Got Migraines?

When I was pregnant a few years ago, migraines which had lain dormant for almost 20 years came roaring back to life. Sadly, they didn’t fade away after my little bundle arrived.

The only thing I can’t figure out is how I sidestepped migraines when I was practicing law. Stress is a major migraine trigger, and I was so much more stressed then. Go figure.

If you do struggle with migraines, I highly recommend Heal Your Headache! Following one suggestion in there (getting off caffeine) has diminished the severity and frequency of my migraines better than anything else I’ve tried. Costs a lot less than Maxalt, too.

Give up caffeine??!! I can see you recoiling in horror. Truth be told, I had more energy after I weaned myself off caffeine than before. Caffeine constantly stimulates your adrenal, fight-or-flight glands, and after a while they’re just pooped. So your energy sucks, so you consume more caffeine, and so on in a vicious cycle. Getting off caffeine helps your body and its delicate hormonal system rebalance.

But for heaven’s sake don’t quit caffeine cold, or you will have the most monstrous headache of your life. Instead, try gradually eliminating caffeine over two weeks. Drink half-cafs for several days, then stop consuming coffee/caffeine in the afternoons and evening, then take the plunge once you’re down to about half a cup of caffeinated coffee (or the equivalent of two espresso shots).

Chocolate can be a big source of caffeine, so don’t overlook that source. Truth be told, I should give up chocolate; I’d probably eliminate migraines or reduce them to two a year. But I dunno, I really like chocolate — so much that I have to think about it when people ask me, but is it worth six to ten migraines a year? I’m only human.

2 thoughts on “Got Migraines?

  1. I used to get migraines ALL the time. I still do, but maybe only once a month. I gave up caffeine a long time ago, so I guess it’s just stress. Maybe I’ll have to check out that book.

  2. Dr. Bucholz — he’s the top headache guy at Johns Hopkins, I neglected to mention — list many potential triggers for migraines. You can’t control some, like barometric pressure changes, hormonal changes, and realistically, your daily stress exposure. So he focuses on the things you can control, like food and medicine intake. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to lower your overall level of triggers so that you stay under your migraine threshold at all times. Or, you could be like me and find your biggest controllable trigger, and half-ass dealing with the rest of them . . . not that I advocate that!

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