Bouncing Back After a Migraine: Tips to Get Back on Track

Bouncing Back After a Migraine: Tips to Get Back on Track

The following are some tips to get back on track after having a migraine:

1) If you have been experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or dizziness for at least 24 hours, see your doctor immediately.

You may need medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms for more than 3 consecutive days.

2) Try to avoid activities that cause you to feel tired or fatigued.

These include light exercise (such as jogging), heavy lifting, physical labor, and other strenuous activity.

3) Avoid alcohol and drugs which may increase your anxiety.

They can lead to confusion, depression, irritability and even panic attacks.

4) Exercise regularly – but not too much!

Exercising too much can make you feel exhausted and it will likely result in weight gain.

5) Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and protein sources like fish.

Your body needs all the nutrients it can get to recover from a migraine attack.

6) Sleep well!

Don’t sleep more than 6 hours per night unless you have to. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night increases your risk of developing insomnia later in life.

7) Try to get natural sunlight during the day.

If you can’t do that, try to find a full spectrum light bulb to use at home or buy a light box.

8) Talk to someone about your migraine if you feel sad or depressed.

Depressive symptoms may last for months after a migraine attack. It is fine to see a therapist or join a support group in order to cope with the emotional aspects of living with migraine.

9) Get vaccinated!

Get vaccinated against influenza or the flu, as well as hepatitis B. For many people, a migraine attack can be triggered by a viral infection like these.

10) Avoid potential migraine triggers. These include food additives like MSG, chocolate, and certain artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Beverages like coffee, alcohol, and fruit juice can also trigger migraines in some people. See a full list of migraine triggers here.

I hope you find the tips above helpful.

Do you have any questions about them?

Sincerely,

A fellow migraine sufferer

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What is it? and how can you deal with it?

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Migraine comorbidities: what are they?

In this article, we will discuss the following migraine comorbidities: Depression and anxiety disorders, headache types other than migraine, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

What is a comorbidity?

A comorbidity is defined as the occurrence of a second disease or disorder…

For these conditions, as well as the medication used to treat them, see our companion article on comorbidities.

Should you wish further information on any of these, just follow the link to our companion article.

How are migraine and depression related?

1) Migraine sufferers are more likely to suffer from depression and the symptoms of depression (such as sadness, loss of interest in things, change in weight or appetite, agitation or irritability) are often found in migraineur patients.

2) The risk of developing depression is three times greater for migraine sufferers compared to non-migraineurs.

3) The risk of suicide is also greater in migraine sufferers.

4) Some of the medications used to treat migraine can trigger depression or make it worse.

What are the symptoms of a migraine aura?

A migraine aura can manifest itself in a variety of ways: visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing zigzag lines, difficulty speaking, numbness or weakness in the limbs. Sometimes, less common types of aura such as sensory changes, hallucinations or difficulty with reasoning or understanding things may occur.

What is medication overuse and what are the symptoms?

Overuse of medications for migraine (especially analgesics and triptans) can lead to medication overuse headaches. The following are the symptoms of overuse headache: – a combination of medication overuse headache and a migraine attack (worst-case scenario). – a medication overuse headache (this type of headache is very similar to a tension type of headache). – withdrawal-type symptoms after ceasing medication.

The most important thing to remember about medication overuse headaches is that you mustn’t increase the dose of your painkillers or triptans and that you must seek professional help if the overuse symptoms are serious.

How are migraine and other headaches different?

There are a few types of headaches other than migraine attacks. Those headaches are: tension-type headache, sinus headaches, cluster headache and medication overuse headache.

Tension-type headaches are the most common type of chronic headache. They’re distinguished by a pressing or tightening sensation in the head, neck pain or a feeling of facial tightness. They occur repeatedly, but not regularly. Painkillers and relaxation techniques can help them.

Triptans and othermedications are not indicated for tension-type headaches.

A sinus headache is caused by infection, congestion or allergies in the sinuses (air spaces) of the face. Painkillers, anti-inflammatories and decongestants can help a sinus headache. Triptans and other migraine medications aren’t indicated for sinus headaches.

Cluster headache: it’s rare for women and it’s more common in men. This type of headache occurs in episodes, which can last for weeks or even months. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are the most effective medication against cluster headaches. Triptans are not indicated for cluster headaches.

Medication overuse headache: as we’ve seen above, it is a complication caused by taking too much medication for your migraine attacks. It occurs when you take medication on 15 or more days per month for three months or more. Overuse of triptans is not indicated.

How do I know if my child has a migraine?

There are a few symptoms of migraine that occur in childhood. They can be: – nausea, – vomiting, – abdominal pain, – diarrhea, – fever, – irritability, – bedwetting.

If you think that your child is having a migraine attack, the best thing to do is to take them to the doctor.

What treatment do you advise for children who suffer from migraine?

First of all, the treatment for migraine attacks in children is similar to that of adults. For children between 5 and 11 years old, doctors usually advise: – analgesics, – anti-inflammatory drugs, – fever reducers, – muscle relaxants.

For adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old, the treatment includes: – triptans, – analgesics, – anti-inflammatory drugs, – ergotamines, – other medications.

