CINCINNATI – About one in eight people suffers from migraines – a throbbing headache that can last for hours or even days.
“You get a variety of different symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, and sometimes sensitivity to light and noise,” said Dr. Vincent Martin, professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
But you can potentially thwart a migraine episode by avoiding common triggers. First, pay attention to what you eat and drink. Common culprits include caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, sausages, and foods containing MSG.
Second, don’t skip meals. Fasting can trigger migraines.
“Stress is a big trigger,” said Martin. “So not only when the stress occurs, but also when the stress is gone.
Yoga and meditation can help manage your stress levels, and remember that migraines are often triggered by poor sleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day, and when you experience a migraine, turn off the lights, put hot or cold compresses on your head or neck, and drink a small amount of caffeine. A recent study in Europe even found that smelling or rubbing lavender oil for 15 minutes can relieve migraine symptoms.
There are also beta blockers such as Inderal and Blocadren that your doctor may suggest to help prevent a migraine episode. Other triggers for migraines are weather and hormonal changes.