The band fastened around the top of my head tightens and does not seem to let go. The slightest noise is deafening as I tiptoe figuratively across the room. I hush my children as they excitedly share a story with me. I feel like an old woman as I prepare the dinner, wishing only for the solace of a quiet and darkened room. What I feel is more than a nagging headache: it is a vice centred around my brain that cannot be pushed under the business of daily life.
It is bedtime and I lie with relief on my pillow. But the relief is short-lived as the pain intensifies and I clutch my head in pain. I give in. I reach for two Tylenol extra strong tablets. The drug is sure to relieve the pain a little so that I am able to sink into the pain-relieving sleep that awaits me.
A migraine is a headache that may be experienced with some of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, throbbing on one side of the head, eye pain, and blurred vision. This intense head pain is triggered by physical or emotional stress; certain foods (such as processed, fermented, or marinated foods); foods containing msg; environmental factors; allergic reactions; extreme changes in weather patterns; over-exercise; and changes in sleep patterns.
If you can figure out the trigger for your migraine, you will be able to make the necessary lifestyle changes to avoid these debilitating headaches. If you are unsure of what the trigger is, you can consider doing the following:
- Reduce stress with exercise and relaxation
- Eat regular meals
- Make sure you have enough sleep
- Limit your use of medications
- And avoid trigger foods.
Some known trigger foods are cheese, chocolate, red wine, nuts, prepared sauces (such as mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise), and coffee. The best way to discover your food triggers is to keep a food journal. Personally, I have not tried keeping one yet.
Are you a migraine sufferer? What tips do you have to decrease the frequency of these intense headaches?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012