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What To Take To Prevent Migraines

Beware Of Hormonal Changes

Tips To Prevent Migraines

Hormones play a significant role in terms of migraines. Many women tend to experience more migraine headaches during, or just before, their menstrual period. Women should be especially vigilant with their diet and exercise habits during this time. This will ease symptoms before they begin. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy may increase the frequency and severity of migraines. Some women may find relief by switching to another form of birth control, while others may find they have fewer migraines while taking birth control.

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Consider Complementary Medicine Therapies

Cowan suggests trying acupuncture, herbal remedies, and moxibustion, a therapy that involves burning herbs on targeted parts of the body. If you use traditional Chinese medicine , make sure the physician is certified and licensed. While Western medicine has been around for just 250 years, TCM has been around 2,500 years and Ayurvedic for 5,000 years in India. Just be smart and check credentials.

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How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension

Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.

Migraine vs. bad tension-type headache

Symptom
Aura before onset of headachex

Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.

Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.

There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.

You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.

What Should I Do When A Migraine Begins

Do you know any other way to prevent having headaches ...

Work with your doctor to come up with a plan for managing your migraines. Keeping a list of home treatment methods that have worked for you in the past also can help. When symptoms begin:

  • If you take migraine medicine, take it right away.
  • Drink fluids, if you don’t have nausea during your migraine.
  • Lie down and rest in a dark, quiet room, if that is practical.

Some people find the following useful:

  • A cold cloth on your head
  • Rubbing or applying pressure to the spot where you feel pain
  • Massage or other relaxation exercises

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Recognizing The Signs Of A Migraine

  • 1Talk to your doctor about your headaches. If you have never been officially diagnosed as having migraines, it is very important to speak with your doctor about your headaches. Severe chronic headaches can also be signs of more serious ailments such as brain tumors. Your physician should rule out other potential headache causes before you start treating symptoms of migraines yourself.
  • A doctor can also prescribe medications and alternative treatments for migraines.
  • 2Learn what a migraine is. A migraine is a headache that starts dull and becomes increasingly worse. It can range from minutes to days. The pain is described as a pounding, pulsating, throbbing headache. It may travel to one side of the head, to the back of the neck or head, or behind one eye. It may be accompanied with increased urination, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, numbness, weakness, tingling, no appetite, sweating, and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • After the migraine subsides, a clouded thought pattern may happen as well as the need to sleep and neck pain.XResearch source
  • 3Know if you are at risk. There are certain types of people who are more prone to getting migraines. Migraines are most common in people between the ages of 10-40 years old. Once you hit 50, migraines tend to lessen. Migraines seem to run in families. If one parent has migraines, a child has a 50% chance of having migraines. If both parents suffer from them, a child has a 75% chance of having them.XResearch source
  • What Are Some Risks With Otc Migraine Medications And Who Should Avoid Them

    With all OTC migraine medications, theres a risk of developing whats called a medication overuse headache . MOH is a headache that happens if you use OTC migraine medications for too long, or more than 10 to 14 days a month. If you find yourself needing migraine relief this often or more, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you might need a stronger prescription migraine treatment.

    In addition to preventing MOH, youll want to take a few more precautions depending on the specific ingredient your OTC migraine treatment includes.

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    Have Consistent Lifestyle Habits

    Migraine is a problem between you and your environment, says Cowan. And my migraine patients who do the best take their lifestyle habits seriously.

    This means eating meals the same time every day and going to bed and waking up at the same time, Cowan adds. Be regular and consistent with your exercise. These are the things that set the patterns for the brain to know whats coming: sleep, wake up, eat, exercise.

    Migraines hate change. Being consistent reassures your brain that everything is okay.

    How Long Does Topamax Take To Work

    How to prevent migraines?

    Youll likely not notice Topamax working right away when you first start using it.

    It may take 1 month for your migraine attacks to become less frequent and 2 to 3 months for Topamax to become fully effective.

    Keep your doctor updated on your symptoms while taking Topamax.

    As with any drug, Topamax can cause side effects. The lists below highlight the more common and the more severe side effects that are possible when taking this drug.

