Treating Chronic Headaches

By: Max Seigle
By: Max Seigle

Yvonne Lidster visits her doctor Wednesday at Swedish American Hospital. She started seeing him after more than 10 years of constant migraines. "I used to have headaches every single day and I would go to all different places. I went to Loyola in Chicago, " Lidster said. But coming to this doctors office ended that pain. Lidster only gets headaches a couple times a month and treating them actually works. "I'm enjoying life more, it's absolutely fantastic," she said. So what's the secret? Doctor Jeffery Royce first starts with a brain x-ray to make sure there are no serious neurological issues. He says in most cases there aren't any. Then he moves well beyond a trip to the drug store shelves. "By the time the individual comes to me, there's a lot of lifestyle issues that need to be addressed," Royce said. For Lidster, part of the treatment is avoiding some surprising foods. "Peanut butter, things like you would never think, triggers headaches." Her doctor adds a few other things. "When they come to me we decrease caffeine, decrease nutrasweet, increase exercise, improve sleep," Royce said. There is some medication involved like combinations of blood pressure and antidepressant drugs that prevent headaches. Lidster takes those well....moving on with her hands free from migrianes. As far as over counter headache medicine, Royce says too much of that can actually trigger rebound headaches. So if you're constantly battling pain, your best bet is to call your doctor. Royce said about 40,000 people in the Stateline suffer from headaches that require special treatments.


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