If you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be. Affecting 1 in 4 US households UU., The main feature of a migraine is an intense or throbbing pain in one or both sides of the head that can last between four hours and three days.
What is a migraine headache?
While everyone experiences headaches from time to time, migraines are much more severe and may be accompanied by symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to light, sounds, smells and movements of the head, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances and numbness or tingling in the face, hands or feet. More than 90% of migraine patients can not function during an attack, which inevitably interferes with work, education, social activities and daily life.
Although the underlying mechanisms are still not well understood, migraines are considered a neurological disease. There is evidence that migraines can be caused by abnormal activity in the brain stem and changes in the way the trigeminal nerve, an important pathway for pain, interacts with multiple brain systems. An imbalance of chemicals in the brain has also been implicated, with low serotonin levels be associated with the onset of a migraine attack.
Migraines can affect anyone at any age, but it is usually experienced by people between 15 and 55 years old. It is much more common in women (about 75% of people who suffer from migraine are women) and affects 5% to 10% of all children. There is certainly a genetic component in migraines, with a 40% chance of a child suffering from migraines if a parent does, and a 90% risk when both parents experience migraines.
The majority of migraine patients do not seek medical treatment and almost half never receive a diagnosis. If you have migraines, it is important that you consult your doctor to first rule out other possible causes of your pain.
Changes in lifestyle for the prevention of migraine
Environmental triggers also play a key role in episodic and chronic migraines. Sensory stimuli such as bright and flickering lights, loud noises and strong smells like perfumes and paint thinners, sudden changes in weather and barometric pressure, emotional stress and hormonal fluctuations are common triggers of migraine. But not all have the same triggers and the triggers can vary from one episode to another. Identifying your personal triggers, and avoiding or minimizing them whenever possible, can go a long way towards reducing the severity of your migraine headaches.
1. Start tracking your triggers
The apparent randomness of migraine headaches can make you feel like you have no control over your illness. A proactive way to manage your migraines is to start tracking them in a diary to identify patterns, frequency, duration and severity over time. When a migraine occurs, be sure to record the time of day, what you ate, the hours of sleep you received the night before and if there were any prodromal symptoms, such as seeing an aura. You can use this printable table as a guide or the Migraine Sidekick Application to register your experiences.
2. Examine your diet
Many ingredients in foods and beverages have the potential to cause migraines. Foods that contain tyramine, MSG, tannins, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, choline, casein, yeast, nitrates, preservatives, histamine, capsaicin or processed foods may trigger your migraines:
Aged cheeses Chocolate Alcohol Especially red wine, beer and dark liquors. Processed meats Like hot dogs, bacon and cold meats. Beans Vegetables and pickled meats Chilies Olives, Bananas, Avocado, Red Plums, Citrus Fruits, Onions, Figs, Papaya, Raisins Dried fruit Yeast Breads Soy products Whole Milk, Sour Cream, Ice Cream coffee Balsamic vinegar Diet soda Fermented foods Nuts
By keeping a food diary, you can begin to see a connection between the food you eat and the migraine attacks. It is possible that the situation is not so serious that you must completely eliminate all offensive foods, but simply consume them in smaller quantities. If it's not worth taking the risk, be sure to check this list of safe food for migraine.
3. Do not skip meals
Fasting, a strict diet and skipping meals could also trigger your migraines. Avoiding an attack could be as simple as eating three boxes a day (or several smaller meals) and staying well hydrated.
4. Maintain healthy sleep habits
Sleeping too much or too little is a well-known migraine trigger, and maintaining good sleep habits has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep quality. Nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise and dehydration are some of the reasons why you might feel persistent, unexplained fatigue. You may also have picked up some bad habits before bed They are wreaking havoc on your ability to rest well at night. You can improve the quality of sleep by trying some of these natural remedies for sleep, adding some plants that promote sleep to your bedroom, spreading essential oils, or mixing herbal tinctures.
5. Do not be afraid of exercise
For some migraine sufferers, intense physical exertion can cause an attack. But because the exercise is so good for us At so many different levels, it would be a shame to avoid exercising completely to protect yourself from migraines. In fact, overweight has been shown To increase the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
There is some evidence that regular physical exercise can actually help prevent migraines. in a study conducted in Sweden, 26 migraine patients participated in an indoor cycling program three times a week for three months. Although one participant experienced a migraine during a training session, the rest enjoyed less frequent attacks and a reduction in the intensity of the migraine.
Other study found that exercise can be a viable alternative to medication to prevent migraines. Divided into three groups, the volunteers were assigned 40 minutes of exercise three times a week, to prescribe topiramate (a medication for the prevention of migraine) or regular relaxation exercises. For all groups, the results were the same: a 95% reduction in migraine attacks.
It may be that the by-products of the exercise, and not the physical activity itself, are the culprits of causing migraines of exertion. Dehydration, excessive heating and the fact of not entering and leaving the exercise routine can be the real culprits. Try a low impact exercise, such as for walk – Stay active while enjoying many benefits for physical and mental health.
