Anyone who’s ever suffered through a migraine knows just how debilitating it can be. They’re above and beyond your average, everyday headache, and can make your life extremely difficult if you suffer from recurring migraine attacks. If you find yourself experiencing migraines on a relatively regular basis, now is the time to put an evidence-based prevention plan into place. Use these tools to find your way to freedom from the misery of migraines.
- Reduce your blood pressure. There’s a vicious cycle that occurs between headaches and hypertension. The increased pressure in your body from the high blood pressure can certainly lead to nasty headaches, and the intense discomfort of a bad headache or migraine can cause stress, raising your blood pressure even higher. It’s important to use a blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on your cardiovascular health – if the figures are higher than they should be then it’s time to cut down on salt, get some more exercise, or speak to your doctor about medications that could help.
- Know your triggers. One of the frustrating features of migraine is how diverse the causes can be for an attack. Everyone is individual in this sense, so it’s important to take note of the circumstances of every attack so you can start tracking down particular triggers. For some people this might be alcohol, rainy weather, or particular foods like cheese and chocolate. Once you’re aware of your triggers you can begin making efforts to avoid them, and hopefully reduce the number of attacks you encounter.
- Understand the hormonal triggers. For some women, their migraines are caused by hormonal fluctuations. These types of migraines usually occur in the days before menstruation and during the first few days of your period. They can be particularly painful and tough to treat. If you notice a correlation between your menstrual cycle and your migraines then you may be able to put a prevention plan into action using hormonal birth control or specific supplements.
- Keep your sleep under control. A poor night’s sleep can definitely be a trigger for some migraine sufferers. For others, sleeping too long can have a negative impact on their pain levels. Aim to get a healthy amount of sleep each night – usually around 8 hours.
- Don’t skip meals. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, a consistent eating schedule is an essential tool for anyone hoping to cut down on the number of migraines they get. Skipping meals or fasting can cause low blood sugar, which in turn can quickly trigger a migraine. Eat nutritious foods at regular intervals to prevent an attack, and keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day.
- Lower your stress levels. Stress and anxiety is a killer when it comes to migraines. Practice good prevention by lowering your overall stress levels as much as possible. Yoga and meditation can be great tools for reducing anxiety – you can also incorporate manageable amount of cardio exercise.
- Try out some new medications. If you only take medications to abort your migraines but suffer frequent attacks, it may be time to try out a preventative medication that you take more regularly. There are several options out there, from beta-blockers to anti-seizure drugs. Talk to your doctor to get their recommendations.