Caffeine can trigger migraines, right? Wrong (mostly). Although there have been some studies tentatively linking drinking coffee – for example – with causing headaches, in fact this is not usually the case. Surprisingly, caffeine can help reduce inflammation which then brings pain relief.
These are the kinds of myths and misconceptions delved into by Dr Derk Krieger, Professor of Neurology and Senior Consultant Neurologist at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, in the last episode of the Gulf News & Novartis Mind Your Migraine vodcast series.
Dr Krieger chats candidly with patient Julia Vetter who describes herself as “not a typical patient for migraine” because she only started suffering episodes in her thirties – busting the idea that migraines always start at a young age.
Another misconception almost kept Julia from seeing a specialist about her migraines – the idea that there isn't anything that truly helps, and that no medication can treat the onset of pain. That’s completely wrong, says Dr Krieger. “There certainly is treatment now… all you have to do is you have to make the migraine more palatable and bearable.”
The medic explains that new medicines can be taken very early when patients feel the intense so-called ‘premonition’ phase. Dr Krieger outlines an effective three-pronged approach: “We do the prevention, the abortion, and then contain the pain.”
Julia asks whether it’s true that supplements can cure migraines. “I think that's another myth,” says Dr Krieger. “But what we do recommend is magnesium as it can be helpful for some people.”
To find out whether your own ideas around migraine really hold up, listen to the full discussion, which drops on June 29 across leading podcast channels. You can also watch the episode by visiting www.gulfnews.com/mind-your-migraine