7 coping tips for chronic migraine sufferers

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7 coping tips for chronic migraine sufferers

  1. 1. Migraine is a neurological disease. It is important to understand that chronicmigraines are physiological, not psychological. They are related to how your bodyfunctions and not caused by problems with your mind. Most importantly,migraine is more than a bad headache. It is a collection of neurological symptomsthat can include headache, changes in vision, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, andextreme sensitivity to light, sound, touch and smell.
  2. 2. Here are some further coping tips I have for people who suffer from chronicmigraine.1. Get Aerobic Exercise. One of the proven ways to help relieve stress,particularly proven to help people with migraines, is regular aerobicexercise. I usually recommend at least three times a week for at least 30 or40 minutes. There is a direct correlation between more exercise and fewerheadaches. Some patients say they dont have time to exercise; but youalso have to consider time lost when you do suffer a migraine. Exercise isessential if you want to get better.2. Try Relaxation Exercises. Everyone knows that stress is a major cause ofheadaches, and relaxation therapy helps. Biofeedback is a type ofcomputerized relaxation training, and it works for many of my patients.Progressive relaxation also works, as does yoga and meditation. Allrelaxation therapies are equally effective.3. Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule. Go to sleep at the same time each night;wake up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends. Both lackof sleep and too much sleep can cause headaches.4. Take Magnesium Supplements. Magnesium deficiency can cause migraineheadaches for some people. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency includemigraine headaches, cold hands and feet, premenstrual syndrome, andmuscle cramps in your legs. To supplement with magnesium, start with 400mg daily.5. Avoid Food Triggers. Which foods trigger headaches varies from patient topatient. Some food triggers are quickly obvious. If you have a glass of wineand you get a headache, then wine is one of your food triggers. Othercommon food triggers are chocolate, MSG (monosodium glutamate),preservative-laden food, and sugar substitutes. Many headache suffers may
  3. 3. also have a gluten sensitivity and should try a gluten-free diet. Finally, sugarsensitivity is a common problem with headache sufferers.6. Avoid Caffeine. Patients often do not realize caffeine is the culprit becausecaffeine often helps them feel better. The reality is that caffeine withdrawalis what is giving them their headaches. They have caffeine and they feelbetter, but two hours later they need more caffeine.7. Consider Supplements. Finally, there are some supplements that can helppeople with chronic migraines, including CoQ10 (300 mg), butterbur (150mg), feverfew, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, and fish oil. Keep inmind that butterbur is a toxic plant so never use it in anything except itspure form. Speak to your doctor first before adding supplements to yourdiet.

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