It’s National Headache Week Here Are 5 Things That Helped Mine
First of all I am not a Doctor and I have to do the mandatory disclaimer to take advice at your own risk. If you are one of the people who go through life struggling with migraines and reoccurring headaches you understand the frustration. I spent countless doctors office visits, and so much money trying to figure out how to lessen these uninvited guests that made me use so many sick days and miss out on too many family moments.
When mine hit they started with messing with my vision. I would see weird stained glass colors floating across my line of site. I knew this meant for the next 3 to 5 days I would be struggling to function. I would have to spend the majority of the next days isolated, in the dark, and hiding from all noises and lights.
I had all kinds of prescriptions and practices offered to me, and after a few years of struggling I went from having these episodes at least once a month to now only having them once or twice a year.
These are the things I believe changed my life:
Track Them: This one was huge. Tracking everything I did seemed ridiculous and pointless at first but ultimately led to a new life. I tracked everything I did every day, everything I ate, everything I drank, and how much I slept.
Hire a Headache Specialist: A friend of mine who was helping me lower stress in my suggesting hiring a friend of his to help me hunt the headaches that were hunting me. This specialist was the one that suggested the tracking and helped me figure out what was at the root of triggering them.
Inputs: This is a part of where the tracking comes in very handy. I had been diagnosed with exertion migraines. I was told I was working out too hard and that was the cause of the migraines so I stopped the workouts and the migraines stopped for a while. I started doing easier workouts and the migraines returned. What I ultimately found out was that the migraines where triggered by something I was taking after each workout. I also found out that there is a certain brand of coffee that triggers my migraines. I found other products I can take after I workout, and other coffee I can drink without triggering the headaches.
Water: Drink enough of it. It seems simple but I learned my caffeine to water ratio was not at a healthy level. I was told by one expert for every cup of coffee I drink I should add 3 more glasses of water to the additional daily water suggestions.
Stress: This was the biggest game changer for my migraine battle. I also learned sometimes ending things is the only answer is to decrease or eliminate stress. Sometimes the only way to lower stress is to evaluate relationships, and environments. Through tracking my migraines and when they became the most consistent and intense I realized leaving a stressful environment may be the only thing to help in a major way. After just two months of leaving the stress filled environment I went from having at least one migraine episode a month to having only one or two a year. I can live with having them only a couple times a year.
If you struggle with migraines or reoccurring headaches I hope you find some answers and relief soon.