11 Practical Treatment and Prevention Tips for Migraines

Growing up I had a close friend who, shall we say, had a tendency to exaggerate. It became a running joke between us as I’d always call her out on it even though I admired her creative mind. Occasionally she would bail on going out with us, complaining of another migraine headache. Knowing of her propensity to make things bigger, I would always suggest that she simply take two aspirin and meet us out in half an hour.

That went on for many years, until one day when I was 24 years old. It was early in the morning and I was sitting at my desk at work. There was a haze on my computer screen that I could not fix so I went into another room that had a department computer.

The other pc was not the solution. In fact, that haze on the screen was getting worse. Then I noticed a small blue oval in the middle of the screen. Yet it was not the screen. It was me.

I was scared. Luckily a friend had just come into the office so I called on her for help. A little while later I was sent home in a car. Though nothing else hurt, I could not see straight at all. By the time I got home, my head was killing me. The pain was horrendous. I could not eat. I could not sleep. I could not watch television. By that time I was sure something was seriously wrong.

After a few hours and a call to my creative friend, the headache subsided and I could see again. I had just experienced my first migraine. Since that day I have had the utmost empathy for anyone who has to experience that on a regular basis. It was awful.

So what are people who do suffer from migraines to do? Not wanting to sit around and wait for the next one, I did some research on ways to reduce migraines. As it turns out, the ability to get migraines under control is a daunting task. Basically, the best hope for doing so comes from carefully keeping an eye on what triggers an attack, which can vary widely from one individual to the next.

Here are a few ways to potentially reduce the frequency and severity of migraines:

  • 11 Practical Tips for the Treatment & Prevention of Migraines 1 of 12
    11 Practical Tips for the Treatment and Prevention of Migraines
  • Eat a Healthy Diet 2 of 12
    Reduce Migraines with Healthy Food

    Eating a healthy diet is important for migraine sufferers. Experts believe packing your diet with foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Ribovlavin, Vitamin B6, coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B12, and magnesium could help reduce the effects of migraines, and they're currently doing research to see if their suspicions are true.

     

    Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

     

    Image source: Morguefile.com

  • Avoid Trigger Foods 3 of 12
    Reducing Migraines by Eliminating Caffeine

    Many migraine sufferers find that foods are common headache triggers. Drinks containing caffeine, dairy products, foods made with heavy yeast, fermented foods, nuts, alcohol, flavorings, sulfites, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and various fruits are all common culprits.

     

    Again, it is all about finding your triggers. While some people find that caffeine sets off their migraines, others may find that caffeine helps. It is important to take notice of what helps and what makes matters worse.

     

    Source: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal

     

    Image source: FoundtheMarbles.com

  • Get Regular Exercise 4 of 12
    Reduce Migraines with Exercise

    Get that blood flowing with some exercise! In addition to all of the other health benefits that come with regular exercise, it is widely known that regular exercise can decrease the frequency and severity of migraines.

     

    Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

     

    Image source: FoundtheMarbles.com

  • Use Herbal Remedies 5 of 12
    Reducing Migraine with Feverfew Herbs

    Herb enthusiasts recommend taking Feverfew may reduce the frequency and migraine headaches. Another commonly recommended herb is Butterbur, which is also used to help people who suffer from allergies and asthma. I have a couple of friends who swear that these herbs have helped them tremendously. However, before starting with herbal remedies, speak with a professional about whether this remedy is the right fit for you.

     

    Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders & StrokeFoxNews.comUniversity of Cincinnati

     

    Image source: Morguefile.com

  • Regulate Your Sleep Patterns 6 of 12
    Reduce Migraines with Sleep

    Regular sleep is extremely important for headache sufferers, especially those who get migraines. Both lack of sleep and oversleeping can be common headache triggers, as can habitual snoring. Plus, as people who have bouts of insomnia know, lack of sleep can significantly add to stress levels, and stress is another common trigger for migraines.

     

    Source: American Headache Society

     

    Image source: Morguefile.com

  • Drink Plenty of Water 7 of 12
    Reduce Migraines with Water

    Keep a canteen full of water near you throughout the day. And don't just look at it, drink it! Dehydration can be yet another risk factor for headaches, so it is important for migraine sufferers to stay well-hydrated. Drink up!

     

    Source: American Headache Society

     

    Image source: FoundtheMarbles.com

  • Relax with Biofeedback Techniques 8 of 12
    Reduce Migraines with Biofeedback

    If you are not familiar with the term, do not be alarmed. Biofeedback is basically a form of learned relaxation. When we can learn how to raise the temperature of our hands, it diverts some of the blood flow from the head and sends it to another part of the body. If that can be done at the onset of a migraine, it can potentially reduce the severity and length of the headache.

     

    Source: American Headache Society

     

    Image source: Morguefile.com

  • Do Yoga 9 of 12
    Reducing Migraines with Yoga

    Stress is a well-known trigger for migraine headaches, so it would make sense that activities that reduce stress could be effective in migraine reduction, right? Experts say that people who start a stress reduction program such as yoga may not see headache reduction may for several months, so don't be discouraged if change does not happen right away. You will also want to make sure that yoga is not a trigger for your migraines, in which case you may want to try another stress reduction technique instead.

     

    Source: American Headache Society

     

    Image source: AParentinAmerica.com

  • Get Acupuncture Treatments 10 of 12
    Reduce Migraines with Acupunture

    Migraine sufferers around the world use acupuncture to proactively prevent the onset of migraines. Here in the United States acupuncture for treating migraines has not necessarily been as widely accepted yet. (Personally, I am a huge fan of acupuncture having seen great results from it.) According to the National Institutes of Health, there is consistent evidence that acupuncture can be beneficial for providing treatment of acute migraines.

     

    Source: National Institutes of Health

     

    Image source: FoundtheMarbles.com

  • Use an Air Purifier 11 of 12
    Air Purifier

    Researchers have found that poor air quality in office buildings can potentially lead to a higher rate of migraines. If you find that you get more migraine headaches while at work, you might want to talk to your doctor about whether purchasing an air purifier for your office space might work for you. It also might be helpful to make sure the air quality in your home is not a potential headache trigger.

     

    Source: Headaches.orgIndian Academy of Neurology

     

    Image source: FoundtheMarbles.com

  • Try Wearing Sunglasses 12 of 12
    Migraine Reduction with Sunglasses

    When I mentioned to my migraine-suffering friends that I was writing this post, a few of them mentioned that one of their triggers is bright lights. So keep sunglasses handy. Put them on before you head outdoors on a sunny day or before leaving a dark theater. And don't forget that snow can reflect the sun, so sunglasses can be helpful year-round!

     

    Image source: Morguefile.com

Please note that this post is intended to share information and ideas, as well as to create conversation. Please consult a medical professional before making changes to your lifestyle.

Jessica also recently wrote:

What to Know About Tabata Workouts
9 Benefits of Exercise You Probably Didn’t Know
10 Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues
Practical Tips for Mindful Eating
Shop Healthier! 13 Common Food Labels, Decoded
Virtual Training via Skype: The Next Big Fitness Trend?
8 Winter Activities that Really Burn Calories

Read more from Jessica at FoundtheMarbles.com.  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!

 

 

 

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