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Migraine Headaches - Living With Migraine Headaches

You may have fewer migraines—and less pain when you do get them—by trying to:

  • Find and avoid triggers for your headaches.
  • Keep a headache diary to find out what triggers your migraines.
  • Take medicine as your doctor advises to prevent and stop migraines.
  • Take your medicine right away when you think that you are getting a migraine.
  • Reduce stress with relaxation and positive-thinking methods.
  • Get help from your doctor and a counselor if you think that your migraines may be linked to depression or anxiety. Treating these health problems may reduce how often you get migraines.
actionset.gif Headaches: Managing Headaches.

Find and avoid migraine triggers

You can reduce how many migraines you have by finding out what triggers your migraines and avoiding those things. Triggers may include food, alcohol, hot weather, and changes to your routine.

actionset.gif Migraines: Finding and Avoiding Triggers.

Keep a headache diary

Keep a headache diary(What is a PDF document?) to find your triggers. You write down when you have a headache and how bad it is, along with details such as what you ate and what you did before the headache started. This information can help you find and avoid the things that bring on your headaches.

The information you put in your headache diary can also help your doctor find the best treatment for you. Finding the right treatment can help you have fewer headaches. And the headaches you do get may not be as bad.

Take your medicines as directed

One Woman's Story:

Carole, 41

"I always used to wait too long to take my medicine. Now I take it as soon as I start to feel the twinges of pain."—Carole

Read more about how Carole changed the way she treated her migraines.

The best way to stop a migraine is to take your medicine at the first sign of a headache. You might think you can stop the migraine by lying down and being quiet or doing relaxation exercises. But if a migraine has started, it's probably too late for those other methods to work by themselves.

  • Keep your medicine with you at all times so that you're ready when a headache starts.
  • Don't take the medicine too often. Talk to your doctor if you're taking your medicine more than 2 days a week, or if you get more than 3 headaches a month. Too much medicine—over-the-counter or prescription—can lead to more headaches. These are called rebound headaches.

You may be able to have fewer headaches by taking prescription medicine to prevent migraines. But taking this medicine doesn't mean that you'll never get a migraine.

dplink.gif Headaches: Should I Take Medicine to Prevent Migraines?
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