Managing Migraine Headaches

You know if you've ever had a migraine headache. They are very distinctive in that they are much more intense that a regular headache. However, there are some things a person can do to help alleviate symtoms.

Anyone who has ever suffered from a migraine headache, knows how painful and stubborn they can be. Migraines are distinctive from other types of headaches by their symptoms, which can include severe pain, throbbing on one or both sides of the head, nausea, chills and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can last anywhere from hours to days, often with debilitating effects.

Although there is no magic cure for migraines, there are several things a migraine sufferer can do to help better manage their headaches and reduce their intensity. One key component is to avoid triggering a migraine. There are many triggers and everyone is different. You should become aware of what triggers you are sensitive to, so you can avoid them. Common migraine triggers are; lack of sleep, stress, caffeine, MSG, chocolate, cheese, and red wine. Sometimes, avoiding these triggers can decrease your occurrences of migraines or even eliminate them completely.

A useful idea is to keep a headache diary in order to determine any patterns in your migraines. A diary can also help you track what may be your specific migraine triggers. Write when your headache starts and record any factors that surround it such as if you are under stress or if you ate or drank anything in particular that could have been a trigger. This diary may be help you to eventually determine what is causing your headaches and thereby help you to reduce the frequency. If you see a doctor about your headaches, it's a good idea to bring the diary with you. Although you may not see a pattern, your doctor might, thereby increasing your chances of receiving effective medical treatment for your migraines.

Stress reduction is another way to help prevent migraines. Regular exercise, 3-4 times a week can reduce tension and therefore reduce migraine occurrences. Any exercise that you enjoy can be helpful. Many people find swimming, yoga or running to be helpful. Try different exercises and see what works for you"┬Žor incorporate a variety of types of exercise into your life and see if that reduces the migraines.

Prevention is the best possible answer. Once you actually have a full blown migraine, they are notoriously difficult to get rid of. However, there are certain steps that can be taken that can provide some relief.

If possible, immediately lay down in a dark, silent room at the first sign of a migraine. Any light or sound can make your headache worse. Take a cool washcloth at put it on your forehead, the back of your neck, or any area that is painful. Try not to get up or do anything for as long as it takes for your migraine to go away. If you are exposed to lights or noise before your migraine is gone, its intensity can increase.

If you are not a regular coffee drinker, caffeine can be extremely successful in relieving migraines. The best source is a cup of black coffee without any sugar or sweetener in it. This only works if you do not consume caffeine (including soda) on a regular basis.

For some sufferers, over the counter medication, such as can be useful. Pain relievers such as aspirin or acetaminophen can sometimes be potent enough to help. Follow the directions carefully on the bottle of medicine. If it doesn't help, then you probably need something stronger. Do not increase the dosage above what the directions suggest. When you speak to your doctor, be sure to mention any and all medications you have tried.

If over the counter medication doesn't work, the next step is prescription drug therapy. There are several different types of medications for migraines and they work in a variety of ways. Some medicine works to prevent migraines. These drugs are most often recommended for individuals who are frequent migraine sufferers. Other medications are used after the onset of a migraine. The sooner you take the medicine, the more effective it will be. This is true for all migraine medications. If you wait, the medication may not be as effective or may take longer to relieve your symptoms.

Prescription migraine medication comes in a few forms, such as pills, nasal sprays and self injections. New drugs are constantly being developed for migraines, since it a common condition that many people suffer from. It is important to discuss your particular symptoms with your doctor in order to determine which, if any is the right medication for you. You may have to try a couple of different drugs before you find the right one for you. Also be sure to inform your doctor of any other medications you are taking because migraine medications should not be taken in conjunction with a variety of prescriptions.

Migraines can be quite immobilizing and have a seriously negative impact on your life. Any steps that can be taken to reduce the frequency or severity of a migraine, should be taken. As with any health situation, be sure to discuss your health concerns and history with your physician. Good luck!

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