- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
How to Prevent Migraines? 7 Tips to Avoid Migraine Headaches:
Migraine is one among the many different types of headaches that many people seem to complain about. Migraine is a very common problem and it ranks in the world’s top 20 disabling medical illnesses. It is estimated that approximately 15% of the entire global population suffers from migraine headaches at some point of their lives. More detailed statistics indicate that migraine is a more common problem in women than in men. According to a survey, approximately 1 in every 5 women suffers from migraine headaches, while the ratio is 1:16 for men.
While prevention may not always be 100% effective, yet many professionals believe that migraines can be prevented naturally. Although one of the problems with preventing migraines is that the causes of migraine triggers may not always be identified properly. However, the following article will outline 7 important tips by which you can avoid and prevent migraine headaches, or can lessen the severity and timing of it.
Note: The identification of the exact triggers that cause migraine is essential. Since the triggers can vary from person to person, it becomes hard to specify a common set of triggers and causes. It is up to you identify them first, though some important tips are in the article for that, too.
1. Keep a Record:
If you haven’t properly identified what triggers cause you migraine headaches, then you must start keeping a record diary or a headache journal for it. There are different things that trigger migraine headaches for different people, and by keeping a headache record journal, you can easily monitor and identify what are your triggers.
In that record journal, start tracking the day, time and duration of the migraine attack. Moreover, you should also keep track of all the food, beverages, activities and proneness to noises, sun, light and other weather conditions on that day which may be the cause of your migraine attack.
If you keep tracking all this important information, you will soon be able to identify the pattern of your migraine attack, and hence, the triggers of it.
2. Avoid Common Triggers:
Although the causes and triggers of migraine attacks can vary from people to people, there are some common triggers that must be avoided by everyone. Avoiding such common causes and triggers of migraine headaches become all the more important if you do not know your exact migraine triggers.
Some of the most common triggers that must be avoided are:
- Stress, depression and worry.
- Proneness to bright light
- Proneness to extremely loud noises
- Disturbed and improper sleep routines
- Lack of sleep
- Being hungry
What are Prodrome Symptoms?
Prodrome symptoms relate to the first of the four commonly known phases of migraine. This is the phase when the intiial symptoms are revealed. These 4 phases are:
- Prodrome Symptoms
- Migraine Aura
- Migraine Attack
3. Identify the Prodrome Symptoms:
Before every migraine attack, the patient experiences some prodrome symptoms. These prodrome symptoms should be identified properly and dealt with, before they may cause the actual migraine attack. Even if the attack could not be stopped altogether, the severity and pain can surely be minimized by identifying these prodrome symptoms.
Some of the most common prodrome symptoms of migraine headaches are:
- Low blood pressure
- Visual disturbances
- Sensory disturbances
- A significant increase or decrease in appetite.
- Extreme fatigue and exhaustion
- Difficulty in understanding people and/or communicating with them
- Increased thirst
- Sudden change in behavior and mood.
4. Avoiding Prodrome Symptoms:
If you have successfully identified the prodrome symptoms before the attack, the next step to prevent the migraine attack is to avoid and tackle those symptoms. Following are some tips on tackling those prodrome symptoms:
- At first, identify the symptoms (as described in the above point)
- Upon identification, relax and try not to worry. Stress and worry always help in triggering migraine attacks.
- Keep a positive attitude towards the migraine attack. It may or may not stop the attack completely, but by doing so you can definitely lessen its severity.
- Change your position, if you are in near proximity to loud noises and bright light.
5. Avoiding Foods that Trigger Migraines:
This is one of the more uncertain points, but it does play a very important part in preventing migraine headaches. Studies have shown that the consumption of some certain types of foods can trigger migraine headaches more than the others. However, the exact specification can vary from person to person, as different persons are allergic to different foods and things.
However, according to several studies and researches, the following foods and ingredients are more susceptible in triggering migraine headaches:
- Cow’s milk
- Cane Sugar
- Grain Cereals
- Caffeine (Caffeine is believed to relieve headaches. However, too much of caffeine can trigger a migraine attack)
- Aged meat
Moreover, studies have also suggested that a noticeable deficiency of magnesium in the body can also trigger migraine attacks. Therefore – after discussing with your doctor or health professional – consider eating more spinach, soybeans and nuts to avoid the problem of nutrient deficiency.
6. Having a Regular and Steady Sleep Schedule:
Having a regular and steady sleep schedule can be very essential in preventing or avoiding migraine headaches. Studies have suggested that lack of proper and regular sleep can be very alarming for patients suffering from migraine headaches. Therefore, a minimum of 7-8 hour sleep is required.
Another important thing to understand here is that having a regular sleep schedule is also equally important as getting adequate sleep. Disturbance in sleeping routine can be detrimental. Moreover, some professionals recommend that you should not be oversleeping, because excessive sleeping for migraine patients often results in triggering chronic migraine.
Books on Migraine!
7. Avoid Stress:
Only by avoiding stress, you can significantly reduce the chances of migraine headaches. Stress, depression and worry have long been directly affiliated to migraine attacks and normal headaches. By managing and avoiding stress, you can really help your cause of avoiding and preventing migraine headaches.
One way to avoid stress is to be happy and keep a positive attitude towards everything. Another important step is to start working out. Healthy exercises, yoga, breathing exercises and meditation help you control and manage stress in a much better way, hence, indirectly contributes to preventing migraine headaches. Moreover, you can also apply several time management techniques to better utilize your given time and avoid more stressful situations. Apart from that, talking and being people that you like also help you in avoiding stress.
A very dear friend of mine is suffering from migraine right now, which influenced me to write this article in the first place. I request you all to pray for her good health, and I hope she'll be fine soon!
Prevention of migraine headaches can surely be a difficult task, but it is definitely possible. Unfortunately, there is no definite or known cure for migraine headaches, although there are several medications that you can use to ease the pain. However, using the above-mentioned 7 natural tips for avoiding migraine headaches is a more sensible, risk-free and valuable way to try first.