Despite long years of research and study, scientists do not have an accurate theory on how and why migraines occur. It is not well understood why brain activities changes and leads to migraines.
Just as there is no concrete evidence on what causes migraines, anyone can just take necessary precautions to prevent it from happening. Here are some simple ways to avoid migraines.
1. Improvise your own action plan. Create a personalized action plan to help you stop the recurring migraines. Your plans can help you control or cut down the episodes of migraine.
The following are some suggested questions you should answer to have vivid information of migraine attacks:
What are 3 of the most headache triggers?
What are the 3 most common symptoms of migraine headaches in your case?
What medications do you take on the first signs of migraine?
What other medications did I have when the first set did not work?
What are the effective ways I did that reduces my stress level?
What is my emergency plan for migraine attacks?
Having enough information of your attacks can help you plan on how to counter act migraines.
2. Keep a diary and record the symptoms, descriptions and triggers of the attack. The records can help you when discussing the history and pattern of migraines to your physician. Some useful questions to jot on your diary are as follows:
How often are the occurrences of headaches? What time of the day do migraines usually attack?
Which part of the head if greatly painful?
How will you describe the pain?
3. Know what activates the migraines. Familiarize yourself with the triggers which act as switch that turn on your migraine. We are not hypothesizing that triggers causes migraine; what we are trying to do is to look for the triggers that can be an initial step tp prevent headaches.
Here are some of the ordinary triggers:
Stress which can be brought about by crisis situations, work or job related stress like job loss or changes, Intense activities, difficulties in relationships, loss such as separation, death or divorce and activities which creates lower moods like weekends, vacations or post major events
Diet like coffee and other foods containing caffeine, citrus fruits, nuts, aged cheeses like camembert, brie, cheddar and gruyere, artificial sweeteners, MSG or monosodium glutamate which is a preservative, alcohol especially red wine or beer and nitrates found in processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna.
Hormonal Changes among Women. The monthly period, ovulation, oral contraceptives or hormonal replacement therapy
Over stimulation of senses. Examples are over exposure to cold or hot temperatures, loud noise, bright lights and strong smell
External changes brought about by seasons, traveling across countries with different time zones, weather, sleep patterns and change in schedule.
4. Manage stress. Learning and understanding how to manage stress can be effective on reducing migraine attacks. Here are some of the techniques to manage stress:
Progressive relaxation of muscle is used to reduce anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia.
Biofeedback helps in gaining voluntary control over some physiological conditions, such as muscle tension and blood pressure. Biofeedback helps in promoting relaxation.
Creative visualization is a process by which a person uses visuals and mental imagery to create beneficial body changes.
4. Because certain foods and food ingredients and some drugs can trigger migraines, the best way to eliminate the pain is to eliminate the triggers.
The foods to avoid are cheese, caffeine, processed meats, foods with MSG, alcohol and vinegar, certain bread products, juices and other citrus fruits, yogurt, nuts and certain vegetables such as pea pods.
Among the medications, the following should be avoided: hormonal pills, blood pressure and asthma medications and other pain relievers. I am not trying to force you out of medications, it is better to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis.
Migraines can be bearable but devastating some times. Just an onset of the symptoms can traumatized you and can affect your whole life. Following the simple ways presented here are just some few of the steps to ease your pain. An ounce of prevention is always better than cure. Preventing the occurrences can be beneficial and can help you a lot.
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