Women get migraines about three times more often than men, and surveys show that more than one in four women will have at least one severe migraine attack at some time in her life. When you suffer from migraines, finding the right migraine relief can be crucial to reducing the severity and length of attacks.
For many people, migraines start in their teenage years and continue throughout their 20s and 30s. Roughly 10 percent of teenagers experience frequent migraines, especially during puberty due to hormonal changes. “Chronic migraines,” meaning those that cause attacks on more than 15 days per months, affect about 2 percent of the total population and peak in adults between their 30s and 40s.
5 Ways to Help With Migraine Relief
1. Food : Nature’s Way of Helping
Different things will work for different people, but these are the most common foods which can assist in reducing migraine attacks on a long-term basis. As always these will not be magic cures overnight but by monitoring longer term you may notice an improvement.
Omega-3 Foods – Nuts, seeds and wild-caught fish, such as salmon or sardines, help control blood flow and lower inflammation.
Organic, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – These foods are high in magnesium and also provide antioxidants that help decrease inflammation, counteract effects of toxin exposure and balance hormones.
Magnesium-Rich Foods – Some of the best sources include spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, almonds, black beans, avocado, figs, dates, bananas and sweet potatoes.
Some research suggests that people with migraines could benefit from consuming more B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Sources of riboflavin include vegetables like green leafy veggies, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds.
Equally, there are suggested foods to avoid:
• Added sugar
• Refined grain products
• Conventional dairy products
• Aged cheeses
• Breads or pastries made with gluten and yeast
• Red wine and other types of alcohol (especially when consumed in large amounts)
• Chocolate (contains a chemical that can sometimes causes blood flow changes that trigger headaches)
• Caffeinated drinks (for some people, about one cup of coffee or tea daily can help headaches, but withdrawal or drinking more are usually problematic)
• Artificial food additives and artificial sweeteners, including aspartame
• Flavour enhancers and preservatives in packaged foods, including MSG (often found in takeaways such as Chinese & Pizza – often leading to hangover style effects on the body the following day)
• Avoiding extreme dieting or skipping meals, preventing dehydration, avoiding drinking too much caffeine throughout the day, and maintaining normal blood sugar levels by eating something balanced every few hours
It is easier to manage migraines should you know what causes them Click To Tweet
2. Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep and anxiety are capable of triggering migraines by raising inflammation and affecting hormone levels. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but be careful not to overdo it since research shows that sleeping too much might make migraines worse, especially if you don’t stick to a usual sleep or wake schedule.
3. Take Regular Exercise
In general, exercise is helpful for preventing headaches because it lowers stress, helps balance hormones, improves sleep quality and helps lower inflammation.
4. Balance Hormones
Research suggests that one risk factor for migraine attacks is going through hormonal changes, such as puberty, prior to a woman’s period, pregnancy or menopause. Surveys show that young women often have their first migraines once they start having their menstrual cycles. Migraines are also common during the first trimester of pregnancy and when a woman is dealing with PMS. Ways to help balance hormones naturally include eating a healthy diet, using adaptogen herbs, exercising in a moderate way, getting enough rest and avoiding chemical toxins. Another option for hormone-related migraines is looking at seed cycling as a natural way to help balance.
5. Complementary Therapies
I have had some great results combining massage, reiki and aromatherapy. Everyone is different as to what they need but stress and tension can be a huge cause or trigger factor. By also providing some aromatherapy homecare products this can help manage symptoms away from the therapy room.
Finding Your Trigger
My top tip is to find your triggers, it is easier to manage migraines should you know what causes them.
Everyone is different when it comes to migraines. Experts believe that people with migraine symptoms likely have overly sensitive central nervous systems that respond strongly to triggers in their environments.
It might help to keep a journal or log of your migraine symptoms so you can draw conclusions about what your personal triggers might be. Look at what you are eating, where you are in your monthly cycle, sleep patterns, eye strain, caffeine, alcohol and drug intake, have you changed any hair, skin or beauty products (one particular brand of dry shampoo gives me the most horrendous headaches) noise intake etc. Once you have started to document these then you should start to be able to identify your triggers and should help you to manage them.
Do you know your migraine or headache triggers? How do you manage your migraines?
If you need help or advice get in touch to see how I might be able to help you with a range of complementary therapies to ease your relief from migraines.