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Harvard Health Blog
Migraines: Stop them before they start
About the Author
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
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I used to suffer from migraines once every month.
When I started getting migraines I would see neon lights and they would block my side vision. Following was the actual headache, so vibrant an excruciating that I couldn’t even fall asleep. One day I started massaging the muscle between my thumb and the an my index finger when I started seeing those lights. I massaged both hands and breathed deeply. Surprisingly the headaches that would come after the vision blockage did not come and I was able to continue my activity. Since then I have successfully prevented migraines for three years. The only medicine I took was Tylenol and I was totally fine after few minutes. I hope this would help people anddfurther the research of migraine cures.
I am from Honduras, C.A. my mom has Migraines, since 10 years ago and you have right, she did not take advantage of preventive pill. Thanks for your information.
Migraines started in my early 40’s, when my life changed drastically….gained weight, didn’t get enough exercise, etc. Migraines up to a couple times per week. Tried many of the preventatives, but hated the side effects.
This past year I retired, started seriously exercising every day, my weight is back down close to normal, I eat only organic food I personally prepare, stay in clean air environment. And migraines are now about half in number compared to what they were 2 years ago.
Triptans only if necessary, otherwise alleve, and benadryl.
Also watch salt intake….salt causes dehydration which in turn causes migraine. And stay away from prepared foods!
Migraines seem to run in my family and seem to be linked to chronic sinus swelling and caffeine. The only remedy that works for me (if taken early on) includes 2 alleve and 60 mg of pseudo-ephedrine. Getting the right amount of sleep helps but too much sleep can be a trigger.
I am migraine prone. My triggers are spicy food, weather changes, high altitude, dehydration, and not sleeping enough. I found that keeping my BMI below 23 and taking up distance running completely stopped my migraine problem. My weight has slipped upward a couple of times and each time, the migraines have come back. I don’t take any medications. I am 37.
It helps to identify what your triggers are. I have taken topirimate for years and it is great (not only do you lose some weight, your taste buds change altogether so thats weird), but I discovered that it was useless at preventing headaches that occured during my menstrual cycle. It was easy enough to revise my birth control regimen with my GYN so that now I only deal with headaches once every three months.
Thanks a lots for this information, I have never had a record of migraine, but I’m better informed about it now and so I can actually have something to say about when the need arise and also be able to tell some to try get enough sleep, rest and avoid any any strenuous activities.
I am glad to have this info. I have migraines often.
Great and informative article. Find myself to know more about migraine. Useful information of pills for prevention. Everyone should take note of these.
I started getting near daily migraines (25-28 a month) in January of 2010. Ever since I’ve been in search of a solution. Currently, I am on Effexor and I adhere to the migraine-trigger free diet described in “Heal Your Headache” http://books.google.com/books/about/Heal_your_headache.html?id=V5a8MXWT1R4C.
My reaction to this preventative diet has reduced my nearly every-day migraines to roughly 15 a month, and I can go several days in a row pain-free! The diet takes determination and sacrifice, but I believe that those that are “willing to do whatever it takes” can really benefit from the diet!
Good luck to all, and I hope one you day you can say what I said, “I found a freedom from pain that I forgot existed.”
I have suffered from migraines for over twenty years. They became daily in 2009. I can’t tolerate any of the preventives. I am currently experimenting with tDCS to try to prevent and help them. This is detailed in my blog Hip Hip Heafache!
I took the beta blocker propranolol for over a year for migraine prevention. I hated the side effects; my heart rate was very slow, and even when I exercised strenuously I couldn’t get it higher than 75 bpm. I felt lethargic and dull. Also, your readers should note that when you stop taking beta blockers you have to wean yourself off them slowly. I was not informed of this, so when I found a different medication and stopped taking them, I stopped completely, and the following day experienced alarming tachycardia – my heart rate was 220 bpm at rest.
(I am now managing my migraine attacks on an as-needed basis, using naratriptan, which works extremely well for me.)
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