- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Get Rid of a Migraine Headache With Nausea Fast
Ow! The pain! I've had migraines for over thirty years. They can be intensely painful and come with nausea and even vomiting. This is what I do to make my nauseating migraine headaches better fast. I don't use prescription drugs, and I don't use feverfew or other exotic treatments that are supposed to help. My treatment for migraines is a mix of natural and over-the-counter therapies.
Migraines most often affect just one side of the head and may be accompanied by dizziness, a feeling of being hot, nausea, a sensitivity to light or sound (but usually not both), and visual disturbances. Treat your migraine as soon as you feel the onset of pain or, if you get one (and most people don't) the aura. That bears repeating--treat it as early as possible for fast treatment. Don't wait until it gets bad. It'll take longer to get rid of if you do.
Use Wisdom When You Treat Your Migraine
If you haven't seen a doctor about your migraines before, do so, to make sure it's "just a migraine" or that the migraine isn't part of a bigger issue. Don't try these on children, and don't do any of these suggestions if you're allergic to/intolerant of any of it, or if you have a condition where hot baths are contra-indicated. Be safe and use regular precautions. I'm not a doctor, and this is not medical advice.
Steps to Get Rid of Migraine Pain Associated With Nausea
Use ginger infusion for the nausea associated with migraines. Slice a chunk of fresh ginger root and simmer it in a small pot of water for 10 minutes. Drink the ginger tea slowly. If you have only dried ginger, put 1/4 teaspoon into a full glass of water and mix it well--very well, to protect your esophagus. Drink it slowly.
Nausea with a migraine headache may be a sign your migraine is food-related--at least, that's been the case with my migraines (migraines without nausea had no food trigger, migraines with nausea were associated with eating trigger foods). Look online through lists of foods that can trigger migraines--a short list is peanuts, tomato, cheese, coffee, chocolate, bananas, foods with MSG, red wine, processed meats. Avoid those foods during a migraine. If you do eat them at other times, watch for early signs of a migraine in 1 to 24 hours.
If you're sure it was a migraine vs. another type of severe headache, put an ice pack on the side of the head that hurts--or use ice wrapped up in a wet cotton cloth. Ice should ease some of the pain immediately. Don't use heat on your shoulders or head in a migraine. EDIT: I've since learned that some people are helped by heat when they have a migraine. And even I am helped somewhat by wet heat on my shoulders during some of my migraines - usually ones that are not food related, but caused by hormones, mold, etc.
Feverfew to Cure Migraines--Myth or Fact?
Have you ever heard of feverfew as a migraine treatment? It may or may not be effective to help migraines. When used, it is used to prevent migraine pain. But, while taking feverfew may help prevent migraine, it isn't usually a treatment for
when you have one.
As soon as possible when you feel the pain or the aura if you get one, take a hot bath, submerging your legs and hands, but don't let yourself get heated/wet much above the elbows. Migraines are vascular headaches--the idea is to get all the blood flowing away from the head and shoulders down to the limbs again. Sometimes using an exercise bike GENTLY and EARLY ON in the migraine can accomplish the same thing--keep your upper body still and only move your legs.
Take ibuprofen or a different NSAID in normal dosage, more only if your doctor prescribes more, the earlier in the migraine the better. The anti-inflammatory properties can help quite a lot.
As a last resort, drink a cup of hot black coffee. Coffee can cause migraines, but can also ease them. The caffeine is what does the trick, but this doesn't work with chocolate, as far as I've been able to gather, perhaps because it's not the same form of caffeine, or perhaps because the sugar, milk, or chocolate itself be migraine triggers, themselves. Caffeinated tea may not work, either.
Try not to lie down flat at any point during the migraine. Sit down or lie on an inclined chair such as a recliner. Flatly horizontal means more blood rushing to your head--a bad thing. Some migraines are not hurt by lying flat - you can usually tell by whether or not you feel better when you lie down. Also, if you're a side-sleeper, you may find that it's more comfortable to lie on the side that's NOT hurting than on the side that is.
So that's my routine: I take ibuprofen and drink a hot cup of coffee. If I have nausea I drink ginger tea and avoid trigger foods and any food with too much fat, salt, and sugar. Then I run a hot sitz bath and sit in it for about half an hour with an ice-pack wrapped around my neck. Then I sit in a recliner holding an ice pack to my face. And try to fall asleep. It works most of the time.
Good luck--don't forget to check with your doctor--and let me know if this works for you!
UPDATE October, 2011: Note that there have been changes to my migraines and my personal treatment. See my comments below.