Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness month, it’s an important month to educate yourself on what causes migraines and headaches. Once you understand your migraine or headaches you can better manage them.

Migraine is not just a bad headache. It’s a disabling neurological disease with different symptoms and different treatment approaches compared to other headache disorders. The American Migraine Foundation estimates that at least 39 million Americans live with migraine, but because many people do not get a diagnosis or the treatment they need the actual number is probably higher.

Symptoms

Migraines can be triggered by several factors. Caffeine is one of the more common triggers people encounter. “Caffeine is always a mystery to people because many people find that it helps a headache,” Dr. Broner says, “but some data suggests that drinking more than eight ounces a day of caffeine, whether it’s coffee or tea or sodas can increase your risk of having more frequent migraines.” 

Other common migraine triggers include: 

  • Caffeine or withdrawal from caffeine 
  • Certain medications or taking particular medications too often 
  • Changes in the weather 
  • Dehydration 
  • Flashing or bright lights 
  • Getting too much or not enough sleep 
  • Hormonal changes in women 
  • Loud noises 
  • Skipping meals 
  • Stress 
  • Strong scents 
  • Too much physical activity (overexertion) 

Certain foods, drinks and ingredients may also trigger migraines in some people, especially if other triggers are present at the same time. Some of these triggers are: 

  • Aged cheeses 
  • Alcohol 
  • Certain fruits, such as avocados, bananas, citrus fruit or figs 
  • Chocolate 
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) 
  • Pickled or fermented foods 
  • Processed meats 

My migraine journey lasted two years and it was two years of hell. I took prescription medication for prevention and injectables for when I had a migraine.  I had several migraines a week. Here’s my migraine story. One thing I will suggest is if you have migraines that don’t let up and last for months, see an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor. In my case, all that misery was caused by a bone in my nose, a simple surgery, and the migraines went away. It may be a long shot but it’s not uncommon. 

Migraines can be debilitating and wreak havoc on your job and personal life. Be sure to see a doctor, there are so many treatment options today. Don’t forget to check out migraine glasses, I’ve heard good things about them.

Melinda

References:

What Is Migraine?

https://weillcornell.org/news/migraine-and-headache-awareness-month

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