Singing and Dancing
JUNE 1, 2012
I enjoy going to the theater to see a traveling Broadway show. In fact, I often will plan my entire calendar around an upcoming show! One year, not too long ago, I was looking forward to another show right here in town. I had the tickets. I had the night's plans complete with dinner and companions. My car's tank was filled and ready to go.
And then, a few hours before I was supposed to get dressed for my evening, the tell-tale signs of an incoming headache were evident. On my first symptoms, I headed to the kitchen, drank a large glass of water, grabbed a cool wash cloth for my forehead and took my headache medicine.
Instead of ignoring the pain, i attended to it, knowing that it would get worse if I didn't stop it now. I rested for about 30 minutes.
The best part? I was able to get dressed and still make my evening plans happen. Dinner. The show. It was pure happiness.
If you have struggled with migraine headaches, you know the frustration. In this month's newsletter we are offering information and tips for managing your headaches.
Here's to getting rid of your headaches!
Your Migraine Triggers
June 1, 2012
Most people suffer from headaches from time to time. But if you are noticing increasing headaches along with nausea and a sensitivity to light and sound, your headaches are known as migraines. Migraines can last from 4 hours to 3 days and can sometimes last longer.
According to WebMD, "The exact causes of migraines are unknown, although they are related to changes in the brain as well as to genetic causes. People with migraines may inherit the tendency to be affected by certain migraine triggers, such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes, and others."
There are many triggers that seem to be related to migraines:
Stress, such as anxiety, worry, excitement, and fatigue may increase muscle tension and dilated blood vessels which can intensify the severity of the migraine. Find ways to eliminate stress and add "destress" activities to your day.
Sensitivity to certain chemicals and preservatives in foods
Many processed foods, especially meats and aged cheese contain chemicals that cause a migraine reaction. Alcohol is another culprit. MSG, commonly found in chinese food is trigger for many.
You may enjoy a cup of coffee on a regular basis, but don't ignore other foods that may be contributing to your migraines. Chocolate and soft drinks also contain caffeine. If you remove coffee from your day and still struggle with migraines, don't assume that caffeine isn't your culprit. Some women discover that chocolate is a trigger but they can still enjoy their coffee without pain.
Changing weather patterns
As the barometric pressure changes in our atmosphere as a storm comes through, you may find that your headache is worse. Changes in altitude may also cause you pain.
Hormone Changes related to your monthly cycle
Many women complain of a monthly migraine, triggered sometime during their cycle related to the changes in their hormone levels. This can also be related to women who have had their ovaries removed if their hormone levels haven't been attended to properly. Be sure and talk to your doctor about your hormone levels post hysterectomy.
Excessive fatigue and Changes in normal sleeping schedule
Pushing yourself beyond your normal daily activities, especially during stressful times, can lead to being over fatigued. And if you have changed your sleeping schedule and are not sleeping well, you may find your headaches increase. Make sure you are getting enough rest!
Even if you are trying to lose weight, skipping a meal is never a good idea. Your body needs fuel and your head may protest if you go without the food your body needs. Take a small snack full of protein with you along with some fruit can get you through to that next meal.
If you suffer from headaches or migraines that alter your life, keeping you from your normal activities, it is time to talk to explore eliminating possible triggers in your routine and talk to your doctor about your treatment options.
Keep a Headache Journal
JUNE 1, 2012
If you suffer from headaches, the most valuable thing you can do is to keep a headache journal. A headache journal not only helps you to keep track of the number of headaches you suffer each month but also will help your doctor with a diagnosis.
Your journal should reflect your headaches:
The date of your headaches
The time each headache begins and ends. (How long does the headache last?)
Possible triggers or what you were doing before each headache began.
What you ate or drank before each headache began.
The severity of the pain. Assign a number 1-10 (1 being less, 10 the absolute worse).
The location of the pain. (front of head, temples, back of head, etc)
Other symptoms such as upset stomach, nausea, visual symptoms like auras.
Treatment you try to manage the pain. Did you lay down? Take tylenol? Take medication? Drink a glass of water?
Impact the headache made on your life. Did you miss work? Miss out on a family event?
Once you establish a journal for your headaches, make an appointment with your doctor. Take your daily diary with you to discuss additional treatment options with your medical professional.
Documenting your headaches for a month or longer will help you and your doctor assess your medical condition and the possible diagnosis.
Treatment for Your Migraine Symptoms
JUNE 1, 2012
Suffering from a migraine headache is no fun. Here are some treatment tips to help manage your migraine headaches. It is important, however, to understand that while treating the migraine symptoms is important, it is also important to find a way to uncover the cause of your migraines and work to prevent them!
First try an over the counter cafffeine based pain medications created especially for migraines.
Drink lots of water. Migraines have been known to have a cause in dehydration. Adding water to your body may help ease your headache.
Drink coffee, tea or any other fluid caffeine. Caffeine may help your migraine. (It also may be your trigger. Be aware of your triggers!)
Stay away from chocolate, chips, fried foods and sugar foods as they only make things worse.
Apply an ice bag to your head where you hurt the most.
Stay in a dark, quiet room. Keep the lights off.
When treating a migraine headache, check with your doctor if you find that over the counter migraine medications do not work for you.
Request a prescription for your migraines from your physician. Prescribed products such as Imitrex can be very helpful.
Some women find that a demoral shot in the emergency room is the only treatment that works for them.
Hopefully, you will find a treatment to ease your pain during your migraine episodes. Once you are feeling better, work to discover what what may be causing yours to prevent them.
6 Tips for Managing Chronic Pain
JUNE 1, 2012
Here are six great tips for managing chronic pain:
1. Exercise - Give Yourself an Endorphin Fiesta
If you aren't feeling well and are in pain, the last thing you will want to do is to move your aching body. The good news is that even mild exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are the feel-good brain chemicals which lift your mood and can block your pain. Be sure to ask your doctor if you are cleared to add exercise to your day. You may find it is the key to providing you daily relief.
2. Slow Breathing and Meditation
Take the time to close your eyes and concentrate on breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Keep your eyes closed and meditate on the good things of your life. Blessings. Exceptional goodness. This simple act can help you relax and rest your aching body. Breathe in. Breathe out.
3. Avoid Alcohol
Many women use alcohol as a way to feel better and relax, especially after a day that is stressful. Although alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, the content of alcohol promotes shallow sleep and you are likely to have a restless night.
4. Quit Smoking
Although many women smoke to mask the pain momentarily, smoking will actually contribute to long term pain. Smoking slows healing, worsens circulation, and increases the risk of degenerative disc problems, which can cause low back pain. Ask your doctor for help to quit smoking.
5. Eat Healthier Food
Although fast food may be easier, take a few extra minutes to plan your meals around fresh veggies and fruits. Low-fat proteins. Whole grains.
6. Know Your Medications
If you are taking medications to manage your pain, understand what you are taking. Educate yourself on the side effects, the benefits and the dosage levels. Notice if you feel moody or extra sleepy and discuss a possible alternative med. Be proactive and talk to your pharmacist and doctor to help you understand the medicines you are taking.
From the HysterSisters Forums
JUNE 1, 2012
I'm wondering if anyone here ever suffered from hormone related migraines pre-hysterectomy and if they improved afterwards? I have been suffering debilitating migraines for about four years which seem related to my menstrual cycle & have seen four different doctors trying to find a cause/prevention/cure to no avail. My doctor couldn't answer on whether or not a hysterectomy would solve my migraine problem or not.
Join the Discussion
More Discussions to join about headaches:
New Headaches Post Hysterectomy
Conflicting Doctor Advice on Hormones and Migraines
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JUNE 1, 2012
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