How to Prevent Migraines Naturally
The root cause of your migraine may not be just in your head, in fact, it can be caused by many factors. Some common causes are:
- Lack of sleep
- Food Sensitivities
- Bowel and Gut Imbalances
- Magnesium Deficiency
- Hormonal Imbalances
7 TIPS TO PREVENT MIGRAINES NATURALLY
1. Identify migraine triggers
The first step to migraine prevention is to identify and remove underlying triggers. The most common triggers are:
- Aged cheese
- Nitrites (found in hot dogs and charcuterie)
- Food additives (like MSG)
- Low blood sugar
- Allergies and sinus congestion
- Hormonal changes
- Strong odors / Perfume
- Bright light
- Weather changes
You can keep a migraine diary to identify patterns when you get your headaches. Note:
- WHAT you ATE and DRANK in the last 12 hours
- WHAT you WERE DOING
- WHERE you WERE
2. Do an Elimination Diet
If you suspect that your migraines are related to a certain food, you may have a food sensitivity. Start an elimination diet and for 4 weeks remove all of the most common sensitivities: gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar. Ideally, an elimination diet for migraines is about 4-6 weeks long; as you reintroduce foods, pay close attention to headaches or migraines that creep up. If a food that you add back in causes a headache, eliminate it completely.
3. Reduce your use of common pain-relieving medications
When you take pain-relieving medications for headaches, including narcotics, Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen, on a regular basis, these medications overtime start to cause headaches and make your migraine frequency and severity worse, this is a phenomenon called medication overuse headache. Try to stop your pain medications for a few months and change them for more natural options.
4. Take nutritional supplements
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 400 mg/day. Riboflavin has been shown to prevent recurrent migraines by 50%. Its benefits are likely a result of its effect increasing efficiency of the mitochondrial function. It may take about a month to notice results but usually, it is very effective.
- Magnesium glycinate (600-1200 mg daily): can help prevent migraines generally, and is especially helpful in preventing migraines associated with your period. It can take as long as a couple of months to see results. Consult with your doctor if you take blood pressure medication as high-dose magnesium can lower blood pressure.
- Ginger: is traditionally used to treat pain and inflammation and it has been shown to be as effective as NSAIDs for relieving pain.
- Fish Oil (1500-3000 mg daily): also is an effective anti-inflammatory and can reduce headache frequency, length, and severity.
- Co-Enzyme Q10 (50-200 mg/day in the form of ubiquinol): this supplement has helped many people to overcome chronic migraines.
NOTE: All these supplements are safe for use in pregnancy.
6. Balance hormones imbalances
One of the triggers for migraines is estrogen, many women experience menstrual (or sometimes ovulatory) migraines. This explains the overwhelming number of women migraine sufferers compared to men. You can read about the causes and common symptoms of hormonal imbalances here and how to balance your hormones naturally here.
7. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet
Reducing the pro-inflammatory foods in your diet, particularly sugar, red meat, and processed foods, while adding antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and good quality oils (olive, coconut, and avocado) can reduce your headache frequency.
8. Keep your blood sugar balanced
Keep your blood sugar steady with regular meals that contain good quality fats protein, and fiber. Lower your consumption of processed sugar. Eat healthy meals at regular times, and healthy snacks for example fruits, vegetables with hummus, nuts, or seeds.
9. Stress relieved
There is and strong association between and migraines and stress. Getting enough sleep and exercising can reduce migraines. Also, stress reduction practices like meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing can be very beneficial.
Be mindful that reduce the severity and frequency of your migraines can take up to several months, so don't give up if you don't notice a change immediately.
Let me help you to create a nutritional and lifestyle plan to achieve your health goals.