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When it comes to managing migraine a lot of people think that you can cure yourself by drinking coffee and taking your medication which can help some people but is not the cure-all for migraine disease. A vast majority of the time you can dodge a migraine by avoiding your triggers but there are some triggers you cannot control such as the weather which can have a major influence on migraine pain. In the summer the weather in Florida is miserable because it can get to be in the upper nineties with one-hundred percent humidity and it is so hot that no one wants to do outside events unless it’s by the pool. During the winter it’s completely different because we don’t get a lot of extreme temperatures that would affect the frequency of migraine and it can be quite nice. It’s is frustrating when you do everything right but still get migraine attacks because of triggers you cannot control such as the weather. How can you avoid migraine in the summer time when it’s hot out and it’s more likely for your migraine pain to flare? In this post, I am going to talk about some things I do during the summer to have less migraine pain.
Stay hydrated– Water is always important for avoiding migraine and in the summertime you may need to drink more water in the July than you would in December because you won’t be sweating as much. If you are staying indoors and it’s cool inside it might not be necessary to chug a gallon of water every hour but if you are outside and it’s ninety degrees out you should have a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. Dehydration is the most common and avoidable migraine trigger that people sometimes overlook until it’s too late and they have a horrible headache. If you are drinking a lot of coffee and soda technically you are consuming water because there is water in these beverage but nothing is better than the real thing. A vast majority of people will be able to drink water when they are outside and not have problem but if you live with a headache disorder water alone sometimes does not hydrate you fast enough to avoid attacks. If you find yourself struggling with horrible headaches when you are outside while drinking tons of water it might be a good idea to drink something with electrolytes because electrolytes will hydrate you twice as fast as water alone. Hydration is key for avoiding migraine because dehydration can happen fast so be sure you are consistently consuming liquids especially if you are going to be outdoors.
Use peppermint oil regularly- I love the smell of peppermint oil and use it often but even though I am diffusing peppermint oil it does not mean I am in a flare. Peppermint oil and essential oils in general have a lot of health benefits and the main reason I use peppermint oil is to avoid headaches because there is no cure for headache disorders and you have to prevent them. Peppermint oil can help manage migraine if used regularly but it’s not cure for migraine and typically people use it to prevent migraine but we don’t use it when we have one because for some people the smell can be too intense during attacks and worsen symptoms.
Exercise indoors- In Florida people generally enjoy doing outside workout because it’s not too awful most of the year but in the same you may not see a lot of people exercise outside in the middle of the afternoon because it’s too hot. When I started exercising my workout consisted of walking outside but the biggest problem I had was the weather controlled when and if I was going to be able to exercise. Most able-bodied people can go for a walk after it’s rained but when you have a physical disability it’s difficult because wetness makes falls more likely. I prefer doing indoor workouts and don’t know what I ever saw in outdoor routines because I am never motivated to workout in the morning which is the best time to exercise if you are doing it outdoor. Indoor workouts is a great option for people with migraine or headache because you have better control over triggers and if for some reason you were hit with a migraine attack during exercise you are in a place where you can stop.
Eat regularly- Nutrition should be put in the same level of importance as hydration because you can trigger a migraine with poor nutrition just as quickly as you could by not drinking water. People sometimes that migraine prevention is all about taking your medication and it true that you do have to take your medication but a lot of it has to do with your nutrition . Are you eating enough carbs or too much? Are you getting the right about of protein and good fats in diet? Migraine nutrition can be a challenge because not everyone has the same triggers and will need to follow the same types of diet but it can be triggering if you don’t have somewhat of a handle on it. If you are struggling with more migraine pain sometimes people think that the solution to less pain is more meds but a lot of the times your medication could be the problem Medication is necessary for some people but it also can make you very tired and unproductive and is not always necessary. If it wasn’t for my preventative medication I wouldn’t be able to leave my home but my migraine pain isn’t controlled because I have a laundry list of medication that I take but it’s that I practice good eating habits.. Nutrition plays a huge role in migraine and headache prevention and if you are struggling you should consider cleaning up your diet before changing your meds.
