Migraine is not just a headache. It is a condition which is characterised by severe and prolonged headache and causes debilitating suffering to the person affected by it. It is at times accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and pain or tingling in other parts of the body. Headaches caused by migraine can last for hours or more.
- Causes and Factors That Trigger a Migraine
- How to Treat Migraines at Home?
Causes and Factors That Trigger a Migraine
1. Certain Food Items
There are a number of foods such as aged cheese, salami, cultured dairy products, citrus fruits, nuts and nut butters, beans, corn, onions as well as chocolates and highly processed food items that acts as common triggers for a migraine. Moreover, freshly baked yeast bread and cake are also known to cause a migraine due to their tyramine content.
2. Weather Change
Changes in climatic conditions and shifts in air pressure are known to cause migraine, especially if you are sensitive to extreme heat or cold, high humidity and bright sunlight. In few individuals, exposure to such circumstances can lead to an imbalance in brain chemicals, including serotonin, which can prompt a migraine.
3. Hormonal Alterations
Fluctuating hormone levels and erratic mood shifts are a major contributing factor in chronic headaches and are often responsible for the occurrence of migraines, especially in women. Hormone-induced migraines due to altering estrogen levels are seen to develop in women before or during their menstrual cycles and menopause as well as throughout their pregnancy.
4. Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol is considered as one of the major reasons for migraine as its principal component is ethanol, a compound that gets converted into a migraine-triggering chemical, once it enters your system. Ironically, it has been observed that sometimes caffeine may lead to the development of medication-overuse headache and cause a migraine. On a related note, read about the effects of alcohol on skin health as well.
5. Physical Strain
Intense workouts can result in exercise-induced migraines that are very common nowadays. It involves extreme physical exertion and generates a feeling of constant fatigue. Also, beginning a workout too abruptly without a sufficient warm-up prep time adds to the risk of a migraine. Even sexual activities can trigger instantaneous migraine headaches.
6. Sensory Overload
It has been observed that some individuals feel overwhelmed by the bright lights, loud sounds, and strong smells and are prone to suffer from meltdowns and panic attacks. In this scenario, everything from a flashlight to a perfume, paint or cigarette smoke can cause sensory sensitivity, stimulating acute migraine attacks.
7. Skipping Meals
Fasting, dieting too rigorously and skipping meals act as exacerbating factors for hypoglycaemia that again is known to trigger severe migraine. Frequent skipping of meals causes your glucose levels to dip suddenly and leads to blood sugar crashes. Such conditions are considered as widespread stimulating elements in the occurrence of migraines.
8. Emotional Trauma
Anxiety, constant psychological stress, worry, fear and excessive tension acts as an emotional weight and forces your brain to release chemicals that instigate your “fight or flight” response. This somewhat of a contradicting reaction gives your body mixed signals that act as one of the various reasons for migraine. There are some home remedies to reduce the level of stress and anxiety. Discover it.
9. Excessive Medication
All medicines have more or less some possible side effects and dependency on too much medication to treat migraine can be a legitimate reason to have a rebound headache. Also, overuse of birth control pills and opting for certain hormone replacement therapies can trigger as well as intensify migraines in women.
10. Inappropriate Sleep Patterns
Both insufficient and excessive sleep can be major reasons for migraine as lack of routine sleep influences your brain activity. Travelling between time zones and jet lag also has a similar effect on your psychological functioning and acts as active triggers for migraine and chronic headaches in people of all ages.
How to Treat Migraines at Home?
1. With Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is considered as a traditional remedy to ease headache and migraine pain as this unique combination of postures and breathing techniques allows unrestricted blood flow and reduces muscle tension. Meditation also works as a dependable contributing factor to cure migraines naturally as it helps to relax your body and mind. Addition of meditation or regular yoga practice in your lifestyle can help to prevent migraine to a great extent.
2. With Essential Oils
Inhaling essential oils, especially that of peppermint, rosemary, lavender and jasmine is known to decrease the severity of migraine headaches in many people. These aromatic oils can provide relief from stress, anxiety and tension instantly and offer a calming sensation due to its mild sedative properties. Moreover, a lot of these oils contain antimicrobial properties that directly attack some of the triggers and treat a migraine effectively.
3. With Ginger
Ever wondered, how to cure migraines at home with just one simple ingredient? Well, ginger is your answer. Supposedly, ginger helps to block a group of active lipid compounds called prostaglandins, that are known to stimulate muscle contractions and trigger headache. There are multiple ways of including ginger in your daily diet like drinking ginger tea, using ginger powder or simple consuming raw ginger.
4. With a Suitable Diet Plan
A proper meal plan with restricted consumption of foods and drinks that might act as possible triggers for migraine headaches should be one of your initial steps to curb this chronic disorder. Add lean proteins in your regular diet to maintain steady glucose levels and try to include mushrooms, spinach, beans, almonds and sardines in your meal plan as they are a rich source of riboflavin, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10.
5. With Sesame Oil
Using sesame oil in place of a nasal drop is considered as a conventional ayurvedic procedure to reduce migraine symptoms and relieve muscle tension. Insomnia, dehydration and constipation can often lead to migraine and applying four drops of sesame oil in your nostrils once a day can help to treat these health conditions. This eliminates toxic gases from your body, taking care of migraine attacks effectively. Know more about the benefits of sesame oil.
6. With Peppermint
Peppermint acts as an excellent remedy for migraine because of its menthol content and pain-relieving fragrance, claims a 2008 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Drinking freshly brewed peppermint tea as well as gently massaging your temples and muscles in your neck and shoulders with peppermint oil can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your nerves that help to soothe a migraine headache.
7. With Ice
You might be questioning, how can ice work as a home remedy for migraine headache! Well, it has been noticed that applying both cold and heat seemed to be effective in easing headaches, even though most people who suffer from migraines prefer cold. Ice or cold packs, when applied onto your forehead and temples can offer spontaneous relief from mild migraine pain and reduce a severe headache.
8. With Nutmeg Paste
This super strong spice acts as an amazing sleep-inducing agent and can help you to remain calm and relaxed in any situation, even when you are experiencing extreme anxiety or trauma. Migraines are often an outcome of such circumstances and hence, massaging nutmeg paste on your forehead can offer relief from migraine attacks as well as stimulate sound sleep.
9. With Calming Herbs
There are quite a few herbal supplements available that are made up of calming herbs like butterbur, valerian, willow bark and feverfew. As per recommendations, these supplements are known to work exceptionally well in reducing migraine pain and frequency. You can also prepare soothing herbal teas with these herbs and sip the warm beverage throughout the day until your migraine goes away.
10. With Stress Management
Stress management is perhaps the most trustworthy technique to cure migraines naturally as stress plays a significant role in triggering sudden migraine attacks. Look for outlets like swimming, journaling, cycling, dancing, taking a warm bath or listening to music to eliminate stress from your life and as a result, you will be all set to say goodbye to migraines.
The smell of essential oils is known to naturally have good effects on people. Some people use essential oils for aromatherapy and uplifting their mood. Certain essential oils help with headache relief too, so don’t forget to check out the list in the link.