Many people get headaches and migraines confused. Migraines make you wish you had a headache, or perhaps a rabid dog gnawing on your ankle instead of the throbbing, pulsating pain that comes with the migraine territory. 75% of adult patients who experience migraines are women, but they also affect approximately the same percentage of prepubescent boys.
When you have a migraine, it’s easy to think there’s nothing you can do to treat it. They don’t simply go away after taking a painkiller like a headache does, but there are a few things you should know about migraines that can save you from experiencing them as often.
First, let’s discuss why migraines happen. When you know why a migraine is coming on and what type of environment or activities you’re doing that trigger migraines, the easier it will be to stay away from those things, or at least limit your exposure.
Migraine attacks may be triggered by:
- Allergic reactions
- Bright lights, loud noises and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Skipping meals
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during the menopause transition
- Tension headaches
- Foods containing tyramine, MSG or nitrates
- Long exposure to light from computer screen, video screens and television
There are certain foods you can incorporate into your diet or increase the amount of times they show up on your plate that will help fight migraines.
Millet is one of many whole grains that are part of a healthy, migraine-free life, and it contains magnesium, which kicks migraines to the curb.
When it comes to coffee, it’s a love/hate relationship. Caffeine can give you migraine relief and is a major ingredient in many headache medications, but when you drink it excessively, it can actually cause migraines. Moderation is key!
An Anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial to preventing migraines, so flaxseeds, with their omega-3s and fiber to boot, are your new food friend.
Also packed with omega-3s, fish should be your go-to protein choice, and is much better for headache prevention than processed meats.
Vitamin b2 is known to help in the battle against the migraine, so make like Popeye and load up on your spinach.