Thursday, August 4, 2011

migraine triggers

i'm so happy that [one of ] my sisters is finally getting going through the diagnosis series for migraines.  this means... CT scan, probably a MRI, and MEDICINE!  yay.  no more midnight runs to the ER for butt shots because she's had a throw-up-bad headache for 3 days!  :)

i was thinking, though, that maybe i'd list my triggers for her to help her avoid getting them to start with.  i determined all these things from keeping a 'diary' of sorts over months at a time.

1.  first off, schedule!  regular schedule in general is the best preventative.  eating same time every day, sleeping same time every day, and NO NAPS!

2. low barometric pressure.

3. heat.  i'm really sensitive to it.  i can't tolerate being in high temperatures for extended periods of time (or even short periods...). 

4. bright light (temperature irrelevant - sometimes it is the sun, sometimes it is oncoming traffic at night).

5. strong smells.  especially raw onions and most perfumes.

6. hats.  i can take ponytails as long as they are loose and "buns" or low 'tails - swaying 'tails can put me over the edge.

7. strenuous exercise.  this sounds horrible, but it is true.  i have to stay even all the time.  this doesn't mean i can't exercise, i just have to do low ones.  walking, swimming, yoga, stretching... that's for me.  sometimes if i go up the stairs too fast, i can instantly feel my head start pounding (at work).

8. bad posture - i have to sit and stand up straight!  no slouching.  the blood has to get to my head - and back down to my heart and feet!

9. roasted peanuts.  interestingly enough, i had a PB sandwich for supper last night.  i JUST TOOK a headache pill because i have a migraine.  how about that. (so many triggers, i forget them all sometimes! plus, you gotta live... just know the consequences!)

10.  alcohol.  i just can't take it anymore!  there are a few that don't give me a headache, but i just don't chance it anymore. not worth it.

11. processed meats (sandwich meat, hotdogs, crap with nitrates in it...) i never liked them anyway.  i finally figured out why!

12. not eating - well, i'm fat for a reason.  i have to eat all the time.  if my stomach growls, it is too late, one is on the way!  before long, i'm hugging the toilet.

13. stress - best to stay stress free but that is impossible.  best figure out a way to minimize it!  neck, foot, and hand massages by loving hubby work great!

14. hormones - the one thing you can only control 21 days a month.  that other 7 days, WHEW!  prepare for it.  i usually wake up and take two excedrin tensions. 

15. other food triggers - there are lots listed on the "don't eat" list for migraine sufferers but the ones that are it for me are MSG, roasted peanuts, raw onions, alcohol, and i may be forgetting a few.  ever since i switched to the mostly vegan diet, i haven't noticed many food triggers. 

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