It is useful to combine an analgesic with a medication which prevents nausea. Although there are many drugs acting against nausea, only one, metaclopramide (Maxolon), also has a specific action on the motility of the stomach, making it empty faster so that tablets or medicine will be passed into the small intestine and absorbed more quickly. This has been shown by measuring the levels of aspirin in the blood stream, which are twice as high after metaclopramide is given during the acute migraine attack. It should be given 15 minutes before other drugs to help absorption. Prochlorperazine (Stemetil) has a more powerful anti-nausea effect but does not affect the motility of the stomach. These anti-emetics are more effective when given by injection but this is not practicable in the home. Unfortunately the tablets may not be absorbed and metaclopramide is not available in suppository form. Some people prefer taking these medicines in the form of a syrup.
Perhaps the most effective popular remedy for migraine is a combination of an anti-emetic, paracetamol, caffeine and codeine known as Migraleve. This can be useful in the mild attack but is not quickly absorbed with more severe attacks.

Sports injuries are mainly caused by contact with another person, an object, or through overuse of muscles. Obviously, not all such risks can be avoided – you can’t foresee a collision on the pitch or a fall on the track – but they can be minimised.

Getting the body ready for exercise is just as important whether you play sport every day or once a month. It’s particularly important for older people and those not used to exercising. If you are unused to exercise, a visit to your doctor before you start is always a good idea. Gently warm up for five to ten minutes to improve muscle flexibility. Before going on an energetic sporting holiday, such as skiing, start your exercise programme about six weeks beforehand. It’s also important to ease your body back down after activity, first with mild physical exercise, then gentle stretching exercises to help prevent muscle stiffness. Changing into warm clothing stops the body getting chilled.

Clothes and equipment should be chosen with care: shoes must fit properly and be correct for the purpose; clothes should be appropriate, and your racket, bike or clubs should be of the right size for your height and weight.



Some people suffer from what seems like the reverse of sickness. A swollen bowel is another source of pain and discomfort in a part of your body which is already uncomfortable enough. The same light diet that helps ward off sickness is also useful to prevent constipation. So for you, too, I would recommend light nourishing meals with plenty of fruit and salads, particularly in the week before your period. Many people find that it helps to eat some roughage at breakfast time, wholemeal bread and marmalade, for instance, or some Weetabix or bran sprinkled on your cornflakes.

It also helps if you can drink a glass of warm water as soon as you get up on days when you are constipated. This will often get a sluggish system moving, particularly if you follow it with two cups of hot tea at breakfast. And if you can follow breakfast with a short session when you are completely relaxed, you will be giving your body the best possible chance for it to function normally.

There may still be occasions when you feel so uncomfortable that you need an aperient before you can begin to improve. There was a time when laxatives were handed out every week to reluctant children, who usually didn’t need them. Then people found out that this was a very silly practice, and harmful too, because overdosed children like that grew up into adults whose bowels couldn’t function properly and naturally unless they continued to dose themselves. So dire warnings were issued and we were urged to leave our bodies alone to get on with the job naturally. Nowadays most people use laxatives only occasionally, when they really need them, which is what you will have to do if you should find that a swollen bowel is making your period pain worse. But on most occasions you’ll probably find that extra fluid intake and adherence to a sensible diet will be all that is necessary for relief.