More than 37 million people in the US suffer from migraines. A migraine is a type of headache. It can last for hours and sometimes even days. It causes intense pain and can also cause a person to feel sick to their stomach, have vision problems and even spike a fever. It typically affects one side of the head but it can vary. Women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men. Each year, roughly three times more women than men suffer from these headaches.
We often find ourselves wondering: Why me? There are many contributing factors that can actually cause or increase the likelihood of developing a migraine. Monitoring your overall health is very important when suffering from migraines. It is beneficial to know what can potentially bring on a migraine so that you can try to prevent these occurrences.
There are daily things in your life that may be migraine triggers and can increase your likely hood of developing one:
- Sleep deprivation
- Certain foods, such as wine, cheese, chocolates, added chemicals to foods such as MSG
- Changes in weather
- Bright lights
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
- Having a headache that throbs or pounds
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Vomit and nausea
- Numbness or tingling in the face or arm
You should always notate these symptoms by keeping a headache diary. Write them down and any trends you may notice. You may also want to notate what you were doing when the headache started, what you had to eat and drink, cigarettes, caffeine, and sleeping habits. Other notations would be, date and time of the migraine, how long it lasts, describe the type of pain and where it hurt. Sometimes even the weather patterns can increase migraine symptoms. If you suffer from frequent migraines, carry your diary with you to ensure that you do not forget to make your notations.
If you are experiencing these symptoms it is advised to contact your health care provider. They may ask you about your medical history and examine you. If your headaches just recently started, your healthcare provider may recommend tests, a brain scan, or MRI scan.
How are migraines treated? There are medicines that your healthcare provider may recommend you taking as soon as you start experiencing signs of a migraine. You may also be advised to take a medication every day to prevent them from coming so often. Medications can take several weeks to become effective. Your healthcare provider can help you decide what the best treatment approach will be for you. In combination with medication you can also make adjustments to your lifestyle and eating habits to lessen the chances of them. Sometimes making modifications to your everyday life can aid in the improvement of developing migraines. Eating healthier (bananas, avocados, nuts, and foods rich in magnesium). Get plenty of sleep every night (a full 8 hours). Lowering stress or finding effective methods of coping can also help. You may notice other improvements in your health too with these lifestyle changes. These adjustments include:
- Eating regular healthy meals
- Avoid wine, ale and beer
- Avoid cheeses, chocolate or nuts
- Breads made with yeast
- Aged, canned, cured and processed meats
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
- Get plenty of sleep
- Lower your stress and get plenty of rest
- Allow for some fun in your life
If you are suffering from migraines contact your doctor. Stop suffering in silence. Migraines can become debilitating to your everyday life and here at Mir Neurology and Spine Center, we are able to help you manage your symptoms and get back to the happy and healthy life that you deserve. Don’t wait, contact your doctor today.