General Health

Treating and Managing Migraine Headaches

Migraines of any kind should not be brushed off, because they often indicate an underlying health issue. There are many reasons for migraines to occur. In most cases, slight migraines can be alleviated with the proper amount of rest, and the use of over the counter remedies. More severe migraines, such as a cluster headaches, which are not likely to go away on their own, may require prescription treatment from a doctor. Not only that, but the pain associated with severe migraines can hinder our everyday life. Remember, it is important to consult a doctor before taking medications for migraines. Only a healthcare professional will be able to prescribe the appropriate and safe medication and dosage.

Here are the most common treatments for migraines:

1. Preventative migraine medications
Our bodies are equipped with many pathways that send signals to our brain when something is wrong. Migraine are one of those signals. The primary cause for migraines is hormonal imbalance, which can lead to mood swings, nausea, body temperature fluctuations, among other side effects. If this is the case, antidepressants and other hormonal medications will help to restore hormonal levels. These types of medications are known as preventive medications. They should be used by patients who have experienced migraines for one or more months.

2. Acute migraine medications
Other types of migraine pain relief methods include acute medications, taken prior to the onset of a migraine attack. This type of medication should not be used frequently. Doctors recommend no more than 7 to 10 days in a calendar month. Such medication can be administered in several ways including oral tablets or injections.

3. Dietary changes
Living a healthy lifestyle will prove to be one of the most effective migraine pain relief methods. It’s important that we understand how our brains respond to certain stimuli in regards to how it can bring on a migraine, and avoid those triggers as much as possible. Another important thing to pay attention to is diet, especially when it comes to foods high in sugar and salt. Our bodies and brains become dehydrated when we consume too much salt. Given that our brains are mostly water in weight, the decrease in size will create a strain, sending signals that something is wrong. This triggers the painful sensation that we recognize as a migraine. If this happens, we should drink a sufficient amount of water to keep hydrated. In general, 3 liters of water is recommended for women and 4 liters for men.

4. Quality sleep
It may go without saying, but our bodies need sleep. There’s a no better (or worse) reminder of lack of sleep than a migraine. Our brains are exposed to free radicals all day, which tear it down. Sleep is our brain’s time to rejuvenate. The amount of sleep varies per individual. As a rule of thumb, listening to our bodies is wise. If we feel stressed, ill, or overworked, then it’s time to catch up on some sleep.