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Migraine is a debilitating neurological disease, ranking consistently among the top 10 leading causes of years lived with disability, worldwide. The main symptom of migraine is an enduring headache, along with symptoms such as severe pain on one side of the head or throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. Despite being a very common headache disorder that affects roughly 15 percent of the adult population worldwide, it remains inadequately understood and most neglected. In Delhi, approximately 25 per cent of the population suffers from migraines, every year.
While migraine is an invisible condition, it can severely impact individuals across personal, professional and social domains, thus affecting the overall quality of life and productivity. Work-from-home, or the 'new normal,' has drastically impacted the lives of people suffering from migraines -- from an inability to concentrate at work to missed workdays. It has become even more urgent to ensure that individuals have the understanding and tools to effectively manage migraines.
Symptom neglect and failure to treat the condition can lead to migraines becoming chronic Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash
Dr Debashish Chowdhury, Professor and Head of Neurology, G B Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER) and Incharge, Headache Clinic, GIPMER, New Delhi said, "There is a lack of understanding amongst people about the severity of migraines. In a study we recently conducted, about 50 to 60 per cent of migraineurs were undiagnosed, despite recurrent headaches. Because migraine falls on a spectrum, ranging from infrequent or mild attacks to recurrent ones, many pass it off as ï¿½merely a headache'. With busy work-from-home schedules, paired with fear of contracting COVID-19 infection and difficulty in accessing in-person care, people are avoiding seeking medical help for the condition, instead attributing symptoms to associated comorbidities, such as stress or depression."
He continued, "Financial worries due to job loss or salary cuts also contribute to aggravated migraine attacks, which is more noticeable recently. The effects of migraine on one's quality of life also reportedly worsened, particularly for many migraineurs working as essential healthcare workers at this time.
Symptom neglect and failure to treat the condition can lead to migraines becoming chronic. A fundamental need is to recognize migraine as a serious condition with severe disability and adopt a holistic treatment approach. Early detection can be a key enabler of a smoother patient journey and an improved quality of life."
Migraines can begin at any age but tend to peak during one's prime productive years. Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
Here are 5 ways to manage your migraine while working from home:
Identify risk factors and monitor triggers
Migraines can begin at any age but tend to peak during one's prime productive years. Moreover, women are three times more likely to be affected than men, with prevalence peaking between the ages of 25 and 55 years. Long hours of working from home, along with longer screen times, disrupted sleep schedules and irregular eating habits can increase stress levels. For migraineurs, such changes can become migraine triggers, exacerbating their condition. Identifying personal triggers can help individuals manage their migraines better.
Make the right choice for diet and lifestyle
Working from home can be hard, but a daily routine that optimizes your physical and mental health can help keep your migraine at bay. Eating healthy meals at appropriate times or consuming small, frequent meals throughout the day are associated with less frequent migraine headaches. Taking breaks from work at regular intervals can help you eat right and reduce eye strain owing to excessive screen use. Making modifications to your lifestyle, including smoking cessation and reduced alcohol consumption, and maintaining optimal sleeping habits and exercising regularly can be key to manage migraines. These also benefit migraine prevention and treatment.
Talk to an expert
It is important to consult a medical specialist when you are experiencing severe headaches that disrupt your daily routine. A lot of migraineurs hesitate to seek medical help. This could be due to several reasons -- lack of understanding of migraine severity, lack of time due to hectic work-from-home schedules, or recently, due to a reduction in-person clinic consultations owing to the fear of Covid-19 infection. However, consulting a neurologist, even via teleconsultations, is a necessary step to diagnose your condition and understand the available options for acute and chronic management of migraine, including preventive treatment. With evidence-based information on effects across migraine intensity reduction, quality of life and ease of use, neurologists can guide you on the most suitable treatment option to prevent or reduce your migraine episodes.
Track your migraines
It is a good idea to maintain a diary (or download a migraine tracker app), to record the time and severity of your migraine attacks, symptoms, daily diet, exercise routines, and medications and side effects. This can help identify triggers and patterns. It can also prompt meaningful conversations with your doctor, contributing to a more holistic treatment plan, personalized to suit your work schedule.
