Monday, May 29, 2023

How To Deal With Migraines

Must read

Come Clean With Your Boss

How To Deal With Migraine Headaches Before, During And After Pregnancy

A migraine isnt like breaking a leg or getting the flu. Its symptoms are invisible.

One of the reasons migraine is so stigmatized is that no one can see your pain. Its easy for other people to write off migraine as a headache thats no big deal, which can make it a sticky subject to discuss at work.

Be honest with human resources and your manager so you dont have to make up excuses when your head hurts. If they dont understand why migraine interferes with your work, ask your doctor to write a note explaining migraine and how it can impact your performance.

I’m Pregnant Can My Migraines Still Be Treated

Some migraine medicines should not be used when you are pregnant because they can cause birth defects and other problems. This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if migraine is a problem while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor might suggest a medicine that will help you and that is safe during pregnancy. Home treatment methods, such as doing relaxation exercises and using cold packs, also might help ease your pain. The good news is that for most women migraines improve or stop from about the third month of the pregnancy.

Can Migraines Be Prevented

You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.

Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.

The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.

Also Check: What Food Helps With Headaches

How Do I Know Whether I Have Migraine

Migraine usually involves an intense headache and other symptoms. Changes such as visual disturbances may occur before the headache.

The headache usually starts around one eye often the left and then radiates to the rest of the head. Many people are unable to continue with their daily routine during a migraine attack.

Changes In The Weather

Cluster Headache Relief

Storms, excessive heat and changes in barometric pressure are common weather-related migraine triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, another common trigger.

How to cope: We cant control the weather, so if the current conditions are not favorable for your migraine, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly. If theres an errand you need to run and its the middle of July in Arizona, take care of it in the morning before it gets too hot!

Don’t Miss: Side Effects Of Migraine Botox

Rest In A Quiet Dark Room

Many people with migraine report sensitivity to light and sound, which can make headaches worse. According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience, the pain caused by light can be traced to a group of light-sensing cells in the eye called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells , which help maintain sleep-wake cycles and pupil response to light. In rats, these cells converge on brain cells that transmit pain.

Exposure to light activates the ipRGC cells and the pain-transmitting cells, and the cells remain activated for several minutes. The researchers theorize that that mechanism could be the reason headache pain gets worse in the light and improves 20 to 30 minutes after being in the dark.

Go to a room thats dark and quiet, and you may be able to sleep, Dr. Good says. Not all headaches respond to sleep, she notes, but the chemicals released in your brain during sleep may help ease your pain. Also, she says, if youre sensitive to sounds, blocking them out could help.

How Long Does The Migraine Nausea Last

Unfortunately, thereâs no clear answer here. Because the migraine symptoms and attack timeline vary so much from person to person, itâs hard to predict when migraine-related nausea will clear up for you.

Your nausea might go away once the headache starts, but it could also last throughout the migraine or only appear when the attack is about to end.

You May Like: Do Migraines Make You Dizzy

Address Teeth Grinding Or Excessive Chewing

People have to eat to survive, and chewing is an important part of eating. However, studies suggest that excessive chewing might be linked to more headaches and even migraine. Researchers focused on gum-chewing for the study and found that tension headaches and migraine were more common in people who chewed gum frequently.

While you cant avoid eating, you may want to rethink chewing gum if you regularly experience migraine. You may also want to consider if you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, as this could have a similar effect.

Plan Ahead For Moments When Youre Not Feeling Your Best

How to deal with migraine | Dr. Rahul Gupta

One of the many potential symptoms of migraine is brain fog, which can cause memory issues and trouble focusingall things that can really interfere with getting your work done. It took me years to learn to accept the high brain fog days and be kind to myself about it, Lindsay Weitzel, 46, tells SELF.

Beyond accepting that some days you simply may not feel your greatest, one way to manage the cognitive effects of migraine is by saving some easier work for times when youre not feeling 100%. I try to keep a brain fog task on the back burner to do on days that Im mentally not at my best, Weitzel says.

Recommended Reading: Foods To Avoid For Migraines

Do Weekly Massage Sessions

  • Regular massages may reduce the frequency of headaches. One small study found that weekly massage sessions led to both less frequent migraines and better sleep.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source Massages combined with exercise and a more relaxed lifestyle can also be effective.
  • How Is Chronic Migraine Diagnosed

    Your doctor will take a detailed medical history. The doctor will ask about:

    • Your pattern of migraine pain, including when and how migraines begin if they are episodic or continuous how long the migraine lasts if there are any triggers or factors that make the migraine worse.
    • Your description of the pain, including its location, sensation, and severity.
    • Other symptoms that accompany the pain, such as auras, lack of energy, stiff neck, dizziness, changes in vision or in senses, and nausea/vomiting.
    • Your current and previously tried treatments, including when the medications are taken, dosages, outcome and side effects and use of alternative or complementary therapies.
    • Your medical history including other health problems , family history of headache, current non-headache medications, and lifestyle choices .

