Is Food a Migraine Trigger, Symptom or Craving?

Food is such a tricky thing to navigate with Migraine disease.  It is a trigger and I feel sick often when I eat a meal due to hidden triggers.  I’m often times nauseous during the day yet get sick if I don’t eat every few hours. I also crave foods as a symptom of an on coming Migraine.  It’s a constant struggle of how to eat food to nourish my body yet my body craves foods it won’t react well to or needs.

Here’s my story of how it reacts when it is having cravings prior to a Migraine:

Do you crave food before a Migraine?  Yes, sugar! Carbs!YES!YES!YES!

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Best My Migraine Life posts of 2017

Here’s a few of the most popular posts from 2017.  If it’s cold where you are, it’s a good time to cuddle up and catch up on some reading.

How we doctor my dog and she doctors me

This is going to be a short and sweet post. I’ve been sick since Christmas and my brain is feeling less than creative. In fact it’s down right stuffy, pained, exhausted, a bit sad, stressed and frustrated.

So I thought I’d share a fur baby and girl baby story that I think many of you will appreciate….

As I sat with a sinus infection, while experiencing side effects from new meds and my son being sick with constant meltdowns I watched my daughter “doctor up” my dog yesterday.

All she wanted from Santa was a pet vet clinic, she loves animals! I watched my dog wait in the waiting room (yes, that’s my SensaCalm weighted blanket on the couch that I have been hibernating under while I’m sick! Affiliate link)

Then she was seen by the doctor

That evening I missed a big traditional family dinner. As I sat in my dark room, my dog held my hand and kept me company for hours.

The head pain of Migraine is really extreme! All of the other things really suck! And there are a lot of other things (body aches, nausea, cold hands/feet/nose, etc)! One of the hardest things is being alone and missing out though! It’s really hard!

My dog is more than a dog, especially during these times. She is my sanity and a soul that is literally by my side during dark times. Anyone who has cried holding their pet can understand the depths of this bond.

I’m so proud that my daughter is such an avid animal lover. She gives and receives love in the biggest way and has the biggest heart. Seeing her show the love and compassion that my dog shows is something really special! ❤️❤️

Anyone else spending extra time with their fur baby being sick this Winter break?

Am I the only one fighting being sick while having sick children?

Enjoying unscented bath products to fit my sensitive smell needs with Aromafloria

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*This post contains affiliate links. My opinions are my own and I will receive compensation for my referral. I was given the unscented line for review. See disclaimer

I am highly sensitive to scent! Because of this, I am particular about bath products I use.  Fake over scented products make me sick!  I previously reviewed Aromafloria’s Muscle Soak. I love their products!  The bath products were subtle and soothed my muscles.

I keep the inhalation beads in my purse and recommend them for times when the environment is filled with trigger smells.  The inhalation beads are a quick smell for relief.

Recently I have become more interested in essential oils and mixing my own products.  Some days I enjoy a scent, other days I benefit from another oil and some days I want NO SMELL.  When I received unscented products from their mixology line I used them in a variety of ways. Simply,

  1. “Select your preferred base product.
  2. Add your preferred essential-oil blend.
  3. Mix, smell and enjoy.”

The unscented line provides so many options for so many needs.  I keep the bath & shower oil in my shower. It deeply penetrates and hydrates before I step out of the shower.   I love the salt scrub with oils to provide a spa like feeling.  The massage oil works great for my aching muscles and is perfect mixed with relaxing and healing oils.  The body butter is luscious and smooth.  I use it completely unscented and love the hydration it provides without smelly trigger perfumes.

The ability to alter these products with oils and to use scentless is such a luxury! If you or a loved one is sensitive to smell, I highly recommend these products!

Here’s the exciting news…..

Aromafloria is giving away an amazing prize pack just for My Migraine Life followers!

For a chance to win all of these products to mix yourself or leave unscented

What oils would you mix with your Aromafloria products?

Leave your comment and….

Enter Here

12/11/2017 (12am EST)-12/18/2017 (12am EST)
See terms and conditions


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Top 10 Gifts for Migraine, Chronic Illness and Self Care

Top gifts for Migraine, Chronic Illness and those in need of Self Care. (1)

1.Fight your migraine and step into the light with Axon Optics glasses.

Use code: MIGRAINELIFE for 10% off now until Dec. 16


Natural Relief“Axon Optics’ therapeutic lenses help over 90% of customers achieve some level of relief. Most migraine sufferers who have worn Axon Eye wear to treat their light sensitivity have found them to be highly effective, with some sufferers reporting more migraine relief than others. ” See  Review

2. Headache Hat Cold Therapy

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“The Headache Hat is a unique, wearable ice pack for migraine headaches and more. ” If you benefit from cold therapy, aka ever need an ice pack, this is the product for you! I LOVE Headache Hat and it has helped me so much! See Review

3. Organic Aromas— Aromatherapy

“Quiet and effective nebulizing essential oil diffuser for professional aromatherapy.”   Diffusing oils is an easy way to calm and change mood.  Oils can be used in countless ways and combinations. See Review

4. Sensacalm– Sensory integration therapy (touch)

“Custom weighted blankets and other products (that) can be therapeutic for anyone with Anxiety, Insomnia, Autism, ADHD, PTSD and sensory processing disorders.” Laying under a weighted blanket helps ease discomfort and provides relief.

