Migraine Remedies and Preventative Measures

Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from migraines each year, and most migraine sufferers are women, thought to be due to hormonal changes.

The onset of a migraine is all too familiar for those who suffer from them.

You may feel tired, nauseous, and even your vision may become blurry. Next, the pain and pressure begin building in your head, and you probably feel some tightness in your neck and shoulder, as well as pressure in the temples.

Causes of a Migraine

A migraine is a vascular type headache in which the blood vessels in the head become dilated and swollen. The latest research suggests that a migraine is caused by an upset in the balance of norepinephrine and serotonin, two chemicals found in the brain. There are many things that can trigger a migraine headache, including:

  • Alcohol (red wine is the worst!)
  • Cheeses
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cola
  • Hot cocoa
  • Cured meats
  • Milk
  • Ice cream
  • Certain fruits, including citrus, bananas, kiwi, raisins, papaya, figs, pineapple and plums
  • Yeast products such as coffee cake, doughnuts and home baked bread
  • Certain vegetables, including onions, peas, lima beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, olives, pickles and sauerkraut
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate), which is a flavoring added to many foods (frequently found in canned soups and Chinese food)
  • Sulfites, found in soft drinks, shrimp and salad bar food
  • Loud noises
  • Nicotine
  • Stress
  • Bright lights

Migraine Remedies

If you are suffering from a migraine headache, take the following steps:

1. Turn off the lights.
Stay in a darkened room, as bright lights worsen migraine pain.

2. Apply an ice pack.
Use an ice pack or a washcloth that has been dipped in ice cold water and place it over the site of the pain or over the eyes. Apply at the onset of a migraine for best results.

3. Lie down.
At the first sign of a migraine headache, get into bed. The quicker you get some rest, the faster your migraine will go away.

4. Treat nausea with flat cola.
Drink flat cola, peach juice or apricot nectar to alleviate nausea associated with a migraine. Avoid ice cold drinks, which make nausea worse.

Preventative Measures

The best thing you can do is avoid a migraine headache altogether, first by avoiding the migraine triggers listed above, and secondly, by trying the following:

These supplements help when taken on a regular basis:

1. Magnesium
A study found that half of all migraine sufferers had low levels of magnesium. Too little magnesium increase serotonin levels, causing a chemical imbalance. Therefore, take the RDA of magnesium, which is 280 mg. for women and 350 mg. for men.
2. Calcium and Vitamin D
Taking a multi-vitamin that contains both Vitamin D and calcium has been found to decrease the frequency of migraines.
3. Vitamin B6
Take 100 mg. of Vitamin B6 daily to stop migraines from coming on. This is especially important if you drink alcohol or take birth control pills, both which have been to cause a Vitamin B6 deficiency.
4. Brewer’s yeast
Mix two tablespoons of brewer’s yeast in a glass of juice and drink each morning.
5. Lecithin
One 1200 mg. capsule of lecithin per day has been found to lessen the frequency of migraine headaches.
6. Feverfew
Feverfew is an herb that is both a preventative and a pain reliever. The dried leaves are used to make tablets, capsules and liquid extracts, which can be found at most health food stores. There are no serious side effects associated with the use of feverfew. However, pregnant women should not take feverfew, as it causes the uterus to contract and increases the risk of premature delivery or miscarriage.

Other Steps
Besides taking supplements, try the following tips:

1. Have a set sleep schedule.
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Changes in body chemistry occur when you change your sleep schedule, which can in turn trigger a migraine.

2. Exercise.
Regular exercise can relieve stress and increase the body’s production of endorphins, which are natural “feel good” pain relievers.

3. Keep a diary.
Keep a diary, noting the intensity of your migraines and the foods you ate before the onset. This can help you narrow down the list of migraine triggers and figure out what may be causing yours.

If you suffer from migraines, you know how miserable they can be and are probably ready to try just about anything to get some relief. Try these suggestions and see if they work for you. If not, make an appointment with your doctor, who may prescribe prescription medication.

Please Help Others By Sharing Your Migraine Remedies In The Comments Below

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