If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know how dreadful they can be. A headache is bad enough, but add severe pain, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound, and you have a debilitating situation on your hands. Migraines can develop for a number of reasons, ranging from stress to hormonal changes to strong smells like second-hand smoke. Once you’ve had one, you know you don’t ever want to experience one again. If you’re wondering how to get rid of a migraine, listen up, because we have some tips and remedies you’re going to want to know!
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a type of intense headache that causes severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually in one section of your head. It can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking and numbness, and makes you extremely sensitive to light and sound. When you experience a migraine, you’ll usually have to lay in bed in a perfectly quiet room with the lights shut and blinds pulled down so there’s absolutely no light or sound getting through to you.
Migraines may not develop until early adulthood, but they can begin in childhood as well. Women are more likely than men to get migraines, and if they run in your family, you’re more likely to suffer from them too.
What Are the Symptoms of a Migraine?
There are different stages of a migraine, and numerous symptoms can alert you that you’re about to have one. Migraine symptoms can occur one to two days before the migraine itself and these symptoms include food cravings, depression, fatigue, hyperactivity, excessive yawning, irritability and neck stiffness.
After this, you may start experiencing problems with vision, speech, movement and/or sensation. You may have difficulty speaking clearly, feel a tingling sensation in your face, arms or legs, see shapes or bright spots, or temporarily lose your vision.
The next stage is when you’ll actually start feeling the pain of the migraine. You may notice symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting, dizziness or feeling faint, and pulsing or throbbing head pain in one area of your head.
What Causes Migraines?
Migraines can be triggered by a number of factors, however the exact cause of migraines is not yet known. Genetics may make you more sensitive to triggers that lead to migraines, which we discuss below.
During menstruation, women can experience migraines due to the hormonal changes happening in our bodies. Migraines can also be triggered by emotional factors like stress, anxiety, depression, excitement and shock. Physical triggers can also lead to migraines. These include lack of sleep, poor posture, shoulder and neck tension and physical overexertion.
Caffeine and alcohol can also contribute to migraines, as can certain foods, including chocolate, cheese and citrus fruits. Irregular meal times and dehydration definitely don’t help, either. Sleeping pills, contraceptive pills and other medications have been found to cause migraines, and then there are environmental triggers like strong smells, stuffy rooms, second-hand smoke, flickering screens, bright lights and loud noises.
6 Natural Tips to Relieve Migraine Pain Fast
1. Drink Lots of Water
If you feel the symptoms of a migraine coming on, drink tons of water. Dehydration can lead to headaches and migraines, so drinking water can relieve the pain. In fact, drinking water has been shown to relieve headache symptoms in 30 minutes to three hours. Drink up, rest and be patient.
2. Try Magnesium
Magnesium has been found to be one of the most effective remedies for headaches and migraines. When you feel the symptoms of a migraine coming on, take magnesium to downplay the pain. It also helps you relax and sleep better! You can start taking a magnesium supplement to reduce your migraine risk and symptoms.
3. Take a B-Complex Vitamin
B vitamins may have a protective effect against headaches and can reduce migraine symptoms. B-complex vitamins contain all of the eight B vitamins, so it’s an easy and cost-effective way to treat your migraines. You can take them on a regular basis to prevent migraines in the first place!
4. Use a Cold Compress
Applying a cold or frozen compress to your neck and head area can decrease inflammation, slow nerve conduction and help with migraine pain overall. To make a cold compress, fill a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it with a towel. Apply it to the back of your neck, head and temples for relief.
5. Start Doing Yoga
Yoga provides stress relief, decreases pain and helps you feel better overall. While you may not even be able to imagine moving when your migraine is at full force, as soon as you notice symptoms, have a yoga session to relieve the pain. It can help reduce the intensity of your migraines, and if you start practicing yoga on a regular basis, it can help eliminate your headache and migraine frequency.
6. Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger root has plenty of benefits and is loved for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps reduce nausea and vomiting, which can be associated with migraines. Make yourself some ginger tea as soon as you feel migraine symptoms coming on. You can make the tea with ginger root, or use it in powder form.
3 Tips to Prevent Migraines
1. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep deprivation can lead to migraines in some people, so it’s important to get adequate sleep. On the other hand, if you get too much sleep, this can lead to headaches as well. Aim for 7 to 9 hours per night to prevent debilitating migraines and a healthy lifestyle overall.
2. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
If you’re prone to headaches and migraines, alcohol can be a major trigger. It opens your blood vessels, allowing your blood to flow more freely and also acts as a diuretic, causing your body to lose fluids and electrolytes through frequent urination. This can lead to dehydration, which can make your migraines worse.
3. Change Your Diet
Certain food and drink can trigger migraines, so if you notice symptoms after eating or drinking certain things, it’s time to change your diet. Common food triggers include processed foods, chocolate, red wine and caffeinated beverages. Consider keeping a food diary to keep track of common triggers and change your eating habits accordingly.
Migraines are awful, there’s no doubt about it. If you notice the symptoms of a migraine coming on, try these natural remedies to relieve and prevent migraines fast!