What is the SEEDS method for migraine control?


Dr. Amaal Starling explains the SEEDS acronym, a simple way to remember some basic lifestyle changes that we can make to empower us to control our migraine attacks


“As you know, migraine management involves various types of treatment within your regimen. You've got your acute treatment plan, or your as-needed treatment plan for when you have those attacks. You have your preventive plan for reducing the severity or the frequency of those attacks and preventing the disorder from going from an episodic pattern to a chronic pattern. But then you also have lifestyle changes. Sometimes these lifestyle changes in an appointment can become a little bit overwhelming.
The SEEDS for Success and headache management or migraine management is a way to try to simplify that. What do the different letters stand for? The S stands for sleep hygiene. The E stands for eating regular and healthy meals. The second E stands for exercising regularly. The D stands for keeping a headache diary. And then the last S stands for stress management. If we practice those SEEDS for Success in migraine management people can regain control and empower themselves to be a person with migraine rather than someone who is constantly suffering from migraine.”


SEEDS for Success is a mnemonic which reminds us of the key lifestyle changes we can make to control our migraine attacks, along with acute and as-needed medications. It stands for Sleep hygiene, Eating regular and healthy meals, Exercising regularly, keeping a headache Diary, and Stress management.

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Amaal J. Starling, MD, FAHS, FAAN

Mayo Clinic, Arizona

Dr. Amaal J. Starling is an associate professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. She joined Mayo in 2012 and is currently a consultant within the department of neurology. Dr. Starling received her MD from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She completed a transitional year residency, a neurology residency, and a headache fellowship at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dr. Starling is an active member of numerous migraine advocacy organizations, including the American Headache Society (AHS), the American Migraine Foundation, the American Pain Society, and the American Academy of Neurology. Annually, she is involved in events supporting migraine, including Headache on the Hill, Miles for Migraine, and the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy. Dr. Starling is currently serving as chair of the advocacy committee of the AHS; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce member of the AHS; and she is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Concussion Society. Dr. Starling has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the AHS Above and Beyond Award for Service, Manfred D. Muenter Award for Excellence in Clinical Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting Residency Scholarship, the 2012 Spirit of Mayo Clinic Award, and the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award.

Dr. Starling has several peer-reviewed publications and abstracts related to her fields of interest, which include migraine, concussion, post-traumatic headache, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, secondary headaches, telemedicine and teleconcussion, neurology resident education, and professionalism and clinical ethics. Dr. Starling’s hope is that her research and advocacy will advance care for people with migraine, post-traumatic headache, and other headache disorders. She envisions a future in which all people with headache disorders receive personalized, effective, and well-tolerated treatment options to improve their quality of life.

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