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  • Writer's pictureSam Kelokates

๐ŸŒฑ Planting SEEDS for long-term migraine management!

SEEDS is a little mnemonic for lifestyle management of chronic migraines. It describes five lifestyle changes or behaviors that help to reduce the impact of environmental triggers on migraines.

So what is SEEDS?

S = Sleep ๐Ÿ’ค

E = Exercise ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ

E = Eat (both food and drink)๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’ง

D = Diary (or journaling) ๐Ÿ“”

S = Stress ๐Ÿง˜

Research has shown that improving these lifestyle behaviors helps to improve chronic migraines!

๐Ÿ˜ด Sleep disorders are common problems with those who suffer from migraines and headaches. But implementation of sleep habits to improve quality of sleep has been effective in decreasing migraine intensity and frequency.

Basic recommendations for sleep:

  1. Get 7-8 hours per night

  2. Set a bedtime and wake up time

  3. Create an optimal sleep environment

  4. No phones, tablets, laptops

Exercise ๐Ÿšด is a great treatment for chronic migraines, and has been shown to be as effective as several preventative medications. But it may not be easy to start exercising for some, as it can be a big trigger!

Most research around exercise as a prophylactic treatment uses cardiovascular exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adults get 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise.

Basic recommendations for exercise

  1. Exercise 30 minutes at a moderate intensity 5 days per week

  2. Start slow and gradually build intensity to what is tolerable

  3. Find an activity that you enjoy, it can be as simple as walking.

If you are new to exercising, or exercise is a trigger, start with just 5 minutes of activity at a low intensity. Gradually build up the time and intensity as your body accommodates to the stimulus.

Eating ๐Ÿฝ , which includes both food and drink, consistently is the most common recommendation. This is meant to keep blood sugar levels through the day.

Many people talk about food triggers, but most of the claims are anecdotal. Aside from alcohol ๐Ÿบ and caffeine โ˜•๏ธ research has been mixed about links between types of foods or diets that cause or prevent headaches.

Basic recommendations for eating

  1. Maintain a regular eating schedule, 3-6 meals per day

  2. Stay hydrated

  3. Avoid alcohol, and limit caffeine

  4. Avoid fasting for long periods of time

Diary or keeping a journal ๐Ÿ““ of your migraines is important for long term management. By monitoring your specific migraines we can identify patterns that can be useful in developing a plan of care to prevent or treat the migraines.

Keeping a record of your condition can also be useful when implementing new treatments or lifestyle changes to see how those changes affect your condition.

Basic recommendations for keeping a dairy

  1. Keep it simple

  2. Have the diary/journal in a place that is easily accessible

  3. Use an app, a note pad, or calendar

  4. Record if you used medications

Stress ๐Ÿ˜ฅ is a common trigger for many types of headaches and migraines. Though itโ€™s usually not the only one. Like most chronic pain pain conditions, our mood can influence our migraines. When we are overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed our migraines can become more frequent, more intense, and last longer.

We canโ€™t prevent all stress in our lives, but we can develop better action plans to control and lower our stress when we know that it is elevating.

Basic recommendations for stress management

  1. Avoid stressors when possible

  2. Find stress outlets, like mediation or walking