How to Prevent a Migraine

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By: , – Jessica Girdwain, Family Circle
8/27/2013 12:00 PM   :  10 comments   :  10,365 Views

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Keeping the same bedtime, eating regular meals and caffeinating consistently can help. Follow these steps for a pain-free day.
 
6:30 a.m. Take a Brisk Walk

Regularly working out can relieve stress (a trigger for three-quarters of all sufferers) and stabilize the chemicals in your brain. One 2011 study found that people who performed aerobic exercise three times a week experienced a 93% reduction in migraine attacks. If physical activity is a trigger for you, talk to your doctor about popping a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), like the prescription indomethacin, before your workout. 

7:45 a.m. Avoid Strong Scents

Switch to fragrance-free soaps and shampoos.

8:30 a.m. Drink Coffee

Although caffeine is a trigger for some people, the stimulant is a well-known remedy for others. If you're a java drinker, stick with the same beverage every morning, as withdrawal can also cause migraines.
9:00 a.m. Cook a Better Breakfast
Aged cheeses, citrus fruits and processed meats, which typically contain nitrates, can set off attacks. You don't have to avoid what you love, says Andrew Charles, M.D., director of the headache research and treatment program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Just consume them in moderation.

12:30 p.m. Make Time for Lunch

Even when your to-do list promises a frantic day, remember to eat. Skipping a meal causes blood sugar levels to drop, which may cause a migraine. (If you occasionally forget to grab a bite, set a reminder on your phone.) Be aware that dairy, wheat, nuts, chocolate, deli meat and fermented foods, like pickles, can also be triggers.

Click here for more ways to prevent migraines from Family Circle.

 
More from Family Circle:
 How do you prevent migraines? What helps you stay pain-free?
 


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Comments

  • MHEADACHERELIEF
    10
    Recognize the early warning signs of a migraine
    Create a plan of management for migraines
    Avoid problem foods and eat protective foods
    Avoid caffeine
    Get into a regular sleep schedule
    Limit your alcohol intake
    Manage or avoid stress
    Control your exposure to intense stimuli
    Exercise
    Change the air
    Think twice before taking hormonal medications
    Take prophylactic medications
    Take non-prescription supplements - 4/14/2014   3:29:19 AM
  • ASDYSART
    9
    If I fail to wear eye protection on bright, sunny days, that will trigger a migraine - especially when driving with all the glare! Hormones a huge factor as well as becoming a little dehydrated will bring one on, too.
    - 9/5/2013   6:10:59 PM
  • 8
    I do meditation and relaxing stretching. To answer someone's question about auras I always get them so that's when I find I find . A quiet place to meditate. - 8/29/2013   1:43:53 PM
  • KRISSY021
    7
    Does anyone else get an "aura" before their migraine? Mine is like someone took a flash photo right in front of my eyes! - 8/29/2013   1:12:09 PM
  • 6
    My supervisor gets migraines and I'm the one who has to give up scented shower gels and my favorite body lotion! She also complains when I use the menthol pain patches for my arthritis (I can't take NSAIDs). - 8/28/2013   6:23:59 PM
  • 5
    I take butterbur supplements; they don't prevent all my migraines, but since I have been taking it for 2 years now they really help by cutting down on the frequency and the severity. - 8/28/2013   10:42:19 AM
  • 4
    I'm with you, ZORBS, but I try to do everything I can to minimize my migraines. If I can catch it quickly enough, the combo of ibuprofen, acetaminophen and caffeine helps, as does sleep and a dark room. Birth control helps regulate those evil hormones a bit, too. And mild regular exercise does seem to help...but definitely don't over-do it like I did this weekend. My head decided to spend all of Sunday and Monday reminding me of this fact. :P - 8/27/2013   7:15:17 PM
  • 3
    When the weather is changing, I am taking migraine medication. That happened to me this morning & my head is giving me warnings right now to take another dose. I agree that I will wait a few minutes after dinner to see if it will pass. - 8/27/2013   6:12:12 PM
  • 2
    Get enough sleep! - 8/27/2013   5:14:23 PM
  • 1
    I can't prevent my migraines, unless I can stop the hormonal flood from happening each month. - 8/27/2013   2:24:57 PM

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