky, but I was so spaced out that I have no idea if I wrote anything that made sense and then crashed for 4 hours afterwards...). Maybe try scheduling in some relaxation when you know you're likely to be stressed (have a bubble bath, take a nap, listen to some relaxing music or something )

    I think the present thoughts on migraines is that it's some sort of combination of central nervous system and vascular dysfunction. I would really recommend reading 'Migraine' by Oliver Sacks, it's a really interesting read and I found it really useful in understanding the whole structure/symptoms of my migraines.
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    (Original post by madders94)
    Did you tell the doctor they're stress-induced migraines? If so, that could be why you were given anxiety medication.
    Yes I did specifically mention that, however the side effects that come with that medication are in fact worse than the migraine itself! Thanks anyway
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    (Original post by heidigirl)
    I would suggest aspirin to anyone who has migraines and hasn't previously tried it. I thought my GP was mental when he prescribed it to me, having assumed it would be as useless as paracetamol or ibuprofen, but actually it's the first thing that's really worked for me. It completely averts a migraine for me if I take it in time, and really lessens the affects if I take it after a migraine is in full swing (brings skull-crushing-omg-I-think-someone-has-driven-a-spike-into-my-brain type pain down into just regular horrible throbbing headache). Codeine never did a lot for me, helped a little pain-wise but not that much.

    It's definitely a good idea to note what you think might bring your migraines on (maybe keep a diary of what you've eaten/done etc before each migraine?) so you can discover what the biggest triggers are for you. Common triggers include chocolate, red wine, coffee, MSG, tiredness and of course, stress.

    It's hard to avoid stress completely though; exam periods set my migraines off too and I had the misfortune to have one right in the middle of one this year (no headache, just really sick, clumsy and vision all wonky, but I was so spaced out that I have no idea if I wrote anything that made sense and then crashed for 4 hours afterwards...). Maybe try scheduling in some relaxation when you know you're likely to be stressed (have a bubble bath, take a nap, listen to some relaxing music or something )

    I think the present thoughts on migraines is that it's some sort of combination of central nervous system and vascular dysfunction. I would really recommend reading 'Migraine' by Oliver Sacks, it's a really interesting read and I found it really useful in understanding the whole structure/symptoms of my migraines.
    Thanks, for the advise I will definitely try reading that book, although I am not much of reader.
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    (Original post by cmab52)
    I asked about that, but as the migraine came towards the end of the exam (15 mins left), the exam officer said that it would not be likely, but I could always ask again. I'm currently doing GCSE, i slipped up on as ESSAY question in exam eek.
    http://www.jcq.org.uk/attachments/pu...2011102011.pdf
    Page 86.
    You should get at least 1%.
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    (Original post by madders94)
    Did you tell the doctor they're stress-induced migraines? If so, that could be why you were given anxiety medication.
    This

    Also, if the medication is beta blockers (propranolol??) its regularly used for the treatment of migraines as a preventative, so she may have prescribed you the right medication, but not explained the medication properly

    I have immigran (sumatriptan) prescribed for mine and 9 times out of 10 they do get rid of my migraines within an hour... so maybe worth asking about those as well. I was prescribed beta blockers but decided against taking them as I just don't really like taking anything long term unless I absolutely have to... immigran is just when you have an attack.
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    you will have to try and find the root cause of the migraines, preventive precautions (in the form of medication, or not eating cheese etc) are necessary, as an abortive medicine (triptans ie immigrin) won't help you fast enough in an exam

    if you think they are really down to stress, then you will have to find a way to control that

    stuff like propranolol isn't going to be completely helpful if you know that there is a root cause of the issue that isn't going away

    make sure you eat and drink properly too, even if you feel a little sick due to nerves

    (Original post by heidigirl)
    Common triggers include chocolate, red wine, coffee, MSG, tiredness and of course, stress.
    MSG isn't a cause (at least it has not been confirmed in scientific studies)
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    (Original post by moya)
    MSG isn't a cause (at least it has not been confirmed in scientific studies)
    I think it may be. I'm a migraine sufferer and I ate out at a restaurant, ate a curry then had a migraine the next day. I went on their nutritional guide on their website and it turned out they use MSG in their curries. I also get migraines if I have crisps (which have MSG) and if I eat very spicy foods. I also can't eat chinese food because they use alot of msg. In fact anything can be a cause of migraines, even looking at bright lights can be a cause for some people.
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    Ask for sumatriptan, it is what I'm on but that is because I suffer from cluster headaches.

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