With millions of Americans suffering from chronic and episodic migraines, raising awareness about the symptoms, triggers, and treatment options for migraine is extremely important.

This year (2019), the American Migraine Foundation is focused on establishing a community to raise awareness about the seriousness of migraine and advocate for effective preventive care.

As a society, we often find ourselves troubleshooting various problems, including those that affect our health. Rather than taking a proactive approach to our well-being, many often wait for something to go wrong before realizing self-care is a big piece of the puzzle. When it comes to living with migraine, you must fully understand your triggers, as well as put in the work to figure out what can stop one from striking.

Taking control of your migraine before it hits is the long-term goal – no matter where you are in your journey. Here are five things you can do right now to stop a migraine in its tracks:

Change the Way You Eat

Diet is one of the biggest factors in migraine. Many migraineurs will tell you that their headaches are triggered by specific foods, such as:

●       Dairy

●       Caffeine

●       Aged cheese

●       Citrus

●       Spicy foods

●       Alcohol

●       Wheat, rye, and barley

●       Yeast

●       Tomatoes

Not all migraines are caused by food, but cutting out some of the items above using an elimination diet is a great place to start when looking for answers about what’s causing those painful migraine episodes.

Get More Sleep

Sleep is tied to every aspect of your health and livelihood. Unfortunately, migraine sufferers often experience some type of sleep deprivation, (either can’t fall asleep, or can’t stay asleep) which, unfortunately, is one of the most common triggers.  Sleep deprivation puts you at risk of serious health issues, so this is something you want to (need to!) address immediately if you know it’s a problem.   

Getting enough sleep is imperative for preventing migraine and living a healthier life, but not if it means taking sleep medications. Sleep drugs may offer temporary relief, but the research shows, they ultimately do more harm than good. 

If sleep is eluding you, consider supplements like magnesium and 5-HTP, stress-relieving techniques, physical exercise, and try out these sleep tips and tricks to fall asleep naturally.

Stress Less

No surprise here, but learning stress-relieving tactics could be one of the best ways to stop a migraine from settling in. Similar to sleep and food,stress is tied to migraine symptoms. It leads to an increase in brain activity, tightening of blood vessels, and an agitated nervous system.

Learning how to manage stressors through meditation, journaling, yoga, physical activity, affirmations, and other reminders that encourage calmness are all great ways to help your body cope with stress.

Perform Self-Care Regularly

This is a big one, especially now. Taking even just a few moments out of your day to focus on you and practice mindfulness will go a long way. This means something different to everyone, so find what makes you happy and what constitutes “self-care,” and then integrate these acts into your daily routine.

Try Natural Supplements

Most migraines can’t be treated with supplements alone, you need to include other lifestyle changes, but they can help you get on track. Some of the best supplements for preventing migraine include:

●       Magnesium

●       Vitamin B-12

●       Vitamin D

●       CoQ10

Before taking any supplements or herbs, please discuss your symptoms and concerns with your medical provider, especially if you’re currently taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medications.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic – Migraines: Simple Steps to Head off the Pain

Migraine Again – 10 Foods that Help Migraine

American Migraine Foundation – What to Do When a Migraine Comes out of Nowhere

Migraine Again – The 10 Best Nutrient-Rich Foods That Help Migraine