More than 100 million people suffer from different types of chronic headaches, such as tension headaches caused by stress, sinus headaches caused by sinus infection, hunger headaches, cluster headaches sometimes caused by alcohol or smoking, migraines, etc.
The migraine itself is usually described as a throbbing, very intense headache. Often there will be blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and the intense head pain. Migraines are typically progressive over time and can sometimes even advance to the point of mumbling speech and disorientation. Over-the-counter pain relievers will usually not even come close to touching the pain associated with migraine attacks. The conventional coping strategy is complete silence and darkness for the duration of the attack.
Once a migraine sufferer realizes that the treatments offered by conventional healthcare providers usually will not help significantly, most begin to look for other alternatives. Not only are there effective holistic alternatives that can offer relief and control, there are also other ways to both prevent and survive migraine attacks.
Here are a few alternatives that may offer some relief:
• Amethyst crystals – amethyst has been found to lessen the pain to some extent and may make the migraine pain at least tolerable and less frequent.
• Feverfew – taken daily over several months, many sufferers will have a dramatic decrease of migraine activity. Can also be taken preventatively.
• Aromatherapy – several drops of lavender on a warm cloth and placed on the forehead. Will often take the edge off the pain on an attack. (Will post what essential oils can help you with headaches and migraines shortly)
Some of these headaches can be prevented by making lifestyle and dietary changes. Numerous studies show that foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals can prevent or help with most of headaches and migraines.
There are many triggers of migraines including; environmental, stress of either a physical or emotional nature, nutritional deficiencies, allergic reactions, bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes, changes in sleeping patterns, smoking or smoke exposure, skipping meals, alcohol, menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during the menopause, foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG) or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami).
Instead of taking painkillers try to incorporate more of these foods into your diet first. Try to drink more water and eat fiber rich foods (to get rid of constipation). A lot of people who suffer from migraines experience constipation.
High-Fiber Rich Foods for Headaches, Constipation and Weight Loss
- Magnesium rich foods, such as almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, brown rice, garlic, leafy vegetables, grapefruit, cantaloupe, sesame seeds, spinach, salmon.
Deficiency of Magnesium interferes with transmission of nerve and muscle impulses, causing irritability and nervousness which might trigger headaches; a lot of headaches/migraines are also caused by hormonal changes of periods (before and during menstruation).
- Potassium rich foods: apricots, avocados, beans, bananas, garlic, raisins, nuts, winter squash, yams and yogurt.
Potassium is important for healthy nervous system. Signs of potassium deficiency include constipation, depression, nervousness, insomnia which might trigger headaches.
- Vitamin E rich foods: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, watercress, dandelion, flax seed, legumes, seeds and nuts, olive oil.
Vitamin E can help stabilize estrogen levels and prevent migraines during periods. It also improves circulation which help prevent headaches.
- Vitamin B Complex (B1, B2, B5, B6, B12 ) rich foods, such as fish, peanuts, peas, broccoli, prunes, raisins, oatmeal, avocados, asparagus, bananas, spinach, walnuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, brown rice, cabbage, cantaloupe, salmon, seafood, sea vegetables, yogurt, whole grains and nuts.
Vitamin B Complex deficiency can contribute to many anxiety disorders caused by stress, such as hormonal imbalances, blood sugar fluctuations, chronic fatigue, depression, irritability, moodiness, nervousness, constipation. All these symptoms might trigger headaches and migraines.
- Vitamin A rich foods, such as apricots, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, collards, dandelion greens, fish oil, garlic, papaya, peaches, red peppers, sweet potatoes, yellow squash.
Some possible results of vitamin A deficiency include insomnia, fatigue, sinusitis, frequent colds which can lead to headaches and migraines.
Be sure to clean up your diet adding as much natural raw or at least lightly cooked foods to your diet as possible, avoiding chemicals and chemical triggers, reducing stress and exercising as much as possible as well as getting a good nights sleep. Slow motion exercises like Tai Chi, yoga and deep breathing meditation can strengthen the overall energy of the body and have a strong calming effect on all the organs of the body. This is especially true of the mind and can greatly help to reduce or eliminate migraine headaches.
Remember to buy organic produce and eat your fruits and vegetables fresh.
Don’t forget that severe headaches shouldn’t be ignored: maybe you should see a doctor or even go to the Emergency Room. Any pain is a sign: our body tries to tell us something.
Let us listen to our bodies and be headache pain smart.
And don’t forget to breathe, smile and be happy.