How to Deal with Migraine

To those afflicted with the condition, a migraine attack can be one of the worst experiences in life. It’s a headache so severe that it leaves one unable to do even basic functions like eating and walking (much less complex tasks like driving or doing work). Avoid the horrible pain of migraine by knowing how to remedy an incoming attack.

Avoiding Your Triggers
Migraine can be triggered by different things, so your first line of defense is to avoid your specific triggers.

The most common triggers are:
Food: Cheese, coffee, salty food, dried fish, citrus fruits, cured meats, alcohol, chocolates, nuts, and food additives can possibly trigger migraine. Going hungry or having a poor diet can also cause migraine.

Changes in the environment: Glaring light from the sun, humid weather, and sudden change in barometric pressure or temperature also causes migraine in some people.

Stress or fatigue: Migraine is highly related to stress, particularly stress from work. Extremely emotional episodes—including depression, anxiety, excitement and shock—may also trigger the condition.

Other possible migraine triggers are: very loud noises, strong odors/scents, dehydration, excessive sleep, excessive exercise, prolonged computer use, menstrual period, and eyestrain (bright and flickering lights).

Staying Off Migraine
Most people can sense an oncoming migraine, especially if they know their triggers and usual symptoms (such as a light headache at the back of the head, neck stiffness, sudden mood change and constipation. A definite sign of an oncoming migraine for some people is experiencing what is called an “aura”. This is an irregularity in the nervous system that causes visual disturbances, such as seeing flashing lights (even if you close your eyes) or getting a wavy, zig-zagging vision.

To avoid a full blown migraine attack, immediately avoid or refrain from any suspected triggers and find a way to relax your mind and body. Ideally, you should take a rest in a room with no strong stimuli – the lights are off/ dimmed, little or no sounds come from outside, and nobody would come in to interrupt you. It’s advisable to take some pain reliever if you’re already experiencing severe pain.

Preventing Future Migraine
Aside from avoiding your migraine triggers, it’s recommended to do the following to further reduce the chance of getting a migraine attack:

• Have a consistent daily schedule. Having a daily schedule means avoiding irregularities—whether these are food or situations—that can trigger migraine.

• Get an occasional massage. Massage has been known to help people relax, and helps the body recuperate. Acupressure also relieves migraine in some people.

• Have sufficient sleep. As much as possible, sleep for 6–8 hours a day at regular times. Lack of sleep causes stress that can lead to migraine.

• Improve your well-being. You can also fight stress off through activities that improve your well-being, such as exercising, yoga, meditation, prayer and spending time with your loved ones.

• Take some herbal medicine. Some herbs, including skullcap, feverfew and butter root, have been shown to reduce or eliminate episodes of migraine.

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