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4 Things to be mindful of if you suffer from migraines

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When I get a headache, I know most of the time it's from stress or lack of sleep, and it will go away with treatment.

When my friend of 20 years's head "hurts," she is hyper-sensitive to light and noise, becomes nauseous, is in severe pain and the symptoms can send her to bed for days on end. As a mother, co-worker, wife and friend, spending days in bed due to a migraine can be debilitating for us and our families. Having products and coping skills that help to not only manage the pain, but to continue with the demands we have is key.

I recently had the opportunity to read results from the Millennial Migraine Report commissioned by the makers of Excedrin® Migraine and wanted to share some of the results that were surprising to me! It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that stress is the most common trigger for migraine sufferers surveyed; 70 percent of millennial migraine sufferers surveyed report stress as a trigger, compared to 60 percent of Gen X-ers and 50 percent of Boomers.

I can tell you that my friend says when she feels stress in her shoulders, it is almost always followed by a migraine. Reducing stress in your life can be difficult, but drinking enough water, making sure sleep is a top priority and minimizing stress were among the popular management skills noted by those surveyed.

Some other great tips that have helped my friend manage her migraines include these.

1. Be careful of your food intake

My friend does not drink red wine or indulge in much chocolate because she has noticed that they can trigger migraines for her. Also, though she loves her carbonated drinks, she says over the years she has had to slow down on them because they are triggers for her as well. To better manage your diet, log your food intake and recognize food items that might be the culprit for you.

2. Have an exercise routine and make it regular

We all want to work out to look good, but working out has so many health benefits, including helping to manage stress and migraines for some. Your body releases hormones and more during exercise so keeping a regular schedule can really help.

3. Know the weather

Changes in weather patterns can certainly affect our moods. They can also trigger a migraine for some. Know the weather report and be prepared to adjust your schedule accordingly. Keeping a daily diary can help you understand when weather patterns might be affecting you.

4. Have the right tools on board

See your doctor and be honest about your symptoms, any patterns you have noticed and what seems to trigger your migraines. Take what they say and try to apply it. If you are diagnosed as a migraine sufferer, having over-the-counter medications on hand can be beneficial as well.

Migraines can affect everything from your sex drive, to your friendships or work life. I have watched my friend struggle and suffer with the condition for several decades and it has changed almost every aspect of her life. Do you or someone you know suffer from migraines? To learn more about migraines and the Millennial Migraine Report visit Excedrin.com/stories.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by SheKnows. This article and its survey findings were made possible by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine. Respondents of the survey were diagnosed migraine sufferers. See your doctor for diagnosis of migraines and migraine treatment options.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photo credit: Mislav Marohnić/Flickr
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