In any of these self-help books especially one about something so crippling as migraines the reader basically wants to get to the cure as quickly as possible. If I sit and ramble here for 15 chapters about anything other than what relieves the blinding pain in your head this book will end up in the bin. Rather than start with my life experience, I will fill you in on the way and as I give a solution I’ll show my experience from my own life.
Migraines were ruining my life.
You see if you have a pocket full of cash, a big house, all the friends in the world and yet your body hates you then you have nothing.
Wealth must first come from inside.
It simple and straightforward. My lifestyle was killing me. I had a bad diet, Stress in my job and later to learn photophobia which is an extreme sensitivity to sunlight in my eyes.
Two things happened.
1: Change my job
2: Change my health
The first thing I did was go to my boss and gave him two options relocate me or sack me. If I had told myself to do this I wouldn’t have listened so I just did it… and it worked. You see a good work ethic had paid dividends. He moved me from a job where I was in direct sunlight to one where I was indoors.
ME 1 – MIGRAINES 0
Next came the diet you see I have always paid my health a little attention but not enough to warrant any results. What happened when I changed my diet WOW could you see the difference. I did my research on what was good what was bad, cut out caffine_i.e coffee and sugary drinks) and started exercising more and set a more routine sleeping pattern at nights.
On top of that when the migraines did appear (and with photophobia or heat sensitivity migraines will always be waiting in the background to pounce) when the pain came it was far easier beat with 3 things
2 Glasses of freezing water
2 Panadol Extra
1 Roll on Menthol for forehead
This seems extremely easy. But once I cut the direct sunlight, diet and stress the migraines became controllable.
Now in my introduction I have give a quick rundown of everthing I did. If thats al you need as motivation then by all means set this book aside and get stuck in to changing your life. If however you want more detail then read on.
Cause and effect
I’m one of those people who get stressed easily. I not only get stressed but my very work ethic is twinned with it. When I get stressed at work I get the head down and move fast. In one way I love stress in my job as it makes me feel alive. In my head, I feel if I had a quiet job at a desk or gardening it would kill me. Horses for courses and all that.
To cope with stress I did two things for a long time. I smoked and I chewed gum both of which is dumb if you’re susceptible to migraines. Smoking causes the blood cells in your brain to get constricted and chewing gum causes tension in your forehead from all the chewing …even though chewing is meant as a distraction from stress.
Everybody has their own way of dealing with stress it’s true so you will need to find your non-toxic release. Mine was exercise. I got a treadmill and set a tv in front of it and would run for hours at home. After that, I got shin splints so I couldn’t run. Not to be beaten I got a cycle machine and weights. The result was pretty cool.
Exercise releases endorphins into your system which interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce pain and act similar to morphine and codeine.
By getting pain relief into your system you relax and need less stimulation from things such as gum or smoking.
One major problem was sleep. I would leave for work at 7am and get home at 6pm all the while building a house and I had a bad habit of late night gaming.
It is critical for good health that you get a good routine of sleep and rest. When people are young i.e the early 20s they can get away with habits that would haunt someone 10-20 years older.
If you type into google “lack of sleep” it finishes with “can cause migraines”. The world we live in is non stop. People want to work all day and party all night, the problem being they are made from flesh and blood and need maintenance. Your body requires an average of 7-9 hours sleep a night. Any less and your body doesn’t get time to repair itself and clear the mind. There will always be people that are special and can get away with extremely small amounts of sleep. I remember someone once saying the former English Prime minister lived on 4 hours sleep a night. That is a one-off and not the rule.
Oh, the bain of the modern world. Diet has been blamed for every problem with the human body under the sun.. almost. Migraines are almost certainly influenced by what you eat or for that matter don’t eat.
In today’s culture food is processed and filled full of chemicals and additives that make it taste better, keep it fresh longer and even better keep us addicted to it. Think of something like a carbonated drink a coke or something. What does it taste like? Believe it or not, I couldn’t answer this because coke tastes like coke but better what is the active ingredient in coke? sugar? Nope
“The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid is used to clean the rust off cars before they are primed and painted.”
To give you some perspective on me, I could drink 9 cups of coffee a day and a 6 pack of coke easy.
Could I tell you why I liked coke… nope. At a guess sugar. When I started looking into what was in coke and how it affected the body… I pooped myself a little (not literally). If coke can clean a coin then what is it doing to your insides. We wouldn’t think of going to the shop buying some floor cleaner and drinking it whilst eating a meal while the footballs on. Why then with coke … because we like the taste…? Anything we put in our body shouldn’t be destructive to it. If it is destructive to it then your body is going to react.
Did you ever have a reaction to something you ate? Food poisoning? What does your body do when you are food poisoned? You end up paying either Huey with the toilet bowl or spend the night with your bottom glued to it realising how Jonny Cash came up the song “ A burning ring of fire”
The importance of investigating the effects of what you eat is critical. A major problem is in today’s society we are lazy. We want to buy the food, taste the food and be done. I guarantee you this once you get an idea of whats good and whats bad it becomes quick and easy to guide your diet from day to day.
Drink more water. Not coffee, not fizzy drinks… water. Dehydration can be the cause of many problems with the body including migraines.
Dehydration is one of the most overlooked causes of migraines and one of the reasons I take two glasses of really cold water when I have a migraine coming on. The fluid and the cold both fight the pain.
Considering most of us lead a lifestyle that is filled with bad habits it’s worth considering taking a look at your water intake. The number of things that can leave you short of water can be alcohol, smoking, vaping, fast food, exercise, sunny weather and a host of other common sense things we seem to ignore.
Here is where things can get complicated. I have photophobia. Basically, my eyes don’t like sunlight. I can go outside etc but if there is a lot of glare then I’m like a vampire.
As a medical symptom, photophobia is not a morbid fear or phobia, but an experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure or by the presence of actual physical sensation of the eyes, though the term is sometimes additionally applied to abnormal or irrational fear of light such as heliophobia.
Getting to the doctor for a checkup or to a holistic therapist to get your food intolerances checked is vital.
It was by chance I went to the opticians as I thought I needed glasses. He talked to me about football(soccer) took a look at my eyes and said” you’ve photophobia and before you ask unless it’s caused by a food intolerance then it cant be fixed. Mine was genetic. For a while, it bummed me out but I got a pair of polarized sunglasses and that seems to reduce glare.
All that is good to know buy what do you do if you have a busting migraine and you need it gone now.
1 Find a dark, cool, quiet room.If heat and light cause migraine then common sense dictates the opposite is sure to at least help or sooth the pain. I have been known to fill the bath with freezing cold water and ice cubes and hold my head underwater. Others with sense have a cold shower but I prefer my method.
2 Ear plugs and eye masksThe more you can block out the better chance you have of not aggravating the migraine.
3 NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, can really help but not for long-term use otherwise you could end up causing damage to your stomach as they hinder the production of enzymes that protect your stomach from the likes of ulcers.
I hope this helps in you pain relief battle.