FAQ no.1: So, what exactly is a migraine headache?
A migraine headache is a complex disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of an intense throbbing or pulsating headache, typically in one area or side of your temple or occipital areas, and is commonly “reinforced” by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
The harsh reality is that more than 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, with females being much more likely to get them than males!
FAQ no.2: What causes a migraine headache?
The diagnosis of migraine is based on the patient history. International Headache Society diagnostic criteria are that patients must have had at least 5 headache attacks that lasted 4-72 hours (untreated or unsuccessfully treated) and that the headache must have had at least 2 of the following characteristics:
- Unilateral location
- Pulsating quality
- Moderate or severe pain intensity
- Aggravation by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity (e.g., walking or climbing stairs)
In addition, during the headache the patient must have had at least one of the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Photophobia and phonophobia
Certain people who regularly suffer from migraines can precisely identify triggers or factors that cause their headaches, but most people cannot. Potential migraine triggers include:
- Allergies and allergic reactions
- Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause onset
- Tension headaches
- Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)
FAQ no.3: Can migraine headache attacks be prevented and how?
Both migraine headaches and their associated symptoms are thought to be notoriously difficult to treat, yet there are a number of things any “sufferer” can do to reduce the frequency and intensity of an attack.
Now take a closer look at some of the potential triggers below, and try out the recommended solutions for a drug-free solution to your migraine problem:
Shallow breathing: Try instead to do frequent deep belly breathing which can reverse and prevent migraines.
Neck pain: I recommend Bio-cranial Kinesiology and EFT which can help in preventing neck pain and migraines.
Food triggers: Avoid artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, MSG, flour, sugar, fried foods, cheese, coffee and definitely sodas. Avoid specific foods that are also potential triggers for migraine headaches. Chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, sodas, refined sugars, gluten-containing grains, aged cheeses and peanuts are some of the more common “food culprits” that may be causing your migraines.
You can also reduce homocysteine by taking vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. Change your dietary habits, as well: Eat lots of raw or steam vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish.
Lack of key supplements: I recommend taking a Co Q10 supplement daily with half teaspoon of olive oil since it is fat soluble. Further, I recommend taking omega 3 essential fatty acids as essential thing in preventing migraines. Also, I recommend taking 5HTP [Tryptophan], which will help to reduce migraines and enhance deep restful sleep.
Mineral deficiency: I recommend taking magnesium, calcium, and all other trace minerals which help in preventing and reversing migraines.
Lack of key vitamins: I recommend taking vitamin B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacinamide) and vitamin DIII on a daily basis, which has been proven clinically to reduce headaches and migraines.
Lack of exercise: Aerobic exercise is useful to reduce stress and migraines.
Stress and tension: Biofeedback has been proven scientifically to be the best natural treatment to prevent migraines.
Hormones: They are also closely linked to migraines. A marked association exists between women’s headaches and their monthly menstrual cycles, and no headache type is this more obvious in than in the migraine one.
Researchers claim that 10 to 20% of all women experience some sort of migraine during or around the time of their menstrual period.
Allergies: Avoid allergies and sensitivities to certain food substances that are triggers for migraines. Migraine sufferers decreased their symptoms when sensitivity-causing foods were eliminated from their nutrition.
Herbs that help: Taking lavender, feverfew, Chaste berry tea, ginger or ginger tea, peppermint oil, cayenne and butterbur root is extremely good at reducing the intensity and frequency of attacks for many migraines subjects.
Using the above listed natural solutions to mitigate migraines is much safer and effective than using over the counter or prescription medications. Take my sufferer’s word for it!
International Headache Society