For many people, a couple of aspirins is all it takes to get rid of an occasional headache; however, migraine sufferers do not have it as easy. Migraines are quite different from regular headaches. Migraines cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation that affects one side of the head.
While the exact cause of migraines is unknown, researchers do understand the physiological changes the condition causes. When brain nerve cells are over stimulated, they discharge inflammation and swelling causing chemicals into the blood vessels in your brain and neck.
Migraine medication not only has side effects like stomach ulcers, nausea, increased risk of heart attack and even stroke, two-thirds of sufferers also report that the meds do not offer satisfactory results. So, what can you do?
These four natural cures can help prevent, as well as reduce, the severity and the frequency of migraine attacks.
For a long time, doctors have been recommending exercise to migraine sufferers, and new evidence supports the idea that physical activity does help in preventing migraines. Gentle, regular exercise aids your body ward off stress and reduces tension, two things that are famous for triggering migraines. Exercising is also a good way of triggering the body to release endorphins, which are a mild, natural sedative.
As a start, 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of mild aerobic activity, spread out over the course of a week is recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. However, intensive exercises may actually trigger migraines rather than prevent them, so do not overdo it.
The human body does not make its own magnesium, meaning that you have to rely on dietary and supplement sources to get it. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines in several studies; in fact, three out of four adults in the U.S. suffer from the condition.
Magnesium supplements help your muscles and nerves throughout your body and brain relax; it also helps in preventing nerves from getting overexcited. Overall, the mineral is helpful in the reduction and prevention of migraines. If you would rather skip supplements, the best food sources of magnesium are black beans, quinoa, and flaxseeds.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Also known as Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 is found in certain supplements and foods. It helps protect body cells from incurring oxidative damage as well as increasing energy production. It is widely reported that Riboflavin significantly reduces migraine headaches when consumed at high levels of about 400mg a day, but it does not seem to have any effect on reducing the length or intensity of a migraine once it occurs.
The best food sources of Riboflavin include whole grains, yogurt, almonds, eggs, spinach, and broccoli. It is recommended that you store these food sources away from sunlight; otherwise, the rays will destroy the chemical.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in a variety of food sources, especially seeds, nuts, and fish. These substances protect your brain cells and reduce inflammation, therefore reducing the pain associated with migraines. Besides, Omega-3 seem to be beneficial in reducing the duration and frequency of migraine headache attacks.
The best food sources of these fats include flaxseeds, chia seeds, Pacific oysters, rainbow trout and Alaskan salmon. However, Omega-3 fats are fragile and easily damaged when exposed to oxygen, light, and heat, so store the food sources in proper containers and avoid overheating during food preparation.
One of the greatest benefits of using the methods above is that there are virtually no side effects. Also, these natural migraine solutions tend to offer long lasting benefits in terms of overall wellness. Moreover, these natural treatments do not have chemical components that may interfere with other treatments or procedures, like STD testing and treatment.