Friday, October 17, 2008

Migraines. Treatment and Prevention. Stop the Pain! Stop the Madness!

"Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by altered bodily experiences, painful headaches, and nausea. It is a common condition which affects women more frequently than men.

The typical migraine headache is one-sided and pulsating, lasting 4 to 72 hours. Accompanying complaints are nausea and vomiting, and a heightened sensitivity to bright lights (photophobia) and noise (hyperacusis). Approximately one third of people who experience migraines get a preceding aura, in which a patient may sense a strange light or unpleasant smell."

What have I taken this morning for my migraine (which, I am certain, was caused by eating chocolate last night while I was busy making chocolate spiders for the top of cupcakes)? Maxalt and one Excedrine Migraine.

What is Maxalt? Triptan
"Triptans. For many people with severe migraine attacks, triptans are the drug of choice. They are effective in relieving the pain, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound that are associated with migraines. Sumatriptan (Imitrex) was the first drug specifically developed to treat migraines. Related medications include rizatriptan (Maxalt), naratriptan (Amerge), zolmitriptan (Zomig), almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova) and eletriptan (Relpax). Side effects of triptans include nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness and, rarely, stroke and heart attack. In recent studies, a single-tablet combination of sumatriptan and naproxen sodium relieved migraine symptoms more effectively than did either individual medication. This combination tablet will likely be marketed soon."

While this hasn't helped the nausea. The migraine pain is mostly under control and it only took about 1/2 hour for this combination of Maxalt and Excedrine Migraine to work.

I have the saliva test for my estrogen and other hormones. I have not felt well enough to take the hour that is necessary (before eating any food for the day) to complete the test. I am motivated to take the test...after all, it cost me over one hundred dollars and is not covered by health insurance. I just need to feel well enough to have the hour, when I have not eaten since the night before, and when I don't need to drink water to take something for a headache.

An additional remedy that I find very good is to stay busy on the computer (once the medications work well enough that my sensitivity to light, including the computer, is lessened) working on my writing, responding to my emails, working on my Facebook or other social networking sites, or just surfing the Net.

Whether or not you take preventive medications, you may benefit from lifestyle changes that can help reduce the number and severity of migraines. One or more of these suggestions may be helpful for you:

Avoid triggers. If certain foods seem to have triggered your headaches in the past, eat something else. If certain scents are a problem, try to avoid them. In general, establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals. In addition, try to control stress.

Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. If your doctor agrees, choose any aerobic exercise you enjoy, including walking, swimming and cycling. Warm up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches.

Reduce the effects of estrogen. If you're a woman with migraines and estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, you may want to avoid or reduce the amount of medications you take that contain estrogen. These medications include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Talk with your doctor about the best alternatives or dosages for you."

Might I also suggest a preventative measure...don't watch the news or read about what is going on in the world:)

My Personal Migraine:)

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