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Migraine Sufferers Beware!

For migraine sufferers, a night out on the town isn’t always something to look forward to. In fact, the reverse is sometimes true.

Migraines — painful, pounding headaches that can also be accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound — are three times more common in women than men. An estimated 17 percent of American women say they have experienced a migraine at some point in their lives, according to the Sapphire Women’s Health Group.

“Chocolate, red wine, flickering lights, some strong scents, travel — these would make for a dream date for most people. But for women who are prone to migraines, they can spell disaster,” said Dr. Donnica Moore, founder and president of the Sapphire Women’s Health Group and a migraine sufferer.

Moore suggests that wherever possible, migraine sufferers find substitutes for these trigger-containing treats. In addition, women can help avoid migraine attacks through other behavior interventions and medication.

For that special night out, Moore recommends:

  • Reach for the sparkling cider, or champagne, instead of toasting with a glass of red wine;

  • Satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth with white chocolate as an alternative to dark chocolate;

  • Don’t starve yourself during the day in anticipation of a big dinner. Hunger can make you more susceptible to a migraine attack;

  • Keep your migraine medication handy, so that if you do feel an attack coming on, you can help nip it in the bud; and

  • Install soft-colored light bulbs in lamps instead of lighting candles.

Other simple steps to help prevent migraines come from Excedrin’s Headache Resource Center, located at They are: keep a diary or notebook to write down when you have a migraine attack, how long it lasts, its intensity, which triggers might apply and what medication(s) you took for it; and keep in mind that stress is high on the list of migraine triggers. Also, try using meditation and biofeedback to reduce your chances of getting a migraine and having a positive and assertive attitude always helps.

For more information on understanding and managing migraines, visit, or call (800) EXCEDRIN. — Lyn Wagner —

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