Melissa Young, MD, is a specialist in integrative medicine at the renowned Cleveland Clinic in the USA. In a recent article at the clinic, the migraine expert explains what people with chronic migraine can do to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks – without having to take medication for it.
Migraine sufferers are often struck by a debilitating pain that often forces them to retreat to a dark room and wait for the pain to subside. A specialist will present non-drug options to reduce the frequency and intensity of these attacks.
To escape the pain, migraine sufferers often resort to painkillers such as ibuprofen or prescription drugs. However, according to Dr. Young, this is not always necessary, because there are also natural and drug-free ways to combat migraine headaches. “We have to consider nutrition, nutrient supply, sleep, fluid intake and stress, all of which are common triggers for migraines,” the doctor explains. The following tips can help cushion the effects of migraines.
According to Dr. Young, the consumption of several small meals throughout the day helps to keep the blood sugar level stable. A stable blood sugar level in turn leads to fewer migraine attacks. With the kind of the nutrition one can orient oneself at the concept of the Mediterranean diet, which has a high portion of fruit, vegetable, beans, lean protein and healthy fats (e.g. from wild salmon, nuts, seeds and olive oil).
Pay attention to the triggers
Certain ingredients that are ingested through the diet are frequent triggers of migraine attacks. For example, caffeine or fried foods are possible triggers for many of those affected. Dr. Young recommends that it is always important to understand what was eaten on the day when a seizure occurs: “Watch out for reactions to ripened cheese, chocolate, alcohol and fermented or pickled foods. Experience shows that the following ingredients are often involved:
“There seems to be a connection between mitochondrial energy production in your cells and migraine,” stresses Dr. Young. In migraines, he says, it is particularly important to consume the right amounts of coenzyme Q10, vitamin B2 and magnesium. Anyone who frequently suffers from migraine attacks should have a doctor check whether a nutrient deficiency exists.
In addition, chiropractic and acupuncture measures as well as massages also have a soothing effect on some migraine sufferers, according to the expert. Further tips can be found in the article: Natural household remedies for headaches. (vb)
Getting a grip on migraine attacks without drugs
Stress in everyday life is also a common trigger for tension headaches. Lifestyle changes and targeted stress management can reduce the number and severity of migraine attacks. “I teach my patients meditation, including mindfulness and mantra meditation,” says Dr. Young. Diaphragmatic breathing and the so-called 4-7-8 breathing technique are also effective ways to reduce stress.
“Herbal therapies, for example with butterbur and feverfew, can also help prevent migraines,” Dr. Young recommends. Butterbur can also help with seasonal allergy symptoms. Feverfew dilates the blood vessels and can thus help to prevent migraine attacks.
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.