Although you may think that regular migraines overwhelm your life, there are always effective ways to be more proactive in terms of your migraine care. They allow you to feel empowered and stop being so vulnerable to painful and debilitating attacks. Basically, there are 5 important strategies that can help you improve migraine care:
• Seeing primary care physicians;
• Engaging in all kinds of healthy habits;
• Keeping your personal migraine diary;
• Taking preventive migraine meds;
• Using acute migraine pills properly.
Seeing Primary Care Physicians
It’s advisable to see primary care physicians, just like a qualified neurologist and a headache specialist, to ensure that all underlying conditions are addressed properly. You’ll be surprised how other health aspects can impact migraine disorders. For instance, discuss different sleeping issues with doctors, because such symptoms as morning headaches, snoring, difficulty staying and falling asleep and urges to move legs can indicate underlying sleeping disorders, including depression, sleep apnea, anxiety and restless leg syndrome.
You also need to discuss all mood symptoms and physical changes with doctors even if you aren’t sure that they’re pertinent. As an example, such signs as loss of interest in daily activities, weight loss or feeling hopeless and guilty often indicate depression. According to studies, treating depression helps patients relieve their migraines. Besides, there are other major points that should be reported to primary care physicians:
• Caffeine and alcohol use;
• A list of other meds that you’re using, such as vitamins, herbals and over-the-counter supplements;
• Other factors that cause pain in the body, because they may indicate processes along your migraines, such as fibromyalgia.
Engaging in Different Health Habits
Although coping and avoidance are important elements of effective migraine management, there are other things to be focused on while improving your health. Start with the main basics and switch to the daily routine that will improve your mental and physical health:
• Selecting meal-times that are consistent on a regular basis and without being too spaced out to lead to hunger;
• Choosing a healthy diet plan rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and whole grains;
• Maintaining your regular sleep schedule, which means going to sleep and walking up at the same time;
• Staying hydrated, so you need to consider alkaline and flavored water or putting some lemon in it to improve its appeal and taste;
• Exercising about 150 minutes each week and picking moderately-intense exercises, such as walking briskly, jogging, doubles tennis and ballroom dancing;
• Engaging in different regular relaxation activities, like mindful meditation, yoga, listening to your favorite music and reading.
Keeping a Personal Diary
Although the idea of keeping a migraine diary seems tedious, you’ll be surprised to learn how useful it is. A diary is effective in helping doctors confirm a certain migraine diagnosis. It’s possible that you have a different disorder than you think or what other healthcare providers diagnosed in the past. Sometimes, patients have a few migraine disorders and headaches simultaneously, so a detailed personal diary can help doctors sort everything out.
When it comes to identifying triggers, a diary enlightens you to specific exposures, habits, stresses and foods linked to migraines. Complete a simple task of writing, because it’s also therapeutic. Use it as a form of relaxation. If this strategy doesn’t seem appealing to you, type notes in your phone, ask your friends or other dear ones for writing help, or use a tape recorder.
Taking Preventive Migraine Meds
Their main purpose is decreasing duration, severity and number of migraines while reducing the use of acute migraine drugs. It’s surprising that preventing migraine meds are effective, because they decrease the number of migraine attacks by half within 3 months. You shouldn’t stop taking them only because your migraines continue. They must be managed effectively, because they can’t be cured. If you don’t like your current preventive medication due to its side effects, effectiveness and other things, you should talk to doctors. There are different reasons why they may recommend it, which means that this treatment option is not only for patients with chronic migraines. For example, if people have 4 or more attacks each month, they should consider the intake of preventive medications.
Besides, migraine attacks can have a negative impact on their quality of life and ability to function normally, and it’s another reason why the intake of these meds is important. Some patients can’t tolerate acute migraine meds or they end up with certain contraindications, and that’s why they switch to preventive solutions. However, you need to understand that their intake is not your life-long commitment, because it shouldn’t last longer than 6-9 months. These meds offer a great option to gain more control over migraine attacks until specific triggers are sorted out and effective therapies are chosen.
Nowadays, there are many preventive migraine pills to choose from, and they all come with certain mechanisms of action, side effects and dosing requirements. It may take some time to find the right one that works for your unique situation. The most popular examples include Inderal, Topamax, Toprol and others.
Using Acute Migraine Pills Correctly
Many patients who have migraines aren’t sure when to use special medications. It’s not surprising, especially for people who have chromic migraines, because it can be quite challenging to delineate between chronic headaches and the ones that erupt on their background. Another interesting factor is that some of them are at a risk or already have medication overuse headaches. What does it mean? People start developing another headache disorder type on top of their pre-existing ones, and they can further make things complicated.
Don’t be surprised when doctors ask you to stop taking your acute migraine meds at the very beginning of your new treatment plan. This step is necessary to help you even if you think that it’s brutal. It helps doctors determine whether medication overuse headaches play any role in your regular migraines.
The above-mentioned are common reasons why it’s necessary to get help for migraines from qualified doctors, such as neurologists, if migraines are chronic. With such medical specialists, it becomes possible to understand how to distinguish between migraines off and on days and treat attacks fast when pain is still mild.
Experienced doctors can teach you how to take acute migraine medications correctly, because there are certain tricks involved. As an example, many patients don’t take the right dose at the onset of migraine attacks, while others are simply unaware that their therapies should and can be taken again after a certain interval after the first dosage before calling them ineffective. Some people still don’t understand that there are many unique medication formulas, including triptans that come as nasal sprays or injections.
It’s important to stay persistent in your efforts to gain the right knowledge about your migraines or if your beloved ones experience the same problem. Although there are many effective therapies available out there, it takes patience and hard work to find out how to uniquely and effectively care for your migraines and headaches.