The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Advice -

QMy­wife tends to get in­tense headaches ( with nau­sea) ev­ery Christ­mas. I’m con­vinced it’s stress­re­lated. Is there any­thing she can do to stop them be­fore they get a grip?

DR DAN RUTHER­FORD WRITES: agree that once-a-year headaches must be be­ing trig­gered by some out­side in­flu­ence. Mi­graine is a pos­si­bil­ity and food trig­gers must be con­sid­ered as there could be some food or drink your wife con­sumes at Christ­mas that she does not have at other times of the year. Keep­ing a food di­ary may be a bit of a headache in it­self but some­times re­veals a link. If none comes to light a “treat and see” ap­proach is prac­ti­cal. If your wife has al­ready tried over-the-counter mi­graine reme­dies without suc­cess she should speak to her GP about this prob­lem and whether a trial of the mod­ern pow­er­ful drugs is jus­ti­fied. Con­cern­ing your rea­son­able sug­ges­tion of stress-in­duced headaches, you have asked what your wife can do to stop them. Ac­tu­ally I sug­gest it’s some­thing you can

AIdo in­stead. How about, for Christ­mas 2010, you ask the fam­ily to make their own ar­range­ments or take her to a nice ho­tel where some­one else does the plan­ning, shop­ping, cook­ing and tidy­ing up. If re­mov­ing Christ­mas stress re­moves the headaches, you’ve nailed your di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment in one go.

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