Migraines: 20 Ways I have Reduced Them
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, this is just my experience about how some things have helped me.
I have had severe, chronic migraines for a few years. Here are some ways I have reduced and even overcome them to the point I don’t notice the effects nor have them frequently:
20 – Reduce or completely eliminate (if possible) all refined sugar, flour from your diet
19 – Replace refined sugars with fruits that are filling, with lots of fiber and that your body digests slower, reducing inflammation, i.e. Pears, Apples, Berries, etc
18 – Get as much consistent sleep as possible, even if you have to take short naps during the day.
17 – Ensure your sleep is high quality, i.e. if you wake up with a headache, this may mean you have sleep apnea or some other issue which can trigger or cause the headaches.
16 – Avoid or eliminate foods that trigger stress or that cause habits to form such as too much salt, too much cured meat (nitrates are shown to trigger headaches, per my study).
15 – Get low, mid to high intensity exercise but don’t over do it and give your body time to heal for a day or a few days
14 – Think about how much direct light exposure you get each day, either direct sunlight or artificial monitors, computer light, bright lights. Try to reduce this to a degree.
13 – Obtain blue blocking glasses or some way to filter out strong white, yellow and blue light, especially if you do a lot of computer work or use your phone a lot.
12 – Be careful with taking things like melatonin or other supplements or medications that interact with your serotonin and melatonin cycle. When I take melatonin, I take it in very very small doses just to help me sleep. Like even less than the dose they sell. I cut the melatonin into one fourth or less. Just takes the edge off.
11 – Find ways to de-stress every day through meditation, reading books, exercise, relaxation etc.
10 – Focus on breathing properly, deep controlled breaths. Avoid shallow breathing.
9 – Think about people or things in your life that trigger stress. Work with those people or find ways to reduce those triggers. You can’t always change others but you can change yourself or stay away from certain people or situations that frequently can trigger stress for you and others.
8 – Try to have an orderly place you live and work. Clutter and lack of organization can increase cortisol levels as I understand and this causes unnecessary stress.
7 – Don’t over work or over do it. Let people know you need a break.
6 – Work with your doctor to find out if any medications are making your headaches worse and to run all the tests needed.
5 – If you sit alot for your job, look into getting a weighted blanket or athelete type pressure, compression socks or arm compression type arm bands. I find these help blood flow, especially as I get older.
4 – Throughout your daily lifting of household things, ensure you follow the same good practices you would follow when lifting weights at the gym. i.e. don’t lift with your shoulders, neck, back. Do the best you can to lift with leg strength, engaging core muscles and peck/chest muscles to reduce strain on your neck and back.
3 – If you have a busy life and need to keep working, going to school, can’t do alot of things to relax, look into getting a TENS unit and or things like kinesio tape to reduce muscle stress.
2 – Have an ice pack or heating pack handy to ice or heat sore muscles. I have one that I can wear over my neck and shoulders that helps alot.
1 – Take time off whenever possible. Sometimes just taking time off for yourself and doing whatever you do to relax and reset, refocus your life is a major help with migraines!