5. Migraine Magick-“Super electrolyte spray-on migraine pain transformer

Use coupon  code mymigrainelife for $22 off an order through you.

“The Magick Brand™ incorporates principles of eastern medicine focused on balancing energy within the mind, body and soul as fundamental to nurturing energy and well-being. ” I use this spray on my shoulders, neck and face to relieve pain.

6. Aromafloria-Aromatherapy (unscented products)


Inline Rectangle“Aromatherapy products both smell luscious and are highly effective through the use of pure essential oils, therapeutic herbs, exotic botanical extracts, vitamins and minerals from around the world.” These unscented products can be mixed with your personal preference of essential oil or left completely smell less.

7. Original Sprout-“Organic Vegan hair care, bath, and styling products for the entire Family” Low fumes and chemicals

$10 off your order now!

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“Clean, non-toxic, all natural hair and skin products that every parent can be proud to use on their entire family.”  I am sensitive to smelly hair products and the organic extracts are gentle and natural. See Review

8. Om-Self care packages, products and information

Use code MyMigraineLife for 30%off Zen Nectar

Zen Nectar Migraine Relief #zennectar

“The Community provides holistic support to  reduce the frequency & severity of migraines for people around the world, with the fundamental belief that healing starts with self love. ” See Review

9. EnviroKlenz-Allergy relief

“Effectively eliminate odors and chemical pollutants from indoor air spaces, surface and laundry” Allergies are a common migraine and headache trigger. This may not be the most glamorous gift but I’d rather get a gift I can use and will make me healthier than something not useful. See Review

10. Barometer or Weather prediction device

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 See how Weather hurts

Good luck for find what fits you and your loved ones life. To health and happiness!

Happy Shopping!

*These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

13 ways to survive working with Chronic Illness

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I have been a full time teacher with Chronic Migraine.

I have been a full time stay at home mom with Chronic Migraine. 

I am a full time mom and part time teacher with Chronic Migraine. 

They all are difficult jobs and adding a chronic illness makes life even more complicated and difficult.  

So the questions remains, how do you work while having Chronic Migraine?  How was I able to return to work

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  • Work part time

I only work a few days a week and seem to have letdown migraines on my days off.  I save time for self-care during those day.

Tip: Know time off policies and if a substitute is available

  • Find coworkers who support you

At my job that I missed a lot of time off, my boss was arrogant and my coworkers were judgmental.  With my new job, my coworkers are like a supportive family and my boss is loving and understanding.  This benefits the group because I’m not motivated to work out of judgment or consequences but out of commitment and love for the job and workers I call friends. I really have fun at work and love to be there.

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  • Ask for and learn how to accommodate your needs 

I requested that my classroom be on the side of the building that does not get direct sun or heat.  I also have control over the lighting.  Heat and lights (fluorescent) are especially big triggers.  I use Axon Optics glasses on days I need extra light protection for my eyes.  I use other lotions, oils and natural products to treat myself topically.

  • Understand clients

I found that when I disclosed that I had Chronic Migraine to my boss at one job I was judged and at my current job she understood me better.  The same goes for clients.  As a teacher who was missing work, I sent home a letter explaining my chronic disease.  I found that the parents were very open and appreciated my honesty but I was unsure what the feedback would be.  Understanding the children and families I work for has allowed me to personally connect more.  I feel like my families want the best for me as I want the best for them and mutual respect once again motivates me.

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  • Low stress, high reward

With a part time position, my stress has decreased tremendously.  I am able to focus on myself, my family and other aspects of my life other than my job.  Stress was my main factor in turning episodic to chronic.  I now have a handle on how to deal with stress and my priorities are different.  As a teacher without children and now with children, my views on teaching are very different. I have always had a passion for teaching and love children.  The reward is huge!!!  Being someone who is making a difference every day and seeing growth in my students is so rewarding. 

It gives me pure joy and joy is great medication! Find joy in your job.

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  • Set realistic goals and expectations

Putting pressure on myself to be something I’m not only raises stress.  I have realistic ideas of what I can do, what I want to do and how I’m going to attain those goals.  Setting myself up for failure will only derail my treatment.  I set goals I know I can reach and am proud when I meet them.  A positive attitude and learning from the past allows me to move forward.

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  • Commute

Driving is extremely difficult with even a low grade migraine.  At my old job I had a longer commute and found that many days I was throwing up on the side of the road before and after work.  At times I liked it to decompress but most of the time was pained from the drive.  I now have a short drive that I can drive to with my eyes closed (don’t worry, I don’t but I could).

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  • Water, coffee and snacks

Caffeine can be a benefit or trigger.  Coffee  is beneficial to my migraines. During my morning of teaching, I drink coffee before the students arrive and drink a huge water bottle throughout my day.   As a class, we have scheduled potty breaks and snack time so we all get time to refuel. 

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  • Sleep schedule

I wake up the same time every day whether I’m working or not.  I stay on a consistent sleep schedule in order to be refreshed and ready for my day.

