Natural Relief for Migraines

by Michael Byrd - Date: 2006-11-28 - Word Count: 473 Share This!

"I've got a headache." This is not just an idle excuse to make fun of. Over twenty five million Americans suffer from migraines - 75% of them women. And it's no laughing matter. But there are natural remedies that can give both immediate and long-term permanent relief.

Migraine episodes last, on average, between 6 and 48 hours and sometimes leave the person bedridden or unable to function fully. Symptoms are many, but always include intense throbbing pain, usually on just one side of the head.

Although specific causes are unknown, migraines are thought to be the result of inflammation. This can come from stress, hormonal changes (especially during menstruation, ovulation or puberty), medications (including birth control pills), MSG, alcohol, caffeine or eating certain foods (such as chocolate).

There are two main types of migraine headaches - common and classic. About 80% fall into the common migraine category without an aura. These are generally much less painful than the classic variety with auras. An aura is an array of visual disturbances (flashing lights, seeing spots, complex patterns or shapes, etc.) that occur shortly before the onset of a headache. Auras are sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Ocular migraines are often confused with classic migraines. But, although the aura experience can be similar, it occurs in only one eye. And if a headache follows, it's usually less violent. The symptoms are only temporary and aren't harmful to the eye. Ocular migraines can, however, interfere with reading or driving.

Migraine sufferers may find temporary relief by lying down in a cool, quiet, dark place or by applying an ice pack or cold compresses to the pulsing area. The headache will usually go away after a nap or a full nights sleep.

Once you're free of the migraine, it's a good time to start a prevention program. Making simple lifestyle changes can often permanently eliminate migraines. Begin by finding ways to live a less stressful life. This can take some work, but less stress will be worth the effort.

The next two steps are to start a regular moderate exercise program and switch to a healthier migraine-free diet. Avoid any food that might trigger headache symptoms. These include caffeine, chocolate, sugar, soft drinks, alcohol, processed grains and sweets (desserts, pastries, cookies, cake, sweetened cereals, etc.). These foods can be addictive, so you may have to wean yourself off of them gradually.

You can actually learn to enjoy eating a whole food diet with lots of nutritious vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruit, lean protein and pure water. This is an essential step. And, to reduce the inflammation and eliminate pain, add to your diet a high quality omega 3 fish oil supplement.

Fortunately, most migraine sufferers, even those who've been suffering from them for many years, find they can prevent migraine headaches naturally by making these simple lifestyle changes. And, oh what a relief - to be migraine free!

Related Tags: health, nutrition, headache, healthy eating, migraine, migraines, omega 3, head ache

Michael Byrd has over 18 years of education and experience in the fields of physical therapy, health, fitness and nutrition. His pursuit of wellness has led him to the many health benefits of fish oil and other natural whole foods that will help you to look younger, feel better and stay healthy. Request your Free nutritional CD at Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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