Natural Relief from Migraine Headaches

migraine natural reliefIt’s important to check with your doctor if you are suffering from chronic head pain. However, there are some natural remedies you may find helpful.

Exercise

Studies find that aerobic exercise is as effective at preventing migraines as the migraine medication topiramate. A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden in 2011 had one group of patients exercise three times a week on a stationary bike for 40 minutes. These patients had the same results as those in the control group who took the drug topiramate. Those who exercised did not have the adverse side effects experienced by 33% of the group who took the topiramate.

While sporadic or extreme exercise can bring on migraines in some people, regular stress-reducing physical activity like walking, swimming, yoga and gentle cycling are great options for older people and people just starting to exercise.

Foods

Coffee and tea drinkers many need to use a bit of trail and error here. Caffeine is known to both worsen and improve a headache. Caffeine can worsen headaches, but a cup of coffee or tea can also help relieve a migraine.

Many migraine patients find certain foods trigger their migraines, so recognizing your triggers and avoiding them is important. Foods high in tyramine such as aged cheeses, pickled food, and wine are often culprits, to name a few. Some scientists believe that mono-sodium glutamate and other food additives can cause blood vessels to dialate and trigger migraines.

Vitamin supplements can be helpful. Studies show that people with high levels of magnesium are less likely to have migraines. If you get migraines, you may find it helpful to take magnesium supplements. Other studies show that vitamin B2 supplements help reduce the frequency of migraines.

Studies show the herbs feverfew and butterbur extract help reduce migraine headaches if used as a preventative.

The home remedy fresh ginger steeped in hot water can help the nausea associated with migraine headaches.

Always consult your physician before starting, changing or stopping any medication.

Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) 08-19-13

Glaucoma Connection & Ocular Migraines

Researchers are studying the relationship between glaucoma and ocular migraines, which are a more severe form including various visual distortions.

At the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) – Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting in Chicago Russian researcher Yury S Astakhov, MD, PhD presented his work with people susceptible to migraines and how their day- and at night-time blood pressure levels may be related to the onset of glaucoma.

According to Dr. Astakhov, “We conclude that low diastolic blood pressure at night is a possible risk factor for glaucoma in patients with migraine.”

Migraine is a known risk factor for open-angle glaucoma, especially in the development of normal tension glaucoma in which the optic nerve becomes damaged even though there is no elevation in eye pressure.

Learn more about ocular migraines.

For information on glaucoma, have a look at these pages.

Colored Lens May Help Migraines

Functional MRI technology is helping us understand how colored lenses can help migraine sufferers.

The research, published in the journal Cephalalgia, shows that looking at the world through tinted glasses can help normalize activity in the brain.  Migraine sufferers experience abnormal brain activity when looking at intense patters, but the tinted lenses reduced the phenomenon called hyperactivation.  This study built on previous work that found that 42% of migraine patients who see auras experienced a significant decrease in symptoms when they wore precision ophthalmic tints.

Source: May 26, 2011 Cephalalgia, Medical News Today

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Natural Relief from Migraine Headaches
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Many people suffering from migraine headaches find relief by making dietary changes, increasing exercise, and taking vitamins and herbal remedies.