We asked Headache Experts for advice on what Products to Use To Prevent Migraines BuzzFeed News


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If you know someone suffering from migraines or have suffered from migraines yourself, you’ll have experienced the pain of these headaches can be crippling.

The positive side is that we now have an knowledge of migraines than we have ever had before, as per Angel Moreno, a nurse practitioner at UCLA’s Goldberg Migraine Program, which specialises in non-pharmacologic migraine solutions.

“Migraine for a long time was a disease that was almost invisible,” Moreno said.

Headache disorders such as migraines or cluster headaches are a major cause of headaches for more than 3 billion people in the world every year. They’re among the most prevalent neurological disorders that can result in up to 50 percent in women, and up to 20 percent of men suffer from migraines during their lifetime. Although prescription medicines are available that help alleviate and prevent headaches and migraines Many people would like to look into non-pharmacological solutions or lifestyle changes that could assist too.

For those looking for alternative solutions we asked our experts for suggestions, advice, over-the counter products as well as natural remedies which can help with migraines or headaches.

What can cause headaches?

There are two types of headache disorders, primary and secondary, said Dr. Juliana VanderPluym, a United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties-certified headache specialist and neurologist at the Mayo Clinic.

Primary headache disorders are triggered when there’s a problem at the cellular level or at the electrical level or the nervous system causes the headache in a way that is not prompted. Also the headache itself is the issue. Migraines are a prime example of the primary headache disorder.

Secondary headache disorders are those in which another issue could be causing damage or irritation to the nerves, like an injury to the neck or sinus infection. The sufferers of secondary headache disorders will likely be seeking treatment for the primary issue, and hopefully solve the headaches.

It was previously believed that behavioral or lifestyle factors can trigger migraines VanderPluym claimed that studies have shown that the hypothalamus (the brain region that controls the temperature, appetite, as well as other bodily functions, could be activated at an early stage prior to the onset of headaches.

“Some doctors suggest that our perceptions of food triggers such as craving wine, chocolate, or salty meats , or something similar to that, perhaps the foods we believe are triggers don’t really trigger us,” she said. “Maybe that’s because of the hypothalamus which causes us to crave these things. After eating them, we suffer from migraines and we’re going to experience migraines regardless since the hypothalamus began to activate.”

Focusing too much on the potential triggers causes people to feel that they are personally at fault for their conditions while they’re probably not doing anything to trigger the symptoms. While it’s beneficial to be aware of problems with sleep or stress management which can increase the likelihood of suffering from migraines, people shouldn’t be concerned about the things they’re putting into their bodies VanderPluym added.

There’s no standard method of treating patients suffering from headache-related disorders, it’s crucial to consult with a doctor for treatment plans and preventative steps to determine the ideal balance between the guidelines and the individual’s requirements.

How to eliminate headaches

Once VanderPluym has determined whether the patient suffers from principal or secondary condition and breaks down the treatments into 3 categories:lifestyle suggestions or rescue methods, as well as preventative treatment.

“Migraine is a disease that isn’t a fan of big changes, which is why we want to ensure that people are consistent in their daily routines and also that they’re following healthy lifestyles,” she said.

Moreno advises a healthy diet for patients suffering from headaches. He recommends eating small meals of protein spread throughout the day to ensure a steady supply of energy for the brain.

“We run into issues when we consume a lot of sugar, and a lot in processed carbs,” Moreno said. These types of food items can cause a surge of energy, followed by a crash. On the other hand, an eating plan that is high in animal and vegetable proteins will ensure a sufficient amount of energy through the central nervous system explained.

The experts suggested that people who suffer from headaches may want to think about using a magnesium supplement along with vitamin B2, which is also known as the riboflavin. Moreno prefers to include coenzymeQ10, a different type of supplement.

“The evidence suggests that if you take these three supplements over a period of about 2 months you will begin to notice a decrease in the intensity of migraine, and possibly the frequency of migraines,” he said. “The method by which these supplements function is that they’re basically cofactors in helping the body to extract fuel from food we consume and the air we breathe. It’s all about improving metabolism.”

The next one is the one that VanderPluym refers to as rescue or acute treatment, which refers to the medication patients take to ease their symptoms when they’re beginning to experience migraine-related symptoms. Treatments for emergency situations can be prescribed medication (like triptan medications to treat migraines) or prescription pain medications such as acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

She warned to be cautious when using this type of pain medication because items, such as Excedrin that contain caffeine can cause rebound headaches when they are used for too long.

It’s possible for recurrence headaches to happen when you are in the habit of taking the medications, and then experience a new headache after the drug gets rid of, so you are prescribed the drug again. If you notice yourself using medication to treat headaches for more than two days in a row You should consult your doctor for the best ways to prevent this from happening.

For those who experience nausea due to the onset of migraines, Moreno said treating nausea can ease the symptoms. There are a few medications that can help alleviate this symptom However, one non-pharmacologic treatment that he suggests is ginger extract. He also stressed how important it was to remain hydrated, which may not always refer to drinking only water.

“You require the proper electrolyte balance to effectively make the water enter the cells” the doctor said. He’s a big advocate for electrolyte-replacement products that aren’t full of sugar added to achieve optimal levels of hydration.

There isn’t a need for everyone who experiences headaches or migraines requires the third option — preventive treatment. VanderPluym explained that it’s contingent upon how often you suffer from migraines or the severity. If they’re very frequent or severe, then establishing an preventative program will decrease the severity of symptoms.

The preventative measures can include taking a look at the trio of supplements offered by Moreno, or implementing behavioral techniques like cognitive behavior therapy or biofeedback.

“If you’re trying to stay clear of taking any medication, those have a lot of evidence however, they require effort and finding a psychologist well-trained and able to give directions,” VanderPluym said.

If you suffer from migraines or cluster headaches or even tension headaches that you want to alleviate or eliminate without resorting to prescription drugs, here are some remedies that could assist.