Why Migraine Sufferers Shouldn't Give Up Hope

August 23, 2013

Adult recovering from severe migraine headache
At age 11, Grace Gold started experiencing regular headaches. And within three years, severe migraines consumed her life."

"They would knock me out for a day or two at a time," Grace said. "It was so difficult because of the unpredictability."

Debilitating migraines forced her to miss many high school milestones. Rather than remembering the prom or class ring ceremony, Grace, now 30, remembers the splitting headaches."

The medication she was prescribed gradually stopped working. In college, she suffered from migraines almost every other day. And by age 25, she was plagued by constant 72-hour bouts of head pain.

"There was no quality of life whatsoever," she said. "I was really at the end of my rope at this point. I was ready to try anything."

A tip from a friend changed Grace's life. She started seeing a new team of doctors at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City. Brian Grosberg, M.D., put her on a new regimen of medication and alternative treatments. The team looked at the relationship between migraines and her diet, menstrual periods, sleep patterns and other potential triggers.

After years of searching, one woman finally found a way to keep her chronic headaches under control.

After four short months, Grace was able to cut her headaches down by half. She's now down to two or three a month. And the headaches that she does have are easy to treat because of the preventive work she does with the Montefiore team. "For the first time, I’m able to wake up and think about what I want to do that day, what needs to get done," she said.

Grace's advice to other migraine sufferers is to not give up hope. "There are answers out there," she said. "There's so much new technology, holistic things you can do, as well as lifestyle changes. There are just so many options you need to investigate and explore to find out what special combination works for you."

By Ashlee Davis, Everyday Health Staff Writer