What is a Migraine and How to Avoid Getting One
A migraine is a very serious headache that often comes with nausea, light or sound sensitivity and dizziness.
Migraines can affect people differently and come in different types, depending on how the person reacts to a migraine headache. Some people may feel as though they are able to carry on with their day, while others are bedridden until the migraine goes away.
What Causes a Migraine?
Migraines are caused by different things for different people, but some of the most common triggers of a migraine are a change in hormones or serotonin. For example, when women are closer to their mental cycle and their estrogen levels change, they are more likely to develop migraines. Additionally, when women are in the prime of their fertile years, they are more likely to experience a migraine, as opposed to their male counterparts that are the same age. Women suffer from migraines on average three times more often than men, with about 50% of women who suffer averaging about 1 severe migraine attack each month. Other common triggers of migraines are:
- Stress or anxiety
- Exposure to sunlight or bright lights
- Smells, especially if the person is sensitive to strong smells
- Fatigue or lack of sleep
- Changes in the weather
- Poor diet
How Can One Avoid a Migraine?
Migraines are common, as about 12% of adults in the United States suffer from migraines, but that does not mean that they cannot be avoided. Avoiding migraines can be tricky, especially for seniors, but we have a few tips that may help prevent these horrible headaches from occurring.
Your diet can affect your mental health, your mood and your overall physical health. Keeping your diet healthy and avoiding processed foods can help you avoid migraines. Additionally, sugar can sometimes cause a ‘sugar rush’ which then can result in a crash, which is often accompanied by a migraine. Caffeine also has a negative effect on your body, as it can cause migraines when you experience withdrawals or too much caffeine. Keeping your diet balanced can allow your body to get the nutrients it wants and craves to maintain a healthy body and mind. It is advised to ask your medical professional what type of diet you should maintain in order to stay healthy and avoid migraines, as each person might need different nutrients.
Stay active! Getting outside and enjoying some fresh air and exercise can help decrease the chances you will experience a migraine. Take 20 minutes to go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air of your neighborhood. Not only will the fresh air help you feel better, but the boost in endorphins can help your mind stay clear and healthy. However, t is of the utmost importance to not push yourself too hard, as strenuous exercise can cause headaches and migraines to occur. If you start to feel as though blood is rushing to your head or you are getting fatigued, it is best to stop and rest, and only continue if you are able to do so in a safe manner.
Make sure that you have a sleep schedule that you honor. Lack of sleep can cause migraines, along with poor food and drink choices that can also cause headaches or migraines. It is advisable to set a sleep pattern where you get at least eight hours of sleep each night and you vow to stick with said pattern. Going to bed at the same time every night and getting the correct amount of sleep will allow your body to rest and recharge for the day ahead. It is also important that you are not oversleeping, as that can cause your body to feel abnormal and migraines may occur.
Learn how to deal with stress in a way that works for you. Anxiety, worry and chaos can trigger a migraine. Each person has a different way they deal and cope with stress, including but not limited to exercise, meditation, aromatherapy or talking to a therapist. Find what works for you and be sure to surrender fully to the process. When you are feeling anxious, stressed or on edge, be sure to have a plan in place to soothe your mind and soul and avoid a migraine.
We hope that these tips will help you avoid migraines, as we know that they can be painful and debilitating. Migraines do not have to be an everyday occurrence and with the right tips and techniques, you can be migraine free!