Anyone who has had their life interrupted by a migraine knows that it's something they never want to happen again. “Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling," according to the Mayo Clinic.
Migraines cause “severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.”
There are usually triggers that you can observe in yourself that let you know a migraine is starting. There are other triggers that, if avoided, may help prevent migraines.
Here are some common triggers to look out for:
Changes in our hormones, especially drops in estrogen, before your period can be a trigger. Getting help to normalize your estrogen levels may help avoid it. Talk to your OB/GYN about whether low-dose birth control pills might help.
Alcohol can be a trigger for migraines. One way you can identify this as a trigger is if you get a hangover-like symptoms after just one drink.
"The good news is that this cause tends to be very specific," said Andrew Michael Blumenfeld, MD, director of the Headache Center of Southern California. "People may do fine with vodka rather than beer, for instance."
Red wine in particular can be an alcoholic trigger for migraines. According to WebMD, “One out of 3 people who have migraines say alcohol is a trigger. Booze's effects have been proven in studies, says Noah Rosen, MD, director of the Headache Center at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute.”
There is some controversy as to whether aged cheeses and processed meats can be triggers. Rosen calls these "speculated" foods, because there's no scientific proof that they trigger migraines. But many people believe they do.
Some food additives, especially monosodium glutamate (MSG), have also been identified as triggers for migraines.
Drop in your blood sugars from missing meals
When you miss meals, it causes your blood sugar levels to drop. That can start a cascade of hormones and chemicals that trigger a migraine.
If you notice that you get more migraines on the days that you are not eating regularly, then start eating three to six small meals every day, or about every three hours.
Make sure that you have a meal with a good combination of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats.
Not getting enough water into your system can also be a trigger. Remember, try to drink more free water instead of drinking coffee or soda as a substitute for water.
Additional considerations to reduce migraines include stress management techniques, since stress makes migraines worse and can trigger them in the first place.
Here is where exercise, yoga or tai chi can help. Consider body work like massage, or Epsom salt baths, as well as other techniques.
Anti-inflammatory supplements and diets can help to reduce triggers and prevent migraines. Here is more information about anti-inflammatory diets.
Acupuncture, supplements and herbal remedies can be great supports as well. However, I would recommend these under the care of a naturopathic doctor or acupuncturist who knows how to guide your treatment appropriately.
Migraines can be debilitating when they occur. It is such a gift to be able to understand your triggers to reduce or prevent them from occurring.
Using these natural methods to help reduce or prevent them can help you lead a migraine-free life. Migraines, like any medical condition, should be monitored by a qualified health care professional, and medications should be used when needed.
Dr. Daemon Jones
Dr. Dae's website: www.HealthyDaes.com
Dr. Dae's Bio:
Dr. Daemon Jones is your diabetes reversal, hormones, metabolism and weight loss expert. Dr. Dae is a naturopathic doctor who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone appointments. Visit her or schedule a free consultation at her website www.HealthyDaes.com
Reviewed June 29, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
16 Highly Effective Migraine Solutions Find out what's causing your migraine—and natural ways to make it stop. Prevention.com. June 27, 2016.
Get Migraines? Find Your Food Triggers. WebMD.com. June 27, 2016.
Migraines Overview. Mayoclinic.org. June 27, 2016.
Migraines Symptoms and causes. Mayoclinic.org. June 27, 2016.