The stats say 40 million people suffer from migraines—and a lot of those individuals suffer in silence.
Khloé Kardashian wants to change all that. After experiencing migraines for 20-plus years, the reality star is teaming up with Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and Nurtec ODT to launch the Take Back Today campaign, an initiative that empowers people with migraines to share their stories in an online community, learn about new ways to manage their disease and get back to their day-to-day.
We recently caught up with the 36-year-old, who shared why this cause is so important to her, what she’s been doing in quarantine and why turning off the news has been her best pathway to Zen during this time.
NB: I’m sure you’re approached about partnerships all the time; why this?
KK: I have suffered from migraines since I’ve been about 12 years old, and I am 36 now. At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I would talk about my symptoms and the school nurses and my family were always like, ‘You just have a bad headache, push through it.’ That’s really the stigma with migraines—people like to pacify it and say, ‘You have a headache, figure it out.’
Then, around the time I was 16, I went to my first neurologist. We did all those brain scans to make sure there was nothing more serious going on. Between then and now, I’ve tried so many prescription medications, so many different over-the counter options, so many home remedies. I tried acupuncture, pressure-point therapy, anything, but I’ve never been able to really find something that worked for me until I found Nurtec ODT. It’s a dissolvable tablet and I had relief in about 15 minutes, with full-blown relief in about an hour. I’m just thrilled to be able to talk about it because, hopefully, I get to help a few people who are suffering.
When I was younger and when I was suffering with migraines, as I mentioned, no one really understood what I was going through. To have something like TakeBackToday.com, a forum where people can talk about their own experiences and where they can find comfort is just so awesome. It’s great to have a place where you don’t feel so alone, a place where you can feel like it’s O.K. to talk about this stuff. It’s so silly that we feel shame talking about something like a migraine, but we do. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m trying to break down that barrier. The more we talk about it, the more we can find a cure, and the more we can help one another.
NB: Did your doctor introduce you to the treatment or did you find it on your own?
KK: I was getting about 12 migraines a month for about three months and I was so fed up. I would even start crying from some of them—they were so painful and you can’t do anything when you have one. I told my doctor I needed a different medication. He kept giving me samples of everything; Nurtec ODT was the one that, when I tried it, I felt relief so quickly. I said, ‘You know what? I think this is the one.’ I was put on a long-term prescription and I reached out to the company after that to express my gratitude. And here I am!
You’re able to take it at the first sign of a migraine, it’s dissolvable, it tastes like a mint. When you have a migraine, walking to go find water is like a herd of elephants on your skull. To have a dissolvable solution is such an added bonus.
NB: Obviously, stress triggers migraines. What have you been doing to stay centered and calm during this stressful time?
KK: I didn’t realize what all of this was doing to me health-wise until about two weeks into our lockdown. I was watching an excessive amount of news, and it was all changing daily. I was trying to stay informed, trying to stay up-to-date with things, but it was adding so much extra stress. I felt helpless—I kept trying to figure out how I could help everyone. I was hearing negative stuff all-day long. I finally realized I had to limit my news time, so I started getting alerts on Twitter instead; I found different ways to still stay informed and up-to-speed, but not add in the horribly toxic stuff every minute.
NB: And working out always seems to be an outlet you rely on…
KK: Working out for me is a great stress-reliever! It helps with so many things. I’ve learned there’s no one-size-fits-all, everybody’s different. Everyone responds to stress and deals with stress differently. But I definitely know that working out is a huge help for me—especially while we’re at home.
NB: On a lighter note, care to share any quarantine beauty blunders you’ve committed while you’ve been at home?
KK: Well, I am a brunette and I couldn’t bleach my hair during quarantine. I would not trust myself with bleach. My colorist, Tracey Cunningham, sent over a dye kit so I could do my hair at home. It turned sort of brown, sort of blond…it was pretty, but not really what I wanted; I wanted dark hair. Then, as soon as everything lifted, she came over, and now I’m at this dark color that I really love.
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