Migraines are a frequently undiagnosed and thus under-treated health ailment affecting a large number of the population. It’s estimated that 50% or more of migraine sufferers are never diagnosed or treated for their pain. Fewer than 50% will ever consult a physician for help.
For many, the fear may be that a visit to their physician will only lead to a treatment plan involving prescription pain medication. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. It is possible to find a natural and holistic migraine treatment. If you struggle with migraines and want to lead a healthier life, try one of these four holistic migraine remedies to prevent and cure migraines.
Migraines are a neurobiological disorder that create both neurological and vascualar changes in your brain. Being prone to migraines often means your brain’s pain receptors have a reduced threshold and thus are hypersensitive to adverse stimuli. The stimuli which trigger migraines differs among sufferers. A good first step to finding the right holistic migraine treatment for you is to determine what your triggers are.
Try tracking your migraines on a calendar or keeping a record of what you were doing before the migraine set in. For instance, if you notice your migraines occurring right before you begin menstruating, a steep decline in estrogen may be one of your triggers. Once you know your triggers, you can put strategies in place to help combat them.
Alcohol, caffeine, and fluctuations in blood sugar are all known to cause migraines in certain individuals. If you’ve ever felt a hangover after having only one drink, chances are you were actually experiencing an alcohol-induced migraine. Don’t worry if this is you: You don’t have to give up alcohol completely, simply alter the alcohol you’re drinking. To prevent such migraine “hangovers,” don’t drink any type of alcohol which has given you a headache within eight hours of consumption.
Coffee drinkers are also susceptible to migraines. These are often seen as withdrawal headaches because caffeine stimulates your brain. The stimulant affect then sets you up for a sharp decline later. To avoid caffeine migraines, limit your consumption to 200 milligrams or one cup of coffee per day.
A drop in blood sugar levels can also provoke migraines. To keep your blood sugar levels even, don’t let any more than three hours pass between meals and look to include lean protein in every snack or meal.
While cutting bad foods can help prevent migraines, so can increasing your intake of good nutrients. One study found that taking 400 milligrams of riboflavin, more commonly known as vitamin B2, over a three month period helped significantly reduce patients’ experiences of migraines. Vitamin B2 rich foods include beef liver, lamb, milk, and yogurt as well as certain vegetables and legumes such as mushrooms, spinach and almonds.
Another supplement known as Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, also showed promise at preventing migraines in a recent clinical study.
Likewise, certain herbs have been shown to help reduce the occurrence of migraines. The American Academy of Neurology found that butterbur may help prevent migraines by supporting healthy blood flow to your brain. Feverfew is another herb which can help reduce the occurrence of migraines, but clinical evidence hasn’t confirmed this yet.
Laying down and relaxing can be the only activity available to you when a migraine sets in, but it could also be a means of holistic migraine treatment before one ignites. Mindfulness practices such as yoga and tai chi can help you relax your muscles while gaining greater bodily awareness. The more aware you are of the muscles of your body, the easier it’ll be to detect a migraine before it renders you incapacitated.
Migraines are a waking nightmare. Over half of migraine sufferers experience migraine attacks on a monthly basis. A full 13% of sufferers report experiencing migraines every week. Not only are migraines a painful experience, but they can also lead to more serious medical conditions such as depression. People who suffer migraines or severe headaches are three times more likely to suffer from depression.
Don’t let migraines get you down, use this guide to holistic migraine treatment strategies to get you on the road to a healthier and happier you.