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6 Ways to Help Prevent Migraines

Updated on July 8, 2019
Nikita profile image

I am very passionate about migraines because I know how they can exclude you from enjoying life.

Are you suffering from Migraine?

If you are tired of having migraines all the time, check this 6 ways to avoid migraines and how I managed to get rid off them.

What is Migraine?

A migraine is a real, medical condition that involves a genetic sensitivity of your brain and nerves. Researches believe that each migraine attack consists of a series of events. These include:

* Nerves Stimulation in your brain,

* The inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels on the surface of your brain,

* And a change in the way your brain processes pain.

How to prevent migraines?

You can help prevent migraines with healthy lifestyle habits. Maintain consistent eating, sleeping and exercise schedules. It's also important that you learn, and then avoid, your migraine triggers.

1- Avoid Migraine Triggers.

Identifying and then avoiding the triggers is the best thing you can do. See at the bottom for a complete list of triggers.

2- Get Regular Exercise.

Exercise reduces tension, a common migraine trigger. Make sure to warm up slowly. Intense physical activity can cause headaches.

If you want to begin doing exercise and don't know where to begin, I will suggest doing some planks.

As soon as you get up in the morning take 5 minutes to do planks. If you prefer use a yoga mat for comfort.

Then get a timer. Set the timer to 30 seconds to hold the plank position and 1 minute to rest. Do 3 to 5 sets of these and your are done.

Continue every morning for a week and increase each pose time to a minute and decrease the rest time to 30 seconds. After 4 weeks if you feel you are comfortable or your body ask for more, increase each pose time for 30 seconds when ever you feel like it until you are doing 3 minutes each pose.

I like to do 3 sets of 3 minutes each every morning or every afternoon.

3- Lower your stress level.

Stress can cause or aggravate migraines. Try meditation, biofeedback, or join a support group.

You could try anything you love to do to relax. Some people love to just listening to music while others like to draw, paint, sew, cook. Find your passion and take time to focus on you and what you like.

Printed Instructional Yoga Mat

NewMe Fitness Instructional Yoga Mat, Black - Printed w/ 70 Illustrated Poses, 24” Wide x 68” Long, for Women & Men : Non Slip, Eco Friendly PVC, Non Toxic : for Home or Gym : 5mm Thick
NewMe Fitness Instructional Yoga Mat, Black - Printed w/ 70 Illustrated Poses, 24” Wide x 68” Long, for Women & Men : Non Slip, Eco Friendly PVC, Non Toxic : for Home or Gym : 5mm Thick

If you like yoga mats as much as I do, you should try this one with the little different poses printed on it. It is fun and inspirational.

Very helpful if you have kids. You will love to see them trying the poses on their own while you relax in another yoga mat next to them.

 

4- Maintain a daily routine.

Getting the sleep you need(7 to 8 hours a night for most adults), and eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can ward off migraines.

I would say is not that important how many hours you sleep as how deep was your sleep. You could been at bed 8 hours and waking restless or sleep 6 hours and wake up energetic.

Everyone is different. You have to find what works for you. What your body needs. In my case I sleep usually 4 to 6 hours and wake up refresh, alert and full of energy but to accomplish this I have to go to bed on an empty stomach and lemon juice being the last thing I drank.

I used to eat cereal with milk every night before going to bed. It helped me to fall sleep faster and kept me completely sleep during the whole night, but I would wake up drowsy, tired, angry and with stuffy nose.

If you feel any of these, I would suggest to give it a try. Eat your last meal 2 hours before going to bed every day. Drink only water and lemon juice during those to hours before bed.

5- Quit smoking and caffeine.

Smoking can cause headaches or make them worse.

If you can't quit completely those items containing caffeine, then substitute them with those labeled as caffeine free. Such as caffeine free soda and caffeine free coffee.

Eliminating both you are less likely to get cancer.

I never smoked but I was addicted to soda. I was drinking about a six pack of soda a day. Still love it and it is very hard to see my friends and family drinking it but I just don't drink it or buy it anymore.

I let my kids drink it in special occasions. At a school baseball game celebration, at grandma's on Thanks Giving Day and days like that. It is not longer at our dinner table.

Very Important:

Do not cut caffeine all at once. It will give you migraine, if you do. Try cutting the amount you take daily. If you drink 4 cups of coffee a day, try reducing it to 3 a day for a week. If everything goes fine reduce it to 2 cups next week and so on until you are completely off of it. If cutting back weekly is too short, do it monthly.

Decaffeinated Delicious Coffee

Lavazza Decaffeinated Espresso Ground Coffee, 8 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Lavazza Decaffeinated Espresso Ground Coffee, 8 Ounce (Pack of 2)

If you would like to stop caffeine intake but can't give up your coffee because you are in love with the aroma and can't live without that wonderful taste, try this Lavazza Decaffeinated Italian Coffee.

 

6- Reduce the effects of estrogen.

If you are a woman and estrogen triggers or worsens you headaches. Talk to your doctor about avoiding or reducing those medication containing estrogen, such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.

Food and Beverage Triggers

These are some of the food that can trigger your migraine. Sometimes could be a combination of both or suddenly stopping one of them like caffeine.