    Don’t Miss: Headaches In Back Of Head And Neck

    What To Do If You Get A Migraine At Work

    Even the best preventative measures dont work all the time. If you experience regular migraines, chances are youll find yourself riding one out at work. If that happens, Diamond recommends trying to take 20 minutes to a half hour in a quiet spot away from your desk to rest and take whatever acute migraine medicine you use, if any. Once the migraine clears, or at least subsides, you can return to work.

    Some people who have migraines use caffeine to treat their symptoms, but Diamond stresses that this only works if you dont overuse it. If youre slamming four lattes a day, then you may have some headaches just because of your excessive use of caffeine, says Diamond. But if you generally dont use caffeine a lot, then it certainly can be used as a medication. Diamond recommends limiting your normal caffeine intake to less than 80-100mg per day, or about one cup of coffee.

    When Should You Head Home

    Pin on Migraine

    Migraines dont always resolve quickly, and sometimes it can be important to know when to call it quits on a work day if an episode isnt getting any better. Some people can tell when a migraine is here to stay based on the level of pain, or other factors, like nausea or light sensitivity. In those cases its important to go home get a quick nap and rest to get ready for the next day, instead of sticking around and making things worse. That is, of course, assuming youll be able to get home safely in a car or on public transportation. Otherwise, you might have to see about calling in a favor to get a ride from a friend or family member. If you suffer from regular episodes, try to have a talk with your employer ahead of time so they know you might have to leave work early unexpectedly sometimes.

    And when you do get back to work, Diamond stresses that its equally important not to overload yourself right away. When a patient misses a day because of a migraine or theyre behind because of a migraine, they get more anxious and concerned about finishing what they need to finish, and that doesnt help the whole process, she says. Instead, try to ease back into your work and keep from getting too anxious, as excessive stress could trigger another episode.

    You May Like: How To Relieve Tmj Headaches

    Sleep Diet And Exercise

    These are three important parts of managing migraine headaches.

    A regular schedule that allows you to get the sleep you need to function properly is essential to lessen the number of migraine attacks you get and ease their symptoms. Nurture a routine that agrees with your natural rhythms. Try to keep a regular, soothing bedtime routine, avoid screen time before bed, and, perhaps most importantly, wake up at the same time every day.

    The effect of diet differs from person to person. Look for foods that may âtriggerâ a migraine attack. A migraine diary might help with this, and your doctor can help narrow down the probable culprits. A diary can also help you work out other things in your life that might trigger a migraine, so you can manage them. These also differ from person to person, but might include:

    In addition, a healthy, balanced diet and regular mealtimes can help keep migraines at bay. Some people find that smaller, more frequent meals can be even better at managing symptoms.

    Regular exercise, especially if itâs outside, can regulate your sleep and eating rhythms, and it seems to be another key part of managing migraine headaches. Shoot for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

    Itâs a good idea to try to maintain a healthy body weight, because obesity raises your risk for chronic daily headaches. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep routine will help get you on the right track.

    Taking Action To Reduce Migraines

    While your migraines may be a fact of life, there are steps you can take that may help reduce the severity or frequency of your migraine attacks.1

    The best course of action may be the practice of “good headache hygiene,” coupled with early intervention when you notice migraine warning signs.

    The American Headache Society defines headache hygiene as the practice of taking care of yourself in a way that will reduce the likelihood, frequency, intensity, and severity of migraines.3 It includes:

    • Good, regular sleep habits both too little sleep and oversleeping can act as migraine triggers1,2
    • Regular exercise* aerobic activity reduces stress and increases brain chemicals that control pain1,2
    • Healthy and regular eating habits dont miss meals or go hungry drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration skip the diet drinks and junk food1,2
    • Stress reduction exercise is a well-known stress buster meditation, yoga and biofeedback may also help reduce migraines1,2
    • Trigger avoidance to identify your personal migraine triggers, keep a migraine diary

    Also Check: What To Do For Hangover Headache

    How To Get Rid Of Migraines

    As of now, there is no cure for migrainesbut there are many strategies to reduce their frequency and severity.

    One of the best ways of identifying triggers is keeping a headache diary.”

    They can get under control, and people can have their normal lives back when they’re treated efficiently for their migraines, says Dr. Ashina.

    Here are a few ways to prevent and treat them:

    1. Know your migraine triggers. When Dr. Ashina sees a migraine patient for the first time, they always discuss the patients migraine triggers, which can vary from person to person. Some triggers might be obvious, like if you get a headache every time youre tired. Other times, theyre more subtle.

