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This article was originally written on February 14, 2022.
I still cannot believe how much I have learned since first writing this post, one of my first big posts for Dealing With Migraine. The original items, some which I still use, were the only resources I knew and had at the time to get me through years of living with migraine. However, after all my research on migraine, finding a fantastic neurologist, and learning tons from the migraine community – my migraine kit has evolved. I cannot wait for you to learn about all my new favorites below!
This essential bag, migraine kit, or migraine relief kit, as some may call it goes almost everywhere with me. When you live with a disease as complex as migraine, carrying these products just becomes a way of life. It’s equally as important to me as my wallet and keys. As someone who prides themselves on preparedness and deals with anxiety in general, having a bag set-up such as this is incredibly soothing, let alone productive. While I don’t regularly carry the exact same version as this bag, I am always finding ways to incorporate these items when I leave the house – even if only for a short walk.
For many folks though, carrying around a bag solely dedicated to migraine relief isn’t always realistic. This is why I fuse my migraine kit among many other items I like to carry with me such as a little jar of Aquaphor, a Tide To Go stick, some liquid blush, bobby pins, cough drops, and more. I love having everything I need in the same place. It is super convenient AND relaxing.
1. Madewell’s Half-Moon Pouch
I adore this perfectly sized Madewell Half-Moon Pouch I found a few summers ago. I can only imagine it is still sold to this day due to how wildly popular it is. It comes in different colors, but the clear option makes it 10 times easier to find what I need. In terms of quality, this pouch has held up incredibly well for years now that it makes the ideal place to contain your migraine relief kit.
2. CEFALY Connected
Cefaly Connected is a neurotransmitter device that works to help desensitize a naturally super sensitive nerve in our brain, the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is the largest and most complex cranial nerve and is involved in almost all migraine attacks. The trigeminal nerve is the part of the nervous system responsible for sending pain, touch, and temperature sensations from your face to your brain. The top branch of the trigeminal nerve can be accessed through the skin on the forehead – which is where CEFALY Connected is placed.
Over time, with continued use of the device, we can lower the sensitivity of the nerve which is why it can help lower the frequency and intensity of a migraine attack. CEFALY users can expect to see results within the first one to three months. By desensitizing the trigeminal nerve through the self-adhesive electrode the process becomes more effective with long term-treatment.
When I first started using CEFALY the sensations (caused by the tiny electrical impulses) were very intense. So intense, that it felt like my head was numbed from the pain I was experiencing. I have continued using the device almost daily as a preventative treatment (usually mixed in with my other migraine treatments) and as needed as an acute treatment during an attack.
While I’m sure Cefaly may not work for every person out there, I can happily report it has been a huge help in managing my migraine attacks. You can use my code DWM15 for an extra 15% OFF here! Be on the lookout, as Cefaly has fantastic sales throughout the year making the price even lower.
Cefaly is a drug free treatment but you should not use it if you have any metallic or electronic devices in your head, are suffering from pain of an unknown origin, or have a cardiac pacemaker or implanted/wearable defibrillator. And as I mentioned previously, it is always important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper usage and individual suitability.
3. Migrastil’s Migraine Stick
I first discovered Migrastil’s Migraine Stick two years ago and it has made a huge impact at slowing down my migraine. Depending on the trigger or severity of my migraine, having a tool to slow down my migraine is so important whether that means giving me more time to travel home, find a bathroom, or get through a number of important tasks when a migraine strikes.
In roller form, it’s a combination of peppermint, spearmint, and lavender essential oils based in coconut oil. At this point, I don’t care if someone looks at me funny for drawing on my face with this thing. It smells amazing and as soon as it touches my temples and nasal area, it instantly helps decrease a quickly approaching or an already pounding migraine.
4. Ear Plugs
Noises can be extremely triggering and difficult to avoid when dealing with migraine (i.e. cue the MTA announcer), yet we often forget there is something we can actually do about it. I didn’t purchase my first pair of ear plugs until I started going to a recording studio with my husband (who is a hip-hop artist – Spotify plug) on a somewhat regular basis, where the music gets quite loud. With these ear plugs I can still hear, but it takes out the punch of loud sounds, and brings me relief knowing I’m protecting my head from a potential migraine attack. I purchased this product specifically because it’s affordable, very comfortable, and comes with extra plugs and its own case. I know bust out my ear plugs anywhere with loud noise like a movie theatre or a noisy restaurant. At this point, I don’t care about how I look with them on or what people may think – all that matters is that I’m practicing self care, lowering my anxiety, and getting much needed migraine relief.
