Ways to Rule Your Migraine Disease
Teri Robert | June 1, 2016 Oct 31, 2016
Thanks to advances in research and treatment of migraine disease, migraine can only beat us if we let it. We can rule migraine disease—it doesn’t have to rule us. Here’s a look at some things we can do to put that crown on our heads and rule.
Take charge; take responsibility
When it comes to our health, the person with the most at stake needs to be in charge. That’s us, not our doctors. Our health is ultimately our responsibility. To rule our migraines, we have to accept ownership and responsibility, then take charge of our health and our health care.
Find the right doctor
It’s vital to know that neurologists aren’t necessarily migraine specialists, and migraine specialists aren’t necessarily neurologists. In medical school, non-specialist doctors get only four hours of education about all headache disorders. When our migraines are especially difficult, seeking treatment with a true migraine specialist can be a big turning point toward effective migraine management.
Partner with your doctor
We can’t reasonably expect to walk into our doctor’s office and get instant results and solutions. There’s no “magic pill” that works for everyone to manage migraine perfectly. We have to partner with our doctors by accurately reporting about our migraines, then reviewing options with them and making joint decisions.
Identify and manage your migraine triggers
Some migraine triggers are avoidable—others aren’t. Identifying them, avoidable or not, is necessary for effective migraine management. Avoiding those triggers affords us the obvious benefit of avoiding some migraines. Recognizing unavoidable triggers at least lets us be better prepared when the migraine hits.
Research has shown that patients who are educated about their health issues have better outcomes. Continuing to learn about migraine and migraine treatments from our doctors and other reliable sources helps us to be stronger treatment partners with our doctors and better prepared to share in making treatment decisions with our doctors. Even better, share the learning process with family. Knowledge truly is power.
Stick to your lifestyle changes
When we’re healthier, our bodies are less stressed and less susceptible to our migraine triggers. Even simple lifestyle changes can help. Have a conversation with your doctor about lifestyle changes that would be both beneficial and realistic for you. Setting goals that are too ambitious—such as an exercise program too strenuous for you—set you up for failure and disappointment. Realistic changes allow us to maintain and benefit from them.
Keep hoping and believing
If we start a new treatment or see a new doctor thinking it’s not going to help, it’s not. That’s how powerful our minds are. That self-fulfilling prophecy can make our bodies respond poorly to new treatments. And there are good reasons to hope and believe because of the strides made in migraine research. We have more good options than ever and more on the way. Remember that hope is as essential to migraine management as our treatments.