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Beat a Migraine Before It Beats You (Naturally)

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If you’ve never had a migraine, then you can’t possibly understand the unbearable pain that someone goes through when they experience this special type of headache.

If you are a regular migraine sufferer, then you would probably do anything to make the pain (and fear of pain) go away.

Your quick and easy guide to beating a migraine the natural way:

Avoid Food Triggers
Migraine headaches can be triggered by foods that contain tyramine. Tyramine can be found in the following foods:

  • Red Wine
  • Aged Cheese
  • Smoked Fish
  • Chicken Livers
  • Figs
  • Certain beans

Alcohol, in general, can also play a major role in the development of migraines.

Migraines can also be caused by food that contains nitrates. Nitrates can be found in the following foods:

  • Bacon
  • Salami
  • Hot Dogs

Miscellaneous foods that have been linked to migraines:

  • Chocolate (this is a big one)
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Citrus
  • Onions
  • Dairy products (another big one)
  • Fermented or Pickled Foods

The key to determining what food is actually causing the problem (like with any food related problem) is to do testing. Eliminate one group from your diet at a time and see if it helps. If you eliminate every group at once, it may get rid of the problem, but you will be missing out on the foods that weren’t actually causing the issue in the end.

Hormone Check
It doesn’t seem fair, but the same hormone “balancing act” that allows females to become pregnant can also be a big player in why they get migraines. Women are more susceptible to migraines because of the varying hormone levels that occur during “child-bearing” years.

Women who are on birth control may be especially susceptible to migraines because of the alteration of their natural hormone levels. If you noticed that your migraines started around the time you started birth control, you may need to consult with your doctor about switching medications. (I realize this isn’t a natural tip, but birth control can be a major player in migraine formation, so I thought I had better include it.)

Embrace Nutrition
Including the following in your diet may help you fend off the dreaded migraine headache.

  • Coenzyme Q10: This antioxidant can be found in various foods including trout, spinach, and potatoes. (You can find a bigger list of CoQ10 foods here.)
  • Feverfew: This plant has shown some evidence of actually being able to cut down on migraine attacks. (For dosage and other information, check here.) Do not take if pregnant or nursing.
  • Riboflavin (aka Vitamin B2): Found in milk, salmon, spinach, and several other foods, riboflavin has been shown to combat one of the proposed causes of migraines. (Learn about Riboflavin here.)
  • Vitamin B12: This one is “iffy” so far, but some studies point to vitamin B12, which can be found in things like liver and shellfish, as a migraine fighter. (Find more B12 foods here.)

Migraine Fighting Habits

  • Exercise: 15 to 20 minutes of exercise each day has been shown to decrease migraine frequency.
  • Increased Sexual Activity: Sex has been shown to relieve pain in some migraine sufferers.
  • Let the migraine run its course: This tip may seem odd, but in cases where a migraine follows a cycle, it may actually hurt you to take pain relievers. Taking pain relievers can actually interrupt the headaches cycle and prolong the symptoms. This can be especially true in migraine cases where vomiting occurs.

Treatment without Medication

  • Chiropractic: Chiropractic can help with certain kinds of migraines.
  • Massage: Some evidence suggest that massages can help with migraine problems. Be careful that your massage therapist understands that they need to take it slow when treating migraines. If you aren’t used to “deep” massage, it can actually be a trigger for a migraine. A slow, progressive treatment plan is recommended if you plan on using massage as treatment.
  • Acupuncture: There is a wealth of information out there about the benefits of acupuncture in treating migraines.

Take a quick look over everything above and make yourself a checklist. What are you doing (or not doing) on the list above that could be a cause of your migraine headaches?

If you have any questions about any of the points in this guide, please comment below or you can contact me at ben@drbenadkins.com.

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