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Migraine Pain Relief and the Migraine Diary

This page of our website contains information about migraines, migraine medication, why you should keep a migraine diary, and a migraine diary chart you can print from this page. All of the information and the migraine diary is a reprint from a pamphlet created by the manufacturers of Zomig, a migraine medication.

START BY LEARNING MORE

The more you know about your condition, the more you can tell your doctor, and the better your treatment will be. When it comes to a medical condition like migraine, information is vitally important. This booklet is designed to give you some basic facts.

Migraine is typically diagnosed using descriptive criteria including a predominantly one-sided headache that pulses or throbs, especially when reaching moderate to severe intensity levels and when aggravated by the simplest of common activities. Either a queasy nauseousness, vomiting, or intolerance to light and sound will occur, usually with increasing intensity of the headache.

If you believe you are suffering from migraines, you need your doctor to verify your assessment to rule out other causes of your pain and to develop a treatment plan. Even if you have already been diagnosed with migraines, we urge you to visit your doctor, because more advances in treatment are being made than ever before.

As you know, certain people are prone to a particular group of symptoms we call "migraines." This is believed to be due to a biochemical problem in the central nervous system. The degree of the problem varies from one individual to another, which is why some people have migraines more often -or have them more severely - than others.

The attacks are believed to be caused by this problem in the central nervous system. Migraines can be triggered or worsened by such factors as stress or emotional changes. Researchers know for a fact that migraines have a medical basis - they are absolutely not "all in your head."

What's more, they can be brought on by changes that seem harmless, because your system is more sensitive to change. Changes like...

  • travel, especially across time zones
  • getting much less - or much more - sleep than usual
  • skipping meals or a change in diet
  • hormonal changes
  • shifts in weather and barometric pressure
  • going from darkness to very bright light

You'll find these changes, along with other triggers, summed up in a chart below. It can help you plan ahead and avoid migraines whenever possible. Keeping to regular eating, exercise, and sleeping schedules while minimizing caffeine, smoking, and artificial sweeteners (aspartame) can help you manage better every day.

COMMON MIGRAIN TRIGGERS 

Foods

Aged cheese, alcohol, nuts, chocolate, yogurt, onions, figs, liver, caffeinated foods and beverages, monosodium glutamate (MSG), smoked or pickled fish/ meat, nitrate/ nitrate preserved foods (hot dogs, pepperoni, salami), artificial sweeteners.

Medications

Antibiotics (tetracycline, griseofulvin), antihypertensives (nifedipine, captopril), hormones (oral contraceptives, estrogens), histamine-2 blockers (cimetidine, ranitidine), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (indomethacin, piroxicam), vasodilators (nitroglycerine, isosorbide dinitrate)

Sensory Stimuli

Flickering/bright lights, sunlight, odors (perfume, chemicals, cigarette smoke)

Lifestyle changes

Time zones, sleep patterns, eating habits, caffeine withdrawal, stress

Other

Menstrual cycle, weather/season changes, high altitude.

Source: adapted from Lewis and Solomon, Cleve Clin J Med 1995; Rapoport and Sheftell. Conquering Headache, 1998

Migraine medication can help you manage, as well. That's why you should know about ZOMIG zolmitriptan Tablets, which we describe below.

So far, the medical community has not found a "cure" for migraines. But help is available. You owe it to yourself to talk to your doctor about new therapy.

TAKE CONTROL WITH YOUR DIARY

If you've been diagnosed with migraines, the next step is up to you, because only you know exactly what your migraines are like - the severity, the frequency, and perhaps the cause of each one.

The more you know about your condition, the more you can tell your doctor, and the better your treatment plan will be.

That's why we have created a detailed Migraine Tracking Diary. [Printing instructions are below.] You now have a convenient way to record all the information possible about your migraines and share it with your health care provider.

Be sure to keep it handy, so you can use it as soon after your headache as possible. That way, all the details will be fresh in your memory, and you'll be sure to get them all down in the Diary. You may want to make several photocopies and keep them at work, in your car, and around your home.

The Diary also helps you and your doctor see any changes in your migraines - changes that could be so gradual you wouldn't notice them without a written record. Information like that can make a real difference in the way you and your doctor deal with your condition ...and how effective your treatment can be.

Please pay special attention to the trigger section. Many people have been able to pinpoint what causes their migraines, or what seems to make them more severe. Discovering your personal triggers can change the way you eat ...the way you deal with your emotions ...and change your life for the better. Dramatically.

The more you know about your condition, the more you can tell your doctor, and the better your treatment plan will be.

THE MIGRAINE DIARY

Click here to view/print Migraine Tracking Diary (17Kb PDF) 

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