Trying to understand the roots and causes of headaches, especially Migraine and Cluster Headaches can be mind altering in itself. The Internet has a dizzying amount of information that mostly leads to organizations and medical associations that can set up treatment for migraine patients. To really grab hold of the symptoms affecting you and how best to approach treatment, a book can be the surest guide down the rabbit hole. These 3 titles are available in most libraries or bookstores and offer broad overviews of migraine disease and cluster headaches.
- Migraine and Other Headaches (Demos Medical Publishing, 2004) by William B. Young MD and Stephen D. Silberstein, MD.
- What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines, (Warner Books, 2001) by Alexander Mauskop MD and Barry Fox PhD.
- Living Well With Migraine Disease and Headaches, (HarperCollins, 2005) by Teri Robert
The difference between the books may compliment each other more than anything as Dr. Young and Dr. Silberstein are medically trained migraine specialists, as is Dr. Mauskop, but Teri Robert is a patient advocate, offering a personalized style. All three books approach dealing with migraine by recognizing symptoms and then addressing some of the available treatments. Examples and stories from the books may be all too familiar to someone suffering from migraine disease. This can be important for the “you are not alone” factor, and reveals millions of people who walk the path of migraine pain. Amazingly there is no cure available or magic bullet treatment that works for everyone who gets migraine headache. Both books, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraine and Living Well With Migraine Disease, give satisfactory overviews of possible treatments. The authors, just as the medical community, have come to recognize migraine as a neurological disease that is the cause of headache pain. This is helping to free patients from the recent focus on possible “triggers” that cause a migraine headache. The troublesome part of identifying migraine triggers is it can be just about anything. There are some common triggers, like caffeine, alcohol, stress, nitrites in certain meats, amines in certain cheeses or vegetables and the MSG additive. Dr. Mauskop’s book and Teri Robert’s book both have exhaustive lists of possible triggers, but both stress it is just the beginning of treatment. It is important to weed out the foods, weather, moods, atmospheres or events that can trigger a migraine attack, but that alone will not solve the problem.
As you start to face the insurmountable task of understanding Migraine, a good book to start with is Migraine and Other Headaches. It is a quick read and can help establish whether or not the headaches are associated with Migraine or other pains like Cluster Headache. It can serve as a good primer before talking with a doctor and plant questions in your mind to make the most of the visit. When dealing with triggers and possible cures, you can then turn to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraine and Living Well With Migraine Disease. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraine, is a particularly good resource for fully exploring alternative treatments like Feverfew, Magnesium supplements and Riboflavin. The books also recommend exploring treatments like acupuncture and different types of physical therapy to compliment medical treatments. Alternative therapies might be your cup of tea, but a doctor is essential to the process of eliminating migraine triggers and proper medication. There are plenty of past mistakes migraineurs have suffered and the books share some of the potential hazards of misdiagnosis and rebound headache. Rebound headache occurs when a patient’s medication is misused causing Chronic Daily Headache. Enough is known about migraine disease today so that people can spot the symptoms and the books can help you avoid common misdiagnosis. Most of all they will broaden your search for answers and ease an already painful process.