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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Migraine Headache - Natural Home Remedies


Migraine headaches are a type of severe headache that can cause throbbing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other symptoms. Migraine attacks can last from a few hours to several days and can interfere with your daily activities. While there are many medications available to treat migraine symptoms, some people may prefer to use natural or home remedies to ease their pain and prevent future attacks. In this article, we will explore some of the natural and home remedies that may help you manage migraine headaches.


What causes migraine headaches?

The exact cause of migraine headaches is not fully understood, but it is believed that they are related to changes in the brain and its blood vessels. Some factors that may trigger or worsen migraine attacks include:

  • Hormonal changes, such as during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause

  • Stress, anxiety, or depression

  • Lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns

  • Dehydration or skipping meals

  • Certain foods or drinks, such as chocolate, cheese, alcohol, caffeine, or foods with additives like nitrates or monosodium glutamate (MSG)

  • Weather changes, such as barometric pressure or temperature

  • Sensory stimuli, such as bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells

  • Medication overuse or withdrawal


What are some natural and home remedies for migraine headaches?

There are many natural and home remedies that may help you reduce migraine symptoms or prevent migraine attacks. However, not all of them may work for everyone, and some of them may have side effects or interact with other medications. Therefore, it is important to consult with your doctor before trying any of these remedies, especially if you have any medical conditions or allergies. Here are some of the natural and home remedies that may help you with migraine headaches:

  • Drink water: Dehydration can cause or worsen headaches, so drinking enough water throughout the day and eating water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can help you stay hydrated and prevent headaches. Research suggests that drinking more water may help reduce headache occurrence, duration, and severity in some people.

  • Apply lavender oil: Lavender oil is a type of essential oil that has a soothing and relaxing aroma. Inhaling lavender oil may ease migraine pain and reduce stress. Lavender oil can be inhaled directly or diluted with a carrier oil and applied in small amounts to your temples. A 2016 study found evidence that 3 months of lavender therapy as a preventive measure, meaning taken before a migraine attack begins, reduced frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

  • Take some magnesium: Magnesium is an important mineral that is involved in many functions in the body, including nerve transmission and blood vessel regulation. Magnesium deficiency may be more common in people who get frequent migraine headaches than in those who don’t. Taking magnesium supplements may help prevent or reduce migraine symptoms, especially in people with aura, which are visual or sensory disturbances that occur before or during a migraine attack. However, magnesium supplements may cause diarrhea or stomach upset in some people, so start with a low dose and increase gradually.

  • Try acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy or qi. Acupuncture may help reduce migraine frequency and severity by modulating pain signals in the brain and releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers. A 2016 review of 22 trials involving 4985 participants found that acupuncture was more effective than a placebo procedure or no treatment in reducing migraine attacks.

  • Use a cold compress: Applying a cold compress to your forehead or neck can help constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which may ease migraine pain and discomfort. You can use a frozen gel pack, a bag of ice, or a cold cloth for this purpose. Apply the cold compress for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day, as needed.

  • Eat ginger: Ginger is a spice that has anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. Ginger may help relieve migraine symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. You can eat fresh or dried ginger, drink ginger tea, or take ginger capsules or powder. A 2014 study of 100 participants with acute migraine found that ginger powder was as effective as sumatriptan, a common migraine medication, in reducing migraine severity and duration.

  • Practice yoga: Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga may help improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and balance hormones, which may all contribute to preventing or reducing migraine headaches. A 2014 study of 60 participants with chronic migraine found that yoga therapy for 3 months reduced headache frequency, intensity, and pain.

  • Avoid food triggers: Some foods or drinks may trigger or worsen migraine attacks in some people. These may include foods with nitrates, such as hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and sausage; chocolate; cheese that contains tyramine, such as blue, feta, cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss; alcohol, especially red wine; foods that contain MSG, a flavor enhancer; foods that are very cold, such as ice cream or iced drinks; processed foods; pickled foods; beans; dried fruits; and cultured dairy products, such as buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt. To figure out which foods and drinks trigger migraine attacks for you, keep a daily food journal and record everything you eat and how you feel afterward.

  • Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns can trigger or worsen migraine headaches, as well as affect your mood, energy, and concentration. Getting enough sleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help you prevent or reduce migraine symptoms. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and electronic devices before bedtime.


Summary

Migraine headaches are a type of severe headache that can cause throbbing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other symptoms. Migraine attacks can last from a few hours to several days and can interfere with your daily activities. While there are many medications available to treat migraine symptoms, some people may prefer to use natural or home remedies to ease their pain and prevent future attacks. Some of the natural and home remedies that may help you with migraine headaches include drinking water, applying lavender oil, taking magnesium, trying acupuncture, using a cold compress, eating ginger, practicing yoga, avoiding food triggers, and getting enough sleep. However, not all of these remedies may work for everyone, and some of them may have side effects or interact with other medications. Therefore, it is important to consult with your doctor before trying any of these remedies, especially if you have any medical conditions or allergies. Remember that migraine headaches are a serious condition that may require medical attention, especially if they are frequent, severe, or accompanied by other symptoms. Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the following:

  • A sudden, severe headache that feels like a thunderclap

  • A headache that comes with a fever, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness

  • A headache that follows a head injury

  • A headache that worsens over time or does not improve with treatment

  • A headache that changes your vision, speech, or movement


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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