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Even gravy granules trigger my migraines
A MIGRAINE sufferer has shared his lifetime battle with the chronic illness as the region prepares for week-long campaign to highlight the condition.
Ned Hickling, 60, from Rainford has been affected by migraines for most of his life, experiencing up to three attacks in a week. Each one lasts anywhere between four hours and two days. His symptoms include nausea and sickness, confusion, and speech difficulties.
Ned believes the triggers are usually changes to his routine including sleep pattern disturbances, and certain foods and drinks, ranging from dairy products to alcohol, coffee and even gravy granules.
The father-of-two, who works at reducing risk in the nuclear industry, said: “I often wake with a migraine, or sometimes I begin feeling cold and numb and know that an attack is starting.
“During a migraine I often have to go into a darkened room to avoid all stimuli, so apart from feeling awful, life is effectively put on hold for the duration of an attack.
“Migraine ruins plans and expectations and has a huge impact not just on the sufferer, but on family, friends and work colleagues too.
“I can first recall having an attack as a five-year-old. They carried on when I got older – once I had been playing rugby at school and I dislocated my shoulder.
“I remember waiting to go to A&E and had developed a migraine too – and the pain from that was worse than the shoulder.”
Migraine affects people of all ages and most sufferers experience up to 13 attacks in a year. Symptoms often include visual disturbances, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, noise or smell.
It is estimated that 14,000 in St Helens alone suffer from migraines.
However, the real figure could be greater as many people still do not seek professional help.
Migraine Awareness Week, beginning on Sunday, September 1, will welcome some of the UK’s leading migraine experts to the region as they gather at the Neurosupport Centre in Liverpool to give advice to people affected by the disabling condition.
The event, organised by charity Migraine Action, will include talks on types of headaches, common triggers, existing and emerging treatments and lifestyle management.
Attendees will also be able to engage in a Q&A session with four leading medics from major institutions like the Walton Centre in Liverpool, and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
Ned now takes preventative and acute medication for his migraines. He has also tried complementary managements in the past, including magnesium supplements, and the traditional medicinal herb feverfew.
He added: “Many migraine sufferers feel ashamed or guilty about their condition and suffer in silence. Some come under tacit or explicit pressure from employers because of the effect on work as well.However, there is now so much help available.”
Joanna Hamilton, director of Migraine Action, said: “This is a rare opportunity for local people to hear from and ask questions of some of the leading medics in the field.
“Our aim is to give those attending practical advice to better understand the condition and tips to help them to manage attacks more successfully.”
l The event will take place at the Neurosupport Centre on Norton Street in Liverpool, on Sunday, September 1 between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Attendance will cost £15 for Migraine Action members, and £25 for non-members. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
To book a place, please contact Migraine Action on 0116 275 8317 or email email@example.com For more information, visit migraine.org.uk/get-involved/events.
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