If you suffer from migraines, you know they aren’t “just headaches.” In fact, migraines can be severely disruptive and incapacitating.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 38 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraine, a neurological disease that affects men, women, and children. An overwhelming majority of these people — more than 90 percent — are unable to work or function during the throes of a migraine.
Migraine sufferers know their condition is serious. They can feel it in the searing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other difficult symptoms. If you struggle with migraines, books that offer insights into what migraines are, how to live with them, and how to better manage your symptoms can make all the difference.
Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health
We all know of the phrase, “Not tonight, I have a headache.” But what if the doubt and distrust around that “excuse” has something to do with the fact that migraines are most common in women? According to Joanna Kempner, part of the reason the validity of migraines has been questioned is because of gendered social values. This book investigates how society’s views on gender and pain have shaped our assumptions about migraine.
Oliver Sacks was a neurologist and author. His illuminating book “Migraine” discusses all aspects of the condition and how it plays a unique role in people’s lives. He examines the hallucinations and visual and auditory disturbances that migraines can cause. The book includes illustrations depicting what those disturbances look like to give the reader a deeper understanding of the condition.
If you suffer from any kind of chronic headache, the first thing your doctor will have you do is begin tracking them. This headache log was designed precisely for that purpose: to record the time and place of your migraine symptoms, as well as their severity, triggers, the treatments you use, and more. In tracking all of the details surrounding your migraines, you can better understand how to manage them.
Migraine: Finding My Own Way Out
Sara Riley Mattson tried traditional medical treatments for her migraines, and then she tried her own approaches. In “Migraine: Finding My Own Way Out,” she discusses her experience with debilitating symptoms, and how she managed to crawl out of the despair her migraines had caused her.
The Migraine Relief Plan
When you suffer from migraines, any relief is welcome. In “The Migraine Relief Plan,” wellness coach Stephanie Weaver walks readers through a step-by-step plan for reducing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. The eight-week plan will help you transition to a healthier lifestyle with new habits like eating trigger-free foods, sleeping better, and practicing relaxation techniques. For folks who enjoy a holistic approach to health, this book can be a big help.
The Migraine Brain
Dr. Carolyn Bernstein is a neurologist as well as a migraine sufferer. In “The Migraine Brain,” she uses her own experience and expertise to discuss the ins and outs of migraines. She offers clues to why your migraines happen, why you may be misdiagnosed and misdirected in your treatments, and makes actionable recommendations to help you manage the disease.
The Migraine Relief Diet
While the idea that changing your diet can help your migraine symptoms isn’t new, this book actually gives you keys for how to use your diet to treat your migraines. Inside are directions for a cleanse, a meal plan, and numerous trigger-free recipes. Author and nutritionist Tara Spencer will help you identify foods that may be triggering your symptoms, and teach you how to eliminate and then possibly reintroduce these foods without experiencing a migraine.
The Migraine Mafia
Not your typical migraine self-help book, “The Migraine Mafia” is a novel from Maia Sepp. In it, character Vive McBroom faces all the stigmas and struggles associated with migraines, including the pain, of course, but also the strain on relationships, work, and guilt. It isn’t until she finds a support group of migraine sufferers that she begins to find relief. Reading this story may help you find some relief, too.
Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
Living with a chronic condition like migraines isn’t only physically painful, but also emotionally and mentally trying. In “Minding the Body, Mending the Mind,” Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., helps readers discover and use their mind-body connection to cope with a range of chronic diseases. She uses relaxation techniques to help folks alleviate pain and stress, and even boost the immune system.
The Woman’s Guide to Managing Migraine
Migraines are more common in women than men, and many women who live with migraines discover that their symptoms fluctuate throughout the month with their hormonal cycle. In “The Woman’s Guide to Managing Migraine,” author and family doctor Susan Hutchinson illustrates the various ways that hormones can play a role in migraine symptoms by profiling seven different women. She uses these profiles as an opportunity to discuss the various issues, symptoms, and treatments that can accompany migraine.
Migraine Diet Smoothies
The ingredients in “Migraine Diet Smoothies” are based on the migraine elimination diet. The recipes are designed to be safe for migraine sufferers and also help them navigate the symptoms of this disease. In addition to 30 delicious smoothie recipes, the book includes a lengthy list of migraine-safe ingredients. With options like the Red Velvet Smoothie and Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, it’s safe to say this book could be appealing to non-migraine sufferers too.
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