Although the word “migraine” is constantly used to describe headaches, true migraines have specific characteristics that are very distinct. The pain is normally moderate to sever, involves throbbing or pulsating, and can last anywhere from three hours, to a full three days. About 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. There are many medications that are used to combat these headaches ranging from prescription to over the counter. However, by making some small lifestyle changes you may be able to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. Take a look at these tips and start better managing your migraines.
Know your triggers, and avoid them
Keep a diary over the next few weeks and see if there are any patterns that may be triggering your migraines. You may find that something you’re doing, or a specific sensory aspect, is setting you off. Common triggers include smoking, too much exercise, stress, changes in sleep pattern, or head and neck pain. If you do find a pattern, stay alert and avoid these triggers to lessen your run ins with migraines.
Check your caffeine intake
How many cups of coffee a day are you drinking? Too much caffeine can cause the blood vessels near your brain to become constricted, resulting in a migraine. More than 300mg of caffeine daily could cause these problems. This equates to about 3 cups of coffee a day.
Caffeine can be found in a plethora of things from tea and soda, to chocolate. Watch your intake, or switch to decaffeinated drinks.
Drinks lots of water
You may not know it, but dehydration in itself is a common trigger for migraines. The tissue around your brain are composed of mostly water, so when they loose fluid they shrink resulting in irritation and pain. Try and drink one to two liters of water a day. This will reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of attacks.
It may seem far fetched, but chewing on raw ginger can be a natural way to protect yourself from migraines. Chewing ginger can ease the nausea problems that accompany migraines. Ginger has also been known to block the substances that can cause inflammation of blood vessels around the brain, which lead to migraines.
Experiment with Yoga
Yoga relieves users of stress, and naturally eases aches and pains. Certain postures in yoga can relieve stiffness, especially in the neck and shoulders. Mastering a position, or two, can bring some relief to migraine trigger areas. Join a class, or simply look up positions online for areas that are sensitive and can cause migraines.
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