First comes the flashing lights that start small but eventually take up my whole range of vision. I know in an instant what I’m in for… Next is the numbness in my hands, arms and face. Then comes an inability to form coherent sentences, or even understand what is being said around me. Finally, add extreme nausea and sensitivity to all light and sound. Sum it all up with excruciating pain in my head that no over-the-counter medicine can fix.
Sounds like a stroke – instead I know that another day has been completely lost to a migraine. But did it have to be?
Since I started getting migraines when I was very young, I have tried every medicine known to man. I’ve taken everything available over the counter, every prescription migraine pill, every new sample drug and even anti-seizure medications that my doc thought might help. Nothing works.
After one miserable week where I had a migraine every day and ended up on a serious painkiller drip in the hospital, I decided to shift my focus from trying to fix the problem when it happened to trying to prevent the problem from happening in the future.
I decided to shift my focus from trying to fix the problem when it
happened to trying to prevent the problem from happening in the
future. This shift in my thinking changed not only my perspective,
but the frequency of days spent with incapacitating headaches.
This shift in my thinking changed not only my perspective, but the frequency of days spent with incapacitating headaches. Now I’ll have an earthquake in my head about once a year, which is a huge improvement. If you follow my tips you might see your painful days decrease as well.
Fish Oil Supplements: Fish is healthy for all kinds of reasons, but recent studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish or fish oil supplements have helped reduce the number of migraines among common migraine sufferers. Since I don’t always eat a serving of fish a week like recommended, I choose to get my omega-3 from inexpensive, generic supplements found in the grocery store. I take two capsules every day with meals, but ask your doctor how many would be appropriate to take in a day for your height and weight.
Make Sleep a Priority: Most people don’t get enough sleep these days, and I was no exception. Lack of sleep and fatigue are migraine triggers, and sleep deprivation was hitting me hard. There didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! However, I did the math and realized that I would lose 24 or more hours of productivity every time I had a migraine, and that was well over the amount of time lost if I just started going to sleep earlier every night.
Make a Stress Management Plan: Stress is another big migraine trigger. It was almost like clockwork – I’d get stressed out, then I’d sleep less so I could work harder, and I could tell you which day the following week my migraine would most likely occur. Writing down a plan (and then sticking to it!) to help manage your stress will work wonders for you if you suffer from migraines. The number of headache days will dwindle, and your regular days will be filled with more happiness as a welcome side effect.
Get Your Blood Pumping: Everyone knows exercise is good for them, but did you know it helps prevent migraines? Some experts think migraines happen because of restricted blood flow in the brain. If your body is used to regularly pumping blood with an increased heart rate, then you are less likely to experience migraine pain from vessels in your brain squeezing shut. Even if you hate exercise, 20-30 minutes of sweating is nothing compared to losing a whole day to pain.