What is the best medication for migraine?

There aren’t many studies about migraine in children so it’s difficult to determine the best treatment. The drugs most commonly used to prevent migraine attacks are the beta-blockers, calcium-channel antagonists and NSAIDs.

Aspirin should only be given to children over 12 years old due to the risk of Reye syndrome. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is often the safest drug for children.

No medication is indicated for children under 5 years old.

Aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and anti-inflammatories are the safest drugs for children aged between 6 and 12 years. By the time they reach the age of 13, children can take all the drugs that adults can.

Some popular triptans such as sumatriptan succinate or zolmitriptan are only indicated for people over the age of 12.

If your child suffers from severe migraine attacks, ask your doctor whether they can take topiramate or valproate, which can be very effective in adults and are also used in children.

Can a migraine attack damage the brain?

Research has shown that people who suffer from migraine tend to have more c-Fos, a protein involved in nerve cell development, in areas of the brain that are responsible for sensory perception, such as vision and hearing.

It’s possible that these areas are hyperactive, causing an increased perception of sensory stimuli, such as bright lights or loud noises, which can trigger a migraine attack.

In other words: – migraine attacks may cause structural and biochemical changes in the brain.

Recent studies have shown that people who suffer from migraine may also be at a higher risk of suffering from brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

Other scientific studies have suggested that taking NSAIDs is associated with an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Do glasses help prevent migraine attacks?

Glasses and lenses aren’t indicated for children with myopia as they can make the problem worse. For children who suffer from headaches, glasses or contact lenses can reduce the problem.

If you think that your child’s headaches are caused by the need for glasses, take them to an optician.

Glasses and contact lenses don’t have any effect on migraines.

Is there any relationship between eyesight and migraine?

A blurred vision can be a symptom of a migraine attack. If you think that your child’s eyesight is causing them headaches, take them to an optician.

On the other hand, it’s possible that headaches may also be a cause of blurry vision: when a person suffers from a headache, the muscles around the eyes contract, generating a temporary myopia.

If your child’s headaches are caused by the need for glasses, taking them to an optician may help reduce or even eliminate their headaches.

Is there a relationship between eyesight and epilepsy?

Epilepsy is more common among people who have migraines.

What should I do if my child has a migraine?

A migraine that doesn’t respond to medication should always be taken to a doctor.

Your doctor will examine your child and ask them about their symptoms.

Due to the fact that many common medicines can cause migraines, your doctor will probably try to eliminate these first before suspecting an organic cause such as a brain tumor or blood clot.

They may also suggest that your child takes a vacation from school or work or that they rest in a dark, quiet room.

In some cases where it’s necessary, the doctor may also refer your child to a psychologist or neurologist.

What are the different types of headaches?

Migraine

Migraines usually affect one side of the head and cause moderate to severe pain that is often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound, light and smell. They can also be accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain in children.

The child usually has a family history of migraines.

Tension headaches

These are caused by a tightening of the muscles in the head, neck and face. Tension headaches usually affect both sides of the head, but don’t cause the pain and other symptoms that are associated with migraines.

Children usually have a family history of tension headaches.

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches affect both sides of the head and cause very severe pain around the eyes and temples, often to the point that the child closes their eyes and holds their face due to the pain. In some cases children may even vomit.

The child usually has a family history of cluster headaches.

Temporal arteritis

The temporal artery is located just under the skin of the temple, behind the eye. If this artery becomes inflamed, the child experiences pain on the same side that affects both the temple and the eye.

Treatment consists of cortisone or other anti-inflammatory medication.

Sinusitis

Children who suffer from migraine with Aura may become more susceptible to sinusitis.

If there is a history of allergic rhinitis or if your child has had complications related to their tonsils or adenoids, it’s important that they see an ENT specialist.

Treatment consists of decongestants and cortisone.

Conjuntivitis

This inflammation of the conjuntiva, the thin membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the front of the eye can cause a lot of irritation in children.

The most common cause of this is an allergic reaction to something, but it can also be caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

Treatment for this is anti-inflammatory medication and eye drops.

What is vision therapy?

This consists of a series of tests that are designed to improve a child’s visual skills and ability to focus.

It can help reduce headaches and may be recommended if your child has poor eye-hand coordination, poor depth perception or if reading is difficult for them.

Vision therapy is not a substitute for correcting vision problems.

This consists of an injection of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication.

It’s used to treat the acute pain of a severe headache, but it’s not intended as a preventative measure.

Children who suffer from migraines are often prescribed this medication to take as needed for attacks.

It is the only medication available that can bring immediate relief from the pain of a migraine attack.

It does not prevent future attacks and should only be used as a last resort when the pain of a migraine is more than the child can handle.

Your child’s doctor may try a few different options before prescribing this medication due to the risk of addiction and other serious side-effects.

Some children experience a worsening of their headaches with the use of this medication.

It’s rarely used as a first choice treatment for children due to the high risk of serious side-effects.

Other treatments that your child’s doctor may suggest include biofeedback, daily workouts to strengthen the neck muscles and a change in diet.

