Migraines: Causes and Prevention
As anyone who has ever suffered from migraines can attest, migraines can flat out ruin your day. Or week. Or month. They demand your attention, and you can think of nothing other than the blinding pain and disturbance to your thoughts they unfortunately cause. I can speak from experience.
How, then, to manage, or eradicate, if you are a chronic sufferer of migraines? And what, if anything, causes them?
The strict definition of a migraine is a unilateral pain (that is, affecting one half of the head) characterized by pulsation, sensitivity to sound and light, and possible nausea. In anecdotal terms, I recall it being like a jackhammer to the brain, completely debilitating anything other than focusing on the pain it was causing me. My migraines were the after affects of a car accident I had in my youth, but other than head trauma, migraines can be triggered by causes as mundane as routine activity to more acute reactions to hunger, fatigue, and, most commonly, tension.
Below are 3 different ways of possible prevention and/or cessation of migraines. Relief depends on both the initial cause of the migraine and the measures taken.
1) Stress relief - As the most common cause of migraines is stress, common sense would dictate that avoidance of stress is the best analgesic. Exercise, a healthy diet, and a quiet attitude are the best remedies for a stressful day. It can always be avoided, but it can be minimized.
2) Healthy and Consistent Diet - Eating right is one of the most important factors in all areas of health, and migraine relief is no exception. Many migraines are caused by dehydration and hunger, so it stands to reason that maintaining a healthful and regular diet would stave off migraines to a degree. Foods that are high in tyramine, such as aged cheese, yogurt, red wine or soy, have been linked to causation of headaches and should be avoided. Diet isn't a treatment for migraine, but for some people, avoiding certain foods may help prevent attacks.
3) Treatment - Treating migraines can range from medicinal help to a more natural approach, using natural supplements and such. Medicines include Beta Blockers, propanonol, atenonol, metoprolol, and and calcium channel blockers. For those who eschew drugs, there have been successful treatments with analgesics such as natural supplements like magnesium, butterbur herb, feverfew (or bachelor’s button), CoQ10, and cat’s claw, to name a few. Be sure to consult a physician before taking any sort of drug or supplement.