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Understanding and coping with migraines
by TeenHelp March 7th 2024, 07:58 AM

Understanding and coping with migraines
By Dez (Ennui.) and Emmie (Arabesque- golfing girl.)

What are migraines and who gets them?
Migraines are a type of severe headache which can affect anyone at any age. Sometimes you can feel them coming on (known as an aura), and other times you will wake up to them and it takes a while for them to go away. Migraines can cause symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, pain, and more.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, over one billion people worldwide suffer from migraines, and it is one of the most debilitating chronic diseases. Migraines can affect people of any age, including children, and can have a genetic component. In fact, it is said that if one biological parent suffers from migraines, a child has a 50% chance of developing them as well. If both parents suffer from migraines, that risk increases to 75%. Migraines are more common in women, but men and other genders can also develop migraines.

There are several things that can trigger migraines. Some examples of things that can cause migraines are:
  • Certain scents
  • Sounds
  • Lighting
  • Stress
  • Barometric pressure or weather changes
  • Certain foods
  • Alcohol
  • Poor sleep
What to do if you have a migraine
While migraines have no cure, there are ways to control them. There are so many migraine medications that can help manage migraines and its symptoms. Just because one works for someone else, it may not work for you so it can be trial and error to find the right one for you. These can be prescription, over the counter, or a combination of both. Be sure to ask your doctor before starting a new medication regimen. Use medications exactly as directed, because medication overuse headaches can occur if medication is taken too often or not as prescribed.
  • Use ice or cold compresses. Ice packs on certain areas such as the back of your neck, forehead, or near your eyes can reduce some of the pain and pressure.
  • For some people, caffeine can help with a migraine. For others, it can be a migraine trigger, so use caution.
  • Relax somewhere calm and quiet. For example, design your bedroom or another room in your house to be migraine-friendly. Donít use a lot of harsh lights or turn them off. You can even get blackout curtains to stop sunlight from streaming in your windows during a migraine. Have comforting items with you such as soft blankets.
  • Donít use strong scents that can trigger migraines.
  • Stay hydrated to prevent headaches from dehydration. Also be sure to eat a balanced meal to prevent hunger headaches.
  • To try and prevent migraines, lead a healthy lifestyle. Try and practice good sleep hygiene, exercise, and have a healthy diet. Also be sure to manage your stress using self-care techniques.

What to do if you have chronic migraines
Notice patterns. It is important to keep track of your migraines and their triggers. Take note of things such as the date and time of day the migraine happened and how long it lasted, what you were doing, if you ate or drank anything, and what the weather is like. Also write down what gave you relief from the symptoms. Keeping track of your headaches and migraines can help you or your doctor better treat the causes of your pain.

Seek help from a doctor if your have frequent migraines, migraines that last a long time, if you're unsure of the triggers, or if they begin to impact your life. Some doctors may not know a lot about them but try not to get disheartened when this happens. You may be able to find a migraine specialist via Google or through your primary care physician. Two types of doctors that specialize in migraines are known as neurologists or headache specialists. The doctor might want to run tests such as bloodwork or an MRI of the brain to rule out other causes of your symptoms.

No matter how many migraines you are getting throughout the year, try not to be too hard on yourself. Sometimes this can bring you down so much and you can feel so depressed and alone. When you are feeling like this, this is not who you are, it is just something that you have to go through and it can take some time to be okay with this. The next day after your migraine has gone away try to do something that can help pick you up. Remember that in many cases migraines are preventable or treatable with the right medication and/or lifestyle changes, so take it one day at a time and know that you are never alone.
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Re: Understanding and coping with migraines - May 19th 2024, 10:21 AM

That's useful. I often have migraines and often I take a pill for that. Sometimes I use liquorice. Don't know if it's a good thing to do but it helps me.
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