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Chronic Migraines

Chronic migraines are a problem for so many people, and something I have suffered from for a long time myself. I thought it was about time I did an article about triggers and how I deal with them. In doing this I hope I will help you if you also suffer.

chronic migraines
Photo by Carolina Heza on Unsplash
[IMG]A woman is shown her hair thrown forward as she looks down, her hand on her head you cannot see her face[IMG]

I have often spoke about migraines here on the blog, and how they affect me, but also affect 1 in every 5 women and around 1 in every 15 men. Because of this fact, which is shocking to me, I wanted to write a little about triggers and how I cope with them. Lets be honest most doctors are not the best at dealing with migraines and most things that help me I found through trial and error or from other sufferers.

What are chronic migraines?

According to Healthline, chronic migraine is defined as “occurring at least 15 days in each month and for at least three consecutive months. A chronic migraine must also involve two of the following migraine characteristics for a minimum of eight days in a month:

  • causes moderate to severe pain
  • predominantly affects one side of the head
  • causes a throbbing, pulsating sensation in the side of the brain affected by the headache
  • begins or is made worse due to routine physical activity, such as walking or cleaning”

Triggers for chronic migraine:

So now we know what a chronic migraine is, what triggers them and how can we deal with them?

  • Food – There is so many different triggers from chocolate, to red wine but a big trigger is said to be processed foods. One way to deal with this is to figure out your food triggers, keeping a food diary of what you eat and when you have a migraine can quickly show you what triggers you. In this way, you can figure out what foods to avoids or cut down on.
  • Drinks – As I said for me, red wine is a big trigger to a migraine for me, but any alcohol can possibly be a trigger. It is also important to make sure you are drinking enough water and avoiding caffeine.
  • Sensory overload – This is a big one for me, and I will often get a migraine after going out to the shops with their florescent lights, and strong smells. I also struggle in bright sunlight and have to wear big sunglasses if it is a sunny day, or hide out in less sunny rooms.
  • Hormones – Hormone shifts and medications can make a big difference, I know when I was a teenager I always got migraines with my period. Talking to a doctor about medications options is the best idea if this is a big trigger for you.
  • Stress – If you are struggling with stress in your life, it might be time to look into ways of reducing that if this is a trigger for your migraines.
  • Change in weather – For me, the worst time for my migraines is the summer, hot weather and sunshine. But it might be different for you, make sure you know what are your triggers when it comes to this. Invest in cooling products if it it the summer months for example.
  • Age – Most people get their first migraines during adolescence, when stress and hormonal changes are at their highest.
  • Family history – Your family is a big predictor, if one or both parents suffer with migraines then you are also more likely to.
  • Gender – In childhood, boys are more likely to have migraines, but after adolescence it moves over to women, I am sure because of our fluctuating hormones.

I really hope this article helps you if you also suffer with chronic migraines. Definitely leave me a comment and let me know how you cope and how you deal with your triggers.

Thank you xx

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6 Comments

  • Caz / InvisiblyMe

    I’m so sorry you have to go through these. I also live with chronic migraines, so about 5 days each week are crushed by them. It’s no picnic. I’m fortunate in finding Sumatriptan often works fairly well, but you don’t get enough tablets to cover every attack. Migraines can be incredibly, overwhelmingly debilitating. Fab post & love the video, you beautiful butterly.

    Caz xx

    • Echo

      Like you I have suffered from Chronic Migraines most of my life (since I was 3 yrs old). I’ve seen specialist for them including nutritionists to try and work out a diet to reduce their occurrences and severity. While this worked for a little While, after a while things returned back to how they had always been. I’ve tried many different medications with little to no relief. What has worked for me to reduce their frequency and severity is daily meditation, eating right (though that can be a challenge at times), getting enough sleep (another challenge at times) and while it may be a controversial issue for some depending on their views, CBD oil to reduce the pain over all along with THC for faster pain relief. Nothing else that I have tried has even come close to relief that it’s offered me.

      • BeverleyButterfly

        I so wish that Drs and the NHS in general understood how much CBD and cannibis can help so many people. It is out of the price range of so many of us though and instead they throw tablets at us that can have awful side effects xx

    • BeverleyButterfly

      I am so glad you felt I covered this topic well, it is so important we do our best to raise awareness. Many people think they have had a migraine or that they understand, but it is not what most people think. And when they are chronic and regular it can be so difficult to cope with xxx

  • Sarah Warburton

    Sorry you suffer from chronic migraines, my heart goes out to you. It’s the most awful pain I’ve ever experienced. I used to have the occasional one usually triggered by sunlight or long car journeys until my late 30s when they became linked to my menstrual cycle, so I get them regularly now. I use sumatriptan when I can feel the migraine coming on and I’m currently trying a short course of naproxen around each migraine time to see if that helps. Other than that I’ve also found meditation really helps not just with migraine but also for my health in general.

    I do wish more people understood how horrendous migraine is. I hate it when people say to me ” Has your headache gone?” after I’ve been bedridden with a migraine for several days…

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