Attention all Migraine Sufferers

Originally I had a different post planned for today, but over the weekend I got a migraine. The last time I had a migraine was about 6 months ago when I visited my Grandma in the hospital after she broke her back.  Sometimes I get migraines when I’m under a lot of stress but other times I get them from eating junk food.   While I normally allow myself one cheat day or meal each week, this weekend I went a little overboard.  I had a protein wrap from In ‘n’ Out, Italian pizza, and ice cream.   These foods are not conducive to a healthy migraine-free head!

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According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 36 million Americans suffer from migraines.  That’s nearly 1 in every 4 households has someone who get migraines.  Unfortunately, I am one of those people.

Typically my migraines start with blurred vision which last about 30 minutes.  After my vision returns, a sharp pain will start on one side of my head, usually behind one of my eyes.  The pain will last anywhere between 2-6 hours.   During this time, I will begin to feel nauseous.

I have been suffering from migraines since my teens, and I have learned a few tricks to cope with the pain and nausea, which I thought I would share in hopes of preventing someone from even a little bit of pain.

  1. Once your vision beings to blur, take your prescription medication straight away!  You will want the meds to kick in before the sharp pain starts.  (Maxalt is the best migraine medication I have found, but speak to your doctor about what is best for you).
  2. Drink a full glass of water once you feel a migraine coming on.  Sometimes I get migraines because I am dehydrated.  Also, the water helps with the nausea.
  3. If you can, sleep! Sleeping is one of the best ways to shorten the life of a migraine. Wear a sleep mask or find a dark place for light sensitivity.
  4. Take a bath.  It relaxes the body, and I think it helps relieve pressure in my head.
  5. If you are at work or school, find a quiet place to sit and call someone to pick you up. DO NOT drive with a migraine.  I have done this and thrown up in my car.  It’s just not safe.
  6. The best way to fight the nausea, is to sleep on your back with a few pillows under you head.  However, that doesn’t always work.  I hate to admit this, but sometimes it just feels better after you let yourself throw up.  I have also tried flavored mineral water and crackers which sometimes helps.

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It is my theory that hormones play a big role in migraine sufferers.   Many women get menstrual migraines which result from fluctuations in estrogen levels, and it is said that estrogen adversely influences the brain receptors.  Food also has been known to throw our hormones out of balance.

Migraine Triggers to Avoid:

  • Cheese
  • Processed Meat
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Food additives

WebMD list more foods to avoid and the reason for avoidance.

One good thing about migraines… quality time with Thing 1 and Thing 2.  They were definitely my standing army during yesterday’s migraine.  I also find it amazing how dogs know something is not quite normal.

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How have your fur babies been there for you during rough times?

11 thoughts on “Attention all Migraine Sufferers

  1. I’m so sorry you had a migraine. I wish there was something I could do to take them away. I remember your last one. I was afraid for you to drive home, you had a long way to drive. You all were so sweet and loving to me . Thank you again for all the visits and flowers and goodies. Love you so much !!!!<3<3<3<3

  2. I used to get migraines a few times a year and I tried to figure out what the cause was: this sounds strange, but I really think it’s red-dye. I used to drink shirley temples as a kid, and then sometimes when I’d be bartending a need a pick-me-up, I also got my last one after eating way to many Mike-N-Ikes. I haven’t had a migraine since I stopped eating that kind of sugar. I hope you feel better today! They are really, really awful :(

  3. I was right there with you this weekend! I woke up with a migraine after a night of Chinese food <–not that best decision I suppose. The worst part was that the two times I was able to fall back asleep my dreams included the migraine. What the heck!? Glad you're feeling better and thanks for the tips!

  4. oh my goodness! Yep i was with you this wekend too! Im sorry you felt so cruddy! Dogs always know! They just have a sixth sense like that.. :)

  5. Migraines are the absolute worst! I started getting them when we lived in Cincinnati one summer and quickly learned how much they sucked. I had no idea cheese and pickles can bring them on…I love both of those.

    Even though I know you were in pain you are so cute in your eye mask. And thing 1 and thing 2 are so adorable! Rocky dog knows when I dont feel good and always wants to snuggle.

    • I love cheese and pickles too! :( It’s probably one of my favorite combinations of food, and no, I’m not pregnant! lol

  6. Jillienne, When we lived in Fallbrook my migraines were so powerful that I went to the ER thinking I had a brain tumor. Then Imitrex came along, and I was able to give myself shots at home. MSG was the worst food trigger, but chemical smells like cigarette smoke, nail polish remover, and cleaning materials could do it too. The migraines suddenly ended around my 50th birthday, so there must have been a hormonal component. HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON!

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