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How To Help Someone With A Migraine

Adopting A Migraine Lifestyle

How to Help A Migraine Once it Starts

A Migraine lifestyle isn’t that much different from a normal healthy lifestyle. Indeed, many of the known triggers of Migraine attacks are things that are inherently unhealthy; like not sleeping enough, or drinking less water. Having a healthy lifestyle and trigger management system in place along with medication has been proven to contain Migraine much better than simply relying on medication.

Here are some steps you can introduce in your everyday life to that end.

When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

  • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
  • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
  • Your headache comes on suddenly.
  • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

  • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
  • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

What Happens In An Attack

Even if you dont have an aura before the headache, you may have noticed other feelings that make you aware an attack is starting. An attack of migraine can actually be divided into five distinct stages. There are two stages that may be present before the headache.


Before an actual attack starts, you may notice that you feel very tired and yawn a lot more. Before other attacks you may have had the opposite feelings lots of energy and getting all your work done in half the normal time.

Some people find that they recognise the start of a migraine attack when they approach the housework with great enthusiasm! Others crave certain foods often sweet. These sorts of feelings are noticed by about two thirds of sufferers and may only be apparent when you look back on an attack. Relatives and friends may be more aware of these subtle changes in mood or behaviour than you are. The symptoms usually start several hours or the day before the attack.

2. AURA:

As mentioned above, an aura before an attack is experienced by about 20-25% of migraine sufferers. It lasts from a few minutes up to an hour. There may or may not be a gap between the end of the aura and the start of the headache phase.

Symptoms and signs during phases of complete classic migraine attacks. Reproduced with permission from JN Blau.


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    What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine

    There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.

    Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause

    10 ways to help someone with migraine

    If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle,;;may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.

    But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens.;, which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.

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    Studying Your Diet & Making Changes Could Help Reduce Migraine Attacks

    When it comes to living with migraine, sometimes you are what you eat. Its not uncommon for migraine patients to notice that their symptoms ;correspond with certain food triggers, however, which ;foods or ingredients contribute to head pain varies widely from person to person. Some people report having more migraine attacks after eating processed foods or drinking alcohol, while others have more frequent head pain after fasting. Others dont have any food triggers at all. Still, examining your eating habits can help you maintain a balanced diet and identify patterns that could help reduce migraine attacks.

    Establishing Healthy Habits

    While not all people with migraine will find triggers in the foods they eat, everyone can benefit from making healthier choices. A diet of five or six small portions of fresh food throughout the day can prevent migraine attacks in a variety of ways. It can prevent hunger-based headaches, reduce the likelihood of eating multiple, potentially triggering chemicals or foods at once, and help avoid weight gain, another possible factor that may increase the frequency of migraine attacks. Once youve established healthy habits, youll have a neutral baseline to compare against foods you suspect may be triggering your migraine. Any observations you can make about how your diet relates to your migraine attacks can be useful in helping you understand and possibly reduce your symptoms.

    Isolating and Identifying Triggers

    When Multiple Triggers Overlap

    Get A Hobby To Take Your Mind Off The Pain

    What NOT to say to someone with migraine.

    12) Get a hobby it will take your mind off the pain

    If you just broke your leg, would doing crossword;puzzles or take your mind off the pain? Didnt think so.

    Migraine is a primary disease meaning its not caused by any underlying disorder. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin are thought to be involved in the migraine genesis. As you might appreciate, it is not unreasonable for those with a chronic disease to become depressed with a lack of progress and inability of the doctor to help. Its therefore common for clinical depression to occur in migraine patients.

    It takes an incredible amount of personal fortitude to withstand the sense of helpless and lack of empathy from the outside world.

    Also Check: How To Treat Migraine Symptoms

    When To Get Medical Advice

    You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms.

    Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be effective for migraine.

    Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular or frequent basis as this could make it harder to treat headaches over time.

    You should also make an appointment to see a GP if you have frequent migraines , even if they can be controlled with medicines, as you may benefit from preventative treatment.

    You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you’re with experiences:

    • paralysis or weakness in 1 or both arms or 1 side of the face
    • slurred or garbled speech
    • a sudden agonising headache resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
    • headache along with a high temperature , stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash

    These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a stroke or meningitis, and should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

    Focus On The Positive

    10 Ways to Prevent Migraines

    You can provide moral support and encouragement for your loved one through kind words, cards, or caring gestures like running errands or bringing over dinner on a bad day. Distraction is also a great ideatelling jokes, sharing a story, playing a game, or bringing over a craft can help keep your loved one’s mind off of his pain.

    But you’ll want to be careful not to have your entire relationship revolve around your loved one’s pain and symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, problems concentrating, or sensitivities to light, sound, and smell. This can ultimately be harmful both for the both of you. Instead, focus on the positive, such as what she can do despite her head pain, rather than her limitations.

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    But You Don’t Look Sick

    What NOT to say to someone with migraine.

    1) But you dont look sick

    Those with migraine spend an enormous amount of energy trying to fit in and look as normal as possible. In one sense this it may seem like a compliment but usually it comes across as a condescending lack of empathy and judgment of the chronically ill. As if the disease isnt real unless you can see it. People with chronic migraine endure more stigma than epilepsy for this reason.

    Migraine: How To Live With It

    Nearly everyone has had a headache at some time or other. The pain is usually mild and youll still have been able to go to work or meet friends.

