If you want to fight migraines, you need to hit them before the pain begins. The most effective way to do this is to come up with a strategy. Yes, you’ll be just like a fierce warrior, using different methods and weapons to scare the headache away. What we recommend are migraine preventers.
Fighting migraines doesn’t have to involve medications. In fact, you should minimize the use of drugs to avoid side effects and drug resistance. Keep them as a last resort and focus on finding the best natural help.
It's All About Prevention
To understand why it is better to prevent migraines than treat and cure them later on, it’s crucial to cover what causes migraines. Studies have shown that migraine related problems are mostly hereditary and are troubling women in a larger percent because of higher levels of estrogen. Nevertheless, no doctor would neglect the influence of external factors and lifestyle choices on migraine development.
Lots of things could trigger migraines. Weather, lighting, diet, stress, smells - you name it! The evolution of migraine headaches starts with a couple of triggers combined. To combat migraines, you need to eliminate the triggers from your life.
Also, some factors influence migraines positively. Alternative preventers such as meditation, vitamin supplements, and aromatherapy can relieve migraine pains naturally. They can also prevent migraines from happening, which is your goal in the first place.
First: Find What Triggers the Pain
You already know that each migraine attack is unique. Two people might have different migraine symptoms and be triggered by opposite things. That’s why you need to find out what your migraine triggers are.
You can start by going through the most common triggers and crossing out the ones that don’t affect you. Journaling will help you with this process. Write what you do, eat, drink - write about everything!
When you have a migraine attack, think about what you did before. Find a possible trigger and try to eliminate it from your life. This could prevent future migraines. If you were wrong and your migraine comes back, try cutting out another possible trigger. Once you figure out what combinations of external factors impact your migraine, you’ll have a sure way to stop your migraines from developing.
The most common migraine triggers are:
- Bright and blue light
- Foods containing sodium and artificial sweeteners
- Lack of sleep
- Low blood sugar
As we said, these triggers don’t affect everyone in the same way. Certain factors and substances can have opposite effects on different people. For example, caffeine can be a migraine trigger for one person, while it can be a remedy for another.
By journaling in detail, you’ll be able to notice patterns. For example, if your headaches usually occur a couple of hours after your afternoon latte, caffeine intake might be the cause. Try cutting this habit and see what happens.
Diet and Migraine Prevention
Diet can be your worst enemy in the fight against migraines, but it can also be your biggest ally. It all depends on the choices you make - some nutrients are helpful, while others are triggering. The process of figuring out what foods and supplements work best for you might be a little challenging, but it takes you a step closer to relieving migraines. A great dietary decision means everything in keeping the immune system healthy, and therefore, preventing headaches.
You need to incorporate quality nutrients into your everyday meals and limit (if not eliminate) the usual triggers. Focus on consuming natural food without preservatives and additives. Fresh veggies and whole grains are far better dietary options than processed food.
Try a lot of things, so you can figure out what works for you:
- Orange and green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, and more
- Brown rice and whole wheat bread
- Fruits such as cherries, cranberries, pears, apples, etc.
- Beans and nuts
Vitamin and Supplements
Although you should focus on eating vitamin-rich food, you won’t get enough vitamins and minerals from just fruits and vegetables. Consider taking supplements known as migraine preventers: magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, and riboflavin.
Magnesium can be found in various natural sources, from spices and teas to nuts, grains, and vegetables. Its concentration in common foods is not that high, though, and you need a large amount to fight migraines. e.
The daily dose of magnesium intake for migraine prevention is around 500 mg. When you’re taking supplements try to find the perfect dosage and stick to the limit because excessive amounts of magnesium might lead to symptoms such as diarrhea and irregular bowel movement.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance that has an important role in the human body. It’s involved in the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the main source of energy in cells. CoQ10 is also helpful in muscle contraction and the production of protein.
Although you can find CoQ10 in foods such as grains, meat, and fish, that might not be enough to prevent migraines. The recommended daily dose of CoQ10 for healthy people is between 100 and 200 mg per day. Those who have conditions such as migraines need even more. It all depends on personal needs, so the best option would be to consult a doctor and determine the dose that works perfectly for your body.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Vitamin B2 is also involved in energy creation and it’s an antioxidant that gets rid of unnecessary body substances. The amounts found in foods, however, are rather low. The beneficial effects of riboflavin in migraine prevention are noticeable after a consistent daily intake of 400 mg, so you might need to opt for supplements.
Once again, we recommend talking with a doctor to determine the right dose. A physician will know what dosage works for your particular needs.
Stress is the most common trigger for migraines, which makes stress management the most effective strategy in migraine prevention. Although we can’t control stressful situations completely, we can learn to react properly. Practicing self-care is crucial for stress relief.
Meditation techniques have helped lots of people with chronic migraines. Meditation allows your body to rest and your mind to recharge, so you can be ready to face stressful situations. Mindfulness and stress reduction can help you more than medication.
Yoga isn’t like other forms of exercise. By practicing yoga, you’re training your body, and also your mind. It’s a recommended form of therapy, not just for migraine prevention but for anxiety, depression, muscle pain, and other conditions.
Relaxation is very important but unfortunately, it’s often disregarded. You should remind yourself just how beneficial massages can be. A quality massage can help you relieve stress and improve sleep quality, which instantly eliminates two of the most common migraine triggers.
Although some strong smells might be migraine triggers, some scents can help you. Try various essential oils to find therapeutic smells. The best oils for reducing stress and soothing pain are lavender, peppermint, and chamomile.
Did you know that inhaling a beautiful lavender scent for just 15 minutes or applying peppermint oil on the skin can prevent migraines?. Mix that with a relaxing bubble bath, and you'll definitely increase your chances for success.
Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s based on inserting thin needles into the body in an attempt to relieve pain. The needles are stimulated (manually or electrically) to promote blood flow, which helps with migraines. Although this migraine preventer might sound unusual, your body can react positively to it.