Summer months can be challenging for many migraine sufferers. Heat is a common trigger as is the glare of sunlight at the beach, lake, or outdoor pool. And for many, vacations turn into a nightmare of migraines from the stress of travel, changing time zones, being in a different environment, eating differently, and being out of one’s routine. Having consistent eating habits and sleeping habits are part of the cornerstone of migraine management. So, how can summer migraines be both prevented and treated?
- Know your summer triggers and avoid them if possible.
For example, if heat is a trigger than avoid prolonged exposure to heat. Exercise early or late in the day when the weather is cooler or work-out inside an air-conditioned gym.
- Stay hydrated.
During heat and sweating comes a risk of dehydration which can cause headache, dizziness, and fainting. I advise at least 64 oz of water a day and for those on an exercise regimen, 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight.
- Try to stick to routines for eating and sleeping even when on vacation.
Try not to over schedule activities the first day of arriving on vacation. Allow your body to acclimate to the new environment to lessen the chance of a migraine.
- Always have your migraine medication with you.
Do not pack in suitcases that will be checked in as your may need your medication while on the plane or in the airport. I know, for me, travel is a trigger, so I always have my acute migraine medication with me in my purse.
- Relax and enjoy the long hours of daylight without packing too much activity in.
Even if it is still daylight at 9 pm on a Sunday evening, you may need to say good-bye to a neighborhood BBQ if you have to get up early the next morning for work. Try to be as consistent as possible with going to bed the same time every evening, getting up the same time every morning, not skipping meals, getting protein in throughout the day, and always, finding time to exercise!
OK, I am off to enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend!