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I have suffered Migraines for years. 
Here are some things I've found which trigger migraine headaches so better to avoid them.

Sunlight  For me, to be outdoors all day (even with my mandatory sunglasses) will cause me a headache. Haven't found a way around this yet although sunglasses, hats with large brims, and of course shade helps.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) Found in just about anything that's "cheese" flavored (cheetos, Doritos, etc.) also in most Chinese food (look for "No MSG" signs) Unfortunately, this means giving up quite a few favorite foods (well, junk foods mostly) but I've found even tiny quantities will provoke a migraine.

Nutrasweet. Scientifically proven in a lab nonetheless - DO NOT DRINK OR EAT ANYTHING "diet"

(For Woman) Birth Control Pills if you are having problems with your prescription - try another!! There are dozens out there and it's worth it to find one that works best for you! If you've tried several and keep having the problem, try to go on a pill without estrogen. Pills without estrogen are often called "mini pills" or "pops." It is often the estrogen that causes the migraines. Another option is the Depo-Provera shot which does not have estrogen either. Talk to your doctor!

Dehydration Most (around 9 out of 10) normal headaches are the result of dehydration (this includes hangovers). Caffeine and carbonated drinks are diuretics (they cause your body to expel water without replacing it).  Alcohol and nicotine are also diuretics.  If you drink a lot of caffeine or if you smoke, it is extremely important that you drink a lot of water.  Low-grade dehydration can cause many problems with concentration, stress-level, emotions, etc.  This being said, don't take Motrin or aspirin for headaches until AFTER you have tried to drink at least three Full glasses of water (8 ounces or larger) and given them about 45 minutes to take affect.  Your body builds up a resistance to many pain-killers (including ibuprofen and aspirins), making them less effective over time.

Caffeine The avoidance of caffeine can help prevent the onset of headaches/migraines, HOWEVER, that being said, caffeine is an addictive substance and can be a bit confusing when it comes to migraines...too much and you can get one; not enough (you drink a cup of coffee or a mountain dew every morning and then suddenly stop) and you can also get one. If you currently consume a set amount of caffeine, you need to taper yourself off SLOWLY to avoid getting a headache/migraine from the withdrawal. It can be very hard to do, but it can be done. I used to drink a mountain dew every morning - I hate coffee - and when I tried to stop, it was very hard since each morning I did not have that caffeine intake, I got horrid a days however, I have almost completely cut caffeine (soda, tea, etc.) from my diet and I take bottled water with me everywhere. It's so much better for your health and I have to say I have defiantly seen a marked decrease in the frequency of my migraine headaches.

Strong Smells Personally, my damned sense of smell is so strong that I literally can not wear anything with a scent...neither can my Love. Smelling something continuously for any period of time will automatically give me a headache-perfume, cologne, scented deodorant, hairspray, etc.

Treatments that work for me:

  • To kill a migraine I take a couple of Excedrin (I never leave home without them) and get into a dark, cool, quiet room and lay down ASAP. 
  • Also, get a cool washcloth and place it over your eyes, your forehead, or your neck (as feels better) Additionally, you might want to try the newest products, "Migraine Ice" or "Excedrin Ice" which provide hours of cold compress without water.
  • Most important is to RELAX. Believe me, I know that's about the most unfathomable thing to do when it hurts so bad, but it's very vital. 
  • Try going through structured breathing to aide in relaxing (ie: deep breath in through your nose, hold it a moment, exhale slowly out your mouth. repeat) It helps take your mind off the pain and really focus your attention on the breathing which will help calm you down and speed the end of the migraine. If you fall asleep, great. Chances are, you'll wake up feeling better. 
  • If this does not work for you or they last for more than a day at a time - SEE YOUR DOCTOR. There are many prescriptions to prevent and/or end migraines.

Resources and Links for More information
Newly Diagnosed: Migraine Headaches
Article: What Causes Migraines and How are they Prevented and Treated?
Article: Heading off Migraine Pain
Q&A: Migraines



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