Taming your migraine
Umair Shafiq Khanday
At least one in four Indians suffer from migraine. Graded as severe to moderate in intensity, it usually occurs on one side of the head along with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound.
While migraine is most common in people aged between 20 and 50 years, it can begin at any age. Migraine is the outcome of triggers from smoke, dust, or even food. Need help in identifying what could be causing you migraine.
Six practical ways to prevent your migraine attacks.
Here are six practical ways in which we can prevent getting a migraine.
1.Identify your triggers and learn to cope with them:
Triggers are different for different people. You may have more than one trigger as well. If you are aware of your migraine trigger(s), it’s (usually) advised to avoid them.
However, some recent studies support that instead of avoiding your triggers completely, it’s better to experience the pain a few times and know how to deal with it. This will help you learn to cope with your migraine-causing triggers.
Coping with your migraine pain
You can try applying cold and hot packs on your head and neck to relieve the pain.
02. Consider taking preventive medicines
Approximately 38% of patients with episodic migraines would benefit from preventive therapy but less than 13% take it. Preventive medicines can prove helpful in reducing migraine frequency, severity, and headache-related distress.
You should seek preventive treatment if you experience migraine more than four times in a month, have headaches that last 12 or more hours or if the pain is debilitating.
03 Manage your stress
Stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people having migraines. Even stressing over the probability of the next migraine attack can be a trigger. Try managing your stress with relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. Indulging in pleasurable activities like playing and listening to music can also help.
Manage your time, exercise, and list down your priorities to reduce your daily stress levels. You can also try Ashwagandha, an age-old ayurvedic herb that can bring down your stress levels.
04. Maintain a migraine diary
Logging down your migraine episodes helps you understand what caused it and what helped to improve. You should also make a note of the time of headache, severity, how long it lasted, what other symptoms you had, etc. Such consolidated information will also help your doctor monitor your condition.
05. Befriend a healthy sleep pattern
Less sleep or excess sleep can trigger migraine pain. But ironically, people with migraines are 2 to 8 times more likely to have sleep trouble. Skipping your afternoon naps, avoiding television, mobile phones, kindle, caffeine or alcohol before sleep can help to improve your sleep.
A dark, quiet, and cool room can help you relax better and sleep well.
Set your diet right
06. Certain food items like chocolates, cured meats, dairy products, foods with a strong smell, foods containing histamines and monosodium glutamate and dehydration are some of the most common culprits that trigger migraine. Avoid consuming such foods and drink plenty of water.
(The author is pursuing B.Sc Nursing)