When my eight year old daughter developed migraines suddenly, I had no idea the impact it was going to have on our lives. I knew a little about migraines; they were a very bad headache that could be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. What I didn’t know was how complex they were or that they could be completely debilitating.
My heart felt torn in two as I watched my little girl cry as she curled into a ball in a dark bedroom and waited for the pain to ease. After our pediatrician exhausted her resources, she sent us on to a pediatric neurologist who specialized in migraines. There, the magic began to happen that slowly but surely allowed us to return to our normal lives.
First, we learned about triggers. We already knew that bright sunlight and heat were my daughter’s biggest triggers. But we learned more triggers to avoid; triggers such as processed meats, Chinese food, changes in the atmosphere, stress, a variance in sleep schedules. We were encouraged to keep a headache journal, recording the date and time she got the migraine, the number on a pain scale of 1-10 that her pain was on, a description of the headache and suspected triggers. This helped us see patterns arise and helped the doctor make better decisions for her.
The doctor also talked about tips to prevent headaches, which have been very helpful. Migraine suffers should always wear sunglasses and even a hat if the light is particularly bothersome. They should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day and avoid having caffeine on a regular basis. Staying on the same sleep schedule is important. Keeping a journal to release stressful feelings is a good step. Lastly, what helped my daughter the most was a magnesium supplement, 250 mg. She quickly went from having 3-4 headaches a month to a headache every 6 months. That is a huge difference and allowed her to return to the sunny, carefree little girl we missed.
It is my sincere hope the tips listed are helpful to other sufferers. Be sure to talk with your physician before making any changes in treating your migraines.