Top 10 Tips for Handling Migraines

Migraines have been described as the most severe headaches imaginable. Migraines widely vary in intensity from person to person, even from attack to attack, so it is difficult for those suffering with migraines to accurately tell between a severe or non-severe attack. With migraine attacks come neck and face pain, dizziness, light sensitivity, irritability, and sometimes nausea. For those suffering with frequent migraines life can become quite miserable if certain steps are not taken to actively try to manage their migraine attacks. Over the years there have been a plethora of ideas for alleviating migraines, many of them medically improbable. Find below the carefully curated, medically approved, tips and tricks to help cope with frequent migraines.

1. Good Dieting

One of the bigger triggers for migraine attacks is poor eating habits. Unfortunately, eating in  a healthy way may not always be a feasible option. Often healthy foods cost more. What you can do, if money is tight, is to watch the types of foods you ingest. For example, food high in sugar content, as well as sugary drinks, raises your blood sugar levels and could trigger an attack. Eating at regular intervals throughout the day and staying hydrated has also been proven to help reduce the amount of frequent migraine attacks. So, by reducing sugar intake, staying hydrated, and setting a good eating routine you can help reduce the likelihood of a debilitating migraine.

2. Setting a Sleep Schedule

Everyone, not just those suffering from migraines, should create a decent sleeping schedule. Establishing a good sleeping schedule helps overall health by allowing the body to adequately repair and de-stress from the day. Aim to get at least seven to eight good hours of solid sleep, and remove distractions in your bedroom to make falling asleep easier to do. The worst thing you can do is go to sleep at different hours each evening. When you do this it messes up your Circadian cycle and your body never knows when it should rest and repair and when it should be on stand by.

3. Journal Keeping

Many migraine sufferers keep journals to track and help better identify their triggers and the severity of the attacks. The journal can be as detailed as you want it to be but should have a spot to track how often the migraines occur and how severe they are. Keeping track like this can definitely help you gain a better grasp of the condition as well as help your physician better diagnose your condition.

4. Know Your Triggers

Triggers are the term associated with anything that sets off, or brings on, a migraine attack. However, just as the severity is different for everyone, so are the triggers. What could set your migraines off may not be anything that would trigger another migraine sufferer. Once your triggers have been identified, and there could be a whole host of triggers, you can then set out to cut the triggers out. To test if something is a trigger, remove it for roughly three or four weeks from your routine. Next, see if the rate of the attacks drops or lessens their severity. If there is no change in migraine rate, then it is highly probable whatever you are testing is not a trigger.

5. Regular Routines and Breaks

People who have long suffered with migraines attest to the need of a routine schedule. This does not just apply to your home life but also work life and making sure to avoid late or overnight shifts. This can drastically help reduce the severity of migraines. Breaks are also very important, especially if you are in front of a computer screen for long periods of time. This break allows your eyes to have a break from the harsh light coming from the screen. Setting times to eat, sleep, exercise, and take regular breaks, all make a huge difference.

6. Avoid Improper Lighting

Light sensitivity comes with having migraines, and intense or flickering lights can induce an attack or even nausea in some severe cases. It is recommended that you wear sunglasses out on sunny days and try to repair or replace flickering bulbs as soon as it is possible. Sitting in the dark also helps reduce the effects brought on by flickering and intense lights and helps alleviate the migraine associated with it.

7. Warning Sign Recognition

Learn your body’s warning signs that a migraine may be on its way. Many people with migraines state that they become clumsy, develop a bad taste in their mouth, and a stiffness of the neck. However, these symptoms vary greatly so it is important to listen and watch what your body does leading up to the attack.

8. Take Medications Before the Attack

Your stomach, both during and after a migraine attack, can sometimes enter a state called gastric stasis. Gastric stasis is when the stomach literally shuts down for a time and stops digesting. Because of this possibility if you take migraine medication, start it as soon as you can identify an attack encroaching so the stomach has time to break down the oral pills. Drinking a fizzy drink with pills helps digest the pills quicker.

9. Each Migraine Case is Unique

Every individual person who gets migraines experiences it differently than anyone else. It is important to internalize this understanding so you are not disparaging of others who are suffering more intensely over something that does not affect you in the same manner.

10. Promising Treatments for Migraines

Piercing the part of the ear named the daith has been shown to lessen migraine symptoms in a case study performed in 2017. However, the scientists on the panel agreed more research needed to be done in order to have a legitimate correlation. Even with this, many people swear by this piercing as an effective method of pain management. The practice stems from acupuncture and is still being researched with promising findings.