Tips to Prevent Migraine

Migraine

You can do a lot (tips) to prevent migraine headaches.

Migraines can be debilitating, annoying, and impact your quality of life β€” however there is much you can do to avoid them. From identifying what triggers your headaches to making proactive lifestyle changes, it’s possible to get better control and manage your migraine symptoms. Here are some tips to prevent migraine.

1. Be aware of your triggers.

Migraines do not impact everyone the same way and the events that trigger a migraine can vary significantly from person to person. While you will never be able to avoid all triggers, you will be in a better position if you know which triggers impact you. Common triggers include emotional stress, menstruation and other hormonal changes in women, skipping meals, weather changes, irregular sleep, strong odors, lights and other visual stimuli, sudden noises, smoke, exercise or overexertion, or sex.

2. Watch your diet.

Many patients are not aware that what you eat can significantly impact your migraine symptoms. Studies show as many as 50% of migraine sufferers have headaches triggered by a food item. While I find some patients know that migraines can be related to aspartame or monosodium glutamate, they are often surprised to learn that alcohol, caffeine, cheese, chocolate, and processed meats may also impact migraines. 

3. Keep a headache journal.

Keeping a headache journal can be a great tool to help you. Also, it not only identify triggers, but also figure out what treatments might work best. This is for preventing and relieving your headaches. Make sure to record the date, time, intensity, preceding symptoms, triggers, medication, and response to medication. You may also want to record how frequently headaches are occurring. Other associated symptoms, where the pain is located, and a description of the pain (e.g. throbbing or piercing). In addition, Consider tracking food intake, any over-the-counter vitamins or supplements you are using. Also, what your sleep is like, and how much exercise you have been doing.

4. Consider a medicinal preventive treatment.

Indeed, I find many migraine patients suffer in silence. While there are no hard and fast rules or guidelines, I generally offer preventive therapy to patients. Especially, if they have more than four migraines in a month. Also, if they have significant headaches that last 12 or more hours or if the migraines are debilitating. There are a number of different medication options that will depend on your particular medical situation. Consult your psychiatrist to learn more about these options.

5. Look into alternative preventive treatments.

Feverfew, coenzyme Q10 and butterbur root are the most widely-studied alternative treatments for the prevention of migraines. Butterbur root is an herbal medicine that is marketed in the United States as a food supplement. In addition, several studies have shown that taking 150mg daily can prevent headaches. In a small study using an antioxidant called coenzyme Q10, a significant number of patients reduced migraines by more than half at a dose of 100 mg three times daily. Feverfew, an herbal plant-based remedy, has also had a number of trials but results on its efficacy are conflicting. Moreover, if you decide to implement an alternative treatment, talk with your doctor to make sure these products will not interfere with any other medical treatments. These products are not as widely studied and not as tightly regulated by the FDA.

6. Try over-the-counter medicines.

Mild headaches are often relieved with over-the-counter (OTC) medications. For example, such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac or paracetamol. All medications can have side effects, so be sure to ask your doctor what OTC medicine is best for you. Thus, if a medication works for you, consider asking your doctor about a prescription product that combines it with caffeine. This is because the combination sometimes works better than the OTC medicine alone. While migraines can be hard to get rid of, treating at the first sign of headache will increase likelihood of relief. 

By Dr SUSHIL KUMAR VASANTHKUMAR SOMPUR

Dr Sushil Kumar Sompur is a psychiatrist with over 20 years of clinical experience. He pursued his MB BS in 2004 from the very prestigious Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore graduating from Mysore Medical College in 2004. He has an MD with 3 years of Successful completion of Residency in General Adult Psychiatry in 2010 from University of North Dakota, Fargo, USA. After that he has also earned his MBA (Healthcare Administration) in December, 2010 from the well reputed College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, USA. Dr. Sompur mainly focuses on Adult psychiatry, Geriatric psychiatry, Sleep and Sexual Disorders, De-Addiction, Adolescent and child psychiatry. Works as a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at Antahkarana Clinic.

Apart from this he was also worked as a Resident Fellow, with full unrestricted Licensure, in Child Psychiatry at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA. He is a professional member of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and is also an active profile of Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) of which he is a Life Fellow.

Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur is currently practicing at Mindss Neurolinks - An antahkarana clinic pvt. ltd. venture in MCC B Block, Davanagere. You can avail a whole lot of services at his clinics that includes and is not limited to - Abnormal Behavior Treatment, Treatments for Depression Anxiety and other Neuroses, Bipolar disorder and Psychoses, Anger Management Therapy, Behavior and Thought Problems Counselling, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment, Treatment of Learning Disorders and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy among other types of counseling. He has also been successful with the use of hypnotherapy with Treatment Resistant Depression as well as Treatment of seizures or fits, Unusual pain problems and Medically Un-diagnosed Symptoms.

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