Headaches come in several forms and I believe many would be surprised to learn that their headaches actually qualify as migraine. Check out the Stanford Headache Clinic’s link HERE to better understand what kind of headache you have.
People with migraine generally do better with some basic life changes that are fairly easy to implement. If you suffer from chronic migraine and/or these tips are not helpful at decreasing the number of your headaches HERE is a site that will help find a migraine specialist closest to you.
Steps to fewer migraine:
1. Keep a regular schedule. The brain of a migraine sufferer doesn’t do well with random changes. Eating and sleeping at regular times help maintain consistent blood sugar levels and a migraine free brain. Skipping meals and eating unhealthy foods will in most cases contribute to an increase in headache (if you are a migraine sufferer). If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, and your dinner was lacking, you might want to skip that glass of wine tonight. All of these are common migraine triggers and combining them will most likely result in an angry headache.
2. Stay hydrated. Being dehydrated is one of the most common causes of headache. Have a glass of water at your side all day to prevent dehydration and help prevent headache.
3. Don’t over medicate. Taking the same medication too frequently can cause rebound headache (your body gets accustomed to the medication and gives you a headache when you don’t take it). Medication overuse is common with Excedrin. Excedrin should be used VERY sparingly if at all. (Check with your migraine specialist for personal use directions) Triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Axert, etc.) should be limited to 3 days in any consecutive 7 day period maximum. Daily use of NSAIDS (medications like Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen) can lead to medication overuse headache as well. If you find yourself taking medication for headache frequently, consult a specialist.
It’s important to note that while narcotic medications serve a purpose (relieving acute severe pain, like pain from surgery or a broken arm) they do not bode well for migraine sufferers. Narcotics should not be given for migraine pain. They actually decrease pain tolerance and can make your next headache feel even worse.