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Never gone, but sometimes forgotten

I’m turning 27 this June and have suffered from chronic migraines most of my life. There was a period of time in my early 20s when I would have up to 3 migraines a week; they were simply part of who I was and I tried to learn ways to cope. I saw doctors, was part of different studies, and talked to pharmacists about my options. The cocktail that I came up with has probably killed my liver, but it kept me going through my college years.

In the last year I decided to take charge of another portion of my life: my physical health and wellness. I started training for a half marathon and have been eating as clean as possible (a greasy burger is just too tempting some days). By cutting out caffeine – a go to for my migraine cocktail – no sodas, sweets, or processed foods, I began to realize I was missing something in my life…migraines! I cried the day I realized I had made it a month without one. Now my migraines had definitely come a long way from the 3 a week days, and I have gotten better at early warning signs and pain management, but I could not believe what was happening. I was angry at myself for living unhealthy for so long that it had affected not only my physical body, but also my migraines.


There are probably many factors that go into my decrease in migraine frequency – because they are not going to go away completely – but through eating better and going to the gym 3 days a week, I have seen a dramatic change in my migraine patterns. Recently I threw away an expired, family-sized bottle of Tylenol that was still half-full. This was another tearful moment because I would have normally been able to use the entire thing in just a few months.

I will never be without migraines, and as Spring is upon us I am suffering much more because of the changes in weather and pressure, but I truly feel freed from the chains that were my constant, chronic migraines (as corny as that sounds). If I could walk away from the lifestyle I have been living for this past year with nothing else but the change in my migraine frequency, I would do it all again.

I never truly understood how what we put into our bodies really affects us on soooo many levels. Its hard to start and stick with it, and to be honest I felt like absolute sh@# the first week I gave up soda and coffee – It was a 4-day long migraine/hangover combo – but so worth it. I am no longer dependent on my pain killers, I no longer worry going out if one will hit. They do happen, but I can live a little lighter now. My migraines will never be gone, but sometimes I can forget them.

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.

Comments

  • Tamara
    2 years ago

    I wish I had your strength to cut out the sugar. I’m a total sugar addict but don’t have enough healthy time or energy to properly meal prep and cook (I live alone). Like right now my head is pounding and has been 4 full strength migraines in the last week, 4 doctor visits for trigger point injections and nerve blocks, 1 day at urgent care and 4 complete bedridden days.

    I haven’t even been able to go get groceries and thus have no fruit even to eat as a snack. One day I will be able to make the change and hope I see the same change.

    So Glad it is working for you!!!

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi there anazon27,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your personal story with us! I am SO thrilled to hear what a dramatic change and improvement you have had in your migraine frequency! This is tremendous! We know it takes a great deal of time and energy to pinpoint triggers and identify what lifestyle changes may help, so kudos to you for all your hard work! For so many exercise can be a trigger and making numerous dietary modifications may make no impact, so I am so happy to hear that has in fact helped for you!

    Good luck with your training for your marathon…that will be one amazing accomplishment! Be sure to share that story with us once you’ve done it!

    Thanks for being here & may these good results continue! 🙂 Keep up the great work!
    Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

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