Tips for Avoiding Holiday Headaches - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/8/05

Tips for Avoiding Holiday Headaches

Tis the season, for shopping, and eating, and drinking, and: "I will get a piercing sharp pain on one side of my head, um, usually my right side, and it feels like a nail is going through my skull, usually right here," says migraine sufferer, Amy Lapostochel.  

Amy Lapostochel is one of millions of Americans who suffer from migraine headaches, and for many of them, the holiday season is also the headache season. Just ask any headache specialist. "From from the week before Thanksgiving through New Years' is an amazingly busy time in in the headache field. Our our phone calls increase by, by a fifty, by fifty percent. On Monday alone I had three hundred phone calls," says Dr. Lawrence Newman. 

All migraine sufferers have certain things that trigger their headaches, the problem is that during the holiday season, those triggers are all piled one on top of the other. "There is the stress of family, there is the stress of going to parties, there is the stress of preparing foods, of going from one place to the other, you have to go shopping, you have long lists of things to do," says Dr. Lawrence Newman. 

And Amy has a few more of her own. "Sweets, perfume, heat, flashing lights, nitrates, red wine, um, alcohol," says Amy. And while you probably can't avoid all holiday stress and triggers, Dr. Newman offers up some useful advice, "Go to sleep, wake up at the same time, exercise regularly, make sure you don't skip meals. Don't take on everything yourself. Ask for help. You have family and you have friends who can help you. Have people help you shop. If you're going to the airport make sure you have plenty of time to get there so everything isn't rushed at the last time."

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