- What Is Migraine
- 4 Types of Headaches
- What Causes Migraines
- Known Triggers For Migraine
- Migraine Treatments
- Acupressure for Migraines
- Reflexology Technique
- Using Essential Oils
- More Natural Relief
- Vitamin on Migraines
Migraine affects millions of people. It is characterized by a severe and painful headache. It mostly affects women at 18% rate while only 6% in men.
In the U.S., some studies estimate that 13% of Americans have migraines and between 2 to 3 million of these have chronic migraines.
What Is Migraine
A migraine is not just a typical headache. What separates migraine from other types of headaches is that sensory warnings precede or come with it.
It is a severe headache associated symptoms like nausea and vomiting. This is one of the chronic headaches that render the person unable to work normally.
When a person has a migraine attack he or she will experience the following symptoms;
- Tingling in arms and legs
- Flashes of light
- Blind spots
- Sensitivity to light and sound
4 Types of Headaches
It would be more appropriate to learn the other types of headaches. This way one will be able to compare and recognize the type of headache attack.
Here are the 4 headache types including migraine;
- Sinus Headache – the pain occurs behind the browbone or checkbones
- Cluster Headache – the pain occurs in and around one eye
- Tension Headache – the pain felt is comparable to a band squeezing the head
- Migraine Headache– severe and painful headache associated with sensory warnings
What Causes Migraines
Unlike vertigo, the cause of migraine is not certain. However, one study finds that one of the causes of migraine may be due to childhood adversities.
Researchers at the University of Toronto find that adults who witnessed parental domestic violence, child abuses including physical and sexual have higher chances of having migraines.
However, the percentage of men vs women getting migraines due to domestic violence differs from that mentioned earlier.
In the study, men were 52% more likely to get migraines while women at 64%. Still, women are still highly affected by migraines based on this study.
Researchers say that migraine starts at an early age long before reaching adulthood. The headache brought on by migraine is due to abnormal brain activity as well as serotonin imbalance.
Known Triggers For Migraine
One of the main migraine triggers are food additives like an artificial sweetener aspartame and seasoning like MSG(monosodium glutamate).
Mayo Clinic listed a wide range of migraine triggers, which include the following;
- Hormonal fluctuations in women.
- Food additives like aspartame and MSG
- Beverages including alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
- Stress, which why stress management is vital
- Sensory stimuli including strong scents fromperfume and pain thinner, smoke from cigarettes. Bright lights also trigger migraine. Even spending long time on your tablets, smartphones, computer and TV screens can also trigger migraine1. Perhaps high blue light from screens is the culprit.
- Changes in sleep-wake pattern in the case of traveling to a different time zone, or simply sleep deprivation, or over sleeping.
- Changes in weather, which unfortuantely, it’s uncontrollable.
- Too much physical exertions, which unfortunately, includes sexual intercourse
- Medications like oral contraceptives and vasolidators like nitroglycerin
This may not be a comprehensive list of triggers but hopefully, this can help as a starting point. Avoiding these triggers can be a valuable effort in avoiding migraine attacks.
There is no cure for migraines according to U.K.’s National Health Services. However, there are a wide range of ways to relieve the symptoms of migraine.
1. Avoid the Triggers
Probably, one of the most important part of the treatment process is avoiding the triggers. So, make an effort to learn the specific trigger.
2. Taking Painkillers
Over the counter aaracetamol and ibuprofen are the recommended painkillers during an attack. Triptans are also used when ordinary painkillers don’t work.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise has many health benefits including improve physical fitness, memory and brain health, as well as increase serotonin level.
As you may recall earlier in this article, migraine occurs due to low serotonin level. Therefore, it makes sense to make an effor to boost serotonin level in the body. It happens that exercise is helpful in achieving it.
Additionally, regular exercise especially when starting at an early age also promotes gut health. It is the gut or gastrointestinal tract where most of the serotonin is produced.
4. Optimizing Gut Health
While regular exercise promotes a healthy gut, eating whole foods can have significant positive benefits on gut health, too. The large portion of serotonin is produced in gut. It is also home to most of the immune system.
Having a plant-based foods as a major portion of a typical diet can be helpful. This is why a healthy diet matters for migraine sufferers, or migraineurs.
In one randomized trial2, researchers found that nutritional approach to migraine is helpful.
Acupressure for Migraines
One of the natural relief during a migraine attack is through acupressure. All over the body, there are many acupressure points for migraine relief.
Michael Reed Gach, acupressure expert and author of acupressure books demonstrates a few of these points.
Another natural technique for relieving migraine is through reflexology. You may not be able to self-reflex, but you can go to an expert reflexologist.
Using Essential Oils
Essentials oils are powerful pain reliever. In one placebo-controlled clinical trial3, lavender oil has been found safe and effective acute management for migraines.
In the course of the study, participants in the lavender group showed a 74% improvement in terms of symptoms severity. Plus, the lavender experienced fewer migraines compared to the participants in the control group.
There are numerous essential oils. Perhaps, lavender has been choosen in this study due to its relaxing effect in the brain. Useful essential oils for headaches include; lavender, rosemary, bergamot, sandalwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, ginger and chamomile oils.
More Natural Relief
Now, let us explore more natural relief for migraines. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, an expert in chronic fatigue syndrome has tips on eliminating acute migraine.
He says that study findings are clear that a combination of natural therapy can be helpful in eliminating migraines. He mentioned an herb called butterbur or petadolex. Dr. Teitelbaum also mentioned magnesium.
Vitamin on Migraines
One of the most imporant nutrients our body need is Vitamin D. It involves in a lot of processes.