Migraine headaches are a debilitating and painful condition that affects an estimated 29.5 million Americans sometime in their lives. Typical migraine treatments involve drugs that are taken for prevention and/or treatment of the symptoms. However, for most sufferers, medication isn’t enough to ease the pain. Home remedies help bridge the gap and provide relief.
Home Migraine Remedies
For those who choose not to use medication to control their migraines, or when medication just isn’t enough, there are plenty of home treatment options for calming the storm. One of the simplest is lying down in a dark, quiet room. This remedy comes naturally to many migraine sufferers since migraines cause sensitivity to light and sound and an aversion to movement.
Applying something cold to the eyes, temples and base of the skull is often helpful in soothing migraine pain. There are several commercial products available in drugstores for this purpose, but it’s easy enough to prepare at home. Simply freeze a damp towel until it begins to stiffen, then apply it across the eyes and temples. Place another behind the neck and lie down in a quiet place. Refreeze the towels as needed.
Stress is often a contributing cause for migraines. A gentle massage is often helpful in relaxing tense muscles, which may in turn ease the migraine pain.
Some migraine headaches are the result of caffeine withdrawal. Often, drinking a bottle of regular soda diminishes or even eliminates the headache. Some people believe that artificial sweeteners are a cause of migraines, so it’s best to avoid diet sodas when using this migraine home remedy.
Preventing migraines is just as important as treating them. If you can reduce the frequency or severity of your migraines, you’ll increase your overall quality of life.
Food sensitivity plays a large role in the development of migraines. Figure out your trigger foods by keeping a food and symptom diary. Write down everything you eat and your symptoms, along with the times of both. It may take a few weeks, but eventually you will notice that you develop migraines when you eat certain foods. Simply eliminate those foods to decrease the frequency of your migraines.
A more proactive method is to simply eliminate the foods commonly believed to be migraine triggers, then slowly add them back into your diet. Alcohol (especially red wine), chocolate, cheese and nitrate-containing foods (like hot dogs) are all thought to trigger migraines. Cut these foods out of your diet for two weeks, then add them back in one at a time. If you develop a migraine after eating one of these foods, it may be a personal trigger for you.
Dehydration is a known migraine trigger, so strive to stay well-hydrated at all times. Drinking plenty of water is good for your overall health anyway, so drink up.