Essential Resources on Health and Wellness from DiaMedica Publications

The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit

Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause
Dawn Marcus, M.D. and Philip Bain, M.D.

A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness

Publication Date: October 2010
Price: $14.95
ISBN 13: 978-0-9823219-2-8
Trade Paperback: 256 pages
Size: 6 x 9

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affect one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of their migraines by learning what causes them and what treatments are effective at each stage of a woman’s life. Useful tools, quizzes, and diaries for evaluating headaches and determining the best treatment are provided throughout the book. Practical instructions are provided for effective non-drug and medication therapies, as well as advice about how natural remedies and nutritional supplements can help.

The authors understand that migraine sufferers need more than drug therapy and have sought to provide a comprehensive, holistic approach to headache management that addresses diet, sleep patterns, exercise habits, mood, and social concerns.


1. Migraine Overview—What are migraines and Why me?
2. Headaches from puberty to menopause—Hormones, hormones and more hormones
3. Migraine management—What really works?
4. Controlling migraines during childhood and adolescence
5. Controlling menstrual migraine
6. Safer treatment of migraines with pregnancy and nursing
7. Tackling migraines during menopause
8. Resource Guide—Where can I get more information?


Dawn Marcus, M.D. is a board-certified neurologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she specializes in headache and pain management. Dr. Marcus has been the lead researcher for numerous studies investigating women’s migraine. Her interests including treating migraines in children, menstrual migraine, and migraine during pregnancy.

Philip Bain, M.D. is a practicing internist in a large multispecialty organization in Madison, WI. His patients enjoy the practical educational tools and handouts he has developed and uses routinely in his practice.

Praise for The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit…

As the title implies, The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit is an all-in-one manual for migraineurs—packed with background information, questionnaires, worksheets, and exercises. For women of all ages, this book takes readers through the ins and outs of migraines—what might cause them, who gets them, and what can be done to prevent and treat them….
Straightforward and complete with visuals for every chapter, the book offers a breakdown of available treatments, including drug and non-drug therapies, exercise, and diet. There are examples of stretches and physical exercises geared towards migraine-prone individuals with step-by-step photographic demonstrations of each.
The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit sheds light on several difficult topics, including migraines during pregnancy, hormones and migraine patterns, migraines and schoolwork, ensuring effective patient-doctor communication, talking to kids about migraines, and others.
Neurologist Dawn A. Marcus, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Philip A. Bain, M.D., an internist from Madison, WI, have created a comprehensive guidebook for female migraineurs. Women at any stage of their lives can turn to this book for practical tips and advice on migraine management.” — Neurology Now

…I am taking each of the suggestions to heart and have had a great improvement. I am now able to catch my headaches sooner and have the tools to treat them. I was ready to cancel my life until menopause is over, but I now have my life back. A definite must have if you have migraines!” — Amazon *****

This is an excellent resource for anyone who experiences migraine headaches. It is written clearly and is easy to read. I wish I had had this book years ago!” — Reader Views *****

This is a very helpful tool if you have or ever had migraines. Even if you don’t have them yourself and know of someone who does this book can really give them insight on how to manage their migraines. Wonderful resource.” — Amazon *****

Being plagued with constant pain is no way to live. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause is a guide aimed at women who commonly face migraines throughout their life and want to conquer them to live their life more completely and competently. Telling why many women find themselves the targets of migraines and what they can do to minimize their impact on their lives with both dietary and other avenues on improving health and reducing the causes of migraines, The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit is a simple guide and powerful resource for women facing this constant pain in their lives.” — Midwest Book Review *****

If you or someone you love suffers from migraine headaches, I highly recommend this book. My daughter suffers from migraines, and different aspects of this condition have sometimes left me baffled. I didn’t fully appreciate what she was experiencing. Treatments recommended by her doctors didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and that was disturbing. The Women’s Migraine Toolkit gave me new insights, leaving me much better informed and at ease.

The book is organized and indexed very well, so it’s easy to refer back to sections you want to reference or read again. Not only does it explain how and why migraines occur, but it also gives clear guidelines for managing them during all phases of a woman’s life, including childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, nursing, and menopause. In particular, the book covers the hormonal changes associated with those stages, and how they influence migraines.

This handy reference also offers solid information about natural, non-drug alternatives to management of migraines, and how nutrition can play a role as well. The typical drugs prescribed for migraines by doctors are covered too. Through well-written, easy-to-follow information and explanations, The Women’s Migraine Toolkit makes it easy to understand various prevention and rescue therapies.

The authors did an outstanding job of presenting good, useful information for those who want answers. Dr. Marcus and Dr. Bain have not only compiled a good resource (with even more resources listed in a resource guide at the back of the book), they have made it highly readable and useful for non-experts who want and need to know more about migraines. Being better informed about this often-debilitating condition is comforting for this mother!” — Rebecca’s Reads *****

. . . (The book) is well laid out and organized into sections that make it easy to read, whether you’re reading it straight through or looking for specific information. The illustrations add to the information without distracting from it. A wide range of possible treatments are discussed . . . The information about medications is supplemented with helpful charts for comparison and quick reference . . . packed with valuable information that’s presented in a way that’s easy to read and easy to refer to again later. With bulleted lists, charts, and relevant illustrations, this is one of the best presentations of large amounts of information you can find in print.” — Teri Robert, Patient Advocate and Author, Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headache

. . . a bedrock foundation of essential practical information that can be built upon . . . I spend a great deal of time educating my patients about their condition and what it will take to control the chaos that has become their migraines.  At the end of the day there is never enough time in the day to do it all by yourself.  The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit is a perfect partner to pick up where my appointments leave off . . .” — Michael Ready, MD, Director, Headache Clinic, Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas

. . . a comprehensive yet clear and readable review of migraine that targets issues of particular importance to women . . . It contains practical advice and action steps that you can take on your own, advice on how to talk with your health care provider about your migraine, and questionnaires and logs that you can complete and share with your health care provider.” — Dawn Buse, MD, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, and Director of Behavioral Medicine, Montefiore Headache Center

. . . a useful toolkit for the woman who wishes not only to understand her migraines, but to be an active participant in her treatment. Clearly organized into sections that speak directly to its audience . . . each generously endowed with charts and illustrations . . . chock full of calendars, diets, exercises, and websites. It answers common questions, addresses pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches to treatment, and even offers advice on how to be more effective in communicating with your physician.” — Anne H. Calhoun, MD, Carolina Headache Institute, Chapel Hill

. . . highly recommended for its clarity, to-the-point simplicity, yet depth of information. (The book) begins with a complete explanation of the biology and causes of migraine it terms that a patient can relate to. It clearly summarizes what happens to women as they go through their hormonal changes from young girls to postmenopausal adults, accurately depicts the many phases and problems of migraine, and an exhaustive body of information on all types of therapy . . . It really is a toolkit, explaining best treatments of all aspects of your headache and all points in your life. It closes with helpful hints on talking to your doctor and an excellent and complete resource guide. I will recommend it often to my patients.” — Alan M. Rapoport, MD, Clinical Professor of Neurology, UCLA; Founder and Director-Emeritus, The New England Center for Headache