Play A Role In Treating Your Migraine Headache Symptoms
According to professors of medicine, migraine headache symptoms and depression are strongly linked. Sufferers are three times more likely to be depressed than people without the ailment.
We are not just talking about the nausea or pain that you have to deal with. Migraines mean misery and can often affect the way you view your entire life.
What Is It?
This type of headache is a one-sided, severe, throbbing or pulsating pain that is often accompanied with sensitivity to light and sound, as well as with nausea and vomiting. This severe discomfort are also called vascular headaches, because they usually involve changes in the arteries of the head that results in a pulsating pain. The headaches may last from a few hours to several days or even longer.
Of the estimated 23 million Americans who suffer from migraine headache symptoms, women are affected about three times as often as men, and the ailment most commonly start between the ages of 18 and 44.
Doctors believe that this type of headache begin when dietary, hormonal, and emotional triggers cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict and then relax. These distorted blood vessels prompt nerve endings to send out pain signals.
Do You Know Your Triggers?
The triggers that can set off an attack varies widely from one person to another, but some are more common than others. Find out if any of the following triggers bring on an attack for you. Once you identify them, you can make a conscious effort to avoid them, or at the very least minimize them.
Dietary Triggers - Many foods and additives can cause triggers. Some common ones include Aged cheeses, sour cream, fermented foods, nuts, fresh yeast, sour dough, peanut butter, and chocolate, to name a few. Keep a food diary, note what foods seems to trigger attack, and eliminate them.
Emotional Triggers - Negative emotions such as anger, resentment, depression, fatigue, anxiety and stress can all trigger an attack.
Hormonal Triggers - This is experienced by women and are related to the menstrual cycle. They can also be caused by the use of estrogen supplements or high estrogen oral contraceptive.
Environmental Triggers - The glare of bright lights, loud noises, strong odors, cigarette smoke can all bring on an attack. Even changes in temperature and weather has been know to trigger an attack.
Activity Triggers - This includes irregular or no exercise, inadequate or excessive sleep, eyestrain and motion sickness.
Preventing And Treating Migraines
Over the counter medications may bring you some relief from the excruating pain of migraines, but most of these medicines do not prevent the agonizing migraine headache symptoms from occuring in the first place. Want the good news? Well there are supplements that help do just that! When taken every day, studies show you can short-circuit pain, slash headaches and reduce its frequency and attacks.
The following some supplements you can try to give you relief.
Co-Enzyme Q10 - Migraine patients who popped 150 mg. of CoQ10 every day had 55% fewer attacks after three months, according to a recent study. CoQ10 is vital for fueling energy generators in nerve cells. Since low energy reserves can trigger migraine headache symptoms, the key is to fuel your energy and this supplement does just that.
B Vitamins - These vitamins significantly lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that triggers migraines by increasing inflammation and swelling in blood vessels. In study where sufferers were given 25 mg. of B6, 400 mcg of B12 and 2 mg. of folic acid daily, participants' attacks were reduced by half within 24 weeks.
Butterbur - A study found that popping 75 mg. of this spasm-relieving root extract twice daily results in 48% fewer migraines after 16 weeks. The caution here is to only use butterbur product that doesn't contain liver and kidney damaging plant toxins called pyrrolizidine alkaloid. A safe option is Swansons Superior Herbs Butterbur capsules.
Feverfew - Classified as the most successful of the herbal remedies, feverfew has been used for fighting migraine headache symptoms for centuries. You can chew on fresh, or freeze-dried leaves to get the benefit of this herb.
If chewing on leaves does not appeal to you, then try taking it in pill form. A daily dose of 125mg is recommended. Just make sure to check the label if it's standardized for 0.2 percent parthenolide, the main ingredient that reduces pain and frequency of migraines.
Fish Oil - The Omega-3 fatty acid you get from fish oil capsules helps stop the inflammation that causes migraine headache symptoms. Fish oil supplements have also been shown to protect your heart.
Ginger - Mix some powdered ginger into a glass of water and drink. This daily approach worked for a long time sufferer in Denmark. She swears ginger soothes the pain and nausea of her headaches. You can also munch on fresh, raw ginger, or cooke with it to harness its benefit.
Vitamin D and Calcium - Studies showed that women taking this duo not only had fewer headaches, they also had fewer PMS symptoms. The same combination also relieved the pain for postmenopausal women. Try drinking vitamin D-fortified milk for a double dose protection.
Magnesium - It is believed that deficiency of this mineral may contribute to migraines by causing the blood vessels in your brain to constrict. When this happens, the receptors for serotonin begin to malfunction, which leads to migraines.
Studies show that large doses of magnesium supplements help regulate blood pressure and lessen the number and severity of these painful headaches. Slash migraine headache symptoms by taking 200 mg. of this supplement twice daily. Work your way up to taking this supplement three times daily. This cuts headaches by as much as 41%.
Food sources of magnesium are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, broccoli, peas, and shrimp. Try eating one or two servings of these foods daily, if you prefer ingesting magnesium through food.
Riboflavin - A daily dose of 400mg of this B vitamin can slash the number of migraine headache symptoms you get in half. It's been shown to relieve headache pain as effectively as aspirin.
What If Supplements Are Not For You?
Maybe taking medication or dietary supplements isn't for you. What then? you might ask. Well according to U.S. Headache Consortium, you might want to consider behavioral treatments. Give the following and see how they help you.
All types of relaxation techniques could help you beat your symptoms. These include those that teach you to control muscle tension as well as meditation that involve visualization and mental relaxation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This stress management therapy teaches you how to recognize stress and minimize its effects.
Thermal(hand-warming)biofeedback combined with relaxation training and electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback show promise as a therapy for sufferers.
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