Step 1: Learn
Understand what is happening.
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What is going on in my head?
As you well know, migraine is a painful neurological disease. It is genetic, meaning it may run in your family. External and Internal Factors, also called "triggers" excite your nervous system. Your nervous system responds by releasing a number of chemicals in your brain to protect you from threats.
What is CGRP & why it matters?
CGRP is one of the chemicals released when your nervous system is threatened by external or internal factors. It produces a pain signal which causes headache. This is the main focus of new medications specifically designed to prevent or treat migraine.
What's up with the other symptoms?
Think of yourself as a super hero. When external and internal factors threaten you, your body releases chemicals that enhance your senses. This includes light, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Unfortunately it can also cause nausea and vision disruptions called auras.
How Does Migraine go Away?
You must calm your nervous system. This is done through a combination of tools like medication, relaxation, and self-care.
How do migraine medications work?
Preventive Medications block chemicals that excite the nervous system. Acute medications calm the nervous system during an attack.
Quick Guide in Becoming a Migraine Pro
Learn About Migraine (Click on the Topic of Interest)
Is Migraine a Disease?
Migraine is a painful neurological disease... a migraine attack includes headache, nausea, and an increase sensitivity to your surroundings.
How did I get migraine?
Migraine is genetic, meaning it may run in your family.
What Causes migraine?
External and Internal Factors, also called "triggers" excite your nervous system. Your nervous system responds by releasing a number of chemicals (CGRP) in your brain to protect you from threats.
Patterns are how often you have migraine and what causes them. Find your Migraine Pattern by tracking your health daily... including headache days and triggers (light, noise, odors, diet, sleep, stress, weather, hormones)
Episodic migraine is less than 14 days of headache per month.
Chronic migraine is 15 or more days of headache per month.
Preventive Medications include MABs (Monoclonal Antibodies), BOTOX (Chronic Only), Blood Pressure Meds, Antidepressants, and Seizure Meds. (They reduce how many headaches you have per month). Some are taken quarterly/monthly (MABs and BOTOX)... Others daily. even if no headache is present.
Acute medications include NSAIDs, Triptans, Combinations, Ergots, and Nausea Meds. (They are taken when the headache begins)
Behavioral therapies include biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualizing your healthy self. You can learn these from a therapist or some online sources.
Healthy lifestyle includes a combination of a healthy diet, managing triggers, staying hydrated, good sleep, exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques (yoga, deep breathing, meditation).
Shared decision-making is when you and you healthcare provider understand and agree upon an evolving a treatment plan that works over time. Treatment plans should always include tracking on your part, preventive meds, acute meds, behavioral therapies, and a healthy lifestyle.
Treatment adherence is where you follow your plan and communicate any need for improvement to your healthcare provider over time. Treatment adherence should always include tracking your migraines, taking meds as prescribed, behavioral therapies, and a healthy lifestyle.
Learn From Experience: Advice From Others with Migraine
Watch an overview of six patients giving advice on how manage migraine. All had Chronic Migraine, but now have their migraines under control. These are real patients, being interview by headache specialist, Trupti Gokani, MD. You can see the entire series here.