How do I deal with Migraines

I remember having my first migraine some 6 years ago, I'd never felt pain like it. Then I began getting them every damn week. The doctors tried to help, I've had my pill changed 3 times, been put on beta blockers and even tried prescription pain relief. Unfortunately, Migraines and severe headaches run in the family so I have no escape. I thought I would share my tips on dealing with Migraines and how I try and avoid them.
Everyone who has Migraines will have variety of different symtoms/side effects, it's one of those medical anomolies that effects us all differently. Some have had them since being a young child, some are lucky enough to have never had one. For me, I get a severe pain in the left side of my head and it makes me physically sick. Others become light sensitive, or it may effect their eyesight, everyone is different. That being said, the below are things that have helped me, but hopefully this may help some of you too. 

1) My Migraine Survival Kit
First step is my 4head balm stick, I tend to apply this if I feel a migraine starting while I am at work, I am conscious to not take any tablets because I know I will have to drive home. 
As soon as I am able to I go to bed, a migraine usually knocks me out and I find I recover quickly if I can sleep it off, however whilst doing this I use the following;
'Migraine Kool 'N' Soothe' Forehead patch. This is a cold gel strip that I put on my forehead and instantly takes my mind of the pain splitting my head in two. An ice cold flannel will have exactly the same effect but these pads stick you so you can roll around without moving them. 
Eye patches/sleep masks, the cover of darkness takes the edge off the pain a little and I have found using a general sleep mask or these optrex warming eye masks to be helpful in getting me to sleep and keeping most of the light out. 
This may be controversial, but I've also discovered that Binaural Beats really help relieve the pain, I put on some headphones and listen to this as I fall asleep. Binaural Beats are basically two tones played into opposite ears and the brain puts them together to create a singular third tone. This may not be for everyone but it's something that really helps me. I would recommend doing your own research into this before going ahead and using it.
And finally Migraleve, before taking these you should discuss with a doctor or pharmacist. However, if I take these at exactly the right time when I feel a migraine starting, these magical tablets seem to cut it off before it fully develops! I try not to take too much paracetamol, pain relief etc due to the frequency I have migraines but these really help during desperate times. 

2) Speak to a Doctor
I first spoke to my doctor when I realised my migraines were becoming too regular, I was getting them at least twice a month. I found my doctor to be very helpful, they changed my pill a few times, then they tried beta blockers which helped at first, then they gave me strong pain relief. But now I have just come to terms with the fact I will always get migraines. 

3) Prevention
Over time I have learnt that I have a variety of triggers that lead to my migraines. These are as follows;

If I am particularly stressed for whatever reason, I tend to get myself worked up and inevitably this triggers a migraine. I have tried to counteract this with simple exercise such as yoga and stretching as well as breathing exercises. 

I have learnt that I need to drink a certain level of water in order to avoid a migraine, I began using a Hydrate M8 to help me monitor how much water I am drinking per day and it really helps. Of course, you'll be constantly running to the bathroom for a wee! \you can see my review here:

When I began making changes to my diet, I realised that the longer I ate a 'Clean' diet the less frequent my migraines became. The problem was I love chocolate, crisps and Big Macs too much! I also learnt that if I skip meals, don't eat anything throughout the day, the more likely I was to trigger my headaches. 

I have always been a terrible sleeper, at University I became a night owl. Then when I entered working life, I would survive on 3-4 hours of sleep a day. Now I have learnt that if I maintain a regular sleeping pattern, going to bed and waking the same time every day - even on weekends - my quality of sleep improved. I also stopped waking up with that groggy feeling. 

So there we have it, how I deal with migraines. I hope some of these tips help someone, if you have anything to share please let me know! I'm always looking for ways to escape the pain of a migraine!

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