Diagnosis and Help for Migraines

Some people suffer with migraines for years before seeking help.  Some never seek help because they don’t know where to look or how to look.  That is a very painful way to go.  At least half of the migraine sufferers in the U.S. do not get diagnosis or treatment for their migraines. 

You should talk to your doctor about headaches, especially if you have more than a couple of headaches per month and/or if they last for several hours or days.  In addition, if your headachesare getting in the way of your home, work or school, or if you have nausea, vomiting or other symptoms accompanying them, it is important for you to talk to your doctor about your headaches and all of your symptoms.

It is important to prepare for your doctor’s visit and help your doctor identify your headaches by keeping track of certain things in advance.  Before your appointment, make sure to write 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 when the headache and other symptoms start, such as during your menstrual period, after you have eaten specific food or had a certain beverage.  For instance, some people can drink beer and rum but not vodka or wine.  They have no symptoms with 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 may have very extreme symptoms within a few minutes or hours.  These are things your doctor needs to know.  Also let the doctor know if your family has any history of migraines or other headaches and if you are having other symptoms, such as blind spots.

Your doctor will review this information with you.  You might have to have some tests including a blood test.  This will start the process of finding the 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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