Seek support from your family, friends or colleagues
Living with migraines can make one feel helpless, distressed and misunderstood. But talking to your friends and family will help them understand your condition better. Having an open conversation about your migraine with your employer is a good idea, particularly to work out a schedule, with specific routine adjustments to mitigate triggers. This can help you be productive and healthy while working from home. Employers can also take the initiative -- arranging wellness programs for employees to raise awareness about migraines and how to effectively manage them at work and enhance productivity.
Migraine attacks can be challenging. Changes to your daily routine and active communication about your condition with your employer, after consulting a neurologist, can help you better manage migraines as you work from home.
(Article originally published at IANSlife) (IANS/SS)
Keywords: work from home, health, migraine
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
The festive season is a time of joy. Some people truly love it, but for many, it can trigger feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Feeling lonely is common and completely normal -- whether or not we're living through this pandemic. The social pressure to "be happy" can be relentless, but it is important to take a proactive approach to meet not only our emotional needs but also to maintain our mental stability and well-being. With the pandemic, holidays are likely to be challenging, instead, meet them head-on with a renewed dedication and a proactive mindset to avoid 'holiday blues'.
Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Well-being Coach, Founder, Let Us Talk, mentions ways to turn your loneliness into action this season:
Say yes to socializing: When we are experiencing loneliness, it can be easy to slip into the habit of saying no to social activities. Seclusion can make it challenging to feel driven and the mere thought of physically seeing people can lead to stress. Hence it is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence. Something as simple as going for a walk with a friend or chatting with your loved ones over the phone can make a huge difference.
It is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Devote your time to others: An effective way to beat loneliness amidst the holidays is by helping others who are less fortunate. The good cause will remind you of all you have to be appreciative for. This will help you to be a part of something larger, thus immersing yourself in the true spirit of the holiday season.
An effective way to beat loneliness amidst the holidays is by helping others who are less fortunate. | Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash
Make the most of technology: For those with distant loved ones, technology can prove to be an enabler in helping to keep family traditions alive. For instance, celebrate the festive cheer virtually or opening festive gifts on video calls amidst all family members. Taking a moment to network with someone, communicating about shared interests or fond memories, even if it's online, can play a major role in reminding us of the good times.
Taking a moment to network with someone, communicating about shared interests or fond memories, even if it's online, can play a major role in reminding us of the good times. | Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash
Get distracted with healthy coping strategies: Distraction can be useful when it's done with the intention of proactively giving yourself a break. For instance, it is recommended to watch a movie to take your mind off stressful thoughts instead of drinking many glasses of wine to forget aloofness. Taking a break will help prevent burnout and will enable you to deal with problems better.
Taking a break will help prevent burnout and will enable you to deal with problems better. | Photo by Johan Godínez on Unsplash
Don't be afraid to speak up: Confiding in reliable friends or relatives about how you feel can often lift the weight off your shoulders, thus making you feel less isolated. It can also be helpful to consult your counsellor if the seasonal isolation has been impacting your emotional well-being. Counselling can help in building your confidence and will facilitate you to discover coping strategies to process any issue. (IANS/ MBI)
Confiding in reliable friends or relatives about how you feel can often lift the weight off your shoulders, thus making you feel less isolated. | Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Keywords: Loneliness, action, socialise, technology, stress speak, share, friends
Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge that include the addition of tab groups. Users will be able to assemble collections of tabs to make their browser a little less chaotic.
To create a group, hold the control button and choose the tabs you want to include, then select "Add tabs to new group" from the right-click menu, Engadget reported on Friday. Users can customise the label with a different colour for each group. When users hover over a tab, they will be able to see a preview of the web page as well.
Microsoft Edge is also getting some handy shopping features, the report said. The browser can give swift access to reviews and ratings for more than 5 million products. When users are on a product page, they can click the blue tag on the address bar and see expert reviews from reliable sources, as well as the average consumer star rating from various retailers.
When they do figure out what to buy, Microsoft aims to help them complete the transaction a bit faster. The new personalised news feed called Microsoft Start is integrated into the browser. Users will see headlines and articles relevant to their interests from a range of publishers when they open a new tab. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: microsoft, edge, update, tab groups, browser, shopping, address bar
When you think of the colours on your plate, do you ever think of black? Well, its time you do! As they are the new power food. We all know greens, yellows and reds are loaded with nutrients -- so are the lesser spoken about black ones too!
