Dear Doctor: Please Help with My Migraines
I have frequent migraines and it is making it difficult for me to function. What should I do?
Migraineur in Texas
Dear Migraineur in Texas,
Unfortunately, migraine headaches are quite common affecting about 30 million people in the United States.
The first step that I usually recommend to patients is to identify triggers for your headaches.
Common triggers for migraines include sleep deprivation, stress and dehydration. Some people are also able to identify foods that worsen their headaches and may notice improvement in headaches with changes to their diet. There are also many behavioral changes, which have been shown to decrease the intensity and frequency of headaches, which include regular exercise and relaxation techniques.
Some patient’s migraines do not respond to behavioral changes alone and require medications to prevent headaches from occurring. There are a variety of medications available to treat migraines.
If despite being on medications that prevent headaches a patient continues to have migraines, your physician can consider the addition of abortive therapies (medications that stop the migraine when it starts) to your regimen. If you are ready to get control of your headaches, I would recommend that you seek the advice of a Neurologist to learn which treatments would be best for you.
Dr. Kristin Brown is an Assistant Professor in Department of Neurology at UT Health Science Center at Houston. For more information on UT Physicians practice locations please call 888-488-3627.