Migraine headaches are capable of derailing a day altogether, debilitating its sufferers with symptoms that include severe photosensitivity, nausea and vomiting.
According to the National Headache Foundation, around 28 million Americans suffer from migraines, and a large portion of that number suffers between one and four attacks every month. Migraines are typically treated with pain medication and bed rest, and there is no known cure for the condition. There are, however, a number of natural methods that can help stop migraines before they start.
Before considering any of the following, keep in mind that you should seek the advice of a medical professional before attempting to self-medicate.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have a multitude of health benefits that are linked to impacting everything from arthritis and depression to asthma and Alzheimerï¿½s disease. Located in fish, nuts and oils, these good fats are also linked to a reduction in the likelihood of getting migraines.
According to Caring.org, a study out of Sweden found that participants increasing their intake of Omega-3ï¿½s experienced substantial decreases in both the number and intensity of migraines over a three-month period. The effect that Omega-3 fatty acids have on inflammation and in protecting brain cells is surmised to be the primary cause for this effect.
Feverfew is an herb that has a long history of alleviating headaches, and FoxNews.com recommends it in the form of a sublingual tablet called LipiGesic. LipiGesic, ostensibly feverfew and ginger in condensed form, was shown in a controlled study to have reduced the pain of migraines, with nearly two-fifths of all subjects claiming to be pain-free after two hours.
Caring.org also recommends using feverfew in conjunction with white willow bark, which helps improve its effectiveness.
One of the potential causes of migraine headaches is magnesium deficiency. Magnesium cannot be produced by the human body, but it can be found in foods including quinoa, soy beans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, spinach and amaranth. It can also be taken in the form of a supplement, with FoxNews.com recommending a daily intake between 400 ï¿½ 600 milligrams.
Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is also recommended as a natural means for preventing migraines. According to Migraine.com, a number of studies have pointed to the use of riboflavin as a cause for reduced number and severity of migraines. It can be easily found in foods including almonds, yogurt, cheese, whole grains, broccoli, asparagus and lean meats and poultries, and it is also available in capsule and tablet form.
According to WebMD.com, foods such as chocolate, potato chips, alcohol and aged cheeses are common triggers for migraine headaches. Foods containing tyramine, preservatives, nitrates and MSG are also known for causing severe headaches. Skipping meals or fasting is also associated with an increased risk of migraines. Eating regularly helps regulate blood sugar, and drops in blood sugar levels can trigger migraines.
Another common cause of migraines is inactivity. While exercise that is too vigorous can trigger a migraine, not exercising regularly enough is as prevalent a cause. WebMD.com recommends moderate aerobic exercise as a way to reduce the likelihood of getting a migraine. Other recommended techniques include reducing your caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake, regulating your sleep patterns and dealing with stress proactively.
While there is no sure way to guarantee the prevention of migraines, these natural methods should help reduce your odds significantly. Talk to your doctor before taking matters into your own hands.
This article is presented by Kundert Volvo in Hasbrouck Heights and Englewood, NJ.