Of course, you should take the medications your doctor recommends. Also, there are other techniques to minimize the number of migraines you experience or the pain you suffer during each episode. Here are a few of them.
Keep It Dark and Quiet
Many people who suffer from migraines are sensitive to light and sound during an attack. It only makes sense to avoid these stimuli. Treat yourself to some relaxation in a dark and quiet room. If it’s a bright day, put on an eye mask to shut out the sun’s rays. And while you are cloistered up, try to get some sleep.
Heat It Up or Cool It Down
Temperature therapy on both ends of the spectrum, hot and cold, can calm the throbbing in your head. You can apply a cold pack to numb the pain. Alternatively, you can use a hot pack to relieve discomfort by relaxing your muscles. Also, taking a shower or relaxing in a hot bath may calm your symptoms, giving you migraine relief.
Drink Some Java
While there have not been conclusive research studies on caffeine and migraines, some people who suffer from the condition report that a caffeinated beverage helps to ward off an attack. Also, one small, controlled study showed that caffeine helped to quell tension headaches. In fact, it worked as well as acetaminophen and performed better than a placebo.
Medical professionals were not surprised at the results because caffeine is an active ingredient in many drugs designed to relieve headaches.
Given these findings, you may want to skip the medications and just head for your local gourmet coffee cafe. Unfortunately, this is not a good long-term solution. As the saying goes, “Too much of a good thing can make you sick.” Like many drugs, if you use caffeine on a regular basis, you can become dependent on it. Then, if you skip your coffee, tea or caffeinated soda, you could be punished with a rebound headache. You don’t want a cure for one type of headache to lead to another. Therefore, like most things in life, moderation is advised.
Sleep Like Goldilocks—Just Right
Just as too little sleep may trigger a migraine, so too may too much slumber. It follows that it’s important to get just the right amount of shuteye. If you have a busy schedule or are commonly sleep-challenged, tossing and turning at night, establish regular sleep times and stick to them. You’ll end up sleeping better and may be able to reduce the number of migraine attacks you experience.
Eat Well to Live Well
For people who suffer from migraines, there are two food-related issues. First, you may discover that some foods such as cheese, chocolate, and nuts, trigger your symptoms. You’ll want to monitor your diet, perhaps by keeping a diary of what you eat. Review it when migraines hit to see if there are any eating patterns you can identify. This process enables you to determine which foods might be precursors to your migraines. Try to avoid these edibles to see if this relieves your migraines.
The second nutrition issue is that skipping meals can precipitate migraine attacks. When you miss a meal, your blood sugar can fluctuate. This sets off your migraine response. So eat multiple small meals or snacks during the day, ensuring that you don’t go without food for more than three hours at a time.
Be Kind to Yourself
Put your health first. Make sure you eat and sleep well. Take the time to discover what helps to lessen the severity and number of migraine attacks you suffer. It may be a cup of coffee, temperature therapy, or diving into a dark, quiet room when your headache begins. You may find the greatest migraine relief by taking the medications that your doctor prescribes. Or, perhaps it’s a combination of several approaches. Whatever you do, make sure you consult with a medical professional for best results.