    The more common side effects of Topamax can include:

    • memory and cognition issues, such as difficulty concentrating and language issues
    • tingling in your arms and legs
    • nose and throat infections

    Serious side effects of Topamax can include:

    • eye problems, including vision loss
    • suicidal thoughts. If youre having any thoughts of suicide, help is available.

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    Medicines Plus Behavioural Therapy

    An interesting research study published in 2010 compared two groups of people who had frequent migraines. One group took a beta-blocker medicine alone. Another group took a beta-blocker but also had a course of behavioural migraine management . BMM included education about migraine, helping to identify and manage migraine triggers, relaxation techniques and stress management. After a number of months the group of people who took the beta-blocker plus BMM had, on average, significantly fewer migraines compared with the group who took beta-blockers alone. Further research is needed to confirm this and to look at BMM combined with other medicines to prevent migraine.

    How Does Magnesium Prevent Migraine

    In 2012, the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology gave magnesium a Level B rating among medications used for migraine prevention. This rating means it is probably effective and is an option for migraine preventive treatment .

    Its believed that magnesium can prevent the brain signaling that causes visual and sensory changes associated with aura. It can also reduce or block pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain and may be helpful for brain blood vessels.

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    What Other Supplements Does Cove Offer

    • Oasis is a hydration supplement that helps your body replenish electrolytes you naturally lose throughout the day. It contains that clinically-effective dosage of magnesium as well as sodium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins C, B6, and B12.
    • Since essential oils can relieve migraine symptoms for some sufferers, Cove offers an Essential Oil Roll-on stick for fast relief.
    • You can also order magnesium supplements individually through Cove. Get started here.

    Are you feeling like a riboflavin expert yet? That may have been a lot to take in, but to sum it all up, riboflavin is a relatively safe, research-backed treatment to reduce your migraine frequency. Plus, it√Ęs safe to use with prescription preventive medications.

    The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

    Migraines and chiropractic care

    There are four different phases of migraines. You may not always go through every phase each time you have a migraine.:

    • Prodome. This phase starts up to 24 hours before you get the migraine. You have early signs and symptoms, such as food cravings, unexplained mood changes, uncontrollable yawning, fluid retention, and increased urination.
    • Aura. If you have this phase, you might see flashing or bright lights or zig-zag lines. You may have muscle weakness or feel like you are being touched or grabbed. An aura can happen just before or during a migraine.
    • Headache. A migraine usually starts gradually and then becomes more severe. It typically causes throbbing or pulsing pain, which is often on one side of your head. But sometimes you can have a migraine without a headache. Other migraine symptoms may include
      • Increased sensitivity to light, noise, and odors
      • Nausea and vomiting
      • Worsened pain when you move, cough, or sneeze
    • Postdrome . You may feel exhausted, weak, and confused after a migraine. This can last up to a day.

    Migraines are more common in the morning people often wake up with them. Some people have migraines at predictable times, such as before menstruation or on weekends following a stressful week of work.

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    Consider Taking B Vitamins

    Some studies have shown that regularly taking vitamin B2 supplements might help stave off migraines in some people. The B vitamins help with energy production in the body, Dr. Natbony explains. Its thought that migraine patients may be low in vitamin B2also known as riboflavin and are not efficiently utilizing the energy cells in their brains. This in turn can contribute to headaches. Vitamin B2 is a recommended supplement for migraine at a dose of 400mg per day.

    Be Aware Of Dietary Triggers

    Some people get migraines after eating chocolate, soy products, nitrate-containing foods, monosodium glutamate , or food coloring. Because some food items contain multiple ingredients, it can be difficult to nail down which one is triggering your migraines.

    If you experience migraines after consuming any type of food, write the incident down in a food diary to see if, over time, there is a pattern. Take note of the time you ate it and how much you consumed. Keeping a detailed food diary can be a useful part of an elimination diet. But this approach has its downsides as well over time, an aggressive elimination diet could lead to nutritional deficiencies, so it’s not recommended to pursue this approach for more than two weeks.

    On the flip side, emerging research has pinpointed a few potential “migraine diets.” In particular, the ketogenic diet has been proposed to decrease cGRP levels, oxidative stress, and inflammation in the brain, all of which are closely associated with migraines.Still, more studies are needed to prove that the keto diet is specifically beneficial for migraine management.

