What Helps With My Migraines Might Backfire for You

By Puja Aggarwal, MD, as informed to Kara Mayer Robinson

As a board-certified neurologist who treats migraines — and somebody who will get migraine complications often — I really feel your ache.

About 2-3 instances a month, I get a full-blown migraine in the back of my head. It additionally comes with photophobia, or gentle sensitivity, and floaters in my imaginative and prescient. Once I get a migraine, it might cling on for 6-8 hours.

Between my very own migraines and people I deal with in my observe in Orlando, FL, I’ve turn into adept at managing them.

However simply because sure issues assist me doesn’t imply they’ll enable you to. Completely different folks have several types of migraine complications, and that impacts what works and what doesn’t.

First, Know Your Triggers

Everybody’s triggers are totally different. It’s key to have the ability to pinpoint your private triggers and keep away from them.

Mine embody stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, skipping meals, and having a glass of purple wine. (Yep, only one is all it takes.)

Yours could also be totally different. Widespread triggers embody:

  • Some smells
  • Sure kinds of gentle
  • Chocolate
  • Consuming an excessive amount of
  • Meals components
  • Jet lag
  • Loud sounds
  • Rain
  • Stress
  • Daylight
  • Your menstrual cycle

As soon as you realize your triggers, you are able to do your finest to keep away from them. This will cut back how usually you get migraines, how unhealthy they’re, and even ward them off earlier than they start.

How you can Handle Triggers

To remain on prime of my migraines, I at all times attempt to keep hydrated, train often, and keep away from skipping meals.

Dehydration can set off a migraine. It might additionally make migraines last more. To maintain your water shops up, attempt to drink no less than 64 ounces of water a day.

If starvation is a set off for you, attempt to have three set meals a day.

Lack of sleep can even carry on migraines and make them last more. I inform my migraine sufferers to get no less than 7 hours of sleep an evening.

I additionally take 400 milligrams (mg) of magnesium day-after-day. Magnesium oxide is finest for migraines and might cut back how frequent and extreme they’re. It helps me, but it surely doesn’t assist everybody. When you’ve got frequent or extreme migraines, magnesium could not give you the results you want.

Editor’s word: Examine together with your physician earlier than you begin taking dietary supplements, to verify it’s a good selection for you.


When a Migraine Strikes

As quickly as a migraine comes on, one of many first issues I do is drink fluids and eat one thing.

I additionally take remedy. I often take 400 mg of ibuprofen, which helps reduce my ache. You may as well attempt over-the-counter drugs like Excedrin Migraine or Tylenol.

However watch out. Taking an excessive amount of remedy in your migraine can truly make it worse.

An excessive amount of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or different ache drugs can result in remedy overuse. This looks like a persistent, day by day headache or migraine. It might occur should you take certainly one of these drugs 2-3 days every week for a number of weeks.

Once more, needless to say sure therapies work for some folks however not others. There are plenty of choices, so speak to your physician to seek out what’s best for you.

Your physician could recommend sure drugs that will cease extreme migraines should you take them at the beginning of a migraine. They embody:

  • Almotriptan malate (Axert)
  • Eletriptan hydrobromide (Relpax)
  • Frovatriptan (Frova)
  • lasmiditan (Reyvow)
  • Naratriptan (Amerge)
  • Rizatriptan benzoate (Maxalt)
  • Sumatriptan succinate (Imitrex)
  • Zolmitriptan (Zomig)

They might additionally advocate remedy to assist stop migraines, like:

  • Galcanezumab (Emgality)
  • Rimegepant (Nurtec)
  • Sodium valproate (Depakote)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)
  • Ubrogepant (Ubrelvy)

Different Issues to Strive

When you’ve got frequent migraines, Botox pictures could assist. Botox is a drug that blocks neurotransmitters carrying ache indicators out of your mind.

Botox works to ease migraine ache for some folks however not for others.

I haven’t tried it as a result of my migraines aren’t frequent sufficient. It’s finest for folks with persistent migraines, or 15 complications a month.

You may as well attempt different therapies akin to these:

  • Yoga and meditation will help with stress and cut back migraines.
  • A scalp or facial therapeutic massage will help relieve ache.
  • Acupuncture could assist reduce the variety of migraines you get or assist them be milder whenever you do get one.

Gentle Sensitivity

When a migraine makes it uncomfortable for me to be round gentle, it often lasts about 20-Half-hour. I can sit in a room with the lights off, and it clears up.

I’m fortunate — it’s fast for me. Nevertheless it differs from individual to individual.

When you’ve got gentle sensitivity whenever you get a migraine, attempt staying in a cool, darkish room. Chances are you’ll must put on a watch masks, too.

One last item: Speak to your physician concerning the kind, severity, and frequency of your migraines. They’ll tailor your remedy to your private wants.

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