Migraines are often underestimated by many. 'It's just a headache' some would say. Well, they probably never experienced a full blown migraine attack before, one that is not only terribly painful, but can also lead to nausea, hallucinations and other debilitating symptoms.
Migraines are serious business and these days they are more common than ever. The best way to handle a migraine? Avoid it to begin with. Here are nine ways in which you can stave off that migraine before it even starts!
1. Sensory over-stimulation can lead to debilitating migraines.
Loud sounds, flashing lights and other overpowering sensory information can be triggers for an attack. Sometimes it's hard to avoid such places - you want to go to the beach, you have to keep your eyes open while driving under the flashing street lights - these are causes of migraines.
The answer is not to avoid completely but to reduce the exposure time. Don't sit and stare at the TV or the computer screen for too long without taking a break and resting your eyes and mind. Make sure the brightness level on those is dimmed, as well. Sometimes, it's important to stop and look around you, are you flooded in sounds and lights? Often we don't notice this is the case.
2. Your Diet
Food can have a heavy impact on the likelihood of getting a migraine. Watch out for migraine-causing food such as:
chocolate, red wine, processed meat, sweetener, cheese and dark colored alcohol.
If you are prone to migraines, be careful when eating or drinking alcohol or caffeine, which are common triggers. Limit the amount.
3. Keep a record of your migraines
Recording and being able to track what times of day, duration, condition you were in and other factors that surrounded your migraine might be the best way to avoid repeating those circumstances again, and perhaps build a pattern that says: "This is what I must not do if I want to avoid migraines.'
4. Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes can play a large factor in whether or not they will suffer migraines. It's no secret that women tend to get more headaches during menstrual cycles. During that time, it would be advisable to be careful about what you eat and how much you exercise. Rest, liquid and avoidance of triggers will reduce the risk substantially. Some women find relief when switching to another birth control method.
To stave off migraines, medicine is not always enough. It's crucial to also watch your nutrients. If you lack some important nutrients, it is advisable, as many are already doing, to take supplements and make up for the shortage. Taking a daily supplement may reduce attacks.
6. Be aware of the weather
It may be hard to believe, but a change in weather can definitely affect your chances of having a migraine. Humidity and heat are some of the most well known triggers of migraines, so it is important to dress accordingly and be aware of what you'll have to deal with when stepping outside. Cold wind in your unprotected face and your ears can also cause a migraine attack, so if there's cold wind outside, you better protect these areas.
7. Try to keep a regular sleep and meal schedule
Adhering to a fixed schedule and avoiding times of great hunger can help reduce your migraines. If you skip meals and let your hunger last, you may cause yourself a migraine. This is especially true if you don't drink enough. Dehydration is one of the biggest migraine triggers there are.
8. Avoid Stress
Stress can affect every part of our health, and this goes double for migraines. It's hard to control how we react to stressful situations as they occur, but every day stress can have a terrible effect on your health, and your migraines especially. Try to meditate and relax as much as you can each day, you'll see how you feel better all over.
9. Exercise in moderation
I'm sure you knew this advice was coming, but what can I do? Exercise will always be a staple of healthy living. However, spending too much energy and power in the gym can also give you headaches, especially when lifting heavy weights. Take some anti-inflammation pills before such an intense workout can help reduce the risk. Try not to put too much stress on the body, and do lighter exercise.