  • Aged cheese
  • Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Food additives such as nitrates, found in hot dogs, bologna and salami
  • Caffeine
  • Fermented, pickled or marinate foods
  • Chocolate
  • Cultured dairy products
  • Seasoned salt
  • Citrus fruits
  • Certain vegetables, such as avocados, pea pods, lima beans and onions
  • Beans
  • Nuts and Peanut butter
  • Raisins
  • Yeast containing foods, such as breads and doughnuts

You are most likely to have migraines if you are:

* Between the ages of 15 and 55

* You are a female

* You have a family history of migraines

Enviromental and Lifestyle Triggers:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Bright or fluorescent lights
  • Sunlight
  • Intense physical activity (including sexual)
  • Chemical smells
  • Strong or unusual odors
  • Loud noise
  • Stress
  • Missing meals
  • Menstrual Period
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weather or altitude
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hormonal changes

Migraine Symptoms:

* An intense throbbing headache.

* Pain on one or both sides of your head.

* Nausea or vomiting

* Visual disturbances, such as blind spots or blurry vision.

* Visual sensibility to light.

* Pain made worse by physical activity

* Lightheadedness and dizziness

* Stuffy nose

* Fluid retention

* Numbness

There are 2 types of migraine medications:

1- Pain relieving medications. Helps to relieve pain once it's started. Taken at the first sign of a migraine.

2- Preventive medications. Daily medicines to help reduce the frequency of migraines.

Talk to your doctor about what medication is better for you.

My Three Mayor Triggers.

In my personal experience I had migraines in two different occasions. One of them Is not coming back (caffeine), the other one I control it with what I eat (PH levels).

1- Stopping caffeine at once.

2- PH levels not at best.

I'm gonna try explaining experiences of two different things that triggered my migraine and hopefully will help you.

Stopping Caffeine Once and For All

Back in 2003 I went for a routine mammogram. The doctor found fibroids in my breast. They explained they are not cancerous but it could become cancerous if I continue drinking caffeine. Studies indicate that caffeine is not a substance that could give you cancer but if you have Fibrocystic Breast caffeine can increase the risk of getting cancer in your breast.

I got so worry. I quit drinking soda all at once. After 24 hours my headaches began.

All symptoms rose to the occasion:

  • Nausea
  • Light Sensitiveness
  • Pain in one Side of the Head
  • Pain Behind one Eye
  • Sinus pressure
  • Dizziness

To make a long story short. I spent 2 long years with migraines not knowing they were triggered by the caffeine withdrawal in my body.

And the long term damage I got from caffeine is that my nerve system is out of control. I even have a ring in my head that never goes away. I'm not sure if it is because of this but I haven't gone to get it check yet. I will blog about it after I do.

PH Levels

The body is made naturally to keep a certain level of acidity and alkalinity.

Different parts of the body keeps a different level.

For example the blood usual PH balance is 7.35 to 7.45. This can be affected by what you eat, lung malfunction, diarrhea, vomiting, urinary track infection and others. The stomach has a usual PH balance of 3.05. This helps to break down the food.

PH Balance Scale

Milk Affected My Stomach PH Balance?

I have always love to eat cereal with milk. Since I was a little girl has been my favorite. It made me feel full, energetic and strong. Because of this I used to drink milk with every single food I ate, if I can.

I don't drink milk any more and take some other dairy product once in a while.

The constant drinking of milk I had changed my stomach PH Balance dramatically. To the point that gave me a very bad sinus for decades. The incredible amount of mucus I carried around would hardly allowed me to breath. The nose was so itchy and swollen all the time. My eyes used to get very watery and itchy at moments that I would have to go to stop what ever I was doing until they calmed down.

Today I free of sinus, excess mucus and migraine caused by PH imbalance.

How Did I Get Rid Off My Sinus Problem?

I had sinus problems for decades since I was a little girl. My mother even had my tonsils removed because the frequent infections I would get back in the day.

After years of suffering migraine and other symptoms I did some research online and decided to try different things until finally found one that worked for me.

I began drinking 1 Tbsp of Apple-cider Vinegar in 6oz of water every morning. It was the first thing I used to drink every morning as soon as I got of the bed. I waited about 30 minutes before taking my breakfast. I did this for 3 months.

I cut every single item containing dairy out of my diet. I stopped drinking milk with every meal. I changed milk for lemonade. I cut a few lemons boil them in water, divided in mason jars and refrigerate.

Big Batch Lemonade Ingredients

  • 48oz water
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • to taste artificial sweetener

Instructions

  1. Cut the lemons in slices ans skinny as you like.
  2. Add lemons in water and heat until boil. Let if boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Divided in mason jars or your favorite container.
  4. Divide the lemon slices into the jars or discard them if you wish.
  5. you could add any sweetener at this point of at the moment you are going to drink it.
  6. Refrigerate and drink as you wish.

Oh No, What Did I Do?

After 6 months I decided to try again drinking milk and other dairy products to see if my sinus came back and it did. If I eat or drink any dairy before bed, I for sure get stuffy nose and extra mucus but because I drink the lemon juice during the day or before bed time it will clear out by the next morning.

