Chronic migraines: Know the symptoms and treatment options |

Chronic migraines: Know the symptoms and treatment options

Wes Irwin
Dr. Wes Irwin

About the author

Wes Irwin, MD, MS, is founder and medical director at Tahoe Ketamine. With over 15 years of experience in the operating room, Dr. Irwin brings years of clinical experience to the Lake Tahoe area. He is currently on staff at Barton Memorial Hospital, Carson Valley Medical Center, Lake Tahoe Surgery Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He completed his residency in anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Inspired by the possibility of helping the thousands of individuals suffering in the Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas, Irwin established Tahoe Ketamine in 2019.

Migraine headaches are moderate to severe headaches lasting anywhere from two to 72 hours.

Migraines reoccur in those who suffer, oftentimes starting during childhood with little or no reprieve. These headaches are characterized by pulsating pain, with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

The Symptoms of Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches can start during childhood, with each episode advancing through various stages of pain and symptoms. Before the migraine attack, an individual may experience:


Mood changes, from sadness to mania

Cravings for foods or beverages

Stiffness of the neck

Increased thirst and frequency of urination

Yawning excessively

During a migraine headache, any of the symptoms listed below could build over several minutes and last for as long as 60 minutes:

Hallucinations, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light

Loss of vision

Pins and needles throughout the body

Weakness or numbness in the body or face

Difficulty speaking

Hearing noises or sounds

Why Do People Get Migraine Headaches?

Genetics and environmental factors play a role in the presence of migraine headaches. There may be changes in the brain or imbalances in brain chemicals that regulate the pain in your central nervous system.

Some migraine triggers include:

Hormones — changes in estrogen levels can be triggers for women.

Alcohol and caffeine intake.

Stress or anxiety.

Sensory stimuli, such as bright lights, sun glare, loud noises, and strong odors.

Changes in sleep patterns, such as too much or too little sleep.

Salty and processed foods may cause migraine headaches.

Migraine Headache Treatments

Natural treatments for migraine headaches include lifestyle changes that can be quite effective:

Track the severity and duration of your migraines to identify triggers.

Maintain a consistent schedule of sleeping and eating.

Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.

Take yoga classes or practice meditation.

Exercise regularly and often

Avoid certain foods, such as aged cheeses, preservatives, red wines, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, and dairy

For those who suffer from frequent migraine headaches, these medications may prove helpful:

Blood pressure medications

Anti-seizure medications

Antidepressant medications

Ketamine infusions

Ketamine for Migraines

In a study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain, ketamine was shown to be a powerful treatment for patients suffering from migraine headaches. As a result of ketamine infusions, every patient in the study experienced pain relief, as well as short-term pain improvement.

Are You a Candidate for Ketamine Infusions?

At our Lake Tahoe area ketamine clinic, we offer ketamine infusions to those patients who suffer from migraine headaches. Ketamine has shown itself to be a highly effective migraine headache treatment, enabling patients to shake the feeling of impending doom that comes from the possibility of a migraine headache.

If you suffer from chronic migraines, contact us today for your free consultation to see if you are a fit for ketamine infusions.

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