Today is one of those very rare days in Scotland where the sun is shining, the sky is cloudless, the birds are chirping and the ice cream van can be heard singing Three Blind Mice up and down the avenue. Alfie is scratching at the door and whining his little head off at the prospect of a long walk exploring the wonders of Blairadam Woods and Molly is out probably chasing butterflies. So where am I? Sitting in the back garden sipping a nice cold beverage whilst reading a book or maybe at Lochore Meadows admiring the views and scoffing down ice cream whilst watching the nearby swans as Alfie sunbathes next to me? I wish. No, i’m draping spare bed sheets over my windows, over my closed blinds to stop any morsel of sunlight getting through and popping paracetamol like nobody’s business.
For the past year I have been suffering from migraines more and more frequently. They used to happen perhaps once a year but now they seem to be monthly occurrences. It’s probably my own fault, i’m pretty forgetful when it comes to wearing my glasses, my days usually consist of a lot of straining and squinting, I don’t drink enough water on a daily basis and I don’t exactly have the most healthy of diets. Up until now I’ve done little to tackle the issue, I almost forget I suffer from them whilst in between attacks! It’s not until i’m crawled up under the covers with a cold compress stuck to my head that I scold myself and vow to change my stupid ways – today is one of those days!
My symptoms take the form of blurred vision, sensitivity to light and loud noises, headaches and being extremely nauseous. Sometimes I suffer from just a few symptoms, sometimes from them all at once.
So I’ve decided to get a grip, be proactive and take a number of steps to help relieve and perhaps even prevent them…
1. Make doctors appointment for advice – done!
2. Try to eliminate (or cut-down at least) common food triggers. From doing a little research online the main culprits seem to be coffee, citrus fruits, cheese, chocolate & wheat. Most of my diet is based around cheese and chocolate so that’s going to be a toughy but needs must!
3. Ensure stable blood sugar levels by eating regularly, not skipping meals and eating more fruit and vegetables (i’m especially guilty skipping my greens).
4. Drink plenty of water. NHS Scotland recommends women drink around eight 200ml glasses a day.
5. Try using Magnesium supplements. As apparently a Magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of spasm in the lining of the arteries, increasing the risk pain.
So from today onward I will strive to incorporate this simple advice into my day to day routines – never skipping breakfast, easing off the chocolate (eek!) and doubling my water take. If anyone has any other advice or is going through something similar please feel free to leave a comment! Hopefully next time the sun comes out i’ll be the first one in the queue at the ice cream van but for now i’m going to cuddle up on the couch and watch a Disney movie, much to Alfie’s disappointment!