If you suffer from migraine headaches, you are not alone. According to womenshealth.gov, more than 29.5 United States citizens are affected by the pain and symptoms associated with migraine headaches. Medication can help this condition, and so can simple changes in the way you live your life. Here are nine natural ways you can help prevent migraine headaches:
Stick to a Sleep Pattern
Develop a sleep pattern and stick to it since sleeping too many hours at night as well as not sleeping enough can trigger a migraine. If you usually turn in by eleven at night and wake up at seven in the morning, go to bed at eleven every night and wake up at seven every day. Whatever time you choose to go to sleep and wake up, make it consistent.
Add 6-8 ounces of water to your diet every day. Dehydration causes migraine headaches. Do not consume caffeine or alcohol since caffeinated and alcoholic beverages like coffee and wine dehydrate the body.
Eat All Your Meals
Do not go without a meal, and schedule your breakfast, lunch, and dinner about four hours apart to prevent triggering a hunger headache. Include magnesium foods in your meals as a magnesium deficiency can make your head throb. Good sources are green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dark chocolate. Also consume plenty of essential fatty acids.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Be on your guard for trigger foods. Foods that bring on head pain include cheese, fava beans, smoked fish, fruit juice as well as citrus juice. Foods that contain nitrates and monosodium glutamate (MSG) should also be avoided. Hot dogs, bacon, and luncheon meats are some foods that contain nitrates. Certain broths and seasonings contain MSG. Also shun artificial sweeteners since some trigger migraine headaches.
Relax and De-stress
Relax and de-stress your body with holistic therapies like massage and reflexology. Both of these modalities will eliminate the tension from your body and your mind and leave you feeling calm and rejuvenated. Acupressure and acupuncture are also helpful.
Exercise Your Body
Engaging in half an hour of exercise a day has proved helpful in preventing headaches. The exercise you do does not have to be strenuous, so if heavy activity is against your doctor’s orders, ask him if light activity is allowed. Two forms of light activity are slow walking and light gardening.
Turn to the herb feverfew if you want to cut down the number of headaches you get. A study performed on people who get migraines revealed that a little over two-thirds of those people lowered the number of migraine headaches they got when they consumed feverfew. Note that although you can purchase this herb without a prescription, it is a good idea to get your doctor’s approval before taking feverfew or any other natural remedy. If you are pregnant, do not take feverfew as it can cause contractions.
Avoid Brilliant Lighting, Intense Sounds, and Overpowering Odors
To some migraine sufferers, a powerful light, sound, or odor can be a headache trigger. Should any one of these have an effect on you, do your best to avoid them. If you find yourself near a bright light, loud noise, or strong odor, immediately relocate yourself.
Keep a Diary
Record the time you get a migraine headache, and log what you consumed or didn’t consume that day or the prior day. Write down how you felt and whether or not you got enough sleep the day before your headache. Once you discover your own personal headache triggers you will be able to avoid them as well as the migraines they bring.
If you find that none of the aforementioned natural remedies help and you still get a lot of headaches, see your doctor about it. Your migraines could be caused by a number of different health-related issues. The doctor you see will know if something serious is going on, and he will know what to do about it. Do not hesitate to take the steps needed to banish the headaches that are interfering with your life.
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-By Alternative Health Concepts
Migraine Fact Sheet
“The All-Natural Menopause Diet”; Theresa Cheung with Dr. Adam Balen; 2008
herbs at a glance – Feverfew