For those who deal with constant migraines the pain is exhausting. A recent study has shown migraines to be the 3rd most encountered illness in the world.1 In fact roughly 30 million people in the United States suffer with this problem. Thankfully new treatments give rapid relief and they are available now.
What is a Migraine and How Does it Begin?
A migraine is a very painful and recurring headache, often described as throbbing or pulsating. The pain can range from mild to severe and typically affects one side of the head and on occasion the eyes. The pain will start slowly and gradually increase in intensity.
The Migraine Pain Cycle
When a migraine attack starts, it is called an aura, which can be mild or severe and may last several minutes or hours.2 This then develops into the headache, the dull aching slow throb which can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days (72 hours+).
Migraine symptoms are often triggered by a number of different factors, which may include:
- Changes in nerve signalling and levels of neurotransmitters that cause pain.
- Daily Stress
- Inflammation that can affect normal blood flow, and to the blood vessels, from reaching the brain
- Hormonal changes, which may be affected by a poor diet or another health condition
- Dysfunction in the brain stem perhaps caused by undiagnosed injury
- A lack of sleep, (Try to get 8+ hours every night in a dark room)
- Reactions to certain medications
Immediate Relief Migraine Treatments?
Basic Analgesics: These are available over the counter without prescription and offered as the first line of defence to migraine symptoms. They include paracetemol, NSAIDS like ibuprofen and other medications that do not contain opioids such as codeine.
Anti-Emetics: Also available over the counter, these medications work to stop nausea and vomiting. These may include procyclidine and domperidone.
Triptans: Designed specifically for the treatment against migraines triptans offer safe relief from intense migraines. It is best to take them at the beginning of your migraine cycle. These drugs will often require doctor prescriptions depending on your country.
5 Actionable Steps To Prevent Future Migraines
Foods To Eat: Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed food including factory raised meat, dairy and refined sugar will boost the immune system to help fight migraines. Focusing on foods rich in Omega 3 like salmon, tuna, flax, walnuts and linseeds can also help fight migraines by lowering blood sugar and therefore inflammation in the body.
Foods rich in B-Vitamins have been linked to reduced occurrences of Migraines.3 Foods to try in this category include grass fed meats (including organ meat!) certain dairy products, vegetables like green leafy veggies (kale, broccoli, silverbeet), beans and legumes as well as nuts and seeds.
Foods to Avoid: For those who suffer from Migraines an undiagnosed food allergy could be a big trigger, which is why its important to try the elimination diet.4 For some it may be that diet high in sodium or refined grains may be causing migraine pain cycles to begin. Other foods with common migraine effects include: Pickled or cured fish varieties, Eggs, Caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea, Red wine and other types of alcohol, cheeses especially of the aged variety, artificial food colorings and additives, refined table salt, breads and pastas with a gluten yeast base and foods that contain nitrates.
Supplements to Consider:
- Magnesium Oil: There are many varieties of magnesium oil. Magnesium oil has been shown to release chemicals in the brain that bring about pain relief and clearing of brain fog that have also been found in migraines.
- Peppermint Oil: is also good to use for pain relief and has been shown to help relieve migraines.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Otherwise known as Niacinamide, is the form of vitamin B3 that is commonly recommended as a migraine remedy, can be found in foods such as tuna fish, beef liver, nuts (especially walnuts and almonds), avocados and green leafy vegetables (kale).
- Melatonin: this is another natural supplement that has been shown to be helpful in reducing or treating migraines. Melatonin is a hormone made naturally in the body, which helps regulate sleep patterns and helps block the migraine aura and neurotransmitters that cause migraines. It has also been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body and may be effective for other conditions such as joint pain.
Perhaps some Acupuncture?
There are many different types of acupuncture, however most either focus on increasing circulation or calming the body, these two are the most important processes to combat Migraines. Acupuncture treatments help with pain relief as well as reducing swelling in the body and boosting energy levels. It is also known to help with other symptoms of migraines such as depression, fatigue, bloating and nausea. Chinese practitioners have been using acupuncture for migraines for thousands of years.
A Simple Online Search Could Be Your Final Relief
Finding the right treatment advice can at first seem overwhelming, especially with so many different views of how to best treat a migraine. With your personal history and understanding of when headaches begin you can begin to build an actionable plan shared with your health practitioner and begin your healing journey. A significant amount of people everyday are ending the dull ache in the back of the head and continuing on their life path, find out more today.