The disease called Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, can leave patients with an array of symptoms. The symptoms can differ from patient to patient. For those diagnosed with MS, there is a higher likelihood of experiencing certain types of headaches compared to those without MS.
Why People With an MS Get Headaches
Headaches are an all too common symptom for people with MS. In fact, regular headaches may be an early sign that someone has MS.
Quite a few people who get MS headaches report having pulsating or throbbing headaches. There are also plenty of reports of sharp pain caused by a headache as well as tension headaches.
While MS may be the root cause of a headache, there can be other variables that contribute to headache pain. These can include habits in your lifestyle, specific triggers like environmental factors, or a variety of other health issues not related to MS.
Some other factors that can lead to headaches include being dehydrated, drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, or eating foods that can trigger headaches, like those with high amounts of salt. Going too long without food, getting too little sleep, or suffering from stress and anxiety can also lead to headaches.
How To Prevent Headaches
One of the best ways to avoid dealing with headache pain and find relief for MS headaches is to prevent headaches from occurring in the first place. Patients with MS can sometimes identify the triggers that are underlying causes of headaches to help in their prevention.
An excellent way to do this is for a patient to keep a journal of when headaches occur. They can then note some of the things they were doing before the headache occured.
Manging headaches includes eliminating common triggers like fatigue, anxiety, and stress. It is never a bad idea to speak with your doctor about finding therapy or counseling if you have trouble dealing with stress or emotional issues.
Some may find that certain types of foods will trigger headaches. Once patients know about these foods, they can limit their intake or eliminate them from a diet to help in the prevention of headaches.
Leading a healthier lifestyle and trying out natural remedies are also great ways to manage headache pain. Lifestyle changes include getting plenty of exercise, drinking a lot of water, eating a sensible diet, getting the proper amount of sleep, and avoiding too much screen time with electronic devices.
Some other good tips for a healthier lifestyle include limiting things such as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol and reducing your stress through things like meditation and yoga. Maintaining a very active social life with family and friends is another great way to limit your stress.
Things You Can Try Once You Have a Headache
It’s important to remember that you should always talk to your doctor about any change in patterns or symptoms of a headache. You should always seek emergency medical care if you have either a sudden or severe headache and the pain does not go away.
Doctors can prescribe pain medication and other treatments when they are necessary. They can also make adjustments to any prescriptions that you may be taking that might be contributing to headaches.
Just as with any other type of headache, taking pain medications like Ibuprofen or Naproxen can help quite a bit when relieving pain. Another good choice for medication are medications for migraines such as gepants and triptans. Patients will often find these in the form of dissolvable tablets, nasal sprays, or pills.
Some other migraine prevention therapies that might help include antidepressants like venlafaxine, seizure medications, beta-blockers, botox, and monoclonal antibodies. One other idea that helps with all facets of MS is to find support groups that can help. Speaking with other MS patients about all the things they go through may help you find solutions and remedies others have not proposed.
Since there is no cure for MS, there is generally no one way to deal with the disease from patient to patient. For those who suffer from headaches associated with MS, having a proper treatment plan in conjunction with your doctor is vital. It is also important to remember to keep detailed records of what is triggering headaches to hopefully mitigate their occurrence in the futu