migraine

Lifestyle and Headache

As with any chronic condition, it is important to actively participate in healthy lifestyle modifications that can decrease headache burden. This is especially true of the primary headache types (which we will delve into in upcoming posts).

Lifestyle is more than nutrition and hydration, so it is important to focus on physical and mental health as well. Our brains like structure, but also need to be stimulated from an intellectual and social perspective. 

Make a schedule and stick to it.  Eat regular meals with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated and limit caffeine intake after 2pm. Wake up and go to bed around the same time each day.  Include at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day.  Start with low-impact activities like walking or yoga and work up to that goal.  Include volunteer activities at least once per week. 

Try to do something mentally stimulating (not frustrating!), like playing along with Jeopardy, crossword puzzles, or Sudoku at least one hour per day. Include volunteer activities and interaction with others (outside your immediate family) at least once per week.

Much like nutrition and hydration, these are general suggestions and your specific objectives should be tailored based on YOU! Happy Valentine’s Day :)

Image by Thomas Quaritsch via Unsplash

Image by Thomas Quaritsch via Unsplash

Migraine Poem at 3 AM

Migraine Poem at 3 AM

Migraineurs are not alone in their thoughts and pain, and even their interdependence on loved ones. We can use this to fuel the fire in our fight against headache. February is Headache on the Hill.

Headache: Primary vs Secondary

Headache: Primary vs Secondary

Headache is a term used to describe any discomfort above the shoulders, so it typically includes the head and face.  It is a symptom, not a diagnosis. “Headache” is the broader umbrella term under which primary and secondary headaches fall. These subcategories can then be further divided.   

Broaching Cluster

Broaching Cluster

My New Year resolution for IHC is to increase awareness for headache and facial pain.  I will take the next several blog posts to go over basic headache information and some lifestyle strategies that can help. In general, terms used to describe primary headache syndromes are often misunderstood and misused.

Primary headache syndromes include migraine, tension-type headache, and trigeminal autonomic cephalgias. Among the TACs is the most painful headache condition known to mankind: the cluster headache.

Nutrition and Headache

Nutrition and Headache

What many of us do not realize is that the gut-brain connection is quite strong. In migraine, one of the first symptoms is nausea (with or without vomiting) often caused secondary to gastroparesis. Gastro = gut, paresis = stop. Making a plan to focus on nutrition can help to improve headache burden.