Those who suffer from migraines understand their debilitating nature. 10+ Million Americans suffer from migraines (throbbing headache that often affects one side of the head and followed by nausea/disrupted vision).
Below are 5 Migraine Management Techniques that will not only provide relief but allow you to inquire about your individual migraines triggers and how they can be resolved.
Migraine management feels absolutely necessary for those who experience them frequently (= ~1x per month). It is not an option to take off work 1x/month or to disregard non-negotiable duties, such as work, parenting, etc…
1. Trigger baby, TRIGGER.
Migraines are often triggered by external stimuli/sensations/stress, etc
Practice #1: Identify your trigger and avoid it.
If giving up coffee is non-negotiable, focus on cutting it with cream (dairy or non-dairy).
Common Migraine Triggers:
Nitrates (processed hot dogs and deli meats)
Food additives (MSG)
Cheese, totally addictive af right? Well, this is because there is this lil' chemical called Casein in cheese. This so happens to be the same chemical that triggers the brain's opioid receptors (the addiction-response) of the brain. Cheese is LITERALLY addicting...
Low Blood Sugar
Neck and Shoulder Tension
Keep A Migraine Journal
In the pro-dermal stage (prior to migraine) write down your activities + meals of the past 24 hours. If you wait until the onset of a migraine, there's very little likelihood that will physically be able to perform this task. So, I strongly urge you to try out this method. The moment you notice migraine symptoms, just take a few moments to jot down an outline of the past 24 hours.
2. Pump the breaks: simplify your meal plan.
Most individuals resent the idea of an elimination diet, but listen up, it can be extremely effective. If you remove common triggers (sugar, alcohol, dairy, gluten, soy), you can slowly narrow down your migraine triggers.
Practice #3: Elimination diet to narrow down your migraine triggers.
Ideally, an elimination diet should last for at least 3 weeks to ensure clear and traceable results. Refer to my favorite elimination guide by the brilliant, Aviva Romm MD
I know elimination diets are not fun, but neither are migraines... think of this as an empowering opportunity to take your health back and ultimately to understand the physiological aspects of your body. It doesn’t feel good, to not feel good. Your body is yours and entirely unique. No one knows what and how you are feeling better than you! So – you this an opportunity to (proverbially) throw your middle fingers up to the world and take your health into your own hands!
3. Colon Care… down and out, folks.
A frequent culprit to the world of migrations is that no-good-nothing constipation. If you do not have a bowel movement at least 1x/per day, this needs to be addressed – this could be your saving grace!
So, when taking fiber, really focus on increasing your water intake (1/2 your weight in oz is a good trick)
Practice #4: begin with 10mg per day and increase by 10mg (max 40mg per day). Drink at least 8oz of fluid with each dosage.
Most of us know fiber makes us poo BUT what most people don’t talk about is how fiber is highly hydrophilic. If you are dehydrated and consume fiber, well you've just backed up the pipes even more…
4. Education of Medication Overuse Headache (MOH)
The following information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat (in any capacity) or suggest disuse of any medications. Further, inquire with your healthcare professional
When taking medications, such as Tylenol, Aspirin, caffeine, Ibuprofen, and/or narcotics, you may experience a side effect of stronger headaches or migraines. When taking these medications for an extending period of time, you may identify these drugs to be triggers for migraines.
5. Take These 5 supplements to Prevent Migraines
Magnesium glycinate: 400mg – 1200mg daily.
Magnesium glycinate is suggested here but magnesium citrate works well too. ~75% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Research has shown that regular intake of magnesium reduces the frequency of migraines by 41.6%
Magnesium is crucial in our body's processes, such as: regulating muscular and nerve function, balancing blood sugar levels, blood pressure and making protein. It is often suggested to begin by taking 400mg of magnesium before bed and increase dosage by 100mg every other day.
Getting the dosage right
Every body is quite different. If you are part of the 50% that is magnesium deficient, you will probably increase your dosage to the 1200mg range. When taking the magnesium before bed, you should awake with a casual urge to release your bowels. Increase magnesium dosage until you reach these results.
Riboflavin / B2: 400mg daily
Riboflavin has been clinically tested to safely stop reoccurring migraines by 50%.
Riboflavin supports mitochondrial functioning – our ‘energy house’ of the brain. Riboflavin is safe to take with beta-blockers and during pregnancy.
Fish Oil: 1500mg: 3000mg daily
Fish oil has been proven to reduce migraine severity, length, and frequency. Fish oil is a strong anti-inflammatory and is safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Ginger: 250mg with on-set of migraine
In a study of 100 migraine sufferers, 50mg of sumatriptan (a common drug used to stop migraines at their onset) and 250mg ginger powder equally decreased the severity of attacks within 2 hours, with equal satisfaction with pain relief in both groups, and many more side-effects in the sumatriptan group. Click for a recommended brand.
Ginger is traditionally used to treat pain and inflammation, and up to 1 gm/day is considered safe even for use during pregnancy.
Vitex: 40mg/day of vitex extract for menstrual migraines
Vitex has quite literally been utilized for centuries in relation to hormone management. It is often used in respect to increasing progesterone and lowering testosterone in the body.
In a study, looking at the effect of Vitex on menstrual headaches, it was illustrated that women prone to migraines during their cycle experienced a 66% decrease of severity when taking 40mg/day of vitex extract for 3 consecutive months.
For more information on this incredible herb, visit Aviva Romm’s article.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to email me, or visit my consultation pages for one-on-one consultation packages.
*This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before administering use, especially if pregnant, nursing, on medication. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not to be used for diagnoses, treatment, or prevention of disease.