Mind Over Migraines
More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraines. According to the World Health Organization, it is one of the most disabling illnesses that even children suffer from. Even when the painful headache is in remission, a sufferer lives in fear of when the next bout will rebound. Even if you do not normally deal with these painful headaches, you may have a closed loved one who does. In fact, the Migraine Research Foundation reports that 1 in 4 U.S. households have someone with migraine problems.
Know Your Triggers
If you are prone to having migraines, certain circumstances that may lead to a migraine should be avoided. Your personal triggers are unique. According to the American Headache Society Committee for headache Education (ACHE), identify personal triggers and avoid as many as you can to help reduce chances of having a migraine attack.
Dietary. Certain foods and medication, skipped meals, and unstable blood sugar levels can trigger a headache. You are your own expert. Practice tracking down your personal triggers in a journal to avoid them. A healthy eating program, such as that outlined in the EnergyFirst program can help you maintain stable blood sugars and avoid the painful aftermath of a drop in blood sugar.
Sleep Disturbances. Don’t disturb your normal sleep patterns. A lack of sleep or too much sleep can trigger a headache. Sleeping on a regular schedule can help reduce your risk of migraines.
Stress. Since persistent stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue can be triggers, stress management may help reduce migraines.
Weather. When researchers took a closer look at reported headache triggers, they found that changes in humidity, storms, dry or dusty conditions, and extreme changes in temperature triggered pain. A personal record of triggers will help you track what specific weather conditions may spark your headache pain.
Dehydration. Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated. Aim to drink at least one 8oz cup of water each waking hour. Keep your water handy everywhere you go. Add variety to your water regime to make it an easier habit to stick to.
Prepare in Advance to Prevent an Attack
There are numerous triggers, including hormonal changes, bright lights, certain odors, pollution, and overexertion. Once you know your triggers, keep your list handy. Consult with it regularly. Check weather reports regularly. Keep pure water handy. Carry ear buds or eye masks in case of visual or loud triggers.
One way to reduce the number of attacks is the natural supplement Coenzyme Q10. According to a study published in an international journal on headaches, Cephalalgia, coenzyme Q10 appears to be a good migraine preventive. After just 3 months of supplementation, the chances of a migraine were reduced by more than 55%.
National Headache Foundation: “Environmental and Physical Factors.”
Cephalalgia. 2002 Mar; 22(2):137-41.