(Health Secrets) Do you have headaches characterized by severe pain on one side of the head that can be accompanied by nausea and altered bodily perceptions? If so, you probably have migraine headaches. Eleven out of every one hundred people suffer from migraine headaches and the condition is more common in women than in men.
Migraines are extremely debilitating and can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Sufferers can experience vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound, making it necessary for many to seek relief in the confines of a dark quiet room. Approximately one-third of those who suffer migraines experience a vision disturbance before the onset of a migraine, signaling them to get ready or take appropriate action before the onset of pain. This vision disturbance consists of an aura which can include a temporary blind spot, blurred vision, eye pain, tunnel vision, and seeing stars and/or zigzag lines.
The migraine condition can sometimes be resolved with simple lifestyle changes. For example, cigarette smoke and birth control pills are known triggers. Another simple alternative is to look at one’s diet. Caffeine, foods containing refined sugars, excess salt, and dairy products are known to cause migraines. A huge dietary offender is a popular substance that is ingested daily by many, the sugar substitute Aspartame. Migraines can also be the result of food allergies.
Avoiding foods which may trigger migraines and switching to a healthy diet can be a big step toward achieving migraine relief. Frequent sufferers may want to investigate this possibility and work toward isolating the offending foods, possibly with the help of a healthcare practitioner.
Migraine attacks can also be triggered by alcohol, bright lights, loud noises, certain perfumes, changes in hormone levels, changes in sleep patterns, missed meals, and emotional stress.
Nutrition and proper supplementation is a key factor in relieving migraines. Studies have concluded that migraine sufferers are usually magnesium deficient, having lower levels in the blood and brain. Studies have also shown that magnesium supplementation can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. The dosage used in the studies was between 360 mg and 600 mg daily.
Another supplement found in studies to reduce the frequency and duration of migraines is 5-HPT taken along with Vitamin B2. The dosage is 200 to 600 mg of 5-HTP daily taken with 400 mg of B2.
The best herb for dealing with migraines is feverfew. It lowers the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraine episodes. Other herbs effective in dealing with migraines include cayenne, ginger, ginkgo biloba, and butterbur.
Acupuncture has also been shown to be effective when addressing migraine headaches caused by blockage of the body’s energy flow. Chiropractic adjustments are usually effective in those cases where the headaches are a result of neck and spinal issues.
Additional ways to relieve migraines are:
- Place an ice pack on the painful area, on the forehead, temples, and back of the neck.
- Ask someone to massage the temples and neck.
- Implement meditation or visualization techniques by sitting or lying down in a dimly lit room.
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