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Tips to Cope with Migraines at Work

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Many migraine sufferers “suck it up” and go to work even when they’re in pain. But doing so might cost more productivity than taking sick leave.

In one study conducted by the University of Tennessee Medical School and drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, researchers surveyed 509 migraine sufferers. They found that patients “worked through” migraines 62 percent of the time, but that the pain reduced productivity by 25 percent. In fact, the researchers estimated that migraine patients lost a total of 974 hours when they stayed at home and 1,301 hours when they attended work.

Those who don’t experience migraines may not understand how disabling the brain disorder, which causes throbbing headaches accompanied by nausea, dizziness, numbness, weakness, light and sound sensitivity, and visual symptoms, can become. About 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men suffer from migraines, and many either go undiagnosed or do not understand what treatment options are available. In many cases, patients can learn to manage their migraines, helping them get back to their lives – including their jobs.

LipGesic M, a non-prescription migraine headache medication, provides the following tips for migrainers:

Talk to your doctor

Many medications currently used to treat migraines have side effects that restrict their use by some patients. If you’re worried about side effects or need a less expensive option, look for a natural remedy like LipGesic M (, which uses feverfew and ginger to reduce inflammation that causes the migraine attack.

Understand your triggers

Start keeping a migraine journal to help you recognize patterns. Atmospheric pressure changes, strong smells, bright lights and certain foods, including processed meats, items containing caffeine and alcoholic beverages have been known to cause migraines.

Be honest with your workplace

Let your employer know that you have migraines – trying to hide them will only make it look like you have no reason for your absences. Make sure that they understand that your migraines are manageable. Try to reduce workplace triggers by asking coworkers to refrain from wearing strong perfumes and colognes or by using a glare-proof screen on your computer. If your migraines are particularly frequent or severe, you might want to consider a job with flexible hours so that you can work around them.

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