Finding Help for Migraines



 

Migraines are debilitating and painful.  They can put us out of commission for hours or days, sometimes weeks.   Yet, some people never seek help for them.  That is a very painful way to go.  Nearly half or the migraine sufferers do not get diagnosis or treatment for their migraines, partially because they don’t know where to go or who to ask.

A good place to start is to talk to your doctor, especially if you have several headaches per month and they last for several hours or days.  If your headaches disrupt your home, work or school, or if you have nausea, vomiting or other symptoms, talk to your doctor about your headaches and all of your symptoms.

Prepare in advance for your doctor’s visit and help your doctor identify your headaches by keeping track of certain things.  Before your appointment, start writing down how often your headaches are occurring and how long they last from beginning to end.  Write down what your symptoms are, such as nausea, problems with light or noise, and where the pain is located.  Other important information includes tracking when the headache and other symptoms start, such as during or before your menstrual period, after you have eaten specific food or had a specific beverage to drink. 

For instance, some people can drink beer and rum but not vodka or wine.  They don’t get headaches from a glass of beer or a drink that has rum in it, but if they have a glass of wine or a drink with vodka in it, they have very extreme symptoms within a few minutes or hours.  Your doctor needs to know this type of details.  In addition, tell the doctor if your family has any history of migraines or other headaches, high blood pressure, stroke, or other health issues, and if you are having other symptoms, such as blind spots.

Your doctor will review this information with you and possibly perform some tests including a blood test.  This will start the process of finding the causes and appropriate treatment for your headaches and migraines.

 If you are looking for further information after you speak with your doctor, you can find information at www.migraines.org.


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