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Friday, January 10, 2014

Healthier Me-Migraine Management

I'm writing this post as a migraine sufferer. I am not a doctor, nor an expert of any kind on headaches or migraines.  I simply want to share my experiences and what I am doing to manage my pain. Always consult with your doctor to determine what is best for you. 

At least, I hope to be healthier.  Not that I have been an unhealthy person, at all! I just am making some changes to be healthi-er.

You've heard all about my autoimmune disorder, and I can't really change anything on that issue.  Just keep taking my meds and being as health conscious as possible.  My main focus, at this point, is migraines.

Whew.  That's a big one for me.  I have had migraines since I was a child.  7 years old to be exact.

I have been on countless prescribed medications, seen specialists, had MRI's, and been to the ER when it has been really bad.  Sometimes it has been a little scary.

There have actually been times, when I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I might not wake up.


Even though some of the medications I have been on have lessened the severity and frequency of the migraine attacks, the side effects were no fun, and I felt that I had a diminished quality of life, in general. Some of the side effects were a racing heart, sleeplessness, fatigue, and a somewhat flat affect.  For example, there were times that I knew I should be feeling really sad about something, and I just didn't. Or, even really happy or excited, and it wasn't happening.

I wanted emotions back.

They are good for you.  They are LIFE.

So, changes were in the tea leaves, so to speak.

I have read a ton on migraines over the years, but I really focused on my research with a mind toward diminishing the effects of my triggers (too bad I can't control the weather!).  Did you know that people who suffer from migraines are more sensitive to dehydration than the average bear? Sorta makes sense, doesn't it? So, it's really important to stay well hydrated at all times.

Often, I wake up with a migraine, after a good night's sleep.  I am now drinking an Advocare product called ReHydrate, to replenish electrolytes, and give a me a boost of Vitamin C and B-6, first thing in the morning.  I drink another one later in the day as I feel the need. The Fruit Punch flavor is my favorite.  Along with that, I take 2 caplet called 02 Gold that provides whey protein peptides in a portable form, as well as ingredients to help the body combat the effects of stress.

Later in the day, I have a drink called Oasis, that provides a really good boost of Vitamin B2, B6, and B12.

If I have to use any of my triptan medication (for when a migraine kicks in), I'll have another ReHydrate with it. That, for me, seems to cut down on the side effects of the triptan.  I get some body aches and start to feel really tired from the medication.

There are so many things that can be triggers for migraine sufferers; weather, too little sleep, too much sleep, dehydration, nutrition, alcohol, chocolate, cheese, allergies, low light, bright light, flickering light (sun coming through the trees as you are driving is a killer!)... in short...life.

I use lamps in my office at work, I try to stick to a pretty regular sleep schedule, but I love food. When I cook something, I want to eat it, but that may be coming to an end.  I am planning to start really regimenting my nutrition and boosting my protein intake. Studies are showing that if you have a higher protein intake, you may reduce the frequency of your migraines.

I feel that I have to make these changes for me and my family.  I am tired of spending my evenings in bed, while the family is together in another room. I am tired of missing out on fun times with friends because of being in too much pain.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Do you suffer from migraines? When did yours start and what are your triggers?


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