Controlling Your Migraines

OK. It’s been a long day and you are exhausted, stressed, frustrated, skipping dinner (not good) and have a 3″ stack of papers that need to be done tonight and the stack is sitting right where your dinner plate should be.

You take out your Exedrin, Tylenol or whatever for migraines and pour yourself a glass of wine. Wrong move! First of all, researchers have determined that too many over the counter migraine pills or other pain pills can actually make migraines worse. As for the wine, it’s not necessarily a good or safe combination with the medication. In addition, if you look at a list of some of the top things that are migraine triggers, you will find that wine, chocolate and nuts are at the top of the list. If you ever find that you get a migraine after you have one of those substances (or other things particular to you that bring on a migraine), think very carefully about whether or not you should continue eating or drinking any of these items. They are most likely migraine triggers.

I am a migraine sufferer who is also a chocoholic. Thank goodness that chocolate is not a trigger for me. It would certainly be an extremely difficult choice! However, wine – especially red wine – is a major trigger. I am not mch of a drinker but I have a glass of wine on special occasions from time to time. We are talking every few months – one glass. For years I didn’t now what was wrong. I would get home from an awards dinner or a gala of some sort and I would end up with headaches that I cannot explain in words. The pain was so bad at times, I had to be taken to the emergency room where they put me on an I V or gave me a strong shot for pain, for nausea and for sleep. When I woke up 10 to 12 hours later, the headache was usually gone, but I was groggy and felt totally drugged.

After this happened a few times, my doctor and I worked backwards and connected the dots to figure out what was triggering these headaches. We finally nailed it down to one or two things, the number one suspect being the wine. I ate all the other foods without a problem. The only problems that occurred were horrible headaches after a glass of wine. I would get stress headaches and other headaches. At the time, the only real migraine medicine was Imitrix. The doctor made sure I had an ongoing prescription and that I carried them with me in my purse and kept some at home. By stopping drinking any wine, most of the terrible headaches – the worst ones – stopped. If I did get a migraine and took the Imitrix before the symptoms got too bad, the migraine never fully developed.

I rarely get migraines any more. I keep my doctor advised as to what is happening and I have a check up every 3 to 6 months. Migraines are critical to discuss with and deal with your doctor. Many people don’t know that migraines can lead to stroke, aneurysm, eye disorders and more.

Don’t write them off. Find the cause. Work with your doctor. Find the triggers. Find the right medicine – there are many more medications available for migraines than there used to be. Work with your doctor to determine a treatment plan with you including which medication works best for you. Your story – and your migraines – could end happily like mine.

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