    A couple of painkillers will have done the trick and youll have felt better again quite quickly. A migraine attack is quite different. It is so painful that you may have to stop what youre doing.

    My temples felt like they were about to explode. The pain was like a small garden rake over my eyes and top of my head, digging in and scraping away. My head felt like a blown up balloon that was about to explode.

    Everything becomes an effort and you feel weak and look pale. The only way that you can cope is to draw the curtains and go to bed. Tablets dont seem to do anything, however many you take, even if you can keep them down.

    Migraine affects as many as 20% of the population. Women are three times more likely to have migraine than men.

    The first attack usually happens when you are a child or a teenager. It is rare for a first attack of migraine to happen after the age of 40 although there may be a gap of many years between attacks.

    Migraine has been recognised for centuries and was recorded in the earliest historical writings.

    Many famous people have been afflicted with migraine, for example, Lewis Carroll. Some people say that he wrote Alice in Wonderland based on his experiences as a migraine sufferer.

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    Acephalgic Migraine Or Migraine Without Headache

    Acephalgic migraine is also known as migraine without headache, aura without headache, silent migraine, and visual migraine without headache. Acephalgic migraines occur when a person has an aura, but doesnt get a headache. This type of migraine isnt uncommon in people who start having migraines after age 40.

    Visual aura symptoms are most common. With this type of migraine, the aura may gradually occur with symptoms spreading over several minutes and move from one symptom to another. After visual symptoms, people may have numbness, speech problems, and then feel weak and unable to move a part of their body normally. Read on to get a better understanding of acephalgic or silent migraines.

    Also known as menstrual migraines and exogenous estrogen withdrawal headaches, hormonal migraines are linked with the female hormones, commonly estrogen. They include migraines during:

    • your period
    • pregnancy
    • perimenopause
    • the first few days after you start or stop taking medications that have estrogen in them, such as birth control pills or hormone therapy

    If youre using hormone therapy and have an increase in headaches, your doctor may talk with you about:

    • adjusting your dose
    • changing the type of hormones
    • stopping hormone therapy

    Whats A Migraine Journal

    How do I help someone who
    • Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
    • The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
    • What are your symptoms? Be specific.
    • Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
    • Note the weather.
    • Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
    • Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
    • Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
    • List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
    • How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
    • Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?

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    How Else Can Migraine Be Treated

    Some over-the-counter headache medications can help with the pain, such as Tylenol or Excedrin . If your migraine attacks are more severe or frequent, your doctor may prescribe medications or other treatments for you.

    For relief without pills, your doctor may suggest trying Botox injections or using a neuromodulation device like the Cefaly Dual.

    Resting in a dark, quiet room helps some people. For extra help, a cold compress on the head can have a numbing effect. There are also natural remedies you can try, including supplements like:

    What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine

    If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.

    You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.

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    Bonus Support Migraine Strong Members

    Migraine Strong is a community of people who have pulled together over the past 4 years to support each other and help lift each other up. In keeping with that tradition, wed like to mention a couple of small businesses owned and operated by Migraine Strong members. Supporting them is supporting one of our own! And their products are perfect gifts for others with migraine as well!!

    Migraine Shields New Styles

    How Can Chiropractic Help with Migraine Headaches

    Is light sensitivity with migraine an issue for you or a friend or family member? Then you know how painful it can be to spend any time in stores or offices with fluorescent lights. And thats not even including the time spent on computers and devices! We love our migraine glasses and are super excited about the new collection released by Migraine Shields.

    Migraine Shields can help reduce migraine symptoms and prevent attacks. They can be worn during the day or night, indoor or outdoor. They also specifically block blue light at 455nm where it is especially harmful which is why they help with screens: computers, phones, tablets, TV, etc. You can purchase Migraine Shields HERE. You can receive 20% off your order with the code MIGRAINESTRONG!!

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    What Are Some Ways I Can Prevent Migraine

    The best way to prevent migraine is to find out what triggers your attacks and avoid or limit these triggers. Since migraine headaches are more common during times of stress, finding healthy ways to cut down on and cope with stress might help. Talk with your doctor about starting a fitness program or taking a class to learn relaxation skills.

    Talk with your doctor if you need to take your pain-relief medicine more than twice a week. Doing so can lead to rebound headaches. If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to help prevent migraine, take them exactly as prescribed. Ask what you should do if you miss a dose and how long you should take the medicine. Talk with your doctor if the amount of medicine you are prescribed is not helping your headaches.

    I Get Headaches And I Don’t Need Time Off Work

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    3) I get headaches and I dont need time off work

    A migraine attack can render someone hugging the toilet bowl between bouts of nausea and vomiting, curled over in bed, requiring ice packs on the head to numb some of the pain. Often those with migraine require a dark, quiet room to see off the worst of the attack.

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    Hand Crafted Cbd Products

    CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a naturally occurring compound in cannabis and hemp. The CBD molecule interacts with receptors throughout the body to produce a variety of physiological effects.

    Primal Botanicals is owned by a long time Migraine Strong group member, Annika McCann, who lives in Vermont and suffers from migraine herself. She is a Registered Nurse and clinical herbalist who handcrafts these certified organic CBD products. Annika knows how to help someone with migraine!

    Not sure about gift ideas for someone with migraine? The Head and Neck CBD Rub is particularly lovely and I cant wait to get my UPLIFT CBD Mineral Soak and Lavender Citrus CBD Body Butter. To receive 10% off your purchase enter code: STRONG10.


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