Wednesday 1 January 2020

20 Migraine tips for 2020

1.     See a headache specialist. Not all doctors are experts in migraine, in fact most aren't.
2.     Make sure you have a clear acute plan with your doctor (what to do/take when you get a migraine).
3.     Sleep. Keep things regular. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time in the morning. Avoid that weekend migraine by not having a long lie in. The Migraine brain likes routine.
4.     Drink enough water. I love to use my Chilly's water bottle
5.     Keep a headache diary. This makes life so much easier for both you and your doctor. I record mine in my bullet journal.
6.     If you are experiencing regular migraine attacks, discuss preventative options with your doctor.
7.     Exercise! It might feel like the last thing you fancy doing but regular exercise has been shown to be as effective as some preventative medication. 
8.     Educate those around you. Migraine is often invisible and difficult for people to comprehend the severity and disabling nature of attacks. Share what migraine looks like for you with your friends, family and colleagues.
9.     Ask for the adjustments you need. Whether this is at work or at a friend's house, if you need the lights off or the radio down... ask!
10.  Keep a little pouch/bag with you with your rescue medication in so it's easily accessible wherever you are.
11.  Consider migraine supplements. The Migraine Trust has an excellent recourse outlining the different supplements for Migraine and the clinical trials outlining their efficacy. I love Bio Kult Migrea and Dolovent.
12.  Don't skip meals. Remember what I said about sleep. The Migraine brain likes routine. Don't throw it off by skipping lunch.
13.  Tell your doctor if one of your medications isn't working. Doctors are not mind readers. They can't help unless they know what's going on.
14.  Stick with preventatives. Let your doctor know about any side effects but try and stick with a preventative for a few months to give it a fair trial. It can sometimes take a bit of time to get to the optimal dose. Be patient.
15.  Ask for help. If you're struggling with your mental health as a result of your migraines, let your doctor know. You don't have to suffer in silence.
16.  Stress management. Stress can be a big trigger for many patients, so finding ways to avoid it or manage it, can be hugely beneficial for managing your migraine.
17.  Don't bury your head in the sand. If your migraines are becoming more severe/frequent, seek the help of a headache specialist doctor. Don't try and self-medicate at home, as this can make things worse.
18.  Be open to new treatments.
19.  Look online or ask your doctor about any research trials you might be able to participate in. You might be able to try a new treatment that isn't available to the general population yet.
20.  Listen to your body! Sounds simple but being able to pick up on those early warning signs that an attack is incoming, or knowing when to cancel something because you need to rest is so important.