Get to know your migraine triggers
This week is migraine awareness week. Migraines can be so debilitating and for some don’t just mean painful headaches, but also nausea, fatigue and other symptoms. Women are more likely to experience migraines than men and that is largely due to hormone fluctuations which can trigger migraines. Some women can experience migraines around the time of their period. Others find migraines start to develop around the time of the menopause when more hormone fluctuations take place.
Becoming aware of some of the factors that can trigger or make your migraine worse can help you to manage them. Here are some factors to be aware of:
- Stay hydrated – it sounds simple but making sure you keep well hydrated can help reduce headaches and migraines. This is particularly important if you work in an office environment that is not well ventilated. Try to ensure you get at least six to eight glasses of fluid a day by having water, herbal teas, smoothies or soups. (see my blog for ideas about how to stay well hydrated).
- Watch your caffeine intake – in some people caffeine can trigger migraines, but the research on caffeine and migraines is mixed. It’s worth taking caffeine out for a while and seeing if it makes a difference to you.
- Relax your muscles – muscular tension in the neck and shoulder area can trigger migraines, so try a massage or some gentle stretches to reduce tension build up.
- Don’t skip meals – people with migraines can be quite sensitive to their blood sugar levels getting too low which can trigger a migraine. So, eat regular meals and balance your blood sugar levels by avoiding sugary and high carbohydrate foods and opting for protein based snacks (see my earlier blog for tips on balancing blood sugar levels).
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – migraines are the result of inflammation in the brain. Fruit and vegetables are full of anti-inflammatory compounds which can help reduce inflammation. Green vegetables contain magnesium which can relax muscles and so help with migraines.
- Manage your stress levels – stress can trigger a migraine and can also increase levels of inflammation in the body. Try to do something relaxing for at least 10 minutes every day to help manage stress (get some tips on how to do this here).
As well as working on the underlying hormonal imbalances that may trigger migraines it can also be worth looking for any patterns in the food you eat and migraines too as food sensitives can also contribute to migraines. People with migraines can also be deficient in certain nutrients, so it can be worth getting some advice from a nutritional therapist about supplements that could help too.
For more help working out your individual migraine triggers and how to manage them, do get in touch for a free 30 minute hormone health review to see how nutritional therapy could help you.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.