Sometimes children are unable to tolerate the side-effects of this medication and it must be discontinued.

If your child experiences any significant changes in mood or personality while taking this medication, contact their doctor immediately as these can be signs that the medication isn’t working as effectively anymore and a change in dosage may be necessary.

If the dose needs to be increased, your child’s doctor may decide to follow up with MRI or CT-scan to rule out the presence of a tumor.

One other side-effect of this medication is an increase in depression and anxiety.

This is fairly common, especially if your child is already on the moody or emotional side.

Sometimes children need help in order to cope with these feelings, so counseling may be suggested as a possible treatment.

Moodiness is fairly common in children, but if the feelings of sadness or anger are interfering with your child’s ability to enjoy life or maintain healthy relationships with others, your child may be diagnosed with clinical depression and will require treatment.

Your child’s doctor may also suggest treatment for any anxiety that they may be experiencing as well.

This may consist of therapy or possibly medication.

Sometimes a physician may diagnose your child with bipolar disorder.

This disorder consists of severe depression episodes alternating with periods of elevated mood.

This can be a serious diagnosis and will require special treatment.

Your child may be started on a medication immediately or your child’s doctor may recommend a period of watchful waiting to see if the symptoms clear up on their own.

If your child is experiencing depression only, counseling through a mental health facility may be recommended.

Anti-depressant medication may also be prescribed.

Your child’s doctor may suggest a period of watchful waiting as some children with depression outgrow the condition as they reach adolescence and begin the transition into adulthood.

If your child has been experiencing severe moodiness or irritability for more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment to see your family physician as these can be signs and symptoms of various physical and mental illnesses that need to be ruled out by a medical professional.

Your family physician will ask you a series of questions pertaining to your child’s symptoms and medical history.

They will also perform a physical examination on your child.

It is important for your child to refrain from any activity that causes pain, such as sports or other physically demanding activities until the cause of the headaches has been determined.

Your doctor may suggest an MRI or CT-scan of your child’s head to rule out the presence of a tumor or other growth.

If your child is experiencing pain when bending forward, your physician may also perform a test in which they have your child bend forward and then induce pain by pressing on the upper back.

This type of exam can help rule out muscular pains caused by various injuries and determine whether or not the cause is neurological.

Your physician may also take a blood sample in order to test hormone levels in addition to performing a urinalysis.

These tests can help rule out various illnesses that cause headaches and other systemic pain.

If these tests are inconclusive, your physician may refer you to a neurologist or pediatric specialist for further testing.

After reviewing your child’s medical history and symptoms, your doctor may ask you a series of questions pertaining to your child’s diet and any possible drug use.

Your physician will want to determine whether or not your child’s symptoms are being caused by a food allergy, various over-the-counter or recreational drugs, or the onset of menarche in adolescent females.

If your child has experienced a loss of appetite or has eaten poorly as of late, your physician will want to make sure that your child is getting all the nutrients they need in order to rule out malnutrition as a potential cause of their headaches.

Your physician may also ask you whether or not your child is engaging in any form of recreational drug use as some drugs can cause allergic reactions and may also lead to dehydration.

If your child is a pre-adolescent female, the onset of menarche may be causing hormonal changes that are causing your child’s headaches.

Your doctor may recommend that your daughter begin taking a birth control pill to help regulate her periods if they are particularly heavy or painful.

If your child has a history of alcohol or drug use, it is important that you inform your physician as these substances can cause dehydration and affect the way the body metabolizes pain.

Children who are dehydrated are more likely to experience headaches as their bodies are not functioning at full capacity.

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in; children under the age of five can become dehydrated more quickly than older children and adults.

Big kids and grown-ups urinate when they get dehydrated.

Little kids don’t always know to do that, so it is important to keep an eye on them.

Dehydration is more likely to occur in children who:

When dehydration occurs, the brain doesn’t work as well. If your child is suffering from dehydration, you may notice some changes in their behavior such as confusion or mild disorientation.

Children who experience headaches on a regular basis should always be encouraged to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Make sure that your child is fully hydrated before sending them off to school in the morning and offer them small sips of water throughout the day.

If your child begins experiencing symptoms of dehydration, such as a loss of coordination, dry mouth and fatigability, take them to the nearest medical facility immediately.

Children who suffer from chronic headaches should also be encouraged to get plenty of rest in a cool, dark and quiet environment as stress can trigger headaches in some children.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to call the number on your Welcome Packet or contact your family doctor.

Sincerely,

Your Child’s Physician

Sources & references used in this article:

The Headache Healer’s Handbook: A Holistic, Hands-On Somatic Self-Care Program for Headache and Migraine Relief and Prevention by J Mundo – 2018 – books.google.com

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health by S Weaver – 2017 – books.google.com

Methods and systems to provide therapy or alleviate symptoms of chronic headache, transformed migraine, and occipital neuralgia by providing rectangular and/or … by B Boveja, A Widhany – US Patent App. 11/223,077, 2006 – Google Patents

Migraines: Managing Severe Headaches by J Lombardo – 2018 – books.google.com

Building resilience at work by K McEwen – 2011 – books.google.com