The World Health Organization has classified migraines as one of the most debilitating illnesses in the world. In the UK there are an estimated 190.000 migraine attacks every day, less than half of whom will seek treatment. Constant headaches decrease productivity at work and quality of life at home. If you are one of the millions of people suffering from this disorder you need migraine relief.
What Is A Migraine?
Migraine headaches are characterized by intense throbbing in the head and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to sound and light. Additional symptoms may include dizziness and blurred vision. Without treatment migraines typically last from 4 to 72 hours.
What Causes A Migraine?
Migraines are cause by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Migraine headaches are one of the least funded neurological disorders and at present there is still much about migraines that we do not know. Imbalances in neurotransmitters such as serotonin may play a role in migraine, as well as many other factors.
Common triggers for Migraines include:
- Hormonal changes – fluctuations in estrogen are common triggers for women. These migraines are often experienced just prior to or during the menstrual cycle when estrogen is lowest. Other times of hormonal change such as pregnancy and menopause can trigger migraines as well.
- Foods – processed foods, as well as many food additives are common triggers. Fasting has also been associated with migraines.
- Beverages – Wine and highly caffeinated drinks may trigger migraine headaches.
- Sensory stimuli – bright lights and loud sounds are common triggers.
- Sleep – both too much and too little sleep can bring on a migraine.
Am I At Risk?
Risk factors for migraines include family history, age, sex and hormonal changes. If one or both of your parents experience migraine headaches you greatly increase your risk of also inheriting migraine headaches. Though migraines can begin at any age, most people experience there first migraine by adolescence. Women are three times more likely to experience migraine headaches than men, this maybe do to the association between estrogen fluctuations and migraine headaches.
How To Relieve Migraine Symptoms
There are several strategies you may implement to try and alleviate your migraine symptoms. You may want to try a combination of the following the next time you are faced with a migraine headache.
Control Your Environment
- Turn off the lights – As sensory stimuli is a common trigger resting in a dark room or wearing sunglasses if you must go out may help to reduce the severity of your headache.
- Eliminate noise– Sound, l like light, is a common trigger. Rest in a quiet room or if you prefer you use a white noise machine or fan.
- Lie down – both stress and lack of sleep can trigger migraines. However, if your migraine was triggered by too much sleep you may want to avoid resting more.
- Deep breathing – It both relaxes the body and relives tension. On the exhale focus on relaxing your body. On the inhale simply focus on breathing. If any area in the body feels particularly tight focus on relaxing that part of the body on your exhales.
- 5HTP – serotonin levels drop during a migraine headache. Supplementing with a serotonin booster like 5HTP may help to alleviate symptoms and reduce frequency.
- Vitamin B2 – also called riboflavin, has been used to reduce frequency and intensity of migraines. It is recommended to take 400mg daily to reduce incident of migraines. Taken during a headache Vitamin B2 may reduce symptoms as well. If you already take a B complex check the label to see how much vitamin B2 is included in the tablet.
- Melatonin – is often used to reduce frequency of migraine headaches. Melatonin may reduce severity of symptoms when used during a migraine headache as well.
- Co-Q10 – is also used to reduce frequency and may help with symptoms of a current migraine headache.
- Magnesium – If your migraines are associated with menstrual cycle, a magnesium supplement may help reduce the severity of your headaches. A daily dose of 500mg is recommended.
Herbal teas are both soothing and relaxing. Several herbal teas are thought to help alleviate migraine symptoms.
- Lavender tea – lavender reduces inflammation in the blood vessels and is thought to be the most effective herbal tea for alleviating migraines.
- Ginger tea– ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and may assist with pain relief. In addition ginger tea has traditionally been used for digestive issues, if you experience nausea or vomiting with your migraines ginger tea may help to settle your stomach as well.
- Peppermint tea – peppermint is a natural stimulant often used to treat both head and stomach aches.
- Cayenne pepper – consider adding cayenne pepper to your teas for additional pain relief.
A small amount of caffeine may help to reduce your migraine. Only use caffeine if it is not a migraine trigger for you. Consider having one cup of caffeinated tea, coffee, or a small dark chocolate bar.
Massage temples and neck
Migraines are closely associated with tension. If there is any tension in your jaw, face, or neck gently work these areas. Weather performing self-message or getting a gentle rub down from a family member or professional make sure not to put too much pressure in your neck as this can actually trigger a headache.
If experiencing a mild migraine, aerobic exercise can help to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Exercises releases muscle tension and increases blood flow throughout the body.
When To Seek Treatment
If you do not already see a healthcare professional for your migraine headaches you should consider making an appointment. They may prescribe prescription medication or find that your headaches are a symptom of another underlying disorder. Make sure to consult with your doctor prior to beginning any supplementation for your migraine headaches, particularly if you are currently taking any prescription medications.
If your looking for migraine tablets, TN health offer a wide variety of supplements designed for migraine relief.