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How to Prevent and Relieve Migraines

Find relief from migraines the natural way.

While headaches can be irritating, uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, it is important to differentiate between headaches and migraines. According to The Migraine Trust, a migraine is defined as a moderate to severe headache that is accompanied by side effects such as nausea and sensitivity to light and noise. These migraine attacks can last anywhere from four to 72 hours. The factors that trigger these migraine attacks can vary from person to person.

Consider these options for preventing and relieving migraines:

Keep A Migraine Diary
One of the best ways to better identify your personal migraine triggers is to keep a detailed record of when these attacks occur, The American Migraine Foundation advised. It should include the duration of your migraine, the severity and any external factors that may have played a role. It can be helpful to create what the foundation calls a "headache profile" to indicate how debilitating the migraine was on any given day.

After several weeks or months, you may be able to identify several patterns associated with your migraines and from there, start removing external factors thought to be playing a role.

If you are impacted by frequent migraines, keep a diary.If you are impacted by frequent migraines, keep a diary.

Record Food Triggers
Dietary habits are thought to play a big role in triggering migraines. There are certain foods in particular linked to migraines including alcohol, aged cheeses, artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, preservatives, food dyes and caffeine, the Cleveland Clinic reported. Nitrates are additives found in some heart medications and packaged meats like bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni and deli meat. The food additive MSG, that is often found in packaged foods, soy sauce and Asian cuisine, is also thought to cause headaches.

Keep in mind that food triggers are different for everyone, so keep an accurate record in your migraine diary to help track which additives and ingredients impact you the most.

Make Changes to Your Diet
Both The Migraine Trust and the American Migraine Foundation conclude that analyzing your diet and making effective changes can help to relieve and prevent migraines. Removing processed, packaged foods and products high in preservatives and additives is a good place to start.

"Remove additives and preservatives from your diet for migraine relief."

From there, consider how a primarily raw, plant-based diet can help minimize many of the side effects and triggers of migraines. Fiber, vitamins and plenty of water are important for keeping headaches at bay. The American Migraine Foundation advises lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. It's also important to avoid skipping meals, as this has been known to trigger migraines. But instead of eating three big meals each day, consider eating five or six smaller meals.

Relax and Supplement
When migraines strike, it's helpful to have a few remedies to ease the pain as soon as possible. As Prevention magazine explained, ice packs can help soothe the intensity and bring down inflammation. Try lying down in a dark room with an ice pack over your eyes. Supplementation has also been shown to bring migraine relief. One study showed that a vitamin B2 supplement helped reduced frequency in several patients after a few months.

To experience relief from migraines today, identify your triggers.

Comments

  1. Jennifer June 13, 2018

    I love the suggestion to keep a migraine diary. That will be such a helpful tool to keep track of the migraine triggers.

  2. Thanks for suggesting a Migraine Diary. What a wonderful way to help figure out if there are certain foods or activities that trigger the migraine. I also like the idea of having several smaller meals in place of 3 large meals daily. Migraines can be so debilitating. I have know several people that could not even function once a full-blown migraine set in.

  3. Jayme C. April 25, 2020

    Thank you for this article. I will be sharing it with family. My sister and two of my aunts struggle with this almost daily.

  4. I am thankful I do not get migraines. It would be awful to have a headache along with the other symptoms described. It is good to know that B2 helped reduce the frequency of migraines in some people.

  5. MIGRAINES, A natural treatment (CASTOR OIL) apply on forehead…pain will slowly STOP! brand name The Palma Christi Castor Oil. Oil Pulling swish inside of mouth NOT gargle for 10/15 mins then rinse out mouth with warm water NOT salt water USE Sesame Seed Oil NOT coconut oil! Iodine “STOPS” those headaches.

  6. Melody Hord December 8, 2021

    One of my friends found that lavender essential oil eased her migraines. There are many ways to use essential oils. If rubbing them on the body, it is best to mix them with a “carrier” oil. I like to use extra virgin olive oil for that. I can’t remember exactly where she rubbed it on her body. But you have to be really careful because you never want an essential oil to go in the eyes! She may have rubbed it on the bottom of her feet.
    For me, when I was going through menopause, sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night in a panic attack. I kept a bottle of jasmine essential oil by my bed. I would unscrew the top and just put the bottle up to my nose and start smelling the beautiful, sweet aroma. I could feel the fear dissipate. Smell is very powerful!! Patchouli essential oil worked well for me, too.

  7. Thank you for the information. I have several friends who deal with migraines. I will pass this on to them.

  8. Annette Whitworth December 16, 2021

    This was some good information, and thanks for sharing with us about what the ” Migraine Trust and the American Migraine Foundation conclude that analyzing your diet and making effective changes can help to relieve and prevent migraines.”
    This was very important for me.

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