Beating a Headache

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A throbbing pain, nausea and an unusual sensitivity to light: these are just a few common symptoms of a migraine headache.

Dr. Joel Callahan, a headache specialist at Riley Hospital in Meridian, offered some tips about how to curb the pain in a "Lunch and Learn" seminar Friday.

"Follow a routine. Get a good night's sleep. Avoid foods that may be triggers for them and to avoid stress, if possible," said Dr. Callahan. "If the headaches are frequent enough that it is interfering with daily activity, we usually recommend they go on some medication to try to prevent them from occurring as frequently."

Callahan said the best way to deal with a migraine is to avoid it all together. While this is not possible for everyone, he said there are certain things you should watch out for that may trigger a migraine.

"Some foods can be triggers to migraines, as well as stress and lack of sleep. For women, the menstrual cycle is a very common trigger for migraines. The active lifestyle people lead today is a very common trigger," the neurologist said.

Not only are migraines painful and disruptive to our daily life, they also carry some major health risks, such as an increased risk for stroke and depression, but there is treatment available.

"Patients are encouraged, when they see the doctor to keep a diary, to see if they can identify any triggers that may not be as common," said Dr. Callahan. "But a variety of things can trigger headaches."

Callahan said you should consult a physician for more information on migraines and treatment.