Millions across the world suffer from migraines daily. If you suffer from migraine attacks yourself, surely you must know just how debilitating its symptoms can be. For that reason, here are five easy fixes to help you keep migraine attacks at bay.
Ensuring Good, Restful Sleep Daily
Sleep is closely associated with migraine attacks. Lack of sleep can be extremely harmful to your body over the long run. This includes an impairment of bodily functions, loss of concentration and lack of motivation to perform daily activities. In a similar way, sleeping for more than the recommended 7-8 hours daily can trigger migraine attacks.
This is likely due to unregulated sleep time, which causes fatigue that leads to oversleeping. The best way to prevent this from happening would be to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, which ensures restful sleep throughout. Additionally, staying away from caffeine and alcohol (particularly during the latter hours of the day), and avoiding nicotine completely can promote adequate, restful sleep.
Avoiding Trigger Foods and Maintaining Good Hydration
Fasting or skipping meals can also trigger migraines. To combat migraines caused by hunger, it is recommended that you consume a meal within an hour of waking up. Follow this up with healthy eating every three to four hours to ensure you stay full throughout the day. It is also important that you avoid foods such as chocolate, aged meats and cheese, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and spicy food, as eating them can trigger an onset of migraine.
In a similar way, make sure you are well-hydrated throughout the day. Two litres of water is ideal, but remember to listen to your body and avoid drinking more water if it is telling you that you are no longer parched.
Staying Away From Loud Noise and Bright Lights
For many, loud noises, flashing or flickering lights and sensory stimulation can be triggers of a migraine attack. These stimuli may be difficult to avoid at times, but being aware of their occurrences and potential threats in common environments can help you manage migraine attacks effectively. Some of these examples include driving at night or under the glaring sun, going to the movies, attending a nightclub party, or watching live concerts at a crowded venue.
On the home or workplace front, ensure that you take frequent breaks from your television or computer screen. Also, opt to adjust the brightness levels on digital screens if they start to irritate your eyes. It is important to also pay close attention to audio disturbances, which you can muffle out by putting on headphones or steering clear from the noise altogether.
Listening to What Your Body is Telling You
Once you have a clear understanding of your body’s needs, it would be best to adopt physical activities that promote stress reduction without overtraining. Yoga, tai chi and light aerobics are all suitable options to help you achieve this goal. However, if you must train heavy, consider ingesting an anti-inflammatory drug prescribed by a doctor, as it will help ease migraine symptoms.
If you must perform strength training however, ensure that your body is properly warmed-up before jumping into any routine that involves vigorous exercises. This could include slow walking for five minutes, jogging in place, light stretches, or lifting light weights before increasing the intensity of your routine.
Identifying Hormonal Triggers
Ingesting oral contraceptives and undergoing hormone replacement therapy can also increase migraine frequency and severity. Both medications link directly to a fluctuation of estrogen hormones in a woman’s body. Therefore, other forms of medication should also be taken into consideration.
There are treatment modalities available for hormonal migraine headaches. They include practices which you can include as part of your daily routine, such as ensuring adequate body hydration, resting in a dark and quiet room, placing cold compress on your head, massaging the affected area, and performing deep breathing or other relaxation exercises. In addition, biofeedback may be able to teach you how to relax certain muscles to reduce migraine frequency and pain. A doctor may also recommend that you take magnesium supplements, which can aid in reducing the intensity of your headaches.
The journey to prevent migraine attacks from taking over your life starts with a little self-belief. And although living with migraine can be tormenting, take comfort in knowing that the choices you make today can help you lead a better life tomorrow. Take charge, and don’t let the shackles of migraine hold you down!
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