5 Natural Remedies for Migraine Symptoms
Despite the fact that migraines are one of the most common conditions in the world, they can be completely debilitating if you don’t know how to handle them properly. Many people who have never experienced one before would characterize them as a simple headache.
Actually, migraines are a type of neurological disease which affects more than 1 billion people around the world. The pain of a migraine can be intense. They’re characterized by the variety of symptoms that surrounds their onset and duration. Although there are many common symptoms, it’s important to note that you might not experience all of them.
Common symptoms include the following:
- changes in mood
- stiffness in the neck
- blurred vision
Types of Migraines
There are a variety of different migraines that have been classified by doctors. Most people who experience migraines experience the normal range of symptoms.
Some have a more unusual type called a migraine with aura, which includes neurological symptoms like visual disturbances, uncontrolled movement, and weakness on one side of the body. Typically, the neurological symptoms related to the aura last less than an hour.
You can be classified as having a chronic migraine if you have them for more than 15 days out of every month. This type affects less than 1% of the global population, but it has a major impact on those that suffer from this condition.
Another rare type of migraine is a hemiplegic migraine, which includes the common migraine symptoms as well as numbness or paralysis on one side of the body.
A cluster headache is one of the most painful types of migraine as the pain is centered around one spot on the head for 15 minutes to 3 hours at a time. Cluster headaches happen most often around the change in seasons.
Common Migraine Triggers
There are lots of events or experiences that can trigger a migraine. A key to managing migraine symptoms is to learn your individual triggers as quickly as possible. This way you can avoid or mitigate their impact whenever possible.
Many people are triggered by certain types of food and drink, which can include salty food, aged cheese, MSG, aspartame and other additives, and alcohol. Stress is a major trigger for some, as is interruptions to sleeping patterns.
Some women experience migraines around the time of their menstrual period, which is triggered by falling levels of estrogen in the body.
The remainder of common migraine symptoms are regular every day occurrences. They can include anything from sensory experiences (bright lights and strong smells) to changes in the environment or weather. Some people even find that they’re triggered after intense physical activity.
Natural Migraine Remedies
It’s frustrating to realize that the medical world has made very few strides towards medication or treatment for migraines. One of the most useful strategies offered by doctors is a type of therapy called LTC (learning to cope), where you’re gradually exposed to triggers in hopes that you’ll become desensitized.
Even though traditional medicine doesn’t offer that many options, there are lots of natural remedies that may help you.
1. Rethink Your Diet
Many people who experience migraines rethink their diet in order to remove triggers and boost their intake of foods that help mitigate symptoms. Some common migraine trigger foods are processed meats (which contain lots of salt), chocolate, and aged cheese.
Lots of people also experience migraines after drinking alcohol or large amounts of caffeine, so it’s a good idea to limit or remove them completely.
Try adding foods like ginger into your diet, which has been found to be as effective as pharmaceutical medication in reducing the severity of migraine headaches. Eating lots of magnesium-rich foods like spinach, kale, avocado, and seafood may help as well as magnesium deficiency can be a trigger for migraines.
If you frequently suffer from migraines, you may find that yoga is beneficial in decreasing the severity of symptoms. Practicing it regularly can reduce stress, which is a major migraine trigger. It also helps to improve blood flow and relax tense muscles.
One recent study found that it helped to increase the positive effects of prescription migraine medication when practiced a few times a week.
Acupressure involves a practitioner putting pressure on specific parts of the body as a way of relieving muscle tension. Like acupuncture, which uses needles to target these same pressure points, acupressure can work well in conjunction with other forms of treatment.
You can visit a clinician in an office, or you can research different pressure points and experiment at home. Applying strong pressure with your fingertips for 15-30 seconds can help manage migraine symptoms, especially nausea.
4. B Vitamins
B vitamins have been shown to be helpful in reducing both the severity and frequency of migraines. These vitamins help to ensure the health of our brain’s neurotransmitters, which is why they’re so effective for migraines.
There are lots of B vitamins available in health food stores and pharmacies. It’s generally recommended that people ingest only the daily recommended amount, but since they are water-soluble, any excess quickly passes through the body.
5. Herbal Supplements
Butterbur and feverfew have both been shown to help people suffering from migraines. These herbs are generally easiest to find in the form of supplements, which makes dosage a lot easier as well. Taking a small dose of each herb daily is thought to help stave off migraines.
Although finding these herbal supplements may be easy, it’s recommended that you talk to your doctor before you try them, so you can avoid potential side effects.
Migraines can be completely debilitating and if you’re not yet aware of your triggers, it can feel like they’re taking over your life. Fortunately, there are lots of ways that you can limit the frequency and severity of your migraines naturally.
Experimenting with adding healthier food into your diet and removing triggers, like alcohol and caffeine, may be helpful. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor if your symptoms don’t get any better.