I suffer migraines. According to an article I read, 12% of the population suffer from migraines. I think the number is much higher. A lot of the people I talk to have had migraines at one time or another. Migraines seem to hit most women and some men. And then there are so many kinds of migraines!
What happens or what can happen during a migraine? For me, it can be blurred vision, sensitivity to light, my sense of smell is heightened and I already have a good sense of smell (with two boys – one almost a teen and the other just a teen, in the house, this doesn’t necessarily bode well for me) and I could go on. I’m sure you could add more to the list as well. Migraines frankly suck!
Then there’s the joy of migraine hangover. We all know what that’s about.
So, what are the causes and how do you go about figuring it them out? There are so many triggers for migraine suffers and no two people are the same. The tricky part is figuring it out and the only way I’ve known how to do that is by trial and error–over and over again.
Basic knowledge and a healthy lifestyle are an important part of migraine prevention. Eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated will do wonders for you! Dehydration will kick anyone into a headache that could morph into a migraine. Never leave home without your water!
Years ago, like clockwork, I could tell you exactly when a migraine would kick in and how long it would last thanks to hormones. When one came on, I knew it would last exactly twenty-four hours. And I mean exactly, practically down to the minute. It was kind of funny. But if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have thought it was funny.
Today is another story. While hormones can trigger a migraine, it’s not for the same reason as before. The weather plays a huge part in my migraines. Barometric pressure and I are not friends. I understand Mr. Barometric Pressure is important in his own right, but it doesn’t mean I have to like the effects at times.
Scents and odoriferous things can be a huge trigger. So much so I’m like the perfume nazi around here. Even deodorant in this house has to pass my ‘sniff’ inspection. My poor mother-in-law has plug-in room deodorizers in her house and I’m always unplugging them on her. It’s that or I’ll end up crying. She’s seen the light (at least while I’m there, lol). She understands though. But odors can be a tough one. I have never understood why people feel the need to bathe in perfumes and colognes. Just because you are used to it doesn’t mean the rest of us are. I’ve had to change seats in church because this. And then there’re airplanes . . . because I need another reason not to like flying.
I can’t fix the barometric pressure. But I do have a little hack for odoriferous things. Vicks Vaporub. A little dab under your nose will block out the smell or at least reduce it. Plus, it smells nice; it’s refreshing. Some studies have even shown that menthol can reduce migraines. I can’t say that’s been my experience, but I try blocking the odor before I get a migraine. And Vicks Vaporub (I use generic) does help block out odors. I never leave home without it, seriously.
There is another one that is a big trigger for me. Vitamins. At one point I was getting multiple migraines a week! I was miserable. Then I read vitamin d3 can cause migraines. I was taking extra vitamin d3 because I also have psoriasis and I had read that increasing vitamin d3 helps with psoriasis. So not only did it NOT help my psoriasis, it gave me migraines. Good times. But once I stopped taking vitamin d3, my migraines began to lesson.
The grocery store had a sale on multivitamins, so I bought some super-strength-energy-solve-the-world’s-problem-kind-of-vitamins. My headaches increased. I stopped taking all vitamins then slowly started taking a different normal strength multivitamin. After about three days, another migraine visited me.
All these multivitamins have vitamin d3 in them. I knew that, but I thought I could tolerate a lower dose. Apparently not.
I did find one multivitamin without vitamin d3. It should be here any day. It also doesn’t have A but I can take a supplement. Hopefully, these won’t trigger a migraine. My hopes are high that they work.
Finding our triggers and how to deal with them is key to surviving and thriving when living with migraines. You can’t live in a bubble and stay home all the time. Although when you have a migraine, I highly recommend it.
One last tip. If you feel a migraine coming on, there are a couple of things you can do. I like to take two ibuprofen, a magnesium pill, and a potassium pill. I make sure to stay really hydrated too. If in a couple of hours, the headache is still being persistent, I will try another magnesium with two acetaminophen. This works a lot of the time or at least staves off the headache from becoming a migraine. There are times it doesn’t work at and times it works like magic. It really depends on why I’m getting the headache/migraine.
If you are a migraine sufferer, you are not alone. Find your triggers. Don’t give up the fight and I hope and pray something I’ve said helps!
P.S. If you have any tricks or tips that help you, share them in the comments. Thanks!! 🙂