Migraines often seem to control our lives, and that's simply not acceptable. Although there's no cure for Migraine disease at this time, there has been progress in research, and there are quite effective treatments.
This year, let's rededicate ourselves to taking charge of our Migraines! The first thing we have to do is realize this:
The person with the most at stake gets to be in charge.
When it comes to our health, WE are the person with the most at stake. Our doctors play an important role, but we have more at stake. We must work with our doctors as treatment partners, with our doctors making decisions WITH us, not FOR us. Does your doctor work with you this way? Are you making progress with managing your Migraines? If not, it may be time for a new doctor. For more about this, see Is It Time for a New Migraine Doctor?
Let's also take a look at some lifestyle and other health issues that can impact our Migraines:
- Sleep. How's your sleep? Too much sleep, too little sleep, disrupted sleep, poor quality sleep, and irregular sleeping schedules can all be Migraine triggers. It's recommended that Migraineurs get up and go to bed at the same time every day, including weekends and holidays. If you're waking with Migraines, it's often a sign that a sleep issue is the trigger. If you've never discussed sleep with your doctor, now's a good time to make a note to do so at your next appointment. Here's a short video on this topic - Migraines, Headaches, and Sleep.
- Nutrition and hydration. How are you doing with your eating patterns? Eating healthy meals on a regular schedule is important. It's also important to know if you have any food triggers. Some of us do, some don't. If you don't know, you can read about figuring it out and download a free workbook from this article - Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods. Dehydration can be a strong Migraine trigger. For some of us, even being a little bit dehydrated is a problem. Read up on this in An Avoidable Migraine Trigger - Dehydration.
- Overall Health. When we're healthy, we're less vulnerable to our Migraine triggers. Do you see your "regular" doctor for a check up on a regular basis? If not, this is a good time to make an appointment and promise yourself that you're going to take better care of yourself. When you see your doctor, please ask him or her about what risk factors for stroke and other cardiovascular events and diseases you can reduce with lifestyle. These are called modifiable risk factors, and since Migraine puts us at increased risk of stoke and other cardiovascular events and diseases, it's important that we have this discussion with our doctors.
The importance of a strong support system is often overlooked, but it shouldn't be. It's vital that we have a good support system. That support system often gives us the strength to keep fighting. I know how damaging Migraines can be to our relationships. Part of taking charge of our Migraines is taking a good look at our support system, working to maintain relationships, forming new relationships, and possibly having to accept the weakening or even loss of some relationships. The damage Migraines can inflict upon friendships is something I understand from experience. For some help with this, please take a look at When Migraines Endanger Our Friendships.
Each of our situations is different. We have things in common, and ways in which we're different when it comes to Migraine management. Our needs are different, and our approaches will be different. I hope I've given you a start here. What are you going to do to take charge of your Migraines in 2011? Please, click the comments link below, and tell me.
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© Teri Robert, 2011.
Last updated January 10, 2011.