There is no other pain quite like it and you arenít even sure which
bothers you more, the throbbing, vomiting, nausea or seeing spots.
Symptoms of migraine headaches can be so excruciating, that you find
yourself or your loved one taking unusual measures to get some relief like
laying face down on cold bathroom tile. It may provide a temporary break
from migraine symptoms,but as soon as you attempt to become active, the
pain comes shooting right back. Migraines can last for days or weeks
disrupting you or your job, family life, or social life.
Over 28 million Americans suffer from reoccurring migraine headaches and
70 percent of that statistic are women. Unfortunately, more than half of
migraine sufferers go undiagnosed by a physician, according to the
National Headache Foundation (NHF), a non-profit organization. It is
unclear why migraine pain is triggered, but 145 million workdays are lost
because of it. Known factors that contribute to the onset of a migraine
include: fatigue, bright lights, hormones, stress or foods.
With the growing number of people living with migraine pain, primary
doctors are becoming increasingly more informed about migraine headaches
and treatment options available. As a patient or caregiver, you can
incorporate better communication with your health-care provider to achieve
a winning treatment program for yourself or your loved-one. The National
Headache Foundation released 10 specific steps to communicate better with
Donít be hesitant to seek help- There is no
need for you or your care recipient to suffer with migraine pain when
new treatment options are available. Itís about enhancing the
quality of life.
Seek out information about migraine headaches so
you can communicate more effectively with your doctor- There are a
variety of sources that provide information about migraine pain on the
web including: The National Headache Foundation at www.headaches.org
or call 1-888-NHF-5552.
Make a doctorís appointment specifically about
you or your loved-oneís headaches- Find out if you or your care
recipientís primary doctor is informed about migraine headaches and
treatments. If not, you may want to seek out a headache specialist or
Prepare to converse in detail about you or your
care recipientís headaches. Consider keeping a log- Be ready to tell
you or your care recipientís physician when you get migraine
headaches, how long they last, events prior to migraine onset,
symptoms and severity of pain. Note any missed workdays or social
engagements due to migraine pain. If medication is prescribed, track
the effectiveness in pain relief and for how long.
Have realistic treatment goals- Be advised that
there isnít a cure for migraines but management of them is possible.
Stay open-minded when working with your physician about trying new
treatments. Treatment success could wane or surge so prepare to modify
Be upfront with your physician about all
medications you are taking or any medical condition- In order to
prevent adverse drug reactions, inform your doctor about all
prescribed or over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Stay optimistic about your treatment- Donít
give up and focus on collaborating with your doctor to find a
solution, it may take time.
Read and ask your doctor questions about all
prescription medication you or your care recipient has been
prescribed- All prescription medication comes with instructions that
are extremely important to know regarding: when to take it, dosage, if
you need to take it with water or food, etc. Ask your physician about
anything you donít understand.
Form a partnership with your physician concerning
treatment success- Success of the treatment works better with regular
visits with your physician and open communication lines.
Check in regularly with your doctor- The
effectiveness of your or your care recipientís treatment depends on
the time you invest and follow-up visits. Make your next appointment
before you leave the office. (Physicians usually recommend three
months between visits).
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