What I do know is that I only eat dairy occasionally. Some cheese over spaghetti or a small cup of ice cream. If you need me to say a number I would say I eat cheese twice a month and ice cream once or twice a month. If my math is okay, that would give me an intake of dairy products 4 times a month. No bad comparing to about 40 to 60 times a month since I used to drink milk every day twice a day and cheese every other day.

I completely stopped eating milk with cereal before going to bed. Now I squeeze half a lemon in 6oz of water and sip on it until I go to bed. I do this usually 2 or 3 hours before bed time.

If you going to try this and the drastic change makes your stomach feel to acid, eat 1/2 a cup of cooked rice.

That is what I did to brake out free of dairy products. No more migraine triggered by dairy and a better stomach PH balance. I hope this helps.

Quick No Boiling Lemonade

Take 6oz water (cold, hot or room temperature) squeeze 1/2 lemon in it, add 3 artifitial sweetener emvelopes and shake. Drink it all at once before bed or sip on it 2 to 3 hours before bed.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2007 Nikita

Comments

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  • Nikita profile imageAUTHOR

    Nikita 

    7 years ago from Florida

    Hi Ken82, thank you for sharing. I haven't tried any of the medications you mentioned but let see if someone that have tried them could share some information with us. I hope you are feeling better.

  • profile image

    ken82 

    7 years ago

    I felt the prodrome yesterday, tried to really relax and it kind of prevented it, hoping it doesn't strike me tomorrow. 2 days before I consumed a lot of alcohol, the day after I hadn't had much sleep, and yesterday after eating fried eggs with veg I felt it coming. From loads I've read, Triptans seems to be the best medication. Has anyone used Solpadol for their migraine ? Well this one I think is addictive but I think it soothe the pain !

  • profile image

    Aaron 

    10 years ago

    I'm a guy and I know that girls usually get them so don't make me feel out of place when I write this. What I have done when I get a migrain is actually do my regular daily routine. Physical activity such as walking helped me too. Drinking alot of water is the best to do. Then meditate about 30 minutes a day actually takes away your stress. Don't let migraines stop your life because I don't. Listening to music also calms me down. My doctor prescribed daily medication and I can say that it has weakened the pain of my migraines. When I have a migraine the medication that really works is Excederin. So go buy that. Hope this helps.(:

  • profile image

    Karen 

    11 years ago

    I am also one of the Caffine driven migraine people. BUT it comes on soemtimes when I haven't had enough caffine. Also I was wondering I have had 3 really bad ones since I had my son one a day.. I can not get them to pass. My Migraine Aura is Numbness in the arms then trough my whole body, blury vision, can't speak or form sentinces and my whole neck and jaw are tense and clenched. I really enjoy a cold cloth on my forhead as well as one on the back of my neck. Advil Migrane is amazing to get you home. If you take it when you feel it coming on and need to get home. It will subside the pain (Not the Aura) so that you can make it!!

    I do enjoy the caffine but some days it is not the solution and it is only because we comsume so much Caffine that our bodys are requesting more and that is why we are in the pain in the first place... Darn Coffee!!!

  • Nikita profile imageAUTHOR

    Nikita 

    11 years ago from Florida

    Dawn I understand what you said and I can say I'm one of them. But not everyone is the same and some times we fix something without caring for other things.

    I'm addicted to soda and chocolate and for years never put attention to what consequences this could bring me. No until a few years ago I found a lump on my breast. To make a long story short, I found out that the caffeine is the number one cause of breast cancer in women.

    So I don't drink soda with caffeine anymore but because as you mentioned caffeine relaxes CAPILLARIES, I have a bottle of migraine pills that the main ingredient is caffeine and I only drinks them when is necessary.

    Oh! Something else, usually people that needs caffeine to fix the migraine are people that consume a high level of caffeine daily and when for some reason they stop consuming the caffeine the migraine begin to happens. No everyone but the majority.

    That's why I mention the chocolate is the only food that triggers my migrane, because caffeine for me is a fix. The main trigger for my migrane is my Paranasal Sinus.

  • profile image

    Dawn 

    11 years ago

    One problem with your post is that caffeine can actually HELP a migraine. One symptom of a migraines is the restriction of cappilaries. Caffeine relaxes cappilaries, so for many of us, it is one of the things that actually relieves a migraine headache. Not everything associated with caffeine is bad. Part of the problem I think, is that everyone who has had a bad headache automatically thinks that they have a migraine. Caffeine can stimulate regular headaches and make them worse, but it is one of the best home remedies for true migraines

  • profile image

    cutlyn 

    11 years ago from philippines

    i used to get migraines often... i wear glasses permanently and the time i had constant migraines was because of my eyes. i was not able to get a check up from the doctor and she said the grades in my lenses had increased. so thats what triggered it everyday. there were times that i just stay in bed because the headache never stops. but its all over now. other triggers my neurologist told me to keep away also is coffee, cheese, sodas and chocolates... thanks for the added information. what causes those foods to trigger migraines anyway?

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