Health

Migraines, Be Gone!

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Everyone who has to deal with migraines would want to prevent them any way possible. Although, it is not entirely clear what causes migraines, there are known ways to prevent them from happening.

If you don’t do what it takes to prevent it, then there is also something you can do to relieve the pain once it happens.

Prevention

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, around 36 million Americans deal with migraines. Migraines don’t just involve severe headaches, but nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, and several other symptoms.

To avoid getting these symptoms, you should avoid exposing yourself to loud noises and bright lights, as those are usually what triggers migraine headaches.

There isn’t always a way to avoid them, as you are walking through the streets, driving, visiting cinemas or theatres, but you can minimize the risk by spending minimum time in front of a TV or computer screen in order to let your eyes rest. Also, if you are feeling like you are going to get a migraine and some loud noise is what’s irritating you, try to leave the space where you’re exposed to it.

Food also has a lot to do with migraines. The Mayo Clinic lists food such as chocolate, dark-colored alcohol, processed foods, and some other as common headache causers. You should pay attention to what you’re eating and make sure you avoid the foods or ingredients that have a negative impact on you, or at least limit their consumption.

Besides food and environmental influences, there are also internal causes of migraines, and those are commonly hormones – especially when women are concerned.

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During the menstrual period, it isn’t uncommon for women to have migraine headaches. However, a healthy diet can help here as well – what you eat can either increase the risk of getting a headache or minimize it. Also, as the Mayo Clinic explains, hormone replacement therapy as well as contraceptive pills may affect the severity of migraines, and in that case switching to other form of medication can help.

Having a normal eating and sleeping schedule is essential in order to avoid migraines, while irregular eating and little sleep can only increase the severity of headaches. Water is also an essential part of this schedule, so never let yourself drink less than 1.5 liter, if you don’t want to go through the migraine torture.

Finally, stress is a well know cause of many inconvenient conditions, including migraines. Therefore, to avoid getting a migraine after a stressful event, learn to relax and start doing some meditation or yoga – it can’t hurt.

Relieving a Migraine Headache

According to the clinical director of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians Comprehensive Headache Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Carolyn Bernstein MD, something cold such as an ice pack usually helps relieve migraine pain.

Getting inside a warm room or putting something warm near your head can only make things worse. Ice packs act against the inflammation that is causing the pain and it is one of the most natural ‘medicines’ for migraines.

Another thing that can help when you are already suffering from a migraine is a tai chi massage, which is useful for treating an ongoing headache, as well as for preventing it.

Yoga can also help relieve the pain, as well as lying down and breathing deeply, while relaxing as much as possible.

As for herbs, the American Academy of Neurology suggests taking butterbur to prevent and treat migraines as well as to reduce their frequency.

There is no scientific evidence that this herb really helps, but the mentioned association claims that it has relieved pain caused by migraines in dozens of patients.

If none of this helps, maybe you need some actual medications to help you with the pain and other symptoms. In that case, you should go see your doctor and let him prescribe the medication that will be most appropriate for the severity and frequency of your condition.

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