5. Lavender Oil
I know spearmint and peppermint are the most talked about stars when it comes to treating migraine, but for me lavender is everything at treating while simultaneously calming me through a migraine attack. Keeping a small bottle of lavender oil has been the superhero on countless occasions – car rides, anxiety attacks, blocking out the world in bed, or for a beautiful, deep breath. I also really love this ““Good Nite”oil, which is a combination of lavender, tangerine, geranium, cypress, chamomile, and frankincense oil.
6. Hydration Supplements
Hydration supplements can be beneficial in the treatment of migraine due to their ability to replenish fluids and electrolytes in the body. Dehydration is often associated with migraine and can exacerbate symptoms. Hydration supplements, such as electrolyte enhanced drinks, provide a balanced mix of water and essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These supplements help restore hydration levels, maintain electrolyte balance, and support overall bodily functions.
I first tried Liquid I.V. a while after receiving it at a bachelorette party and realized how much it helped when dealing with a migraine attack! I was ecstatic that a drink could be so helpful. From there I have tried other electrolyte mixes such as Oasis from Cove. What makes their mixture so wonderful is it includes migraine specific supplements such as Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. Plus, these packets are so tiny, they can easily fit into any migraine relief kit!
7. Migraine Glasses
Migraine glasses, are specially designed eyewear that aims to alleviate the symptoms of migraine. These glasses typically have a tinted lens that filters out specific wavelengths of light, which are known to trigger or worsen migraine in some individuals. The tint helps reduce the intensity of light, glare, and visual stimuli that can trigger migraine. By blocking certain wavelengths, migraine glasses can provide relief from light sensitivity, eye strain, and visual disturbances associated with migraine.
I received my first pair of glasses from Axon Optics who have recently joined forces with another fantastic brand, Avulux. My glasses especially helpful on days where my migraine threshold is lower or I have a long day of working on screens ahead of me. If you live with migraine, a pair of these can really change your day to day life.
Ubrelvy has a special place in my heart because it is the first ever CGRP blocker medication I ever took for migraine. Ubrelvy is an FDA-approved medication specifically designed for the acute treatment of migraine. It belongs to a class of drugs known as CGRP receptor antagonists, which work by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) to alleviate migraine symptoms.
When my neurologist first brought it up, I was ecstatic to hear that this class of medications did not cause rebound headaches that are common with other medications that include caffeine. It is available in tablet form and should be taken orally as soon as a migraine attack begins. It helps to relieve pain, nausea, and other associated symptoms. If you do not have health insurance or your insurance does not cover the medication, check out Ubrelvy’s info on finding discounts here. Lastly, these medications are only recently becoming more available around the world. This past spring Ubrelvy finally became available in Canada, yay! Now just the rest of the world to go!
Metoclopramide is a medication primarily used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, but it can also be effective in managing migraine! As a dopamine receptor antagonist, it works by inhibiting the transmission of signals that trigger nausea and vomiting.
In the case of migraine, Metoclopramide helps alleviate the lovely symptoms of nausea and vomiting that often accompany a migraine attack. This medication has worked wonders for me, making this little pill a staple in my migraine kit. To this date (fingers crossed), since I have had this medication for over a year now, I have not thrown up from migraine. This is a Gd send coming from someone that would throw up regularly from migraine attacks.
If you also deal with these symptoms, please ask your doctor about this medication. So many of us are used to suffering in pain with migraine, that we forget we can actually get help with all sorts of syptoms!
10. Nurtec ODT
Nurtec ODT was the second CGRP blocker I used that can be used to treat or prevent migraine attacks. You can take Nurtec ODT as soon as a migraine attack strikes to help stop symptoms or you can take it every other day to help prevent attacks. It’s also good to know that Nurtec ODT comes in the form of a quick-dissolve tablet which makes it easy to take and fast to get working.
I find Nurtec ODT has a long lasting power for me. And because it can be taken preventatively, I usually will take it the morning of a day where I am more likely to get an attack like on a long day of traveling in the car or by plane. This has been such a game changer in stopping an attack before it even starts!
The safety of using more than 18 doses in a 30-day period has not been established, which is why there is a limit on how often you can take Nurtec in a given month (similarly to Ubrelvy). Nurtec also has great resources here on how to afford the medication if it is not already easily available to you.
I hope this post inspires you to make your own migraine kit or at the very least, reminds you to fill up on your favorite migraine supplies. For discounts on some of the items mentioned above, check out my shop page HERE!
Already have a migraine kit? What are some of your favorite products that you like to include? Let me know in the comments!