If your parent suffers from migraines, you have probably experienced the disappointment that comes for both of you when your parent suddenly develops a migraine and is unable to maintain a commitment to do something or see someone. Your parent my find herself alone in a dark room with a cold cloth over her forehead waiting for relief to come.
There are some common triggers that are known to bring on migraines that if recognized early enough, can give your parent the opportunity to eliminate the trigger and then perhaps eliminate the migraine that would normally follow it. Review these triggers with your parent to see if together, you can help her reduce her migraine days each month.
Caffeine and Alcohol.
For some people caffeine helps stave off a migraine but for others it causes it. With alcohol, many have found red wine to be a common trigger, but other forms of alcohol have also been known to be triggers. Both elements can also cause dehydration which compounds the chances of a migraine developing. If your parent has noticed either of these elements brings on migraines, help her find substitutes for the drinks she normally enjoys. Perhaps it’s decaffeinated coffee or non-alcohol beer. If she still wants to imbibe occasionally, have her drink plenty of water along with her other chosen drink.
Stress is a very common trigger to migraines, known to be linked to 70% of migraine attacks. The best way to alleviate stress to first determine what causes stress and then work on ways to reduce that stress. If your parent is stressed about finances, working on a budget with her may help alleviate the stress. If housework or daily chores have become an area of stress, hiring a home care provider to assist her in areas of the home she struggles with may reduce the stress she is feeling.
Irregular or Insufficient Sleep.
While your parent’s body is sleeping is when her body restores and renews itself. If your parent is not receiving proper sleep, it can trigger a migraine, which in turn can reduce sleep quality and then it becomes a vicious cycle. Help your parent prepare for sleep long before she goes to bed. Remind her of the importance of staying away from all electronics at least an hour before she goes to sleep and staying on a consistent sleep schedule. If she finds herself sleepy during the day, she should try to keep naps to 30 minutes or less, so she doesn’t interfere with nighttime sleep.
Eating Trigger Foods.
There’s a long list of foods that trigger migraines, from chocolate to cheese, as well as foods that contain MSG or aspartame. If your parent hasn’t already, have her keep a food journal to see if she develops migraines after eating any specific food. Then work with her to eliminate those foods from her diet as best that you can.
It’s quite common for strong smells to bring on a migraine, even pleasant smells like flowers, someone’s perfume, or scented candles. If these trigger your parent, make sure guests are aware (including any home care providers and other people entering the home) so that they can make sure to not wear those triggering smells when with your parent.
Migraine triggers and causes are different for everyone. Finding your parent’s triggers is a good step in preventing or at lease reducing her migraine episodes.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Morrisville, NC please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070.
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