Monday, August 5, 2013

Treat Migraines Naturally

Migraine headaches are quite common, but they need not to be common for you.

Woman holding head
These four natural remedies can help treat migraine headaches.

Migraine headaches can severely affect your daily life, bringing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Migraines are more common in women and may be provoked by lack of sleep, menses, stress or muscular tension. Certain types of foods can provoke migraines, such as processed foods, foods that contain MSG or foods that contain tyramine, such as red wine and aged cheeses.

Doctors usually diagnose migraines by the symptoms. Imaging is not typically necessary unless your doctor thinks there may be another cause.

Treatment of migraines includes ibuprofen or acetaminophen for mild types and triptans or ergot medications for more severe migraines. There are other natural ways to treat migraines:

  1. Food: Figuring out what foods trigger your migraines can be very helpful in preventing and treating headaches. An elimination-challenge diet may be recommended to figure out what food triggers are specific for you.
  2. Herbs: Studies show that herbal remedies such as butterbur and feverfew can help prevent migraines.
  3. Lifestyle: Getting approximately eight hours of sleep per night and regular exercise can support your system in the prevention of migraines.
  4. Vitamins and minerals: Riboflavin, B12 and magnesium all are useful in reducing the frequency of migraines and preventing them.

Migraine headaches are quite common, but they need not to be common for you. Consider making an appointment with a naturopathic doctor to explore other means of prevention and treatment.

— By Emily Lesnak, ND, naturopathic doctor and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

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