A runner with an appetite for adventure!

A Pain in the Head… June 28, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Train — Kelocity @ 1:41 pm
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I think I’ve blogged about this before, but I suffer from weekly migraines. I can’t remember when they started, but they got worse the older I’m getting. I have awful memories of lying on my dorm floor crying because it hurt so bad. Then I discovered Excedrin Migraine, Gods gift to migraine sufferers everywhere.

Once I realized how well Excedrin worked, I took it at the earliest signs of a migraine. And over time, I noticed I was single-handedly going through a few Costco-sized bottles of the stuff a year. Averaging 4-6 pills a week.


Recently, someone pointed out that I was likely more addicted to the caffeine, rather than the medicine itself. This bothers me that I’ve become so dependent on it. I rather find out the root of the problem (if there is one) rather than self-medicate.


So for the past three days, I’ve been battling a migraine headache that JUST. WON’T. QUIT. I fall asleep with it. I wake up with it. This is just no fun.


The other night, I was in agony, and Irving came running over with a bag of ice cubes to put on my head. It must have worked enough because I fell asleep with it on my head.


My Migraine Triggers
-Too much sodium
-Too much sugar
-Eating too little too late
-Not having caffeine
-Stress in my shoulders

So I’m trying to tackle these one by one and help live a healthier lifestyle overall. It can’t hurt to try, right? Here’s my plan for a while:

  • No more sugar. The only sugar I’m eating comes from fruit and bread. No desserts, chocolate, cookies, candy, pastries, etc.
  • No excess sodium. I don’t add salt to anything anyways, but I need to focus on making sure I’m choosing my food wisely. Of course this all went out the window when I ate a grilled cheese, pickles and chips yesterday at Canter’s Deli.
  • Drink. More. Water. This one has been easy lately. I’ve been so thirsty I can’t drink water fast enough. I hope I can keep it up. I notice I feel more balanced when I drink more water.
  • Eat smart, healthy, balanced meals throughout the day. I still have a morning snack (usually a string cheese), but I’ve nixed the afternoon snack. Drinking lots of water is actually keeping me really full.
  • I started drinking coffee a few years ago, so I’m slowly trying to wean myself off being dependent on it for caffeine. I’ve switched to tea every other day or so.
  • To get rid of stress, I try to convince Irving that I need shoulder massages, but I don’t think he’s buying it. But seriously, they help so much. And so do warm baths, stretching and yoga.


It’ll be hard to tell if these changes are working or not. I never really kept a headache journal, so I don’t have accurate information to compare it to. But I’ll let you know if I have any major breakthroughs or not.

If none of these work, my next step is to look at my dairy intake. I eat a lot of cheese, and I’m afraid to find out if that has anything to do with it. (Cheese can be a migraine trigger for some people). But I love my cheese too much to even THINK about cutting it out.

Jenna at Eat, Live Run wrote about her migraines this week too!


Do you get migraines? Got any tried and true cures?


4 Responses to “A Pain in the Head…”

  1. Lizzy Says:

    I suffer from migraines and histamine headaches as well. The totally SUCK! I kept a headache journal back in college and my triggers were stress, hormones and not enough water. I started exercising regularly and rarely get them anymore. Good luck getting rid of this one! My doctor put me on meds and that always helped. Caffeine helped me too.

  2. So glad I don’t suffer from migraines. I’ve heard they are terrible! I only get caffeine withdrawal headaches!

  3. janet Says:

    I don’t suffer from migraines, so I don’t have any specific advice on that. But, my mom always says that by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So, if you’ve been constantly thirsty recently, this current migraine is possibly due to, or at least is exacerbated by, dehydration. But your plan of attack sounds good. I had a pretty easy time giving up my coffee addiction by switching from a regular cup, to half caffeine/half decaf in the morning, tea in the afternoon, then to just decaf in the morning, tea in the afternoon. I will occasionally have a single cup of caffeinated coffee, but it’s no longer a craving, and I can take it or leave it. I’m sure it will help.

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