Video Q & A:

Prevention 101

Question:

What lifestyle changes can prevent migraines?

Expert:   Joshua Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. , St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center »

For some people with migraine, successful prevention is as simple as making a few changes in their daily routine and diet. Watch this to find out what to do!

Transcript: For some people with migraine, successful prevention is as simple as making a few changes in their daily routine and diet. The FIRST step in migraine prevention is to recognize and then AVOID your headache triggers! The BEST WAY to identify what sparks YOUR migraines is to KEEP TRACK of the triggers in a journal or diary. Every time you have a headache, write about it. Include everything: the time it started…where you were and what you were doing…how long it lasted…what you ate and drank for 24 hours before the attack… if you’re on any medication…and-- if you’re female--when you had your period. After analyzing what’s in your diary, you and your doctor can identify what most commonly provokes your headaches, whether it’s the certain types of food, emotional stress, and changes in diet or sleeping patterns. And since fluctuations in your diet or the amount you sleep can prompt a migraine, you’ll do well to keep a REGULAR schedule. Get the SAME amount of sleep each night, and eat your meals around the SAME time. STRESS is another common trigger, so try to stay mellow! A healthy way to do so is by exercising regularly. WOMEN may want to make one ADDITIONAL lifestyle change to avoid headaches. They may swap their hormonal birth control, for another type of contraception, because for SOME –but not ALL--women they cause hormone fluctuations that TRIGGER migraine. Finally, there is ONE more tactic you can use for prevention of migraine—it’s called BIOFEEDBACK. This technique starts out as behavioral therapy at your doctor’s office. A biofeedback technician will teach you how to regulate your blood pressure, heartbeat, body temperature and stress level. Eventually, you’ll be able to control the VERY factors that may trigger migraines, on YOUR OWN at home. Biofeedback has been proven to reduce migraine frequency in several clinical studies. More »

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