I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.
Living with Migraines
Migraines don’t have to disrupt your life. It might seem like you are alone and no one understands what you are going through. But, you are NOT alone- over 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. And, there are many resources available to you to help you understand migraines.
If you have migraines, you might notice that certain things, certain times of day and even certain smells can trigger a migraine. Have you ever thought about keeping a headache diary? By keeping track of your triggers, you can take control over your health!
I have kept a diary for the last 4 weeks and I was very surprised at the triggers I found. I also kept track of my sleep times and exercise routine. When I only slept for 6 hours or less, I was twice as likely to get a migraine. If I went for more than 3 days without a cardiovascular workout, a migraine would sneak up on me out of no where. Read more below about triggers and lifestyle changes that will help you live with migraines.
Your Lifestyle affects Migraines:
Migraine is not a predictable disorder for all people. Simple things like changes to a normal routine can lead to a severely disabling migraine attack. Understanding how lifestyle affects the severity and frequency of attacks can be a large part of successful migraine prevention.
- Maintain regular sleep patterns. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
- Exercise regularly. For example, aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week will help reduce frequency or severity of migraine.
- Eat regular meals, do not skip meals, and eat a good, healthy breakfast.
- Reduce stress. Limit stress by avoiding conflicts and resolving disputes calmly. Some people find it helpful to take a daily “stress break.”
Keep a Headache Diary of Triggers:
Triggers are specific factors that may increase your risk of having a migraine attack. The migraine sufferer has inherited a sensitive nervous system that under certain circumstances, can lead to migraine. Triggers do not “cause” migraine. Instead, they are thought to activate processes that cause migraine in people who are prone to the condition. A certain trigger will not induce a migraine in every person; and, in a single migraine sufferer, a trigger may not cause a migraine every time. By keeping a headache diary, you will be able to identify some triggers for your particular headaches. Once you have identified triggers, it will be easier for you to avoid them and reduce your chances of having a migraine attack.
(Source: American Migraine Foundation, Facts about Migraines)
In order to raise awareness of the More To Migraine campaign, Teva Pharmaceuticals is working with actress, film producer and migraine sufferer Jennifer Morrison*. You may know her as Emma Swan on ABC’s adventure fantasy series Once Upon a Time, or as Dr. Allison Cameron in FOX’s House.
Jennifer says: “I had to get help and started seeing a doctor who could help me manage my migraine and better understand the various aspects and triggers. I now have the information I need to have meaningful discussions about my migraine attacks with my doctor and others who may suffer from migraine.”
In 2016, she’ll appear on More To Migraine channels including MoretoMigraine.com and the More To Migraine Facebook page.
*Jennifer Morrison is a paid spokesperson working with Teva Pharmaceuticals to raise awareness of the More To Migraine campaign.
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