June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month and an opportunity to raise awareness about migraines and headaches, what causes them, and how they can be treated. Migraines are prevalent and affect over 40 million people across the United States and are considered the second cause of disability worldwide.
Here are some ways to reduce migraines and headaches you or someone you know may be experiencing.
1. Manage your stress
Stress is the most common trigger for people suffering from migraines, and studies show 70% of people say stress is the leading cause of their head pain. People often find it more stressful to think about the exhausting cycle of never-ending things to do.
Dealing with stress can seem impossible, but there are ways to help. Try building your routine so it regularly includes relaxation or meditation, therapy, exercise and a consistent sleep schedule. These methods can help and are stress reducers, but they won’t completely eliminate the stress in your life.
2. Change your diet
Many foods can trigger a migraine, and the most common foods contain histamine and MSG. That includes chocolate, cheeses, and dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine. Reducing your intake of these items can help you and significantly reduce migraines and headaches.
Consider adding some of these foods to your diet to help avoid that head pain.
- orange, yellow, and green vegetables,
- carbonated water
- rice, especially brown rice
- dried or cooked fruits,( non-citrus) such as cherries and cranberries
- natural sweeteners and flavors, like maple syrup and vanilla extract
3. Get your sleep schedule on track
There is a connection between migraines and sleep because sleeping is repairing your body for the next day, including your brain. When sleep schedules become irregular, it can lead to migraines and headaches.
Setting a specific bedtime every night is essential when trying to maintain a schedule and avoid migraines. Eliminate tv, texting, reading, or listening to music before going to bed.
4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
If you’re consuming a large amount of caffeine or alcohol, this could be the reason for your migraines. Try to limit your consumption of these items and see what happens. You might find it helps.
5. Drink more water
Most people who experience migraines are often dehydrated. Dehydration can affect the body in so many ways and can also lead to dizziness and confusion. Having a daily water intake is the best way to avoid dehydration. The daily recommendation is two liters of water a day. Try to maintain this by using a refillable water bottle that will help you reach that goal.
6. Avoid harsh lighting
Many people who experience migraine symptoms are affected by natural light. Both natural and bright fluorescent lights can trigger migraines and make it challenging to be in that particular place.
Wear sunglasses when you’re outside and carry them with you in case you need them. If you’re having indoor lighting trouble, there are brands of bulbs that don’t aggravate migraines; emitting green light can be super helpful.
7. Consider the medications your taking
Medication is often a factor for migraines, even though doctors prescribe it. Here are some examples;
- Medicines for erection problems.
- Caffeine (because of caffeine withdrawal)
- Medicines that contain hormones, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy for menopause
- Some heart and blood pressure medicines.
If you stop taking certain medications or take smaller doses, you may find your headache will disappear. Consider ways to prevent pain without medication. Often, chiropractors can help with pain and stress relief that prevents you from having to take medications. (Speak to your health care provider before deciding to change your medication routine)
8. Try the Network Spinal Method
NetworkSpinal can help people suffering from headaches and migraines. By upgrading your Human Operating System (CNS), you can adapt easier to stress and other migraine-causing factors. “NetworkSpinal has been known to help people suffering from headaches and migraines, by releasing tension around the brainstem which allows for better spinal fluid flow and better function in the system as a whole.