What to Do If Your Doctor Isn’t Taking Your Migraine Pain Seriously

Author Harold Daniel

Posted Mar 17, 2023

Reads 6.5K

Photograph of a Woman with a Headache

If you're someone who has experienced migraines, then you know just how debilitating the head pain can be. Unfortunately, not all doctors understand the severity of migraine pain and may dismiss your symptoms altogether. This is where migraine pain dismissed tips come in handy.

For instance, Dr. White - a former med student turned general practitioner - has seen many patients struggle to imagine a life without chronic migraines. After years of talking with patients about their experiences with doctors who are unable to appropriately diagnose their condition, Dr. White believes that the education med schools generally provide is lacking when it comes to conditions like migraines that don't always show up on a blood test or physical examination.

What can you do if your doctor isn’t taking your migraine symptoms seriously?

What to do when your doctor isn’t taking your migraine symptoms seriously? In a perfect world, every health care provider would listen to their patients and provide the best possible treatment. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Career bartender Tartt rarely had health insurance and started treatment for vestibular migraines only after paying out-of-pocket. The big issue was that her doctor was dismissive of her symptoms, including dizziness and light sensitivity. Wolf had to drive 16 hours paying out-of-pocket to see Dr. White, who specialized in headache medicine, but it was totally worth it.

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Dr. White suggests finding trusted resources online from credible websites such as Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, American Migraine Foundation (AMF), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). To get a better understanding of what you’re experiencing, keep an inexpensive notebook with useful data points like how often you experience migraine attacks or how they’ve affected your work or personal life. During a migraine attack write down all your symptoms including what you're hearing or seeing. Work people are usually understanding if you have to cancel lunch due to a migraine attack; however, if your doctor won’t help you manage them effectively, find another one.

Migraine pain can take a toll on anyone’s life: Champ talking about his own experiences said he had to stop bartending – which was a big part of his life – because the toll of migraine attacks affected him too much emotionally and physically. Dr. White suggests searching for United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties board-certified headache medicine specialists meaning doctors who've passed rigorous tests demonstrating knowledge on diagnosing and treating headache disorders such as migraines effectively. He also pointed out that finding a female doctor or someone from an Asian descent could make a huge difference since there is still much stigma surrounding migraines in some cultures. Finally, don't give up hope: there are many vetted nonprofits where you can find credible information, personal stories, advocacy tips related to migraine treatment, and emotional support such as support groups for migraine patients.

Knowing When to Get Help from a Professional Expert

When it comes to migraine pain, it is important to know when you need professional help. One critical aspect to keep in mind is the sudden onset of severe headache worse than any you've experienced before. If this occurs along with problems speaking or loss of motor function, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. These neurological symptoms could be signs of a more serious underlying condition.

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In addition, call a professional expert if your current treatments aren't working anymore or if you're experiencing side effects from them. This can be especially important if you've started taking birth control or other medications that may interact with your migraine medication. Don't delay seeking help as this could lead to worsening symptoms and increased discomfort.

If you're lying down and still feeling unbearable pain despite taking pain medications, it's time to get help from a professional expert. Migraines can be debilitating and impact your daily life significantly. Seeking assistance from a healthcare professional who specializes in migraines can provide relief and improve your quality of life overall. Remember, knowing when to get help is crucial for effective management of migraine pain.

Discover the Root Causes Behind Common Migraines

Migraine pain can be debilitating and severely impact your daily life. The triggers vary from person to person, with some stimuli foods being common including cured meats, wine, alcohol, aged cheeses and fermented foods. Emotional stress and anxiety can also trigger migraines as they release hormones that cause blood vessels to constrict, causing pain.

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Individuals may also experience migraines due to their estrogen levels caused during menstrual periods. This is a common trigger as rapid hormonal shifts can lead to migraines. Women who are on birth control pills or undergo hormone replacement therapy may also be at risk of experiencing migraines.

Stimuli such as bright sunlight, flashing lights, fluorescent lights and computer screens can trigger migraines. Odors like smoke and loud noises are also triggers. In addition, frequent disruptions in sleep patterns or dehydration caused by changing weather patterns or fatigue may also increase the likelihood of experiencing migraines. It is important to note that taking pain medications frequently can lead to a condition called Medication Overuse Headache (MOH), which can further exacerbate migraine symptoms.

Who's More Prone to Migraines?

Migraine pain is a condition people don't want to mess around with, but who is more prone to developing migraines? One of the main risk factors for experiencing migraines is having a parent or sibling with the condition. This indicates that there is a strong genetic component to migraine headaches. However, it's important to note that not everyone with a family history of migraines will experience them. Other risk factors include hormonal changes, stress, certain foods and drinks, and environmental triggers. If you have a family history of migraines or experience frequent headaches, it may be helpful to see a healthcare professional for further evaluation and management options.

