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Migraines For Dummies

Migraines For Dummies

Diane Stafford, Jennifer Shoquist

ISBN: 978-1-118-06983-7

Apr 2011

336 pages



If you get migraines you know how laughable it is to hear them described as “headaches.” As one poet put it, “the migraine is a beast from Hell, a bone-crushing, brain-twisting, heart-rending, apocalyptic scourge—an insult to all that’s holy.” And that’s putting it mildly. People have been trying to tame the migraine beast for thousands of years. Some early healers bored holes into their patients’ skulls, the Greeks inhaled the smoke of burning coffee beans, while in ancient Egypt, doctors tied herb-stuffed clay crocodiles to migraine sufferer’s heads. Fortunately, we live in more enlightened times and there are now medically sound approaches that are relatively simple and inexpensive—and they don’t leave scars or involve extreme fashion statements.

Your complete guide to taking charge of your migraines and getting your life back, Migraines For Dummies offers a focused, fleshed-out program that works in the real world. This friendly guide fills you in on what you need to know to:

  • Understand migraines and why you get them
  • Relieve symptoms
  • Pinpoint pain triggers
  • Sort through the various medications
  • Evaluate alternative remedies
  • Make simple migraine-busting lifestyle changes
  • Stop migraines from disrupting your family and work lives
  • Find a good doctor to help you manage the beast

The authors look at the whole spectrum of the problem—from dealing with the number-one issue of pain relief, to handling the peripheral problems like absences from work skepticism from friends, and impact on family. They also explore a range of critical related issues, including:

  • Different types of migraines, including abdominal, ocular, hemiplegic, opthamoplegic, and women’s hormonal migraines
  • Triggers, such as environmental allergens, stress, dietary triggers, and even exercises that can cause migraines
  • Over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Biofeedback, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and other alternative remedies
  • The pros and cons of prescription remedies, including ergotamine derivatives, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, botox and more

You’ve tried Aunt Edna’s camphor-soaked head cloths. Now explore a sensible, medically sound approach, and get on the road to full-fledged pain relief with Migraines For Dummies.


Part I: Looking at the Big Picture: Migraines Demystified.

Chapter 1: Knowing What You’re Dealing With: An Overview.

Chapter 2: Coping with the Symptoms.

Chapter 3: Knowing Your Foes.

Part II: Getting Diagnosed.

Chapter 4: Distinguishing a Migraine from Other Head Pain.

Chapter 5: Finding a Good Migraine Doctor.

Chapter 6: Having Your Head Examined and Coming Up with a Plan.

Part III: Giving Migraines a Knockout Punch.

Chapter 7: Spelling Relief without a Prescription.

Chapter 8: Taking Care of Pain with Prescription Drugs.

Chapter 9: Sampling Alternative Remedies.

Chapter 10: Making Medical Decisions Even When You’re Migraine-Hazy.

Part IV: Committing to Lifestyle Changes.

Chapter 11: Catching and Rejecting Food Triggers.

Chapter 12: Getting Physical with Your Migraines.

Chapter 13: Eyeballing Environmental Enemies.

Chapter 14: Looking at the Link between Migraines and Sleep.

Part V: Staying Connected to the People in Your Life.

Chapter 15: Living the Good Life Despite Migraines.

Chapter 16: Managing Migraines at Work.

Chapter 17: Handling Your Homelife.

Part VI: Managing Special-Situation Migraines.

Chapter 18: Spotting the Dangerous Headache.

Chapter 19: Let’s Hear It for the Girls: Hormonal Migraines.

Chapter 20: Helping a Child with Migraines.

Chapter 21: Holding Off the Sex Migraine.

Chapter 22: Sideswiping Migraines Caused by Stress.

Chapter 23: The Senioring Effect: Aging and Migraines.

Part VII: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 24: Ten Tips for Dealing with Folks Who Don’t Get Migraines.

Chapter 25: Ten Things You Can Do for the Migraine Sufferer You Love.

Chapter 26: Eleven Ways NOT to Treat a Migraine.