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Migraine Update

August 12, 2011

I thought that this list might be helpful. These are the things I now know cause migraines, after keeping a headache diary for the past couple of months:

  • Hunger. If I don’t eat, I get a headache. I have to stop what I’m doing and eat, no matter how busy things get.
  • Caffeine. One, maybe two cups of coffee a day, only in the morning or very early afternoon, and I’m fine. If I use it as a cure, it triggers a “rebound” headache.
  • Sugar. Sodas, in particular. If I have something like this on an empty stomach, it’s a pretty good bet. Usually only in combination with another factor.
  • Disrupted sleep pattern. It could be a too-long nap in the middle of the day (woohoo for under-employment) or staying up too late. Sleeping too much or too little. Regular sleep is the best medicine for my headaches since pain killers.
  • Hormone shifts. Artificial hormones, as my other migraine post explains in detail, like the ones in The Pill. Natural estrogen spikes will do it, too, but less aggressively.
That’s my list. I’m slowly bringing back the foods that supposedly trigger migraines, because in my experience, they really don’t. They do for some, but not for me. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I’m the kind of person who will fail to realize she hasn’t eaten until it’s been 12 hours. I’m working on it, but I tend to put whatever I’m doing for someone else ahead of what I need. And that’s a bad lesson to learn–taking care of myself is not less important or self-centered. But it can often seem that way. (I know, I know, just wait until I’m a mom–gotta work on this now!)
All-time best description of migraine symptoms, in French:

"J'ai envie de vomir" = "I want to vomit"

Found here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 2:18 pm

    Didn’t know the connection w/sleep, but makes complete sense! Stress -as it relates to emotional and physical tension, and release of chemicals in the body that aren’t very nice after long periods- and also dehydration can affect migraines. So relax and drink plenty of water! (in a perfect world all these recommendations could take place)

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