YOU HAVE A SPECIAL KIND OF HEADACHE.
There are many different kinds of headache, your physician has diagnosed your as migraine. It is special because the bodies mechanisms that bring on migraine are unlike those that bring on other kinds of headache.
Yet, you need not suffer because you have migraine. Doctors now have ways to treat your migraine which attack the cause rather than just give simple pain relief. However, your physician’s instructions must be carefully carried out in order for the medication to work properly.
WHY YOU GET MIGRAINE.
Migraine is known as a vascular headache. Medical evidence indicates that it is related to a disturbance in the blood vessels in the brain, scalp and facial tissues. Most headache experts believe that migraine is an inherited disorder that may be precipitated by many factors such as food, atmospheric pressure, changes in the weather, stress situations and excessive sleep.
Although there are many forms migraine may take, there are two major types: Classical and Neoclassical Migraine. The difference between the two is that with classical migraine there are various warning symptoms. Perhaps you have blurred vision or you see stars or flashes of light, just prior to the headache. If you have classical migraine, your blood vessels constrict during this phase. When the full-blown migraine occurs, there is an increase in size (or vasodilatation) of the blood vessels. Therefore it is important that you take your migraine medication as soon as the warning symptom occurs. Nonclassical or simple migraine is a severe headache when it occurs at irregular intervals, but which is not preceded by warning symptoms such as flashes of light. In this type of migraine it is also important that your medication be taken at the very first indication of head pain.
GENERAL RULES FOR PREVENTING MIGRAINE HEADACHE.
Each of the well-known rules for general health care can be especially helpful for decreasing the frequency and severity of your migraine attacks. For example:
FOODS TO AVOID.
All cheeses (except cottage cheese), chocolate, herring, vinegar (except white vinegar), anything fermented, pickled, or marinated, yogurt, sour cream, nuts, pods of broad beans, such as: lima, navy, and pea pods, hot, fresh-baked breads, chicken livers, lunch meats, hot dogs and other foods containing nitrates.
LIQUOR TO AVOID.
Beer, dry, red burgundy, all bourbons, gin, vodka, champagne.
LIQUOR YOU MAY HAVE.
Rose wine, white wine (not Sauterne), brandy, cordials, scotch, and rum.
However, these foods will vary from individual to individual, and you should experiment to see which ones you are sensitive to. The best approach is to eliminate them all. When you have achieved a relatively migraine-free state, try adding them back into your diet every few weeks one at a time. If there is no increase in the number or severity of your migraine headaches then the last food you added to your diet probably was not an offender.
Take time to review the situations you were in before your migraine attacks. You may be able to notice a pattern that will define “trigger” situations. Does your migraine start after shopping? After heavy housecleaning? Before a menstrual period? Holidays? During financial difficulties? If you discover a pattern of any sort, discuss it with your doctor. He may suggest ways to put a “safety” on the trigger situations. Or may suggest that you take your medication before a known and unavoidable trigger situation takes place.
Working together, you and your physician will very likely be able to develop a program that will end or greatly decrease the incapacitating, painful effects of migraine.
MIGRAINE can be treated successfully—when you cooperate fully with your physician
FOLLOW general health rules carefully, and avoid stresses that may cause a migraine attack.
Identify your special trigger situations and recognize your early symptoms of migraine.
Keep your medication with you at all times, and use it as your physician instructs. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.
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