6. Be aware of your hormones
Linked to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, headaches and migraines are often influenced by hormonal changes, which helps explain why women suffer from migraines as disproportionately as men.
Some women experience migraines during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, when estrogen levels decrease. Medications that affect hormones, such as oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapies, can make migraines worse. However, some women find that hormonal medications can help reduce migraine attacks.
7. Manage your stress
Undoubtedly, emotional stress is the most common trigger of migraine. In times of stress, anxiety, depression, but also emotion, the brain reacts by releasing hormones and neurotransmitters that can activate vascular changes that can start and worsen a migraine.
And because migraine headaches can be so crippling and disruptive to the quality of life, it's no wonder that people who experience migraines are twice as likely to suffer depression.
While, frankly, it is impossible to eliminate all sources of stress in your life, you can learn some tools to help you cope. Practice these relaxation techniques Break the vicious circle of migraines related to stress.
Proven home remedies for managing migraine
In addition to making healthy changes in lifestyle, migraines can be blocked with the help of herbs, vitamins and minerals. As always, it is best to talk with your doctor before taking any of these home remedies.
Butterbur called (Hybrid petasites) because its large rhubarb-like leaves were used as butter wrap during the summer months, it is a plant that loves the marshes and can be found all over the world. Used for thousands of years to treat pain, modern studies on butterbur extract have he found It decreases the frequency of migraine attacks when taken daily in the course of three to four months.
The unprocessed butterbur contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA), chemicals that can damage the liver. Butterbur extract, available in capsule form, has been purified and is free of toxic APs.
A member of the family of daisies, matricaria (Tanacetum parthenium) is a small shrub with flowers that is native to southeastern Europe. Although it was initially used to treat fever (hence the name), it never really worked that well to relieve high body temperature. However, feverfew can be very effective when used to prevent migraine attacks.
Dozens of studies have investigated the effects of febrile in patients with migraine and, although some of the results have been varied, others have found that fever has powerful antimigraine properties for some people. Feverfew can be taken raw (placing a fresh leaf under the tongue), leaf capsules, or as standardized extract.
It is found in milk, cheese, leafy vegetables, legumes, mushroomsalmonds and other mealsRiboflavin is one of the eight B vitamins. It helps to convert food into energy. Because riboflavin is not stored in the body, it should be consumed regularly to meet your daily needs.
11. Coenzyme Q10
Although coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) seems to be made in a laboratory, it is actually a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally in the human body. As a supplement, CoQ10 It has proven to be very promising for the treatment of heart related conditions, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and to prevent migraine headaches.
Findings of a study published in 2005, revealed that migraine suffers and that he took 300 mg per day of CoQ10 had fewer migraine attacks and less nausea induced by headache after three months.
As the eleventh most abundant element in mass in the human body, magnesium is essential for the function of organs and cells. Activates enzymes, helps produce energy and regulates other important nutrients in the body.
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to migraines, but taking a magnesium supplement It can help restore magnesium levels and prevent attacks. In one studyTaking 600 mg of magnesium daily for 12 weeks reduced the number of migraine episodes by 41.6%, while the duration and intensity of the attacks also decreased.
Better known as the hormone that regulates circadian rhythms, melatonin It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen the immune system. And taking a 3 mg melatonin supplement 30 minutes before going to bed was he found to reduce the occurrence of migraines by more than 50% in most patients. A quarter of the study participants experienced a complete remission of symptoms while taking melatonin for three months; more than 20% had reduced the frequency of their migraines by more than 75%; and the remaining patients enjoyed a 50% to 75% reduction of migraine. Melatonin also decreased the intensity and duration of the headache.
14. Peppermint oil
Composed by approximately 50% menthol, mint essential oil It can be used to prevent migraines and at the same time relieve pain during a migraine attack. A study published in 2010, found that applying a 10% menthol solution on the forehead and temples had the effect of preventing the onset of an attack, relieving pain during an acute episode and relieving the symptoms of nausea, vomiting and tenderness. and sound during an attack.
15. lavender oil
Awarded for its amazing versatility, lavender oil In fact it is a powerful pain reliever. A recent study has found that inhaling lavender oil for a total of 15 minutes during a migraine can significantly reduce the pain and severity of the attack.
Comparing ginger with sumatriptan: a medicine prescribed to treat episodes of acute migraine – researchers he found that taking 250 mg of powdered ginger capsules worked as well as the pharmaceutical drug, but without the adverse side effects. Two hours after using the ginger, the study participants experienced a substantial decrease in the severity of the headache, reported a general satisfaction with the effectiveness of the ginger and showed a willingness to continue using the ginger to alleviate the migraine.
Reference: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/16-lifestyle-home-remedies-migraines/, by Lindsay Sheehan
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