Migraines are a complex and multifactorial condition of the nervous system and unfortunately there is no clear cause or solution. Identifying your individual triggers and taking steps to avoid them is one of the main steps to reduce attacks. However, once a migraine has been triggered, unfortunately for many patients there is no way to stop it, and all that remains to be done is to eliminate it. Hannah Braye, a nutritional therapist at Bio-Kult, offered Express.co.uk some useful tips to lessen the negative impact.
1. Know the warning signs
Migraines are often preceded by warning signs that indicate an attack may be imminent, according to Hannah.
She explained: "These" prodrome "symptoms vary, but may include emotional changes, urinary frequency, fluid retention and stiff neck, up to 48 hours before an attack. Recognize these signs and take measures to minimize exacerbation factors can help defend against attacks and reduce duration and intensity. "
2. Take your medication
If you have been prescribed medications to help prevent acute attacks, Hannah said to take them as soon as possible once the warning signs are avoided.
3. Arrive at a quiet and comfortable place as soon as possible.
If she suspects an attack is coming, Hannah said: “Go home to rest in a dark and cool room, without stimulation (for example, computers with TV).
4. Drink lots of water
Dehydration is a potential trigger for migraines, so Hannah said that if you notice the warning signs, consider whether you have drunk enough water today, and if not, add sharpness.
5. Eat regularly
If you do not feel nauseous, try to eat small regular snacks.
Hannah advised: "Focus on complex foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins to maintain blood sugar levels."
Try massaging the base of the head and temples and try to warm the neck with a scarf or a bottle of hot water, Hannah said.
7. Essential oils
Hannah said: "Certain essential oils can also be beneficial, with lavender oil inhaled during the attacks, and peppermint oil applied to the temples and forehead, both reported that they decrease pain and relieve symptoms."
While the above can help you overcome a migraine, potentially reducing its duration and severity, as with all aspects of health, prevention is better than cure.
Victims are likely to see much greater benefits when addressing migraines in a comprehensive manner, by making long-term changes in their diet and lifestyle. Therefore, Hannah advises those who suffer migraine that:
1. Eat a comprehensive anti-inflammatory diet
Hannah advised: "Cut out highly processed and sugary foods, and instead focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables of different colors, good quality proteins, such as organic / grass-fed meat, eggs, tofu, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds and healthy fats such as blue fish, olive and flax oil and avocado. "
2. Reduce alcohol
According to Hannah, it has been reported that alcohol is a migraine trigger in approximately one third of migraine patients.
He added: “It is reported that wine and beer trigger attacks more frequently. If you feel left out in the pub or in the restaurants, why don't you enjoy a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail?
3. Take care of your intestines
It is believed that inflammation caused by poor intestinal health can contribute to the inflammation of the main pain pathways in the brain, triggering migraine attacks.
Hannah said: “Recently emerging research indicates that live bacteria supplements can be beneficial. A recent clinical trial found that the 14 strains of live bacteria in Bio-Kult Migréa significantly reduced the frequency and severity of both episodic and chronic migraine, and medication dependence in just 8 weeks.4 The product also contains magnesium and B6, both of which contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system and to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue (which often accompany migraine attacks). "
4. Reduce stress
Stress is the factor most frequently listed by migraine patients as a trigger for their attacks.
In addition, there is evidence that stress can initiate the condition in those genetically predisposed to the disorder, and may also increase the risk of migraines becoming chronic.
Hannah said: "Working to increase stress resilience and stress management skills through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or biological feedback techniques may have the potential to reduce the impact that stress has on people with migraine, the time to relax should also be prioritized, such as bathing, reading a book, spending time outdoors or interacting with hobbies and friends again. ”
5. Smooth exercise
Evidence indicates that mild to moderate cardiovascular exercise may be beneficial in migraine, as it is believed to modulate pain pathways, which could decrease the intensity of migraine pain, Hannah said.
She added: “Intense exercise, on the other hand, can be a trigger for migraines and headaches in some. Therefore, opt for restorative exercise options, such as walking, jogging gently, practicing yoga or swimming. "