Listen Up: A Message from Verywell

We understand how frustrating it can be to have your migraine pain dismissed by others. Headaches make it difficult to focus on anything else, and they're debilitating in more ways than one. Knowing the symptoms living with migraines means you're not alone in this struggle.

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Conditions that impact your daily life are never easy to deal with, and migraines are no exception. But you'll find strategies that work for you if you keep pushing forward. If you're struggling, remember that we hear you, and we're here to help.

Common Migraine Symptoms

Migraine headaches typically have four phases: prodrome, aura, attack, and postdrome. During the prodrome phase, symptoms start to show up before the actual migraine attack. The symptoms may vary from person to person but most commonly include irritability, depression, anxiety, giddiness, and muscle weakness.

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The aura phase is typically preceded by visual disturbances such as blurry spots or sparkles in your vision. You may also experience temporary loss of vision or affected speech during this phase. Sound sensitivity is another common symptom experienced by people who get migraines.

The postdrome phase is characterized by a depressed mood and other symptoms including reading problems, sleep disturbances, and hot flashes. Pale skin can also be a sign that someone has just experienced a migraine attack. If you experience any of these symptoms or have a headache that lasts for more than 72 hours, it's important to seek medical attention right away to rule out any underlying conditions.

Effective Strategies for Migraine Management and Prevention

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Migraine managing involves a combination of medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and at-home strategies. This condition means figuring out the triggers that cause migraines and avoiding them as much as possible. At-home strategies such as relaxation techniques, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise can play a crucial role in preventing migraines. A healthy lifestyle combined with medical treatments can help manage migraine pain effectively.

1. Preventive Medications and Treatments

If you're experiencing chronic migraine pain or frequent headache episodes, don't worry, there are a wide range of medical treatments available to prevent migraine attacks. Preventative migraine medications like tricyclic antidepressants Elavil (amitriptyline) and Pamelor (nortriptyline), beta-blockers Tenormin (atenolol) and Inderal (propranolol), antiepileptic drugs Depakote (valproic acid) and Topamax (topirimate), calcium channel blockers Calan (verapamil), and calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibodies Vyepti (eptinezumab) and Ajovy (fremanezumab) can help.

If medications aren't yielding results, Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) injections may be an alternative solution. In some cases, therapy can also help as doctors target specific areas like the forehead, temples, or sides of the head with various techniques. Additionally, for women who experience migraines related to their menstrual cycle, hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial in preventing attacks.

2. Mindfulness and Mediation

In managing migraines, a commonly recommended approach is incorporating mindfulness and meditation. The principal benefit of this adjunct therapy is that it helps to reduce stress, which is a major trigger for migraine attacks. Migraines mindfulness approaches involve focusing on the present moment using techniques such as visualization exercises. It is important to practice mindfulness in daily life to prevent and manage migraines effectively.

Relief from a Debilitating Migraine: How to Find Respite

Young African American couple in casual clothes pastime with sad face and headache in room in daylight

Migraine begins with a throbbing pain in the head that can last for hours or even days, making it difficult to function normally. To start mitigating the symptoms of a migraine, there are several things you can do. This may involve taking over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen, avoiding triggers like bright lights and loud noises, or practicing relaxation techniques. In more severe cases, prescribed medicines may be necessary to provide relief. It's important to find what works best for you and seek help from a healthcare professional if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a headache specialist?

If you suffer from frequent or severe headaches that are not responding to over-the-counter medications, seeing a headache specialist may be beneficial in finding an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

What to do if you have a headache?

If you have a headache, try taking over-the-counter pain relief medication and rest in a dark and quiet room. If the headache persists or is accompanied by severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

How do you treat a cluster headache?

Cluster headaches can be treated with medications such as triptans or oxygen therapy. It's important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How can self help give migraine relief?

Self-help techniques such as relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation can help reduce stress levels that contribute to migraines. Additionally, keeping a diary to track triggers and making lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep and avoiding certain foods may also provide relief.

How to get rid of migraines quickly?

There are several ways to get rid of migraines quickly, including taking over-the-counter pain relievers, applying heat or cold to the affected area, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, and avoiding triggers like alcohol and caffeine. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional if migraines persist or become severe.

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Harold Daniel

Writer at RHTB

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Harold Daniel is a writer and photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. He has a passion for exploring the great outdoors, which often inspires his work. Harold's blog covers a variety of topics, from travel and adventure to personal development and self-care.

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