Taking Back My Life From Migraines

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Allergan to write about the realities of migraine as a neurologic disease. All opinions are my own.

I refuse to let migraines dictate my life

Once week, every single month, for years, I used to get the most horrible migraines.

The pain was incredible. I’d have to lay in a dark room with an eye mask on, squeezing my eyes tight to dim the pain until my meds kicked in.

Those migraines were connected to my monthly menstrual cycle, and they’d completely knock me out. Every month, y’all. For days.

I’d talk to doctors about it, concerned at how my quality of life was so much different during that week from the rest of the time. Surely this was a problem. Obviously something was wrong.

But wherever I talked to a doctor about this, they suggested that I take over the counter medicine and try to relax.

I was finally diagnosed

Over time I stopped mentioning these headaches to doctors. They said that it was normal, and I accepted that as an answer.

There was one time, though, when I passed out because of the pain from my migraine (brought on from stress and dehydration), and a doctor finally diagnosed me.

I’m not the only person who has suffered with migraines for years without a diagnosis. So many women go through life feeling like they just have “bad headaches,” not realizing that there is something else going on.

What that means is that they aren’t getting real help for overcoming migraines. Instead they push through, even feeling guilty sometimes, for not functioning at their normal capacity.

Migraine symptoms

There are more symptoms than just having a headache that comes with migraines. Those symptoms might include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inability to function
  • Nausea

Migraines are a neurologic genetic disease. You often won’t find the real relief until after a diagnosis and prescription medication. Oh, and if you suffer from migraines, you’re not alone. The disease affects 1 out of 7 Americans.

How I’m managing Migraines

Now I know more about migraines, my triggers, and how to find relief. I won’t let migraines dictate my life. Back in the day, I always tried to schedule things around the week that I knew I’d be in the bed, unable to work.

Now, I follow the SEEDS method suggested by Med-IQ’s expert faculty, Dr. Amaal Starling, Associate Professor of Neurology and a consultant in the neurology department at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Phoenix, AZ.

S = Sleep hygiene–making sure I’m getting enough sleep

E = Eat regular meals

E = Exercise regularly

D = Keep a headache diary

S = Prioritize stress management

I take this seriously, too. I’m in the bed every night at a good hour so I can get 7 – 9 hours of sleep. There are certain alcoholic drinks that, even though I love their taste, I pass on because I know they’ll trigger a migraine.

My health and wellness is a priority

I have too much to do to let migraines get in the way.

If you have migraines, just know that you’re not alone. Go to your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis and ask them for help in creating a management plan that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Dr. Amaal Starling has some suggestions for getting started. She encourages people who have migraine attacks to consider a preventative treatment regime. Taking supplements like B2 or magnesium (in addition to the SEEDS method) might help.

If you find that you’re having 2 or more migraine attacks in a week, Dr. Starling says to talk to your health provider about preventative treatment options like botox or other medications. She does warn about over the counter headache medicine as continued usage can have some side effects.

Finally, you may need migraine specific medication for acute migraines. It might take a bit of trial and error to find out the best form of treatment for you, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Learn more about migraines and how to manage them in this informative interview sponsored by Med-IQ with Deva from My Life Suckers and Dr. Amaal Starling.

Share your thoughts about Migraines

Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with migraine and related care, which will help us develop future educational initiatives in this area.

Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.

Click here to take the survey. 

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