How to better manage your migraines

Control trigger factors and seek treatment

Manage Your Migraines

If you've experienced the agony of chronic migraines you know how debilitating they can be. It is thought 700,000 people in the UK suffer from regular chronic migraines.

Your life revolves around wondering when the next one will strike; there's constant anxiety around making plans. All too often you have to cancel them due to unbearable pain. But there are ways to get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

If you are a regular sufferer you should see a headache specialist or a neurologist that specialises in headaches. When you get the right diagnosis, you can then get the right treatment.

What are your options?

One of the first ways you can treat the condition is to control trigger factors - things that may be causing your headaches.

Try and get a good night's sleep on a regular basis. This can help reduce stress, a cause of migraines. Make sure you're eating at regular intervals - hunger is also a trigger. Also, avoid too much alcohol.

Try to keep a headache journal. This may help you trace back what your individual triggers are, which you can then take to your GP or specialist who can use this information.

Many people who have migraines find that over the counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen can help to reduce their symptoms. If these are not helping, medication called Triptans are also available as tablets, injections and nasal sprays.

The NHS says that botulinum toxin type A - better known as Botox - may be prescribed for the prevention of chronic migraine, but only if specific criteria are met.

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