How to Prevent Migraines

If you spend a lot of time in a darkened room with a cold towel over your face, you need a long-term plan for dealing with your migraines. Medicine may help, but if you can avoid getting those sickening headaches in the first place, you’ll have more time to enjoy life. Try these suggestions to prevent migraines.

  • Identify your triggers. Migraines may be triggered by emotional factors, such as stress, or environ­mental factors, like flickering lights or weather changes. Quite often, migraines are triggered by the foods you eat. Scientists believe that certain foods, like yogurt, nuts, and lima beans, contain substances that can cause blood vessels to con­strict. Some people have allergies to certain foods that may touch off a migraine. Keep a diary for a few weeks and write down when your headaches strike and what you were doing and eating before the attack. This will help you identify your trig­gers and avoid them in the future.

Prevent Migraines

  • Exercise. Regular exercise can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
  • Try biofeedback. Biofeedback involves relaxing while mentally directing blood flow away from your head to other parts of your body, like your hands and feet. A biofeedback therapist can teach you how to do this.
  • Go fishing. If you find fishing a relaxing pastime, it may help your migraines by reducing your stress, but eating fish may also help relieve your headache woes. One study found that fish oil cap­sules containing omega-3 fatty acids reduced the frequency and severity of headaches for 60 per­cent of the migraine sufferers who participated in the study. You can buy fish oil capsules, or just eat foods containing omega-3 like tuna, cod, salmon, and other seafood.
  • Eat at regular intervals. Low blood sugar may contribute to migraines by causing the blood ves­sels in your ead to dilate. Eating smaller, more frequent meals may help avoid a drop in blood sugar that could set off a migraine.
  • Avoid oversleeping. Sleeping late can also cause a drop in blood sugar that may trigger a migraine, so get up at your regular time, even on weekends.
  • Get some herbal assistance. The herb feverfew has been used to treat headaches for almost 2,000 years. Feverfew contains a chemical called parthenolide that blocks the effects of pain-pro­ducing prostaglandins. You can find feverfew at most health food stores, or if you like to garden, you can grow your own. If you buy a commercial feverfew preparation, look for one that contains at least 0.2 percent of the active ingredient parthenolide. If you choose the home-grown route, chew and swallow one or two fresh leaves daily.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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