Migraine headaches are the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide. While the most painful part of the headache itself may typically last 4-72 hours, it’s the before and after effects that are overshadowed and underestimated. The migraine has three distinct phases:
Pre-migraine symptoms can last up to 72 hours.
The migraine itself can last 4-72 hours.
The post-migraine or recovery period can last up to 24 hours.
That means the impact on sufferers can last for up to seven days in a single cycle. No matter how often an attack comes and its potency, it’s a time thief of work (on the job or at home), family and social activities, and even the enjoyment of life in general when one considers the dread factor of wondering/worrying about when the next one will come and how bad it will be (that’s negative thoughts).
So what can be done?
Be aware of YOUR triggers. The body constantly sends messages to the brain from the whole body: digestive tract, muscles, respiratory, skin, etc. Are you really listening to your body?
Here are some common triggers:
- Hormonal changes in women, fluctuation in estrogen, pregnancy, menopause and medications
- Foods (sugar, cheese), food additives (msg, etc.), and beverages like alcohol, wine, and caffeinated drinks
- Changes in the environment, like weather and barometric changes
- Intense physical exertion
- Sleep patterns: too little, too much, jet lag
- Too much exposure to electronic screens
- Overstimulation of senses: loud noises, strong smells, bright lights
Keep a migraine journal or diary This helps you look at what is happening in your body so you can make adjustments in your diet and balance activities and stress. Besides, it comes in handy when you visit a doctor or specialist.
Pre-migraine start time _______ date ________