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Migraine Awareness Week
Tips for Managing Migraines
1. Keep a diary of, for example, food, drinks or activities to try to identify any trigger factors.
2. Try to avoid anything that you know triggers your migraine and consider a trial exclusion to assess other potential triggers. Do not avoid things long term just because you have heard they trigger migraine attacks in others if not effective in your case.
3. Eat regularly and avoid sugary snacks to keep blood sugar levels stable.
4. Drink plenty of water (at least two litres a day) and reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks containing artificial sweeteners.
5. Maintain a regular sleep pattern
6. Try to get some fresh air and exercise every day, such as walking or cycling.
7. Avoid bright, flickering or flashing light and wear sunglasses and / or a hat in bright sunlight.
8. Take regular breaks from work, especially if you use computer monitors.
9. Make your working environment as comfortable as possible. For example, adjust chair to correct height, eliminate glare from windows, lighting or reflective surfaces, adjust the computer screen, maintain good ventilation and ensure the temperature is suited to the work you are doing.
10. Practise relaxation techniques to rid the body of tension and stress.
11. Learn to identify any warning signs that indicate that an attack may be on its way. Take action fast. Warning signs may include stiffness in the neck, becoming clumsy, a bad taste in the mouth or not being able to think clearly.
12. Take your medication early in the attack; it has a much greater chance of working.
13. If your migraine is causing problems or your current treatment is not bringing significant relief, make an appointment with your GP. There are many different treatments now available.
14. Join Migraine Action for support and more information about treatment options, both conventional and complementary.
15. Everyone's migraine experience is different. You should not dismiss symptoms because they are not “standard” symptoms.
For further information or advice about migraines, you can visit . If you, however, have any concerns regarding migraine symptoms, then you should seek advice and support from your GP.
6-12th September
Migraine is the most common neurological condition; it affects people of all ages, social classes, races and cultures.
Migraine attacks can last between four and 72 hours. People are more likely to experience migraines between the ages of 20 and 50-years-old.
What is a migraine?
A migraine is more than just a headache. For most, the main feature is a painful headache, however, some can occur without the headaches. Other symptoms may be:
• Visual disturbances (e.g. auras). • Nausea and vomiting.
• Sensitivity to light.
• Sensitivity to noise/smells.
• Tingling/ pins and needles.
• Weakness/ numbness in the limbs.
A variety of factors can trigger a migraine. For most people, there is not just the one trigger but a combination of factors, which individually can be tolerated but when they occur together a threshold is passed and a migraine is triggered.
Although not all migraines follow the same pattern, there generally tends to be five phases to a migraine attack:
1. The Prodrome (warning) Stage.
Signs such as mood change, tiredness, an unusual hunger or thirst can happen up to 48 hours before an attack.
2. The Aura.
This part of the attack can last up to an hour and usually precedes the headache. Symptoms may include for example visual disturbances, pins and needles and confusion.
3. The Main Stage of the Attack.
A headache will often be present along with other symptoms, such as nausea and/or vomiting and can last between 4 and 72 hours.
4. Resolution/Postdrome Stage.
The pain gradually eases or may disappear but feelings of lethargy may remain.
5. Recovery Stage.
It can take a few days to fully recover, or for the more lucky ones, recovery can be surprisingly quick.

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