How to Stay Ahead of Headaches

Hi, friends! If you are reading this post, you’ve likely experienced the mind-piercing, disabling pain of headaches at some point in your life. If you are among the lucky few who haven’t, read on for some helpful information to share with family or friends who could benefit!

Headaches are my kryptonite. Before I had my son I would get a terrible one about once a month. The pain would knock me out of commission for a day or two and I would hibernate in a dark room. Often, this headache would occur on a weekend night and I would stay awake counting the hours until I could fill my rescue medication prescription in the morning.

I wish at that time I had known about Dr. Priyanka Chaudhry and Headache Medicine Specialists of North Texas, a Baylor Scott & White Health affiliate.

Get a Diagnosis

After many years of suffering through the pain when it came, I finally discovered that my headaches were tied to my hormones and were actually migraines. I could have saved myself a pain in the head had I paid a visit to Dr. C.

Dr. Chaudhry says that, “often times headaches are self-diagnosed. A lot of people blame allergies, especially here in Texas, and most migraines are mis-diagnosed as sinus headaches first.” (guilty!)

Well my question is, what’s the problem with treating your migraine as a sinus headache? They both hurt and a headache is a headache is a headache, right? Not so fast…

“It’s very important to distinguish between headaches, because treatment is very different”, says Dr. C. She explains that you could be over-medicating and too much over-the-counter medication could actually cause rebound headaches. Or, you might not be taking the right medication for your type of headache.

So, if you are having disabling headaches that take a day out of your life, cause you to miss work, or social events…get a diagnosis. Have your primary care physician refer you to a neurologist or headache center so you can start the best treatment plan for you.

Learn Your Triggers

Dr. Chaudhry also says that your, “treatment plan is not just the medicine, it’s a lot of lifestyle changes.” But how do I know what lifestyle changes to make? What could be triggering my headaches? Is it my diet, dehydration, lack of sleep, stress, or hormonal changes? How can I possibly know?

Dr. C suggests that one of the best ways to learn your triggers is by keeping a headache calendar. Keep a piece of paper handy and mark down your when you have a headache and the intensity. Click here to download your free Headacher’s Guide to Headaches calendar template.

Have a Plan

Dr. Chaudhry also wants you to know that, “headaches are disabling but treatable; you can get your life back.” Your best game plan is to have a game plan! When you know your headache, your triggers, and your treatment, you can plan to stop it before it starts.

So, put your best foot (er…head) forward and stay one step ahead with this headache toolkit:

Click the image below to download as a PDF