Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there a way to avoid migraine headaches?"
I've had a migraine headache a couple times every year for about 10 years, but now they have become more frequent. Should I see my doc about this? Is there any way to prevent them from happening?
If you are truly experiencing an increase in the frequency or severity of your migraine headaches then you should seek out the guidance of your primary care doctor. Migraine headaches are very commonly encountered problems in the primary care setting, and your doctor can help you figure out a way to reduce the burden of these headaches in your life. Your doctor can also conduct a thorough history and physical exam to rule out "red flag" symptoms such as an abnormal neurological exam that may suggest a different cause of your headaches. Many migraine sufferers can identify certain triggers that bring about their headaches. It is often helpful to keep a diary of when and where you get your headaches, and record what types of potential triggers that you were exposed to around that time. These triggers can include everything from foods to emotional stress to physical activity. If avoidance of identified triggers does not help in reducing the frequency of your headaches, then your doctor may want to start you on a prophylactic medication to prevent the migraines from coming altogether. In contrast to abortive medications that are taken after a headache starts, prophylactic medications are taken every day.
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