A Letter to Those New to Migraine

Dear friend,

I heard you've been dealing with migraine attacks and symptoms for the first time. It can be a tricky disease to navigate, so I'm writing this in the hopes that it can help you get started finding the help and care that you need.

How can you break the loneliness you're feeling?

I am a person who has dealt with migraine disease for several decades, but I remember when I was first diagnosed and dealing with attacks and all sorts of new symptoms. I felt like I was the only one, and the loneliness itself could often be just as debilitating as the disease. Since you are on this site, you are in a great place to connect with a community of others dealing with migraine. Post your story, share in the forums, and browse the articles.

What doctors might be best for your migraine?

Though your yearly checkup with your primary care physician can be a good place to start, if you can, seek a referral to a board-certified headache specialist. This is a doctor who has trained many hours and knows about not just migraine, but other headache disorders as well. If you don’t have a headache specialist in your area or there is a long wait, you can also try a neurologist - although some know more about migraine than others. It can be helpful to also can reach out to other headache and migraine patients in your area and see which doctors they recommend. If you are a veteran, you can see if there is a VA Headache Center of Excellence in your area.

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What treatment options are available?

There’s a good number of treatments for migraine. Although there is no cure, you also don’t have to suffer with no hope of any kind of relief. Here is a rundown of some of what is available:

There are preventive treatments, which is a medication or other therapy you do daily or frequently to reduce the overall frequency and/or severity of your attacks. This can include daily oral medications, occasional injections or infusions, or complementary therapies like supplements, vitamins, wearable devices, acupuncture, or physical therapy.

There are abortive or acute therapies to take when you have an attack or a flare-up in symptoms. These could be as simple as over-the-counter medications, although many people require more targeted medications that only your doctor can prescribe. Migraine abortive medications are not pain medications but specific medications that help stop the process of migraine. There are also medications that can help symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, and complementary therapies like biofeedback, wearable devices, supplements, etc. that can help your regular medications to work, or help you without medication.

Another type of treatment is rescue medications. These are medications you keep on hand if your migraine doesn’t respond to your regular treatment and you want to try something at home without having to go to the ER. Your doctor can also write a note with their suggested treatment for you if you cannot avoid the ER.

I hope this information is helpful in getting you started on your treatment journey. It can be a difficult and emotional situation to navigate. Remember, you are not alone, and you don’t have to suffer alone. You have a community here at Migraine.com to help. If you have any questions or want to tell me your story, feel free to comment below!

Be well,

Lisa

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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