What are black foods? Foods with the pigments called anthocyanins are known as black foods. Anthocyanins are found in black, blue and purple coloured foods and have hidden nutrients and benefits galore. These pigments have rich anti-oxidant properties which promote health and have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. They play a huge role in immunity. They are fun, healthy, offbeat and make for a nice visual treat too.
Abhilasha V, HOD and Chief Clinical Nutritionist -- Cloudnine group of hospitals, Bengaluru, few interesting ones and their benefits:
Cultivated in South East Asian belt, this rice has a nutty flavour and can be used in many recipes. In China this was known as the Forbidden rice in ancient times as it was reserved for only royalty. Now, some parts of north East India grow black rice too. They are loaded with lutien and zeaxanthin and promote good eye health. They have cancer fighting properties due to their high anti-oxidant and fiber content. They can be used in puddings, stir fries, risotto, porridge, noodles, bread and even makes a great idea for a good kheer!
Cultivated in South East Asian belt, this rice has a nutty flavour and can be used in many recipes. | Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
A closer to home surprise! Indians have used black dal since ages. They are used as gravies and in mixed dal preparations. They are rich in fibre, iron, folate and protein and can be quite delicious too.
A closer to home surprise! Indians have used black dal since ages | Pixabay
With the western influence on our eating habits, it has brought along a long list of good foods. Olives are one of them and they are versatile in their flavour. They can be added to salads, pastas, stir fries and some pickles and drinks too. Olives contain monounsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Polyphenols and oleocanthal -- which is a strong anti-inflammatory and pain-killer compound found in olives. This little power-packed food can protect your arteries from clogging, maintain eye health, prevent DNA damage, promote good skin health and also hair health.
Olives can be added to salads, pastas, stir fries and some pickles and drinks too. | Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash
Black sesame seeds
Commonly known as Til, they come with a huge bunch of benefits, loaded with fibre, protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcim, zinc, copper, selenium and Vitamin E. It also contains sesamin, which helps reduce inflammation and plays a vital role in joint pain. Yes! All of that in a daily allowance of 1-2 teaspoons can do wonders for your health. They can be used in salads as garnish, in laddoos, in breads, smoothies, soups, hummus, dips and even tahini. They can be consumed soaked, sprouted, baked or roasted too.
Commonly known as Til, they come with a huge bunch of benefits, loaded with fibre, protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcim, zinc, copper, selenium and Vitamin E. | Photo by Lluvia Morales on Unsplash
Known for their sweet taste and popular flavour, black grapes are a favourite for many. This seasonal fruit has a host of benefits to give us. Black grapes contain Lutein, Zeaxanthin which prevents retinal damage and macular degeneration. Resveratrol in grapes are known to have anti-cancer properties and have a huge protective effect on cardiac health by lowering LDL levels too. Proanthocyanidins present in this fruit has great benefits for skin health too. Use these grapes in salads, smoothies, jams, and even good old curd rice!
Black grapes contain Lutein, Zeaxanthin which prevents retinal damage and macular degeneration. | Photo by Tina Vanhove on Unsplash
Yes you heard that right. Well these aren't naturally found, but develop this colour due to a process that turns them black and used widely in Asian cuisine. It is regular white garlic that has been fermented or aged. It possesses a caramelized, savoury richness that adds flavour to stir fries, meat bakes, rice and noodles preparations and soups too. These have properties that prevent cell damage and hence protect us from cancers. Black garlic contains more anti-oxidants [almost 2X] than its white counterpart.So why wait -add them in small doses into your meals and let your health thrive.
Black Garlic possesses a caramelized, savoury richness that adds flavour to stir fries, meat bakes, rice and noodles preparations and soups too. | Wikimedia Commons
* Advantages: As mentioned above they come with a host of benefits such as anti-cancer, anti-ageing, good for eye, heart, skin and hair health too.
* Disadvantages: Nothing in particular. There are no real toxicities associated with these foods that are reported and are considered generally safe, but always do remember, too much of anything is not the rule in nutrition.
* Points to remember: Always ensure you have a balanced diet that contains all food groups, myriad colours, nutrients and varieties -- choose in moderation and build them into your daily meal plan with the help of a nutritionist. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Black, food, nutrition, black pulses, til, grapes, garlic, sesame, olive, rice