There came a time when I said... "it is time for me to achieve health and reduce my migraines". I needed to advocate for myself, to continue to improve my migraine management plan. I scheduled regular appointments because I realized that there is no limit to how well I can manage my migraines. I do my part... I adhere to treatments prescribed and I try to live and eat healthy. Most importantly, utilizing and building my management tools makes me stronger by the day... this includes involving a team of healthcare professionals that support me on my journey.
When a migraine drags me down, I am prepared with an acute treatment. This is different than a preventive treatment in that I take it only when the migraine occurs. Not on a regular basis. I look at acute medications as a flotation device, it will help you keep afloat and reduce the headache pain. It is important to me to make a regular appointment with my doctor to discuss my acute treatment options. It took awhile to find one that worked for me. But, my most important communication tool was to track and document my migraines over time, so I could discuss effectiveness with my doctor. We adjusted my treatment plan accordingly.
Migraine Prevention acts as a wall of protection from threats that can cause a migraine. Threats can include risk factors and triggers. Avoidable risks can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle forms a foundation of your protective wall. This includes eating and drinking a healthy diet, practicing relaxation, and regular exercise. However, unavoidable risks are things like weather changes, stress, and hormones. These risks require further preventive tools. Access these tools and finish your wall of prevention by asking your clinician about prescription therapies. Preventive medications are taken on a regular basis to prevent migraine or reduce the number of headache days you are experiencing each month.
As people with migraine, we must choose to be a migraine master. This is done by defeating the migraine monster. We need to establish a healthy life balance by using protective factors to outweigh risk factors. Masters of migraine learn to like shade or sunglasses to minimize bright lights. We seek quiet places and ear protection to drown out loud noises. Masters of migraine prefer fresh air and avoid odors. Nice days and steady weather are ideal, but we must be prepared for weather changes. We need relaxation techniques and exercise to reduce our stress. Lastly, healthy foods, adequate sleep, and preparation can fight off times of junk food, poor sleep, and life’s little surprises. All in all, learn what your body likes, and avoid what your body dislikes. Becoming a migraine master, will defeat the migraine monster, and reduce your days of headache.
Let us start by understanding what happens during a migraine. First, chemicals in the brain called CGRP are released because of external or internal factors. External factors, also called triggers, may include light, noise, odors, or weather. Internal factors may include stress, diet, sleep, or hormones. When CGRP binds to receptors in the brain, those with migraine receive a pain signal. This causes throbbing headache pain. Senses enhance to things like light, noise, and odors. And these reactions also may cause nausea.