Individuals who suffer from migraines will find that almost every standard migraine treatment including triptan medications and alternative option like biofeedback do not work as well as expected when their triggers are not effectively managed. Prevention is, after all, better than the cure!
Certain lifestyle changes must be made to get migraines under control. Just remember that migraine triggers are not the same for every individual affected by migraines – what aids one person’s fight against migraines will not have the same effect on another – but the following set of lifestyle changes is a good start.
Stick to a Routine
Many migraine sufferers find that their attacks come soon after a stressful or unpredictable event in their lives come along. Even relatively happy yet eventful occasions like birthday parties can bring on a vicious attack!
The solution: Stick to a routine as much as possible so to avoid placing your body under stress. Keeping a regular schedule may be boring – go to bed at the same time every night so night outs are out of the question, eat at regular schedules so midnight snacks are also a no-no–but it will keep your migraine at bay for as long as possible.
Nourish Your Body
Dehydration in itself can result in many health issues, as any individual who has failed to drink water for hours on end can attest to readily. But when it comes to migraine sufferers, the effects of dehydration can be debilitation – hours upon hours of throbbing headaches, extreme sensitivity to stimuli, and nausea, among other symptoms.
The solution: Always drink water and keep a healthy snack (i.e., mild cheese and crackers, if you are not allergic to cheese) handy to avoid getting dehydrated and undernourished for any span of time.
Watch Your Food
Most migraine sufferers can identify several food items that can bring on the vicious headaches even in small amounts. These dietary triggers can include but are not limited to chocolate, aged cheeses, cured meats, caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Keep in mind that these triggers are dose-dependent in the sense that the more you eat of it, the more likely you will get a migraine attack soon.
The solution: Keep a headache diary detailing what you have eaten including its quantity and then taking notes of the food’s possible effects. Did it trigger your migraine attack? If it did, then it makes sense to avoid eating that food in any quantity.
Many individuals with chronic migraines find it helpful to engage in moderate exercises as part of their migraine management plan. The best time to exercise appears to be in the early morning before beginning the day but it will be different for each individual.
The more notable form of exercise that appears to have the most benefit for migraine-prone individuals is yoga. Its gentle cardio workout and emphasis on deep breathing, relaxation and meditation, the latter of which are important parts in effective stress management against migraine attacks, appears to be the reason for its efficacy. Just make sure not to engage in activities that will result in intense workouts or in dehydration.