by Nesreen Suwan, M.D.
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder that has been underestimated and undertreated by both patients and physicians. Migraine symptoms include head pain, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting, lack of concentration, and scalp tenderness. Symptoms may worsen with simple household activities. Most importantly, these symptoms make it difficult for migraine sufferers to enjoy life, which certainly will take a toll on their relationships.
Migraine triggers include but are not limited to stress, alcohol or caffeine, food/food additives, light, hormone changes, skipping meals, sleep deprivation, intense exercise, cigarette smoking, and weather changes. Everybody has different migraine triggers. Identifying your own trigger is extremely important, especially when it comes to food triggers.
In my experience, patients who keep track of their meals in a headache diary are better able to identify their own individual triggers. Identifying your own triggers is a vital part of successful migraine treatment, since many foods might trigger migraines, and it is certainly not reasonable to avoid them all. For example, some common triggers are bananas, avocados, figs, raisins, dried fruit nuts, peanut butter, aged cheeses, hot dogs, bacon, smoked meats, salami, dairy foods, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, snow peas, fava beans, lima beans, monosodium glutamate (MSG), freshly baked yeast breads and cakes, red wine, beer, garlic, onions, chocolate, and endless others.
There is no reason to avoid all of these (including chocolate!) if your only trigger turns out to be red wine.
Migraine management includes avoiding triggers as well as preventive and abortive medications. Botox is a great treatment option, given its reasonable cost, effectiveness, and minimal side effects. When compared to the cost and side effects of other daily headache treatments coupled with the poor quality of life caused by no treatment, Botox truly is a saving grace. This migraine treatment can also help change the lives of chronic headache sufferers. Botox injections assist in managing chronic migraines, and the number of insurance companies covering its cost is increasing.
It is a known fact that poor quality of life leads to unhealthy relationships. Start taking charge of your chronic migraines and start living your life!
Dr. Nesreen Suwan operates a headache and fibromyalgia clinic in suburban Lisle and is American Board certified in Neurology and Pain Medicine with extra certification in headache medicine and Botox treatment. Dr. Suwan is a highly recognized headache specialist and a nationally known speaker in her field. Call (630) 420 8080 or visit http://controlchicagopain.com
FIND YOUR OWN TRIGGERS AND GET BOTOX
As Featured In Glancer Magazine, July 2012