I’ve had migraines for years, but they’ve grown especially hard to deal with since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I don’t know if it’s the stress of learning the new normal, dealing with more going on health-wise than ever, or something else.

Like most people, I hate migraines. Mine aren’t “regular” migraines. The doctors call them tension migraines, which basically means they’re a combination of different types of tension triggers and classic migraines. Having more ways to get a migraine doesn’t make it them any easier to deal with, believe me. The pain, the brain mushiness, the overwhelming tiredness…they all weigh down on you.

Millions of people suffer from migraines. For years the biggest things I’ve wondered is – why can’t they figure out what causes migraines? Why can’t they do better than mitigate the symptoms; even somewhat? Medical advances have come so far in tons of ways, but doctors the world over are stumped about migraines?

Yes, I realize migraines can come for a variety of reasons. There’s nothing about them that’s simple or uncomplicated, but few health issues are.

So how do we cope, before, during, and after the migraine hits?

Before:

  • Keep a migraine log. Know what you ate, drank, and did activity-wise before your migraines have come on. Look for a pattern.
  • Do what you can to manage your stress. Migraines are not always brought on by stress, but they certainly play a part.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. Beer and red wine seem to be especially bad for triggers.
  • Other triggers can include food additives, hormones, and withdrawing from certain drugs. Even bright sunlight or a weird odor can bring one on.

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During:

  • Hot or cold showers can help. Not everyone finds relief from any method of treatment, but there are worse ways to spend 20 minutes.
  • Medicine, whether prescribed or over the counter, are also considerations. Be careful, though. It’s easy to take too many pills or mix the wrong pills when your head feels like an anvil fell on it. Painkillers, muscle relaxers – there are tons of options out there and lots of ways to combine them, both good and bad.
  • Massage therapy is also a viable option. I get massages every two weeks, and have been for about seven years. Since my injuries are chronic, they’re a part of an overall treatment plan.

After:

  • Try to get some rest, or, even better, sleep. Depending on who you are and what your headaches feel like, sleep may be your friend or your enemy during the acute attack. Too much sleep is bad; too little sleep is also bad.
  • Light exercise might help you feel more “with it” again. Having a migraine often makes you feel disconnected from the world. Even running a few errands can do the trick.
  • Start eating. One of the common things that go wrong when you have a migraine is your diet. You might be hungry, you might not be. You could be eating junk, or whatever’s easiest at the moment. No one can blame you for any of that, but you must get back on track.

There’s enough advice out there to fill a small ocean. These are just things that work for me. Take them as that, and I hope they help you!

Do you have any different methods of coping? Tell me in the comments!

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