Drink less caffeine- People are always saying that drinking more coffee will cure a migraine but is it true? There is a lot of controversy in the migraine community and we all question if caffeine is a real remedy. Caffeine can help some people have less but you might be shocked to know that some people are sensitive to caffeine and it makes it worse. If you find yourself struggling with migraine pain most people would assume they need more coffee but sometimes the opposite true and you need to consume less caffeine. I recently had a bad migraine attack that lasted days because the EEG I had for seizures made my migraine pain flare and I reduce my caffeine intake for about a week for less pain. People always assume that when you have a migraine that it’s because you aren’t drinking enough coffee but it could be because you are drinking too much.
Eat less dairy- There a lot of food triggers and not everyone will need to avoid the same types of food. Some people are lactose intolerant and do not eat a lot of dairy but did you know that dairy is a common migraine trigger? If you are noticing you are getting headache after you eat yogurt it might mean you are sensitive to dairy and that maybe you don’t need to cut it out completely but reducing how much you consume might be a good idea. Dairy sometimes interacts with my stoma and I don’t like to eat a lot of it but the main I try to limit my dairy consumption is that a lot of the time I get really bad headaches consuming dairy. It is nearly impossible to avoid all triggers because there is a laundry list of things that could trigger a migraine but if there is a certain type of food that you think is causing you pain, try cutting it out. I still eat dairy knowing it could be trigger because it’s really hard to go dairy-free and I just try to monitor how much I consume. Dairy affects about fifty percent of people with migraine and some people believe that it could be the lactose that someone may not be tolerating well that could be triggering migraine. If you are a little sensitive you don’t always have to completely cut it out and sometimes reducing it can help with symptoms
Don’t drink alcohol in the heat- Some migraineurs are not sensitive to alcohol and can drink it occasionally but I would be very careful when drinking a beer in the summer heat because alcohol dehydrates you and a delicious drink can turn into days of pain very quickly. If alcohol does not trigger you there is nothing wrong with drinking a wine cooler while at the pool but you should be very careful when consuming alcohol in the heat and it’s always a good idea to have water with you while drinking to prevent dehydration. A migraine attack is more likely amongst people with headache disorders but that doesn’t mean someone without one can’t get a migraine because headaches caused by dehydration can happen and no one is immune. If you must drink alcohol in the sun make sure you also drinking water with it because there is nothing worse than getting a really bad migraine that was probably avoidable,
Don’t skimp on sleep– When you live with migraine or any type of chronic pain it can be hard to fall asleep because a lot of the time pain prevents you from getting a good nights res. Sleep is often recommended for people with migraine because when you skimp on your sleep it puts more stress on your body and can be a trigger. Do your best to get a good night sleep because you are not doing yourself any favors by staying up at all hours of the night. Sleep deprivation is common amongst people in pain and negatively affects your health in more ways than just migraine. If you struggle with falling asleep ask your doctor about a prescription strength sleep aid or try diffusing some lavender or eucalyptus that helps promote sleep. Sleep with migraine is difficult and you can’t control when your migraine pain will keep you up at all hours of the night but you can go to bed early to try and get more sleep. You will not notice a big difference in your migraine symptoms when you slept well and when you didn’t because your body needs rest to be able to avoid flares.
Get a portable fan- If you are going to spend a day in the sun ideally you would want to be by a pool but not all outside events are going to have that and sometimes you may want to go to the park. It can be more difficult to avoid migraine when it’s scorching hot outside but staying cool is a must for people trying to avoid a migraine. If you need to be outside and there is no pool available you can get a portable battery operated fan than may help you from overheating. Some portable fans can even spray a little bit of water which can help you stay cool if you don’t have access to a pool.
When you live with a migraine or headache disorder a lot of the time you can avoid triggers by not eating certain foods, but you can’t control changes in the weather. People sometimes assume that when migraine pain flares happen that you are not exercising enough or need more meds, but the truth is a lot of the time you don’t know what caused it and that is the mystery of living with a migraine or headache disorder. Preventative medications can help some people have less pain, but they don’t get your pain to a zero and it only gets it to a level where you can have a life. People with migraine or headache disorders sometimes will have certain parts of the of year where we struggle more and all the medication in the world won’t change that because sometimes the weather is to blame. How do you manage migraine pain in the summer heat?
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