Natural Ways To Find Relief From Migraine Headaches
Migraine- the very thought gives us all a painful headache all because a majority of us have experienced this unbearable ache at least once in our lifetime. Although there is no definite cure for migraine sufferers, there are other ways of battling this overwhelming condition.
One of the most common neurological conditions most people suffer from irrespective of age is a migraine. However, the most affected are women between twenty to fifty years of age. A debilitating disorder a migraine attacks lasts anywhere from four to seventy-two hours.
Two Main Types of Migraine
There are several types of migraine. However, the most common ones are Migraine without Aura and Migraine with Aura.
Migraine without Aura
This is the most common type of migraine, which a majority of the migraine sufferers experience periodically. The symptoms of this kind of migraine include a splitting headache felt especially on one side of the head and comes without warning. Other symptoms include nausea, confusion, hypersensitivity to light smells and sounds. This usually persists for about four to seventy- two hours and occurs frequently. Besides these, mobility increases pain and makes it worse.
Migraine with Aura
Migraine with aura is a complicated type of migraine that involves neurological related symptoms and visual disturbances that just occur ten minutes or an hour prior to the attack. However, this does not persist for over an hour and may cause temporary loss of vision. Further, this occurs sans headache although it may strike unexpectedly and suddenly without any prior sign or warning. Though not as persistent and frequent as the migraine without aura, the symptoms include one-sided muscular weakness, numbness and tingling in the hands or face, confusion along with difficulty in talking.
Causes of Migraine
Several factors trigger Migraine, which attacks with a temporary constriction of the brains blood vessels. This results in insufficient supply of oxygen and blood to the brain that leads to dilatation of other blood vessels. Therefore, these become inflamed and produce throbbing pain. Due to the involvement of the changes that occur in the blood vessels, migraine is a vascular headache. Although scientists reckon a genetic predisposition for the different reactions of the nervous system to changes that occur in the environment and their bodies, specific factors produce a reaction in the nervous triggering a migraine.
Common triggers include:
- Certain foods such as monosodium glutamate, fried fatty foods, junk foods, cheese, red wine, ice creams and chocolates
- Skipping meals
- menstrual cycles
- Too much sleep
- Climatic changes
Symptoms of Migraine
The symptoms of migraine include:
- Visual disturbances
- Blind spots
- Flashing lights
- Limb weakness
- Phonophobia (noise sensitivity)
- Photophobia (light sensitivity)
- Osmophobia (smell sensitivity)
Natural Remedies to Combat Migraine
Certain herbs minerals and nutrients play a major role in combating the symptoms of Migraine. Nevertheless, it is advisable to seek help from a qualified medical practitioner before embarking on any kind of treatment.
1) Butterbur Herb
The extract of Petasites hybridus commonly referred to as Butterbur has been used for ages as an effective natural remedy for reducing the frequency of migraine attacks and headache. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic effects, that the herb encourages relaxation of the muscles especially in the walls of the cerebral blood vessels. Furthermore, scientists believe that Butterbur helps regulate the calcium channels for effective release of neurotransmitters in the brain.
2) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids present in most fatty fish augment migraine related headaches and symptoms.
This is because the healthy constituents in this substance help defend the brain cells by preventing narrowing of the blood vessels thereby alleviating inflammation and dispelling swelling.
3) Ginger Root
Ginger, with anti-inflammatory substances has been used for centuries as a cure for various ailments. This is owing to the volatile oils present in Ginger. Although there has not been much evidence about gingers effect on migraine, scientists claim that it offers similar benefits as sumatriptan, a drug known to cure migraine and helps ease symptoms. The healthy constituents in the herb safeguard the body from the chemicals that produce incidences of migraine. Besides these, ginger acts as a natural pain reliever that alleviates symptoms in a very short span of time. Hence consuming ginger tea or chewing about an inch of raw ginger root helps ease the symptoms.
A time-tested remedy that has stood the tests of time is feverfew. This plant contains parthenolide a potent chemical substance that helps avert migraines. This protects the release of certain substances that leads to dilated blood vessels in the head. Although the effectiveness of feverfew is well known, scientists are yet to conclude the reasons behind its efficacy. Therefore, consuming feverfews steeped in water and consumed as tea or chewing them raw potentially lessen symptoms and prevents frequencies in instances of migraine.
5) Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin, a medicinal constituent in cayenne pepper helps eliminate pain by releasing substance P, a neurotransmitter that transports messages of painful conditions. Oral administration of cayenne overpowers the nerve endings and reduces the substance P suspending transportation of pain. Further capsaicin also decreases platelet aggregation factor (PAF) which restricts blood supply to the brain, one of the key factors responsible for migraine trigger.
Lifestyle Tips for Migraine Management
Besides natural cures and remedies, there are various ways toprevent the painful attacks. Here are a few lifestyle tips to manage migraine…
- Avoid known triggers that may lead to migraine attacks
- Practice relaxation and breathing techniques such as yoga and meditation
- Massage too provides a positive effect on migraine as it improves blood flow to the brain and helps ease stiffened muscles in the shoulders and neck
- Take a well balanced diet and refrain from skipping meals
- Exercise regularly and follow a strict schedule
- Maintain a dairy marked with frequency and severity of migraine attacks in order to discuss the issue with the doctor. It is also advisable to have a record of the foods and medications taken during the attacks to prevent further occurrences
- Get adequate sleep and practice healthy sleeping patterns
- During migraine attacks relax in a darkened room
- Apply ice packs on the forehead to alleviate the pain
- Reduce stress
- Control blood sugar levels as fluctuations like sudden spike or drop in blood sugar levels cause severe headaches