Migraines are not like regular headaches. They can get intense, debilitating, and affect your daily life. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, cognitive impairment, eyesight disturbance, pounding in the head, sensitivity to light, smells, and sounds. Most people usually have migraine attacks at the most unexpected times and will do anything to get rid of them since they can last from 4 to 72 hours.
There are plenty of treatment options, plans, medicines, and natural remedies that can help combat the intensity of the migraine to either prevent it from happening or control the pain. While you may use home treatments and find and avoid triggers that affect your migraines, you should speak to the doctor about the effects of the migraines. It is best to opt for a treatment plan with over-the-counter medicine like Sumatriptan tablets or ibuprofen (if the pain is not too intense). Your family physician can guide you with the correct medications to help manage your pain.
Let us look at 5 ways that you can tackle migraines.
Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medicines:
It is essential to speak to the doctor about the correct medication for your migraine condition. Migraines can usually be controlled by medicines to curb the pain and prevent the onset.
Preventative Medicines: antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, blood pressure pills, botox, and so on
Pain Control Medicines: pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, triptans and ditans like sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, Lasmiditan, etc.
These medicines effectively control the onset of migraine and help relieve the pain and pressure in the head. They are readily available and mostly inexpensive. Additionally, not all are prescription drugs, so you can simply order them online or walk to your nearest medical store and pick some up.
Caffeine in coffee, soda, and tea may help alleviate the pain. The caffeine helps constrict blood vessels and relieve pain signals from reaching the brain. Prior to the migraine, blood vessels are dilated, which leads to higher messages being sent to the brain. Caffeine helps reduce this, which in turn curbs the pain.
It should be noted that caffeine does not work positively for everybody. Caffeine may also trigger a rebound headache (caffeine headache) once the effects wear off. If the migraines are not frequent, you can curb the intensity of the headache with a warm cup of joe. However, if you suffer from migraines quite often, it is best to switch to medicines instead of caffeine.
Too much or too little sleep can trigger a migraine. Your circadian rhythms (sleep cycles) should perfectly align with the body’s requirements and needs. A beneficial sleep schedule can help reduce the migraine frequency and effect.
Many people make the bedroom environment more conducive by dimming out the lights, increasing or decreasing the temperature, controlling the fan speed, playing soft music, wearing comfortable clothes, and getting into bed. Having a nighttime routine like brushing your teeth, flossing, taking a hot shower, or something else that brings you comfort can help you set a sleep schedule. These habits help your mind understand that it’s time to rest and makes it easier to fall asleep quickly.
Stress can cause serious medical issues apart from triggering migraines like cardiovascular concerns, heart murmurs, etc. It can also cause fatigue, anxiety, restlessness, alcohol or drug misuse, and overeating (stress eating).
Most people don’t always realize that migraines are closely linked to stress. The more stress you take, the more headaches you might have. While it is easy to hear or read about not taking too much stress, there should be actionable steps you can take to reduce it. Exercising and getting the heart pumping are great ways to combat stress. However, there are less strenuous ways to combat stress, too, like meditation, yoga, prayers, going on a walk, breathing exercises, tai chi, and more that can help. Having a set routine and incorporating a de-stressing technique can help improve your life while reducing migraines.
Avoid Trigger Foods:
Diet is critical in managing or avoiding migraines. Lots of people have migraine triggers caused by food and drinks. Some are:
Various types of cheeses
Foodstuff containing nitrates – sausages, bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, and more
Foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) – a taste enhancer
Cold foods like coffee or tea (with chips of ice) and ice creams
Dried fruits and fish
Pickled foods with oils
Certain dairy products like yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream
It is necessary to identify the triggers that cause debilitating migraines and immediately reduce consumption to control the pain. It would help to maintain a food diary and follow your eating schedules to identify the food triggers.