    Read Also: How Long Does It Take For Headache Medicine To Work

    Talk To Your Employer

    The first step to getting support at work is telling your manager or employer. Since migraines can occur at seemingly random, you may feel uncomfortable talking to your employer. However, keeping them informed about your episodes and their impact on your work can ease the stress of managing it on your own. If your employer needs proof, you can ask your doctor to write a note with a confirmed diagnosis.

    Your employer or coworkers may not know youre having a migraine at the time. By talking to them about your condition, they should be more understanding when you tell them youre having a migraine at the moment. They can also put a note in your file to help your work stay informed, should management change.

    I Get Migraines Right Before My Period Could They Be Related To My Menstrual Cycle

    How To Prevent Migraine Headaches Naturally

    More than half of migraines in women occur right before, during, or after a woman has her period. This often is called “menstrual migraine.” But, just a small fraction of women who have migraine around their period only have migraine at this time. Most have migraine headaches at other times of the month as well.

    How the menstrual cycle and migraine are linked is still unclear. We know that just before the cycle begins, levels of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. This drop in hormones may trigger a migraine, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect a woman’s pain sensation.

    Talk with your doctor if you think you have menstrual migraine. You may find that medicines, making lifestyle changes, and home treatment methods can prevent or reduce the pain.

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    How To Treat And Prevent Migraines At Work

    There is no cure for migraines, but there are ways you can manage the pain.

    Over-the-counter medicines

    OTC pain medicines can be helpful for mild migraines. These include:

    Some doctors recommend caffeine for combating migraines. A study showed that melatonin could potentially help prevent migraines and cluster headaches. Your doctor will have to tell you the right dosage to start.

    Prescription medications

    Moderate to severe migraines that occur regularly will need to be treated with a stronger medication. Prescription medications that can help reduce the severity of your migraines include:

    Lifestyle changes

    This type of treatment is more preventative and may not work when youre experiencing a migraine. These changes may help, but if theyre making your migraines worse or more frequent, talk to your doctor.

    • Regular exercise
    • Dietary changes to avoid foods that trigger your migraines
    • Better sleep habits
    • Practicing yoga and meditation for relaxation

    Acupuncture

    According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , up to 10 sessions of acupuncture can help prevent migraines. They recommend doing this over a five to eight-week period. There still needs to be more research to confirm this.

    Vitamins and supplements

    If you want to try a natural approach to preventing your migraines, you may turn to supplements. Magnesium and riboflavin have been shown to help ease migraine symptoms.

    What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine

    If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.

    You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.

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    Impact Of Preventive Treatment

    Silberstein and colleagues found that the addition of migraine preventive drug therapy to therapy that consisted of only an acute medication was effective in reducing resource consumption. During the second 6 months after the initial preventive medication, as compared with the 6 months preceding preventive therapy, migraine diagnosisrelated office and other outpatient visits decreased by 51.1%, emergency department visits with a migraine diagnosis decreased 81.8%, CT scans decreased 75.0%, MRIs decreased 88.2%, and other migraine medication dispensements decreased 14.1%.

    The cost and consumption of triptan medications is also an important factor and has been evaluated after the addition of preventive medication. Silberstein and colleagues evaluated the medical resource utilization and overall cost of care among patients treated with topiramate for migraine prevention in a commercially insured population that included 2645 plan members. Topiramate utilization was associated with significantly less triptan utilization. In addition, in postindex period 1, results showed a 46% decrease in emergency department visits, a 39% decrease in diagnostic procedures , and a 33% decrease in hospital admissions physician office visits were unchanged. In postindex period 2, results showed a 46% decrease in emergency department visits, a 72% decrease in diagnostic procedures, a 61% decrease in hospital admissions, and a 35% decrease in physician office visits.

    Home Remedies And Lifestyle

    What Can You Do To Avoid Migraines? 10 Effective Ways ...

    They say that the best offense is a good defense, and that is very true with migraines. Migraines often have several triggers, many of which are tied to lifestyle, and avoiding them can often prevent an episode. The best aspect of this approach: It is side effect-free.

    Keep in mind that not every lifestyle factor affects every person the same way. For example, certain foods and sounds can be major migraine triggers for some people, but they might not affect you at all.

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