Unless someone has experienced a migraine first-hand, it is very difficult to describe just how debilitating this condition can be. Often, simple pain meds such as paracetamol or ibuprofen don’t even come close to tackling a full-blown migraine leaving the victim to face the harshness of specially prescribed medication to help combat the condition.
However, many migraine sufferers report dissatisfaction with many drugs prescribed for the condition. Besides, many migraine meds also carry a risk of nasty side effects that include, weight gain, insomnia, nausea, depression and low blood pressure to name but a few.
So what are the alternatives? Can anything be done naturally to help with the symptoms of migraine intensity and frequency?
Here are five natural remedies that may be effective for a migraine.
1. During Plenty of Water
Although scientists do not yet fully understand the causes of a migraine attack, it has been established that dehydration can facilitate the onset of an episode. So stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoid caffeinated drinks, which cause a person to become dehydrated more quickly.
2. Regular Exercise
During a migraine attack, the neck muscles can often tighten up and cause considerable tension and stress on the neck and scalp muscles. Therefore, it is advised that migraine sufferers should take regular exercise to help keep their neck and shoulder muscles supple, which may be able to lessen the frequency and intensity of an attack.
Magnesium deficiency has been directly linked to the occurrence of migraines in several clinical studies. Magnesium has a relaxing effect on the body and works to soothe muscles and nerves and also helps to prevent nerves from becoming over-stimulated.
Magnesium is effective for both a preventing migraine before they occur and also helping to minimise their severity once onset starts.
As our bodies do not produce magnesium naturally, we must ensure we are getting enough of this essential mineral from our food or through supplements.
However, magnesium is notoriously difficult to absorb. Therefore, it is recommended to be taken in a powder form mixed with calcium and dissolved in hot water before drinking. This way the calcium will help to facilitate the absorption process of the magnesium into the system.
4. Omega 3
Studies have shown that migraine sufferers are greatly benefited by the continual and frequent supplementation of omega three fatty acids.
Omega 3 is a substance derived from fish oil, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Therefore, it is suspected that these oils can also help to reduce the inflammation of the nerves and muscles that become inflamed during a migraine attack.
One Scandinavian study reported that as much as 87% of participants of one trial reported a notable improvement with their migraines since incorporating omega three into their diet on a daily basis.
Many migraine sufferers seek out the help of an acupuncturist for their condition, with a large number of them reporting significant improvement in both the intensity and frequency of their attacks.
Some clinical trials have shown that the use of acupuncture treatment for a migraine can bring about the long-lasting effects of prescription drugs for the condition, but without the nasty side-effects that the drugs bring.
“Often, we find that migraine sufferers have considerable tension in the neck and shoulder area or are dehydrated without being aware of it. For others, the condition may be related to a hormonal imbalance, all of which seem to respond very well to acupuncture”, says Stephen West, an acupuncturist from the UK.
Stephen also explains that from a Chinese medicine perspective, congestion in the liver and gall bladder can cause irritability and muscle tension. Therefore, it is also advisable for those patients who are suffering in this way to take hot water with lemon on a daily basis to help move the congestion in the liver. A person may also use natural herbs such as calendula or milk thistle to achieve the same effect.
There are several natural alternatives that one can consider when wanting to find natural ways to help with migraines. Over time, it may be possible for some sufferers of this debilitating condition, to start reducing the medication that they are taking to alleviate the condition.
However, when considering to reduce medications of any kind, it is highly advisable that you consult your doctor before doing so and follow their guidance on the best protocols for reducing your drugs.