I’ve had several conversations recently with patients who are putting great efforts into making their headaches go away, but the things they are doing have no supporting research.
We see our role as the coach for the patient and the patient is really the star in getting better. So I thought I would review the things that patients can do for themselves, that give them a much better chance of getting better. This is stuff we are quite sure about, rather than chelation diets, enemas, aromas and things which have no studies to support their use in helping headache patients get better. I realize that the things I share are boring . . . but proven to help most patients.
1) Stop smoking,
2) Loss weight. I know that this (like #1) is very hard to do. I’ve worked a year to loose 10 lbs and haven’t been able to,
3) Try to get good sleep,
4) Stay hydrated,
5) Don’t take estrogen products unless you must,
6) Never take pain medications or decongestants more than two days a week,
7) Consider going on one or all of the following: riboflavin 400 MG per day, Co Enzyme Q 10, Magnesium 400-600 MG per day and/or butterbur,
8) Keep a diary of your headaches and bring it to your appointments,
9)Look for obvious triggers and avoid them, but don’t become OCD about it,
10) Don’t read on line about all the bizarre diagnoses that you think you have,
11) Respect the fact that all medications can have nuisance side effects, but don’t develop an irrational fear of medications that prevent you from taking them (if needed) so that you can get better.