Coping With Chronic Migraines

The Migraine Trust describes migraines as, ‘More than just a headache’, this is because the symptoms can be debilitating often rendering the sufferer unable to participate in everyday life. Migraines generally fall into two categories; migraine with aura or migraine without aura.  An aura is generally a sensory disturbance that can manifest itself as; double vision, balance issues, fainting and even paralysis.  Migraines affect everyone in different ways and treatment depends on how the individual responds to medication.

No one can really explain what causes migraines but it is generally believed that they are triggered by different life situations including; stress, hunger, alcohol, hormonal changes, sleep deprivation and environmental factors.  Migraines are physiological and related to the functioning of the body they are not caused by the mind.

Here are a few ideas that could help you to manage your migraines:-

Log Your Migraines In A Diary

Logging the nature of your migraine and possible triggers will allow you to avoid them in the future and hopefully reduce the frequency of your migraines in the future.  Chronic migraines are defined by having headaches for more than 15 days in a year.  Sadly some people can suffer migraines 24 hours a day.


Alexander Mauskopf, MD recommends Half an hour of aerobic exercise three times a week.  Between 30 - 40 minutes of exercise can reduce the occurrence of migraines and will of course make you fitter, ultimately improving your overall health.

Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the main migraine triggers and learning to avoid or control it may go way into helping you to combat your migraines.  You may have to try out a number of different relaxation methods before you find one that suits you.

Sleep Well

A good night’s sleep is regularly recommended by experts to help reduce the symptoms of many health problems.  Sleeping allows the body to rest and repair.  It is important that you don’t get too much or too little sleep and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

Avoid Food Triggers

Certain foods can trigger migraines and symptoms can be felt shortly after eating a trigger food.  Most triggers tend to be present the food we enjoy the most; chocolate, wine, food containing monosodium glutamate and food containing gluten. You may have to do an exclusion diet to find out which foods trigger migraines.

Avoid Caffeine

Often people who have migraines drink coffee because it makes them feel better only to suffer a migraine a couple of hours later.  The migraine is triggered by caffeine withdrawal and drinking coffee relieves them causing a vicious circle.

It is very important that you look after yourself and monitor your migraine triggers so that you reduce the number of migraines you have.