Migraine Headaches – Bonus Report:
“10 Things You Can Do In The Next 10 Minutes to Help Relieve Your Migraine Headache”
If you are suffering from a migraine headache right now – here are 10 things you can do to help relieve the pain.
When a migraine headache strikes – it’s almost always at the worst time possible. This isn’t just Murphy’s Law at play - typically when stress levels are high and responsibilities are great is when a migraine rears its ugly head.
However - first you have to determine if this one is a true migraine headache. Unless you have the type of migraine that is preceded by an aura (most don’t), then migraines frequently start out as a low intensity buzz that eventually turns into a devastating wallop when it reaches full fury. After that you have no choice but to stop your activities and deal with the migraine – simply because at that point you’re essentially out of commission.
Once a migraine does strike these are the conditions that frequently accompany it:
- Severe headache pain (usually on one side of the head)
- Photophobia (aversion to lights)
- Photophonia (aversion to sound)
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Nausea (from dizziness and from intense pain)
- Stressed out, listless feeling
- Frequently dehydrated (can’t hold liquids, don’t want to get up)
Beginning with treating the pain, here’s the list of things you can do for a migraine right now:
1. Take the Triptans – and Take it Early
So what is a triptan? These are a class of medications that are the latest and most effective prescription medicines that are used to abort a migraine headache. Brand names include: Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt, Amerge, Frova, Relpax and Axert.
If you’ve been diagnosed with migraines, you have almost certainly been prescribed one or more of these medications to take after a migraine headache begins. But, you must decide quickly to take them - because the earlier you do the more effective they are. (Like within the first 10 minutes!). Generally, the later you take them, the less effective they are.
Other problems with these medications include rather unpleasant side effects. Plus - they are very expensive - running from $20 to $70 per dose. Even if you have health insurance with prescription drug coverage, the co-pays really add up quickly.
More often than not, you’ll end up taking a second triptan medication a few hours after the first one. One dose usually doesn’t suffice. Frequently two doses won’t work that great, either. Unfortunately, once a migraine headache starts, you have few other choices.
It’s really not advisable to take more than two doses of triptans per 24 hours. More than that is simply ineffective and a just waste of money.
2. Turn Off the Lights
Photophobia is a frequent feature of migraine headaches. This next recommendation is simple: Just turn off the lights and hide out in dark places. Almost every one who has experienced migraines already knows this. There is an excellent article available to our newsletter subscribers called, “Migraines and Photophobia – Please Don’t Show Me the Light” that describes this in much more detail.
3. Turn Down the Sound
Phonophobia is also very common with migraines. Again, most migraine sufferers know intuitively to turn off the radio and the TV. Family members figured out a long time ago to speak in quiet voices and avoid talking to mommy altogether. This one is particularly tough on the family as communication grinds to a sudden halt.
4. Lie Down and Stay Still
Vertigo – that sickening kind of dizziness making you feel the room spinning around. Known as motion sickness in a car, sea sickness on a ship or the “whirlies” after too much alcohol, it’s difficult (or downright impossible) to maintain your balance. Nausea and vomiting are an ever present threat.
This is essentially an inner ear phenomenon. Our newsletter subscribers can read an in-depth article called “Migraine Associated Vertigo” for more information.
5. Take Anti-Nausea Pills
Nausea can come with or without dizziness (vertigo). Frequently the agony can be so intense that nausea results just from the pain. Or, as we just mentioned, there is the rather severe vertigo nausea associated with migraines.
Either way, taking a prescription anti-nausea pill like Meclizine (Antivert) would be helpful. Non-prescription pills like Benadryl or Claritin are probably just as good. These are all anti-histamine medications and are all relatively equal in effectiveness. Unfortunately none of them totally wipe out the nausea. But they are better than nothing at all.
Phenergan suppositories are also relatively effective in controlling nausea. But they’re a hassle to insert and rather inconvenient.
There’s also a skin patch, Trans Derm Scopolamine, commonly used in the cruise ship industry, which is more convenient method of bypassing oral anti-histamines. But it’s a slow acting delivery patch designed to give off medicine over a three day period, which results in poor short term delivery.
Sometimes the nausea is so bad that migraine sufferers start throwing up. In this situation, you can’t hold down any pills at all. So alternate routes need to be considered. This is particularly crucial for the triptan medications.
Fortunately, some of the triptans can be taken in ways other than by swallowing a pill. For example, Imitrex comes as an injection, which is fast acting and relatively effective, but has a host of unpleasant side effects and is extremely expensive. Imitrex has recently become available as a nasal spray and also comes as a rectal suppository.
Zomig and Imitrex are the only two triptans that are available as nasal sprays. Sprays have the advantage of being rapidly absorbed and quick acting – with relief coming as early as 15 minutes after use.
