There's a growing body of research supporting the methodologies we use in our medically supervised Quant Coach Program here at My Doctor Medical Group.
If you get violently ill every time you go on a roller coaster, what do you do? Unless you are a peculiar breed of masochist, you likely avoid roller coasters at all costs. The avoidance of pain is a core component of human instinct, but sometimes the root causes of pain are not as clear-cut as in the roller coaster example.
Migraines can be a debilitating, painful and time-consuming medical condition. Sufferers of severe migraines typically must isolate themselves from light, sounds and other stimuli for hours or sometimes even days. The cost in terms of pain and suffering, and lost productivity, can be considerable. Many “migraineurs” pursue the hope of figuring out a trigger that can be avoided, thereby reducing migraine frequency or severity.
Finding the trigger. It turns out that people are often wrong about what they think their migraine triggers are. Many people blame a certain food item or environmental stimulus, but in reality are not making the right cause-and-effect association. We often suggest that rather than trying to figure it out on one's own, it is often better and more productive to enlist the help of a doctor who can help you in implementing a methodical self-tracking approach. A “Quant-Friendly Doctor,” as we have come to call such a physician, can help you design and execute experiments to figure out exactly what does or doesn't trigger your migraines.
A new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center confirms that while migraine sufferers often think they know their triggers, it is actually almost impossible to know without a formalized experiment. This is due to a web of undulating factors, such as hormones, sleep, physical activity, stress, alcohol intake, diet, and the weather. To more quickly and truly know which variables cause your migraines, the author recommends teaming up with your doctor to devise experiments. Tracking the variables and occurrence, duration, and severity of the migraines is key for determining what does and does not make a difference. For example, you wouldn't want to forgo chocolate or your beloved morning mug of precious coffee if you didn't need to, right? Perhaps what you really need is another hour of sleep, or increased water intake, or to correct a mineral deficiency.
Of course, we always recommend those suffering from headaches work with a physician on a medical workup and plan in addition to their own self management efforts. But if medical approaches are not producing adequate results, then self tracking, particularly with the guidance of a Quant Coach and medical supervision of a Quant-Friendly Doctor, may be the best way to put the migraines to rest once and for all.