    One of the best ways of identifying triggers is keeping a headache diary, Dr. Ashina says. Whether you use a pen and paper or a headache app, log what you were doing and how you were feeling before the headache started. Discuss the results with your doctor and see what patterns you can identify. The more triggers you can avoid, the better you might feel.

    2. Keep your tank full. Dehydration is a common but easily preventable migraine trigger, Dr. Ashina says. Men need to drink about a gallon of water per day, which sounds like a lot but is achievable if you drink steadily throughout the day.

    Processed foods can have a lot of ingredients that can actually trigger migraines.”

    Changes In Or An Irregular Sleep Schedule

    How to Deal With Migraine Headaches | Natural Treatment

    The connection between migraine and sleep is undeniable. Sleep renews and repairs all parts of the bodyincluding the brainso it makes sense that when your sleep schedule becomes irregular, you are more prone to migraine attacks. Something else to note when it comes to sleep: Nearly half of all migraine attacks occur between 4:00am and 9:00am, putting people at a greater risk for developing a sleep disorder.

    How to cope: Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Eliminate TV, texting, reading, and listening to music while in bed, and try your best not to nap during the day. This article from the AMF Resource Library has great information and tips on how to make a sleep plan that works with your lifestyle.

    Recommended Reading: Birth Control Migraine With Aura

    Whats The Outlook For People With Chronic Migraine

    The hope for people with chronic migraine is to control the headache. With a good treatment plan, it is reasonable to believe that the number and severity of migraine headaches can be reduced. Many patients with chronic migraine may revert to episodes of migraine over time.

    For patients with chronic migraines that have not responded to previous treatments, there are other options. Some patients need more aggressive hands-on techniques such as nerve blocks and trigger point injections. Other patients particularly those with medication overuse headaches – need to rid their body of previous medications in a monitored setting, such as an infusion suite. In the infusion suite, patients receive intravenous medications that stop migraines and treat the nausea and vomiting.

    For patients with the most difficult migraines to treat those not responding to any treatments, in whom detoxification efforts have not been totally effective, and patients are still using medications not helpful to improving their headache a team approach is required. The team, consisting of healthcare professionals from neurology, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, physical therapy and social work, meet together with the patient and the patients family over a series of weeks to develop a plan of care and monitor progress. Patients with difficult to treat migraines should ask their doctors to refer them to facilities that offer such multi-team, patient-centered programs.

    Drink Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee

    Sipping on beverages that contain caffeine, such as tea or coffee, may provide relief when you are experiencing a headache.

    Caffeine improves mood, increases alertness and constricts blood vessels, all of which can have a positive effect on headache symptoms .

    It also helps increase the effectiveness of common medications used to treat headaches, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen .

    However, caffeine withdrawal has also been shown to cause headaches if a person regularly consumes large amounts of caffeine and suddenly stops.

    Therefore, people who get frequent headaches should be mindful of their caffeine intake .

    Certain herbs including feverfew and butterbur may reduce headache symptoms.

    Feverfew is a flowering plant that has anti-inflammatory properties.

    Some studies suggest that taking feverfew supplements in doses of 50150 mg per day may reduce headache frequency. However, other studies have failed to find a benefit .

    Butterbur root comes from a perennial shrub native to Germany and, like feverfew, has anti-inflammatory effects.

    Several studies have shown that taking butterbur extract in doses of 50150 mg reduces headache symptoms in both adults and children .

    Feverfew is generally considered safe if taken in recommended amounts. However, butterbur should be treated with caution, as unpurified forms can cause liver damage, and the effects of its long-term use are unknown (

    Foods containing them have been shown to trigger headaches in some people.

    Don’t Miss: What Is Causing My Headache

    Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like

    A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.

    Try To Make Time For Regular Exercise


    Lots of people with migraine swear it helps keep attacks at bay. Exercise definitely helps to reduce stress, which could be part of it, but the research is mixed, and some people find heavy exercise to be a triggerso listen to your body.

    For Weitzel, though, daily exercise is really important. Taking time to move her body each day not only helps her prevent migraine attacks, but it also reduces their pain and severity when they happen, giving her a better shot at getting through the workday. My biggest strategy for working with migraine is to get up early enough to get in some exercise before work, Weitzel says. She personally prefers to swim, run, or practice yoga.

    Going for a brisk, 30-minute walk each day has helped Pooja Sharma, 38, reduce the frequency and length of her migraine attacks. Previously her migraine attacks would sometimes last up to a week, and she would have trouble eating, much less working. Now, with regular exercise, she tells SELF that her attacks tend to be much shorter and that she feels like the condition is much more under control as a whole.

    Also Check: Can Back Pain Cause Migraines

    More articles

    Popular Articles