This content was created by Holland and Barrett UAE
A migraine is much more than a headache. When a headache hits you’ll usually be able to continue what you’re doing, but a migraine can stop you in your tracks and derail your day.
Common Migraine Symptoms Include:
- Throbbing or pulsating headaches often on one side of the head
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea and dizziness
- Visual disturbances such as blind spots, flashing lights and zigzag patterns
- Numbness in the limbs
Identify your Migraine Triggers
Some people might have a genetic disposition towards migraines if one or both of their parents are sufferers, but a number of factors can trigger an attack.
Common causes of migraines include:
- Stress: All headaches are related to stress, but it’s the release of the stress as you finally relax that causes the pain of the migraine rather than the stress itself
- Sleep Disturbance: An irregular sleep pattern can increase your chances of getting a migraine so avoid late nights and long weekend lie ins
- Hormones: Linked to the menstrual cycle, fluctuations in the female hormone oestrogen can be a trigger
- Dehydration: Always keep some water close by so you drink regularly. Aim for at least 2 litres per day
- Skipping Meals: Not eating can be a major migraine trigger so eat right and eat regularly
- Lights: Flashing or flickering lights can cause a reaction within neurons in the brain that triggers migraines
- Specific Foods: Some sufferers claim that certain foods such as chocolate, cheese and citrus fruits can be a cause
Keep a diary to help identify your triggers. Once you pinpoint a pattern, you can make changes to prevent them occurring and reduce the chances of an attack.
Speak to your Doctor
A shocking 60% of migraine sufferers never consult their GP as they mistakenly think nothing can be done to help them. Don’t suffer in silence as there are plenty of migraine treatments to try. And remember that a diagnosis from your doctor is also very important to rule out any more serious issues that may be causing migraines.
Low blood sugar levels can act as a migraine trigger so try to eat little and often. Stick to low GI wholefoods such as a wholegrain cereal as well as plenty of fruit and veg. If you suffer from morning migraines, try eating eat just before bed and have breakfast within half an hour of rising to help prevent any morning misery.
A migraine can be your body’s way of telling you to slow down so try to build relaxation into your day. Take your lunch break, go for a stroll, have some quiet time with a magazine and a calming cup of herbal tea. Dilute a few drops of lavender essential oil in a carrier oil then massage into your temples for natural relief or take a soothing soak in the bath.
Research has shown that people who experience migraines may have low levels of magnesium so try a magnesium supplement with a daily dose of around 600mg. Taking vitamin B and folate caplets can also help reduce both the frequency and severity of attacks.
Try these natural approaches one by one to pinpoint what works for you. Small changes can make a big difference and might mean migraine mitigation.
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies
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