17 bucks on amazon: here!
Written by a doctor, with lots and lots of reliable sources and medical studies to back up the info. This book helps you break down the causes of your migraines based on your specific symptoms and hopefully you can get to the bottom of them. The causes and cures: most important part!
This baby illuminated the magnesium thing to me, and covers a lot that I didn't understand before. As awesome as the endless listicles on the internet about migraine triggers and cures are (this post), they can be contradicting and not scientifically based. Yes, food triggers are real for some people, but if you're like me, food doesn't trigger headaches so it won't help me much to avoid pickles! But thanks for the tip, internet.
I try to avoid taking medicine, and maybe you're one of those people too. Migraine pain is a little too much to handle at times, and sometimes it hits when I literally can't go lie down in the dark, like when I'm at work or performing. In those cases, EXCEDRIN!
Excedrin is a magical thing, taken in moderation. Who knew the key to the universe was two painkillers and caffeine? Just kidding, sort of. When you're desperate and you need fast relief (I think that's their slogan...) Excedrin almost always works.
"Excedrin migraine, make sure it's Excedrin migraine!!" my dad always says, even though I'm pretty sure they're the same thing. But yes. Make sure it's Excedrin Migraine.
Also talk to your doctor about starting or switching birth control pills. They contain hormones that don't cause your headaches, but some work better with your body to keep them at bay. If you get menstrual migraines, you might need to take the pill that only gives you 3 periods a year, etc. Talk to your doctor about it.
I can hear my doctors frowning from here. This may sound like a terrible idea, but for me personally, on days when I feel the small symptoms of a migraine, I drink a cup of coffee, and usually the migraine won't hit. I've had a few times when Excedrin didn't work, nothing worked. But I drank an entire iced coffee in the midst of a bad migraine and all the pain went away. There's caffeine in migraine medicine, so there's something to it. My doctor said not to do this, that it could cause a "rebound headache" so take my words with a grain of salt. But hey, try it if you're desperate. Especially at the first signs of a migraine. If it works for you, awesome. If not...rub some oil on your head.
It's a really good idea to keep a migraine journal and track the times, triggers, and remedies of every migraine to notice a pattern, but in my experience, writing all that down and deciphering it later is REAL difficult. I have this free app called Migraine Buddy that prompts you with a series of questions, you fill in all the details whenever you have a migraine (or hit "bother me later" and fill it out when the migraine has ended) and it will keep track of all the important stuff for you. It makes charts of when you frequently have them, what helps them, and what might cause them. Super helpful if you don't totally understand why the pain happens!
And if you get the app, ADD ME, cause I currently have no migraine buddies. I think you can put up a status like "currently in pain, send love" to your migraine pals and they can cure you with their love. Or at least empathize.
That is everything I've discovered in the last year. Different combinations of these remedies usually work. Try them if you think you have hormone related headaches. Also consider the usual health code: eat right and exercise. Drink an absurd amount of water and take your vitamin.
Obviously alcohol won't help your migraines, and it might even be triggering them. Think about your posture. If you're putting pressure on the wrong nerves or straining your neck all the time, that can very likely give you migraines. Definitely buy that book new or used, if you want to really understand what may be causing your pain, instead of popping a pill every time you feel it.
Doctors will tell you there's not enough understanding of migraines and some people "just get them" and no one knows why. Doctors are really dumb sometimes. So do your own research and help yourself because lord knows no one at kaiser permanente is going to.
I hope this helped someone! Chronic pain can be SO frustrating and difficult to endure. I wish I'd found a post like this when my migraines were at their worst.
These are some cost-effective solutions to menstrual migraines that shouldn't give you crazy side-effects.
Stay well, everybody!!