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Nicole Biondo: "My Life Living with Migraines"

For 12 years I have suffered with debilitating migraines.

They can last anywhere up to 3 days at a time. 

I am sensitive to light and noise. When a migraine triggers, I need to be in a very dark room and no noise.

When I have a migraine, I get nauseous and occasionally throw up because of the nausea. 

It’s a horrible disease to live with. I always end up in tears due to how painful it is.

After a 3-day migraine, Nicole gets straight back to food prep so she has lots of nutritios food prepared

I started to get my migraines after my third child. 

I noticed I’d get them 3 days before my menstrual cycle, and sometimes after. When I’m dehydrated and when I binge on sugar. Strong fragrances/perfumes also can bring them on. 

Family night at the Biondo household - Nicole started getting migraines 12 years ago, just after her youngest was born

As soon as I can feel a migraine coming on, I need to take my medication immediately. 

If I leave it too late, forget it.

To prevent the temptation to snack on sugar, Nicole clears out her fridge and pantry regularly and then fills it with healthy meals that are ready to eat

Migraines will always be with me, but there are a few things I do to help alleviate them. 

I purposely drink 3L of water a day. It’s vital for me to stay hydrated. 

I’ve had to work on my behaviour and my reactions to situations that heighten my emotions, like overthinking things. 

And I’ve stopped buying the foods I would binge on. 

Nicole has a gym setup in her garage, and often gets her workouts done at unusual times so she can stay consistent around any migraines that come on

I’ve also stopped wearing perfumes and stick to oils instead. 

The consequence of not changing my habits, is so painful that I don’t want to put myself in that situation. As a result of focusing on all the above, I haven’t had a migraine in 5 months. :D

Nicole xoxo

PS: You can read more about Nicole here.

Migraines are part of Nicole's reason for staying on track with her nutrition - as a result her body has also become stronger and more muscular

It's estimated that almost 5 million Australians experience migraines. 

Due to hormonal factors, migraines are believed to affect more women than men, and migraines typically run in families. 

Headaches and migraines are nervous system conditions that can cause pain in the head.

Migraine vs. Headache: What’s the difference?

According to healthdirect.gov.au, a tension-type headache (the most common type of headache) causes pain on both sides of the head. It's a tight pressure rather than a throbbing, and you might also have soreness in your temples, neck and shoulder muscles. Headache pain isn't usually considered 'severe'.

Migraine, on the other hand, has many symptoms — including headache. This can feel like a throbbing pain that might be worse on one side of your head. You can also feel pain around your eyes, temples, face, jaw or neck. The pain may increase with physical activity, which is why it helps to lie down.

But the key difference between a headache and migraine?

Migraines can be distressing and debilitating and can affect your whole body. People can feel vaguely unwell for a day or two before a migraine headache comes on (although not all migraines involve headache). Once it has started, a migraine headache can last for between 4 hours and several days.

"Migraine is a chronic disorder of the brain with recurrent severe attacks. Other common features [besides headache] are nausea or even vomiting," explains Assistant Professor of Neurology Yulia Orlova on The Conversation. "Many people have sensitivity to light, odours or sounds and are unable to carry on daily activity."

In fact, the migraine is ranked the sixth most disabling disease in the world. —Global Burden of Disease

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