Migraine is a neurological condition, which can lead to intense, debilitating headaches. Symptoms may include nausea, numbness, vomiting, trouble speaking & sleeping.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness across the world. It can affect a patient’s life in different ways. For instance, the patient is unable to focus on work when migraine triggers. The symptoms may last up to 72 hours or even more.
Although certain medications may help manage migraines, they can cause unpleasant side-effects. However, medical researchers have found that lifestyle choices play an important role in the intensity and frequency of migraines. Read on to learn about the top lifestyle habits you should follow to prevent migraine headaches.
Eating nutrient-dense foods can help you get off migraines. Moreover, a healthy diet can help in managing conditions that are linked to migraines. So, you should start eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats today. For example, leafy greens are rich in magnesium, the deficiency of this mineral can lead to migraine. Don’t skip your meals—fasting can increase the risks of migraines.
However, it’s important to avoid certain foods such as aged cheese, chocolate, alcohol, etc. These foods can trigger migraines, so you should eliminate them from your daily diet.
You should always keep track of the foods you eat on a daily basis. One of the best ways to do so is to create a food journal. This way, you can easily determine which foods are causing problems.
It’s good to talk to a professional dietitian to create a perfect diet plan for you.
Increasing your physical activity improves overall health. Exercising releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Moreover, it can help in managing mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, etc.
However, regular exercise doesn’t mean that you need to start going to the gym today. Even mild physical activity can provide you amazing results. Try running and walking up the stairs. Initially, you may experience an increase in headaches, but over time, you are able to reduce the frequency of migraines and tensions. It’s good to add aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises in your routine.
So, how often should you exercise to prevent migraines? Well, the CDC recommends adults 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercises for at least 2 days a week.
Poor posture can put extra pressure on different parts of your upper body, thus resulting in migraines. So, you should maintain a healthy posture while exercising. Keep your head straight and ears in line with shoulders.
Dehydration is a common cause of migraines. Heat, physical activity, etc. can cause dehydration. So, maintaining a healthy hydration level can help in migraine management.
In addition to water, you can also drink herbal teas, healthy drinks, foods such as watermelon to create a balance of electrolytes in your body. However, limit caffeine intake as it can worsen the symptoms.
How much water should you drink in a day? The NHF suggests that one should aim at drinking 8 glasses of water with each glass containing 8 oz of water. However, you should drink more water if it’s hot outside or when you workout. Breastfeeding women also need a higher fluid intake.
Certain medications can also lead to dehydration. If it happens with you, talk to your doctor for recommendations to deal with the problem.
Nurture Your Sleep
A lack of sleep and poor sleeping habits can lead to migraine headaches. So, getting enough sleep can help you promote wellness. Research says that sleep boosts your immune system, relaxation, and manages anxiety and depression.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule—go to bed and wake up early. Here are some tips to improve sleep hygiene-
- Limit your alcohol intake as it may disrupt your sleep quality.
- Don’t take meals right before going to bed
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing
- Create a cool, dark sleep environment and use a humidifier to improve air quality
- Turn off electronics as blue light from smartphones, TVs, etc. may make it difficult to sleep
Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Obesity is linked to many severe illnesses, of which migraine is one. Episodic migraine, the common type of migraine, occurs 2 weeks or less in a month. However, chronic migraines may last more than 2 weeks in a month.
A study conducted on more than 3800 adults was focused on evaluating the effects of obesity on migraines. Researchers noted that participants with a high BMI value were 81 percent more likely to experience episodic migraines than those who had a low BMI.
To lose weight, it’s recommended to talk to a licensed doctor to create a perfect eating and exercise plan. Since migraine medications may impact your body weight, make sure you seek professional help to deal with the problem.
Also Read- 7 Foods to Help You Lose Weight Fast
Manage Stress Levels
In many cases, migraines & headaches are caused by stress. So, managing stress levels can help you reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the best ways to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s a psychotherapy based on controlling negative thoughts, panic attacks, and excessive worrying by changing the thinking patterns.
Here are some other methods to reduce stress-
- Deep breathing and meditation can help relax the mind, thus managing stress.
- Updating your to-do list daily can help reduce tensions and divide large projects into small tasks.
- Taking a break after completing a task can help you renew energy for another task
- Spending time with your loved ones can help you get off stress.
- Doing things that make you feel good allows you to combat stress naturally.
Seek Professional Help For Migraine
Adopting the lifestyle habits listed above can help you combat stress easily and quickly. However, if you are unable to deal with your health problem, speak to a licensed doctor to seek professional help.
With telemedicine, you can talk to a doctor online. The HIPAA-compliant software ensures that the doctor-patient consultations are 100 percent safe. Here’s the complete process-
- Sign up an account
- See a licensed doctor online
- Receive your PDF prescription letter via email instantly
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage migraines and headaches. Eating leafy greens, fruits, and other healthy foods can help lose extra body weight and reduce anxiety and depression. Exercising releases neurotransmitters, which are linked to happiness and pleasure, thus boosting mental health. Getting enough sleep and deep breathing techniques are also helpful in migraine management.
Talk to a doctor online to design a perfect migraine treatment plan.