Over one billion people worldwide have migraine headaches, and it’s the third most common disease in the world. Anyone can get migraine headaches, though it affects more adult women than adult men—but in children, more boys than girls have migraine headaches.
At Apex Medical Center, our staff of expert providers have helped many people with migraine reduce the number of headaches they experience. It takes some work, and you may need to try various preventive therapies or combinations of therapies, but most people can avoid at least some migraine headaches. In this post, we discuss some of the approaches that may help you prevent your next migraine headache.
One of the first things your provider is likely to consider is the number of headache days you experience each month. Preventing the progression from having occasional migraine headaches, four to eight headache days a month, to chronic migraine headaches, which is eight or more headache days a month, can help you avoid having a more debilitating condition.
If the number of headache days you experience per month is increasing, it’s time to consider various preventive measures.
One of the first lines of treatment in preventing migraine headaches is making appropriate lifestyle interventions. Most people who have migraine headaches have triggers that cause them. Identifying your triggers could help you prevent headaches, simply by avoiding the things or situations that cause them.
We suggest keeping a detailed diary for a few weeks. Track your sleep, what you eat, your activities, and how you feel. You may be able to see a pattern associated with your headaches.
Common triggers include various foods and beverages, environmental factors such as woodsmoke or perfumes, bright or flashing lights, sudden temperature changes, and even missing meals or variations in your sleep patterns.
Lifestyle-related treatment approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback therapy, relaxation training, and some supplements. Such non-pharmaceutical and complementary modalities can help reduce the number of headache days without side effects.
Various medications for preventing migraine headaches exist. Your provider considers many different factors in deciding which one might work for you. The number of headache days you experience, whether or not you have any other medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma, your known triggers, and whether or not you’ve tried other medications, among others, are all considerations.
Your doctor may recommend a low dose of medication, and slowly increase it. Slowly increasing the dose gives you time to adjust and may mitigate side effects. Your provider may also recommend a combination of medication, lifestyle intervention, or complementary therapies.
Finding the right combination of therapies to prevent migraine headaches may require some patience, but it is usually possible. You don’t have to simply endure more headaches with each passing month.
If you’d like to learn more about our approach to preventing migraine headaches, schedule an appointment with an expert at Apex Medical Center. We have three locations throughout Las Vegas for your convenience.