For those who suffer from migraines, the idea of a Memorial Day barbecue can sound more like a headache than a holiday party. From bright sunlight to screaming kids to an uptick in physical activity, outdoor soirees are full of migraine triggers. But there are ways to prepare for a day of fun without the crippling fear of migraine symptoms coming on:
Acceptance Leads to Less Stress. The fact is, even if you take all precautions, migraines can arrive at any moment. Accepting the possibility is your first step to letting go of the stress that surrounds your condition. Unlike a tension headache or sinus headache, migraines can be debilitating, so ask your spouse or a close friend to be prepared to take over any hosting duties or to let friends know that you need some time to yourself if one does come on. Having a back up plan will relieve anxiety that so often cause headaches.
Food for Thought. You may be tempted to snack on chips and beer or just wait until the burgers are finally done to grab a bite, but eating is a sensitive issue for those with migraines. For some, processed foods are a trigger. Aged and fermented cheeses (such as party favorites cheddar and brie cheese), aspartame (commonly found in diet drinks), and preservatives such as the nitrites found in hot dogs or deli meats have all been linked to headaches. Ask your doctor for a list of possible triggers and start tracking your diet and episodes so you can pinpoint which foods should be avoided. In addition to choosing the right foods, eating regularly should also be a priority. Skipping meals can also cause migraine problems.
Sip and See. You know your body better than anyone, but keep in mind that alcohol is a common migraine trigger. Alcohol-induced migraines typically come on a few hours after drinking, or set in much later as a hangover. Darker drinks – red wine, whiskey, and stout beers, for example – are more likely than other types of alcohol to cause problems. A small portion of an adult beverage may be okay, but avoiding alcohol may mean less worry.
Consider Your Surroundings. It’s called the “great outdoors,” but for migraines sufferers, a day spent in the sun can lead to a flare-up. Heat and humidity plus the glare of the daylight can stimulate migraines. Wear sunglasses when outside, and if the weather starts to affect you, head indoors to cool off and take a load off.
Living with chronic migraines can be a pain in the – well, you know – but there are small measure you can take to avoid them. It will simply take time and energy to become attuned to your body and understand what triggers your headaches. For a more permanent solution, however, consider an Omega migraine procedure, which has an 80-90% success rate in certain types of chronic migraine patients.