For those who live with chronic migraines – or shudder through a harsh headache every once in awhile – you know that the pain has the strength to throw off your entire day. It's easy to reach for an over-the-counter painkiller, but non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs come with harmful side effects that can induce cardiovascular problems, hearing loss, gastrointestinal complications, allergic reactions and even heart failure, according to Dr. Mercola. Who would want to treat a migraine in exchange for developing a possible fatal disease?
Thankfully, those concerned about taking drugs for headache relief have other options. Let's take a closer look at some of the common symptoms of migraines, plus some natural ways to reduce the pain:
Common Symptoms of Migraines
Though many confuse mild headaches with migraines, there are a few harsh symptoms that differentiate the two. Those include, according to Migraine.com:
- Throbbing pain.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Sensitivity to sound.
- Pain on one side of the head.
- Blurred vision, or aura.
Natural Ways to Reduce Symptoms of Migraines
Those looking to avoid the harmful risks of taking pain medication may consider a natural approach. Here are a few ways to reduce symptoms of migraines, without the fear of harsh side effects:
According to Dr. Mercola, working out may reduce migraine pain because it triggers the release of pain-reducing neurotransmitters. Of course, you likely won't find comfort in jogging or running to cope with a bad headache – but you can try low-impact exercises like weight lifting or yoga. Even a simple power walk around the block can help ease the pain.
"Inadequate sleep is one of the biggest migraine inducers."
2. A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Inadequate sleep is one of the biggest migraine inducers. To avoid the harsh feelings and wake up with a clear mind, make sure you're following a normal sleep schedule. Not only does the consistency reduce your chance of developing a migraine, but it also makes you more naturally alert when you wake up, ready to take on the day. Remember: A consistent sleep schedule is only the first step. You also need to ensure you're setting aside enough time to rest. Make sure you're getting the seven to nine hours each night, as the National Sleep Foundation recommends.
3. Healthy Eating
Have you considered your current diet as the reason you're living with migraines? According to Dr. Mercola, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, aged cheeses, artificial sweeteners and cured, processed meats are most likely to induce a migraine. However, healthy foods rich in magnesium and riboflavin may reduce headaches. Add more dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, bananas, spinach, beet greens and asparagus to your diet.
4. Consider a Magnesium Supplement
Many people who suffer from migraine headaches are actually deficient in magnesium. In addition to including the magnesium-rich foods mentioned above, a high-quality magnesium supplement may help balance your body so you don't get migraines anymore.
5. Hormonal Supplements for Women
If your migraines seem to be hormonally related, perhaps you need extra help in balancing your hormones. Excess estrogens and low progesterone levels can trigger migraines. We have had some success balancing hormones in women with migraines using the Luminology line of supplements. Our progesterone cream, Balanced Woman Cream, also helps balance hormones for women suffering with migraines.
There may be other causes for your symptoms that haven't been covered in our suggestions.Try to track what the triggers are for your symptoms. The foundation of good health is still a primarily raw, plant-based diet, so it is the place to start to remove these chronic migraines from your life.