Migraines are seriously the worst. Headaches are bad enough, but if you experience the former, you know that the throbbing pain can be unbearable and last for hours—sometimes up to 72 hours—not to mention the nausea, possible vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Ugh, even just thinking about migraines is giving me a migraine!
If you suffer from migraines, you’re hardly alone. More than 38 million people in the US alone get migraines, and 2-3 million migraine sufferers experience chronic migraines, which are really debilitating.
Often times, if you’re susceptible to migraines, you might experience them starting in your childhood years, and continuing through early adulthood. You’re more likely to get them if you have a family history of migraines, and women are more prone to getting them than men are, but they can still show up for men.
Migraines can sometimes start mild, and then increase to severe pain. While the pounding usually occurs on one side of the head, it can also occur on both sides, or shift from side to side. And like we said, it can be accompanied by some nasty symptoms, from throwing up to not even being able to open the blinds and let the sun in.
In order to diagnose a migraine (or at least distinguish it from a regular headache), your doctor must provide a series of tests, like a CT scan or MRI, to rule out other causes such as tumors, strokes, or abnormal brain structures. They’ll also take a look at your family history, and give you a physical exam.
The good news is, even the worst of migraines can be treated, and you can find relief. While most of the time your treatment plan will include some kind of medication to help subside the pain, it also helps if you implement some natural lifestyle changes. It will all differ from person to person, but here are some at-home ways that could help lessen the pain.
or example, most people have success when they change up their diet. So first, with your doctor’s consent, try adding magnesium to your diet. Research shows that magnesium deficiency may be linked to migraines, and studies show magnesium oxide supplementation helps prevent migraines, especially migraines with aura (migraines accompanied by a visual disturbance like lights or stars.
High-magnesium foods include almonds, sesame and sunflower seeds, cashews, peanut butter, oatmeal, eggs, and milk. You can also try taking a magnesium supplement, which you can find over the counter.
Another diet change you might want to try is to eliminate foods that are potential migraine triggers. These include high-nitrate foods such as hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and sausage. You might also want to limit chocolate, cheese, alcohol (I know, all the good stuff!), as well as easing up on the caffeine, processed foods, beans, and cultured dairy.
If diet changes aren’t working, here are some of the best at-home natural remedies you can try at home. For nature’s way of keeping migraines at bay, check out this video below.
Do you suffer from migraines? How do you keep the pain away?