Zomig and Maxalt are also available as quick dissolving sub-lingual (under the tongue) tablets, doing away with any problems associated with swallowing.
6. Stay Hydrated
It’s important to drink lots of water during any stressful situation. Your body needs water to maintain itself, and when under stress requires even more. A migraine headache certainly qualifies as stressful!
The problem in drinking water during a migraine attack is that usually you are so dizzy you don’t want to move and secondly, you may be so nauseated that you couldn’t keep the water down anyway.
So hydration remains a problem. This is why taking the anti-nausea medications above become even more important. The better hydrated you are, the quicker the migraine will subside.
7. Stop the Trigger
There is some controversy over whether specific “triggers” can cause a migraine. These triggers can involve certain foods or wine that seem to be associated with a migraine just before it hits.
So if you happen to be drinking some wine, coffee, caffeinated beverages or eating cheeses or chocolates, and feel the initial stages of a migraine - just stop and put these foods away. Frankly, they may have nothing to do with the migraine. But if they are the least bit associated, it does no harm to stop them for the moment.
8. Take a Muscle Relaxer
We have noticed an overlap of muscle tension headaches that end up turning into a migraine. There can be a great deal of confusion whether that was a tension headache to begin with or just a pre-migrainous condition that ultimately turned into a full blown migraine.
In either event, if you suspect that there’s a muscle tension type of headache running underneath the migraine, then you should investigate taking a muscle relaxer prescription medication.
One advantage to taking a muscle relaxer is it helps alleviate the tension headache. Secondly, it can make you sleepy - and that’s fine too. Sometimes just sleeping off the headache is the better route to take.
Unfortunately, on many occasions with migraine headaches, managing to fall asleep doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Many people will wake up only to find the migraine hasn’t gone anywhere.
9. Take Magnesium
Forty percent of the population of the Western world is magnesium deficient. Women with menstrual migraines are three times more likely to be deficient in magnesium than the rest of the population.
If you are not currently taking magnesium supplements on a regular basis, I recommend taking 100 mg right when the migraine begins, and then 300 – 400 mg of magnesium every day.
Magnesium supplementation comes in numerous forms. The most common form is magnesium oxide. This delivers a high dose, but is gone from the bloodstream in a couple of hours. I don’t recommend taking this form of magnesium.
Instead I recommend any of the chelated (pronounced kee-lated) versions of magnesium. All of these end in an “ate”. Examples are magnesium citrate, stearate, aspartate, gluconate, and glycinate.
10. (Optional): Narcotic Pain Medications
Normally, most pain doctors recommend taking non-narcotic pain medications like Tylenol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin, Aleve (naproxen or Naprosyn) or Motrin (Ibuprofen) prior to jumping into narcotic pain medications. However, migraine sufferers already know that these non-narcotic pain medications just don’t do the job. So we won’t waste time discussing them.
Narcotic pain medications should be reserved for those very extraordinary occasions when the pain is just absolutely intolerable. Unfortunately, in migraine headaches the pain is usually so severe that every headache is an exceptional occasion. The good feature about narcotic pain medications like Vicodin (hydrocodone) is that they work relatively well, at least for a few hours.
The problem with narcotics is they are both tolerating and addictive. Tolerating means that some people have to take more and more of the medication to get the same amount of relief. Addiction means that it’s difficult to stop using the drug – with or without pain.
Many “normal” people end up getting unintentionally addicted to narcotic pain medications. This has become a significant public health problem. My observation is that most migraine sufferers generally refuse to take narcotic pain medications because of the justifiable fear of addiction.
A Better Method
There is another option – a migraine cure. Cure the migraine and put your expensive and dangerous prescriptions away and get on the road to the new life – free of pain and suffering! Read the articles or just order my e-book today and get a new lease on life – free of migraines! You will be glad you did.
Recent reports indicate migraine headaches can indeed be totally abolished – as a number of elite medical clinics catering to women have testified. Under their treatment protocols, migraines are completely eliminated in 80% of their patients.
These successes are limited to women only, as addressing a women’s hormones is the basis of the cure. Some clinics have published their treatment protocols and even made them available to the public.
The Women’s Health Institute of Texas believes that a migraine cure certainly eliminates the migraine auras altogether - and concern over the ensuing migraine headache may no longer be necessary – at least in women.
About the Author: Dr. Andrew P. Jones, M.D. is the Medical Director for the Women’s Health Institute of Texas. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and by the American Academy of Biologically Identical Hormone Therapy.
His medical experience primarily revolves around the relationship of women’s health issues and bio-identical hormone management of PMS, menopause and migraine headaches.
Find out more about Dr. Jones and the cure for migraine headaches
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