Migraine is a disabling headache disorder that affects 15% of the population1.
Multiple effective acute and preventive therapies are available. Additional preventive treatment should be considered if patients continue to experience adverse effects on quality of life despite optimized acute treatment.
Often, the best way to start making lifestyle changes is to break them down into small goals that are easier to accomplish and measure over time.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Migraine monsters can be sneaky, sometimes fueled by secret food triggers. If you suspect this might be your story, identifying and avoiding those trigger foods can be a powerful weapon. Remember, hydration is your migraine-fighting shield – stay well-fueled with water to keep dehydration at bay, another headache culprit.
Still trying to get through the food trigger maze? Become a migraine detective! Keep a diary, jotting down what you eat, when the headache hits, and any warning signs like prodrome, aura, or pain intensity. This information is your map to victory, leading you and your migraine treatment Jacksonville FL specialist to design a customized plan for a pain-free journey.
You should avoid skipping meals, which can lead to a blood sugar imbalance and trigger headaches. Instead, eat small, calorie-controlled meals throughout the day. Avoid foods containing citric acid, nitrates, and aspartame (an artificial sweetener in diet drinks and low-calorie desserts). These can be triggers for many migraine patients. Also, limit the amount of caffeine you consume, as this can also be a trigger for some.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Irregular sleep schedules or insufficient or excessive amounts of sleep can trigger migraines. Encourage your patients to create a bedtime routine and stick to it every night, even on weekends.
Hamilton says They should also avoid naps and keep their daytime sleeping to a minimum. Migraine sufferers’ brains don’t like the change in their sleep routine, and if their body is used to getting eight hours of sleep and suddenly they’re only getting five, it may lead to an attack.
To monitor their diet, it’s also a good idea for them to maintain a food journal. If a particular food or drink is known to trigger an attack, they should try eliminating it. This is called dietary trigger management. It’s a great way to get to what’s causing their headaches.
Exercise can help manage migraines on multiple fronts, including increasing sleep quality and consistency and reducing stress. In addition, it releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and can decrease anxiety and depression—two common migraine triggers.
Research shows that regular leisure-time physical activity such as tai chi can reduce migraine headache frequency and intensity.
When starting a new exercise program, it’s essential to warm up and increase the intensity gradually. Consuming fluid before, during, and after a workout is also crucial. Drinking water or isotonic drinks, which contain a balanced combination of minerals and glucose, will keep the body hydrated and prevent dehydration, a known migraine trigger.
All three exercise programs were shown to be more effective than a placebo in a systematic review and network meta-analysis of trials evaluating the effectiveness of strength/resistance training and moderate- to high-intensity aerobic exercise versus migraine frequency reduction.
Many individuals with migraines have reported a decrease in the frequency of their symptoms and a reduction in the severity of their symptoms after making lifestyle modifications. These changes can also improve overall well-being and enhance quality of life.
Stress management techniques and incorporating regular physical exercise into daily routines can significantly reduce the impact of migraine pain. Sleeping, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated are also important.
Although treating migraines can be challenging, taking medication along with other preventive measures and management approaches can help people reclaim their lives. While these lifestyle changes may not prevent migraines completely, they can significantly reduce the frequency of attacks and ease their intensity. In addition, they can also help with a wide variety of other health problems.
One of the most frequent causes of migraines is dehydration. Many people don’t realize it, but mild to moderate dehydration can cause headaches.
Increasing water consumption and cutting back on caffeine may help migraine sufferers feel better and have fewer headaches overall.
Drinking water throughout the day, even when not thirsty, is best to avoid dehydration.
Maintaining a meal journal can be beneficial in determining possible triggers. If you notice that certain foods, such as salty processed foods, aged cheese, or skipping meals, can trigger migraines, try eliminating them. Magnesium-rich foods like flax, sprouted pumpkin, and chia seeds are good choices.