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  • Take breaks

When I feel a migraine raising, I get a bit panicked.  During my students specials I have the ability to take a break, focus, drink more coffee, or water.  Just allowing 10 minutes of quiet and focused breathing make a world of difference to my rising pain.

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  • Use flexible work time if possible

I am able to get a lot of my work done outside of the classroom.  I am also a busy mom and find that planning and prepping can be done once they go to bed.  Instead of staying late at school, I bring a lot of my work home and also plan ahead.  By being over prepared I am able to relieve stress.  If I’m sick in bed and worrying about work, I get sicker.  When I have everything done, being sick for days doesn’t stress me out about work because I know I’m prepared.  Planning and being prepared makes my life, in general, much easier.

  • Moving my body and distraction

There are days I go to school feeling sick and am completely consumed by my students.  The minute my students leave and all is quiet, the pain comes flooding back.  I’m so distracted and filled with endorphins while I’m at school that at the end of the day I’m punished more.  There have been days that I work till lunch and am in bed until the next day.  The distraction of a job that I love helps me get through many mornings.

Having a job that I am active in helps.  Stretching, dancing and moving keeps my body active.  I would not be unable to sit at a desk staring at a screen all day.  My body needs to move and my brain needs a break from technology.

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  • Money vs time

As a part time employee in the teaching field, you can imagine I’m not a millionaire.  Working salary and full time was not something I could keep up with.  Working part time, I do not make a lot of money but am able to do what I love with people I care for.  Sometimes money isn’t everything (although it pays for my medical expenses, so I really need it).

 

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 With all of this said, I found a dream job.  Not everyone gets to work part time (either financially or in their field of interest).  Disability is difficult to get as a migraine sufferer and most jobs it is difficult to find balance.  Time off isn’t always possible without consequences and substitutes are not common. Falling behind on work is inevitable.  Finding coworkers that are friends is not a choice but a lucky draw.  The same goes for bosses.

All circumstances and lives are different.  I encourage you to find something you love.  Find a part time job, a job online, a job that can be flexible and a job that makes you happy.  Migraine is the definition of pain and unhappiness…..find something you love and makes you better.  Easier written than done, I know!!!

I, honestly, was not sure if I’d ever be able to go back to teaching with how severe my disease is.   I took a chance and it paid off.  I was very aware that it may not be possible, but I never let that deter me.  I tried it and it worked.  Not every job works but I’m so glad I took that leap.

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ImmunizeLABS Breathe Easy nasal spray review

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Recently my immunologist advised doing a nasal spray versus pill when treating my sinuses and allergies. He explained how the majority of infection is coming through the nose and it is best absorbed at the source.  Since then, I’ve treated my sinuses with a nasal spray.  I also have migraine medication that is a nasal spray that works quickly and avoids me throwing up the pill.  Therefore, in my case, nasal sprays seem to be the best for treatment and prevention of both sinus related issues and migraine.

Because of this advice, I have been trying Breathe Easy nasal spray.  I was given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. It claims to provide relief for hives, Sinusitis, Migraine, Allergies and rash. 

 “ImmunizeLABS is a new perspective on how to deal with chronic illnesses and help boost your natural immune defenses reducing the chances of getting sick….[Their] products are based on fairly straightforward ingredients that have been tested by the medical community over the last 50 years. The breakthrough has been in the delivery process that allows the supplements to be absorbed and not digested, thus dramatically raising the absorption rate, efficiency and reducing gastric distress.”

What I like about Breathe easy is that I know the ingredients listed.  How many times do you look at a label and not understand what is?  I am happy I recognize the ingredients and ImmunizeLABS goes the next step to explain how each specifically treats and prevents cold, allergy, headache or other nasal and throat related issues.  Some ingredients include sea salt, cayenne pepper, horseradish, wintergreen, oregano, lemon oil, rosemary oil and more.  Although these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, references have been provided for each ingredient supporting their claims.

What I found interesting was the use of ionic and colloidal silver.  I have been reading about cleaning towels that have collodial silver in them and how it naturally is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal eliminating the need for harsh chemicals.  I’m looking to eliminate toxins in my cleaning and especially in my body.  It is also anti-inflammatory which is an element I look for when treating and preventing both my migraines and allergies.

The story behind ImmunizeLABS is about healing.  It’s about health and wellness without relying on medication and building the immune system.  Like many of us, it was made out of desperation of feeling and being better without flooding the body with toxins.  They made a supplement protocol and did extensive tests on themselves and found life changing results.  They now share their journey and have made their health solutions available.  They offer more than just nasal spray.  They sell a variety of products that can be found here.

Overall, I love the idea of switching my sinus nasal spray to a natural preventative nasal spray that can help sinus, allergy and migraine.  I do two sprays in each nostril at bedtime and when waking.  Both morning and evenings are my highest spikes in migraine and I have felt a difference with using Breathe Easy.  I will be bringing it with me when I travel as I always get sick from air plane travel and change of climate.  I look forward to feeling a difference in my immune system with continued use and am grateful that I found another nontoxic way to treat and prevent my symptoms.