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Do you know someone who has migraines, or have you experienced them yourself, you know that these severe headaches can be debilitating.
According to Angel Moreno, a nurse with the UCLA Goldberg Migraine Program, which specializes in the treatment of non-pharmacological migraines, the good news is that we understand migraines better than ever before.
“Migraine, for a long time, was a very invisible disease,” Moreno said.
Headaches such as migraines and cluster headaches affect almost 3 billion people worldwide each year. They are one of the most common neurological conditions, with up to 50% of women and 20% of men experiencing migraines throughout their lives. Although there are prescription medications that can help treat and prevent headaches and migraines, many people want to study non-prescription medications or lifestyle changes that can help.
For those looking for alternatives, we asked experts for advice, over-the-counter products, and home remedies for migraines and headaches.
What causes headaches?
There are two types of headaches, primary and secondary, Dr. said. Juliana Vander Pluim, Joint Council on Neurological Subspecialties – Headache Specialist and Neuropathologist at the Mayo Clinic.
Major headaches occur when there is a problem at the cellular or electrical level, or when the nervous system suddenly causes a headache. In other words, the headache itself is a problem. Migraine is an example of a major headache.
Secondary headaches are other conditions that irritate or irritate the nerves, such as a neck injury or a sinus infection. People with secondary headaches are treated for their underlying anxiety, hoping it will probably resolve the headache.
At one time, when lifestyle or behavioral factors were thought to trigger migraines, Vander Plym said research showed that the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates appetite, temperature and other bodily functions, began to function before headaches.
“Some doctors may think that chocolate or wine or cheese or salty meat or something like that is a food trigger, maybe they think that the foods we think are the trigger aren’t really the trigger,” he said. “Maybe the hypothalamus longs for those things. Then we eat them and get a migraine, but since the hypothalamus is active, we would still get a migraine. ”
With too much emphasis on potential triggers, people feel personally responsible for their symptoms and they may do nothing. While it’s a good idea to focus on sleep problems or stress management, which can increase the risk of migraines, there is no need to worry too much about what people are putting into their bodies, VanderPluim said.
Since there is no single approach to treating people with headaches, it is important to work with your doctor on treatment plans and prevention measures to find the right balance between general guidelines and individual needs.
How to get rid of headaches
Once VanderPluy determines whether a patient has a primary or secondary headache, it divides treatment into three – lifestyle recommendations, life-saving treatment, and prophylactic treatment.
“Migraine is a disease that doesn’t like big changes, so we want to make sure that people are consistent in their lifestyles and that they are also following a healthy lifestyle,” he said.
Moreno recommends proper nutrition for patients with headaches. He suggests eating protein-rich small meals throughout the day to get the brain a consistent amount of energy.
“When people eat a lot of sugar and a lot of processed carbohydrates, we have problems,” Moreno said. While such foods can cause breakdown and peak energy by animals, a diet rich in vegetables can help maintain an adequate amount of energy delivered to the central nervous system, he said.
Both experts said people with headaches might consider taking a magnesium supplement and vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. Moreno also likes to add another type of supplement, coenzyme Q10.
“The data tells us that if you combine these three supplements for about two months, you will start to see a decrease in the severity and frequency of migraines,” he said. “The way these supplements work is that they help the body get energy from the food we eat and the air we breathe. It’s all about supporting your metabolism. ”
The next category is something called VanderPluym rescue or acute treatment, which people take to relieve when migraine symptoms occur. Rescue treatments can be prescription drugs (such as tryptane drugs for migraines) or over-the-counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
According to him, beware of this category of painkillers, because some foods, such as Excedrin, which contain caffeine, can cause headaches if overused.
When you go into a cycle of taking this medication and you get a headache again, you may get a headache again, so you take the medicine again. If you are taking headache medication two or more days a week, you should consult your doctor to discuss preventive measures to avoid this cycle.
Moreno said that for those who suffer from migraines and dizziness, treatment of dizziness can help. There are some medications that can reduce this symptom, but one of the non-pharmacological treatments he recommends is ginger extract. He also stressed the importance of staying properly hydrated, which does not mean always drinking water.
“You need the right electrolyte balance to get water into the cells,” he said. It is a great proponent of sugar-free electrolyte replacement products to achieve optimal hydration levels.
Not all people with headaches or migraines need a third category – preventive treatment. According to Vander Plyum, it depends on your migraines or their severity. If they are too frequent or severe, initiating a prevention plan will ideally reduce symptoms.
These precautions may include testing an additional Moreno trio or resorting to behavioral interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy or biofidback training.
“If you want to completely avoid getting anything, they have very strong evidence, but they require you to work and find a psychologist who is trained and able to give instructions,” said Vander Pluim.
Whether you have migraines, cluster headaches, or tension headaches, whether you want to be treated or even want to avoid a lot of over-the-counter medications, these are some products that can help.