Headache is a common occurrence for everyone. 80 – 90% of the population are bound to suffer from a few headaches in their lifetime. What a normal person perceives as just a headache is different from the headache a person suffering from migraine would have. Migraines are a whole other ballgame and usually have a host of other symptoms that occur along with the painful, enfeebling headache.
The definitive cause to migraine is vaguely understood. However, people who suffer from this condition may be able to pinpoint their trigger factors. Women with migraines, and who are on hormonal therapy or oral contraceptive pills tend to develop attacks just before or during their period. This is highly due to the hormone fluctuation in the body. Stress, alcoholic beverages, and certain types of food are also known to precipitate migraine. Extreme sensory stimulations like bright lights, sun glare and strong scents, changes in the sleeping patterns, intense physical activity or sexual activity, and certain medications are known to provoke attacks. Managing migraine involves aborting an acute attack or to stop it from progressing to become worse and to prevent future recurrence of the illness. Here are a few remedies you can try at home for your migraine :
Do not delay – Act fast. Patients are advised to initiate their best gameplan when they experience any prodromal symptoms or aura, should they recognize it. Gearing up with pain medications and an ideal environment for the pain quickly makes a dramatic difference in the progression of the attack..
Medications – Migraines can occur anytime and anywhere. Make sure to have the prescribed medications at home and at work. With regards to working conditions, have non-sedative pain relievers at work and the ones that cause sedation at home. Keep anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications in hand, too. In case of an emergency, you can always get over-the-counter prescriptions to Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen or Naproxen from a pharmacy nearby or you can buy medication online too.
Break a Sweat – This would be a horrible idea during an attack, but when you are feeling well enough, try getting some exercise done. Start slow and work your way upwards. You can give yoga or tai chi a try. Exercise helps you ward off stress and gets you tired enough for a good shut eye during the night. Your body also tend to secrete endorphins when you exercise. Endorphins are natural painkillers that the body manufactures.
Lights off! – Light sensitivity is the most common neurological symptom that patients suffer from. Repose in a dark, quiet room. Carry a sleep patch, for times when finding a dark room is impossible. Develop a sleep cycle and try your best to stick to it. Ensure you get at least 6 to 8 hours every night for your mind and body to recuperate.
Watch the food – Have proper meals and try having them consistently at a certain time everyday. Hunger is a known trigger for migraine. If you get hungry fast, prepare healthy snacks that you can have between meals. Load up on foods rich in magnesium and vitamin B2. This would not help you during an attack but may help prevent an attack in the future. Grees, whole grains and nuts are rich in magnesium. Vitamin B2 is mostly found in cheese, fish, milk and chicken. Some food may even trigger your attacks. Make sure to always note your reactions when trying something new.
The caffeine paradox – Caffeine can both treat and cause headaches. When taken with certain medications (acetaminophen and aspirin), it has the power to decrease pain by 40% compared to when the medications are taken on its own. However, it may cause withdrawal pain when the effects of the coffee wear off. Have a caffeinated beverage in moderate amounts to aid the pain.
Temperature therapy – Hot or cold therapy help with pain management. Cold packs numbs the pain while hot packs relax tensed muscles. Taking a cold or warm shower gives the same effect.
The best way to manage migraines are to not have one at all. Most patients are well aware of their trigger factors. Avoidance is key in managing the frequency and severity of the attacks. Keep a migraine diary to help track your trigger factors, severity and recurrence. This will also help doctors to prescribe medications that would help you better.
Read on migrain guide by DoctorOnCall for more information about this problem.