Nobody wants to experience migraines. If you do know that feeling, I am sorry for you. When a migraine attacks, it completely debilitates the person and may last from hours to days. Sometimes, as if the severe pain is not enough, nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound could accompany migraines and make people want to smash their heads on the wall.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for migraines, because doctors do not fully understand the mechanisms yet. Some factors may increase the risk of migraines, such as hormones, alcohol, caffeine, weather, stress, and too much or too little sleep, but even if you avoid all the potential risk factors, you could still be struck by a migraine unexpectedly.
Is there no way to deal with migraines?
Painkillers are by now the most effective way to deal with migraines. But do you know which medication fits your situation best? Do you know when to take the medicine? The type and timing actually matter.
There are three main kinds of painkillers, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and triptans.
Ibuprofen is a widely used NSAID. It is generally safe but in a few cases may cause stomach bleeding. Its effectiveness also varies with each user. If ibuprofen is not so effective, indomethacin, diclofenac, loxoprofen, and celecoxib may be better choices.
Doctors have not understood how acetaminophen can relieve pain, but it works anyway.
If both of the above OTC drugs do not work, you can seek a doctor and ask him/her for the prescription medication triptans, which are a kind of medicine specially designed to treat severe migraines and headaches.
Some people may undergo "stages" of migraine. They can feel the migraine coming before the attack starts. For these people, a sustained release capsule may be the best choice. It can prevent the migraine from occurring.
For those whose attacks come sudden and severe, a dispersible tablet may be better because it can be dissolved in water and quickly absorbed.
If your migraines are often accompanied by vomiting, you can ask a doctor for a suppository or nasal spray.
You DO NOT have to endure the pain until it becomes unbearable. NSAIDs can inhibit the "pain chemicals" from producing. Therefore, if you use them after the pain starts, the chemicals are already in your blood and the drug cannot work as expected. The earlier you take painkillers, the better.
The best part is that these three kinds do not have the risk of addiction as long as you follow the instructions.
Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids made from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Aromatherapy often involves essential oils that can offer health benefits like reducing stress and improving circulation via scent. Different oils offer different benefits, and some can help treat headaches or migraines.
Here are 5 essential oils that can relieve migraines: peppermint, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus.
Peppermint has been confirmed to reduce migraines, and it contains menthol, which can help relax muscles and ease pain.
Rosemary oil has powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It’s been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years for stress reduction, pain relief, and improved circulation.
Lavender essential oil is commonly used for stress relief and relaxation. There’s also strong evidence that lavender can help treat headaches and migraines.
Chamomile oil can relax the body and soothe muscles, and for this reason, it can be a great aid in treating tension migraines. It can also help treat anxiety and insomnia, which are common causes of headaches and migraines.
Eucalyptus oil will open up the nasal passages, clear the sinuses, and help relieve sinus tension, which may cause migraines and headaches.
Essential oils are so concentrated that they cannot be applied to the skin directly. You should first dilute them in a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil and then rub them on the painful area or drop them in a hot bath.
Low magnesium is also linked to headaches and migraines. It’s estimated that many people don’t get enough magnesium through their diets. Therefore, magnesium supplements may be used to lower the frequency and severity of migraines. However, too much magnesium may cause adverse effects. Thus if you plan to take magnesium supplements, you should ask a doctor how much you can take each day.
Some foods contain more magnesium than others, and they could be good dietary choices. For example, spinach, pumpkin and squash seeds, almonds, mackerel and tuna, black beans and lentils, avocado, figs, bananas, and dark chocolate are potential options for additional magnesium.