Migraine headaches can come on unexpectedly and make it difficult to complete daily tasks. The cause of migraines differs from person to person, and over-the-counter medications might not always be enough to make them disappear. These five tips can help you reduce and manage migraines.
1. Record a Migraine Diary
If you're unsure what's causing your migraines, a migraine diary can help you identify triggers. Write down when you headache began, how long it lasted, and whether you had made any changes to your diet or routine. After a few weeks, you may be able to see a pattern emerging. If not, try cutting possible triggers out of your life and record the effectiveness.
2. Eliminate Migraine-Inducing Foods
Some foods may play a role in causing migraines. The nitrates found in deli meat can dilate blood vessels, potentially triggering a headache. Tyramine is an ingredient that works similarly and should be avoided if you're prone to migraines. Foods and beverages that contain tyramine include aged cheese, preserved meats, soy sauce, smoked fish, beer, and red wine.
3. Work on Stress Management
Chronic stress can trigger a debilitating headache. Although you may not be able to eliminate all the stressful factors in your life, there are plenty of strategies for managing stress and decreasing the toll it takes on your body. Exercising or practicing mediation can be great ways to clear your head of stressful thoughts. If you are in a moment of stress, it is wise to take a 20 minute break to relax, and think of ways to manage the problem. Thoughts control actions; if you have a plan in place for your stress, when those stressful times come, you know what to do ahead of time.
4. Adopt Healthy Sleeping Habits
Several scientific studies have shown that maintaining healthy sleeping habits can reduce the occurrence and severity of migraines. Plan on getting 7 - 8 hours of sleep a night and maintain a consistent bedtime. Associates in Family Dentistry say that certain sleep disorders, such as teeth grinding, may also cause migraines. If you suffer from teeth grinding, you may want to seek help from a dental office. Dentists have extensive and focused training with all teeth and jaw issues, so they should be able to solve your migraine problem if it's related to teeth grinding.
5. Identify Early Signs
By paying attention the early symptoms of your migraines, you can sense when you need to relax, avoid triggers, and take medication. The most obvious sign is a throbbing sensation in the head, or excessive sensitivity to normal environments, such as light and noise. Migraine sufferers can also experience visual symptoms, such as seeing spots or flashes of light. Your mood can also change, leading to irritability or depression.
If your migraines are still difficult to deal with even after taking these step, you may want to seek treatment from a doctor. Prescription medications can help prevent your migraines, but be sure to discuss with your doctor any other health issues you have.