Today in the US, it’s estimated that more than 35 million people suffer from migraines. Of those millions of people, only about half have received proper medical treatment in the past year.
If you’ve experienced a migraine, you know all too well the pain, discomfort and life disruption that can occur. Migraines are described as, “A headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
And as if that pain is not enough, migraines are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and/or vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. And a migraine is no regular headache chased away by a couple of aspirins and a tall glass of water. Rather, migraine headaches feel more like an attack on your body, and they can last for days, not just hours. The pain can sideline migraine sufferers and cause them to lose time at work, with family, or leisure activities.
Knowing the migraine triggers specific to them can help patients, and their healthcare providers, manage, minimize, or prevent occurrences of migraine headaches. Some triggers include: stress, certain foods, alcohol, lack of sleep, strong smells, bright lights and/or sounds, and hormones.
Tracking and identifying those triggers can be time consuming, but worth the effort. A new article suggests creating a migraine diary so sufferers can identify what triggers led to migraines and avoid those triggers in the future. The diary doesn’t have to be fancy; a simple notebook will do. But other people may be more comfortable keeping a spreadsheet on their laptops or even using a notes function on their mobile phones. The method doesn’t matter, just be consistent and complete in your record taking.