Top Methods for Avoiding Migraines

The Migraine Research Foundation reports that nearly 36 million Americans suffer from migraines annually. These monster headaches are a debilitating, full body experience, causing everything from nausea, vomiting, and light, sound, smell, and motion sensitivity, to throbbing, pulsating pain in the head, face, and neck. If you’ve ever experienced one, you know you’d do anything to keep from having another. The following are common ways for avoiding migraine headaches before they start.

  1. Limit Bright Lights and Loud Noises

Too much sensory stimulation is a strong trigger for migraine headaches. While it might be easy to avoid a rock concert, it’s not as likely that you can always skip activities like night time driving, noisy locations like a crowded restaurant, daytime glare from the sun, or even screaming children. By timing activities with your sensitivities in mind, you can limit visual and audio disturbances and prevent some migraines before they start.

  1. Monitoring Hormonal Changes for Women

Women experience more migraines than men by a factor of nearly 3 to 1, and the problem could be the hormonal changes experienced during their monthly cycles. Maintaining dietary and exercise habits before and during menstrual cycles can help ease symptoms of migraine, and help to prevent headaches before they begin. Hormone replacement therapies and oral contraceptives can also sometimes increase the frequency and severity of migraines, so it may provide relief to switch to alternate forms if they seem to contribute to episodes.

  1. Limit Irritating Dietary Elements

Some food choices like chocolate, red wine, artificial sweeteners, cheese, processed meats, and caffeine can initiate migraine headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic. Keeping a log of your migraines and regular dietary habits can help you recognize which foods cause problems for you, and help you avoid them or at least limit their consumption in the future.

  1. Keep a Regular Sleep and Meal Schedule

Wavering blood sugar levels caused by fasting or skipping meals can easily trigger migraine headaches, as can dehydration. Maintaining a regular meal schedule and drinking plenty of water will not only nourish your body and make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need; it can help with avoiding migraines by keeping your brain energized and hydrated. Not getting enough shut-eye can also contribute to headaches, so try maintaining as regular as sleep schedule as possible and try to clock 7-8 hours nightly.

  1. Learn Stress Management Skills

Today, experiencing stress is as common as breathing, and unfortunately, it’s a major cause of migraine headaches. While we can’t always control the sources of stress, we can change how we react to it and reduce its impact on our bodies and health, including as migraine triggers. Regular exercise is a great method for releasing stress, and incorporating relaxation methods like meditation, yoga, and biofeedback therapy can help maintain calm and equanimity in stressful situations.

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