Migraines…they are the epitome of a bad day. They interfere with your daily life and take away from time well spent with family and loved ones. Migraines can come at any time and seem to be triggered by many things such as stress, anxiety, emotions, hormones, contraceptives and environmental stressors. As a person that suffered from migraines since the age of 17, I never thought I would be able to control a migraine with such little effort.
Migraine VS Headache
Migraines are very distinct and are noted as a throbbing, slow onset with vision disturbance or nausea. Of course, when there is pressure going on in your head it can be difficult to distinguish the difference between a headache and a migraine. The difference between a migraine and headache are the muscles that are involved.
A headache includes the neck and head muscles that become contracted and can be located in the temples, the base of the skull, forehead or at the back of the head. Headaches can feel like a pressure in your head and can range from dull ache to severe. Most often a headache is caused by tension in the neck muscles.
Types of Headaches
Tension Headaches- These headaches generally occur at the base of the skull or in the neck. They tend to creep up the back of the head. These can cause mild to moderate pain in the back of the head or at the temples. Tension headaches are not the only type of headaches that you can get.
Another type of common headache is a Cluster Headache. This type of headache tends to come in clusters, hence the name. They come on strong and fade away and then repeat the cycle. Cluster headaches seem to be very stressful and are often hard to control. Many things can trigger a cluster headache but the most common is dehydration or stress.
Signs and Symptoms of Migraines
Migraines consist of a variety of signs and symptoms and if caught early on, you can get rid of your migraine prior to it happening. Many people experience an Aura or rather a circling of light or as I like to call them, squiggling lines in your line of vision.
The lines or Aura that you are seeing continues to get close to your eyes until it fades away. Thus paving the way for the monster of headache you are about to get! UGH!! Symptoms for migraine headaches can include:
- Seeing squiggling lines
- Flashing lights
- Sensitivity to light/noise
For many people, migraines can get so severe that they will seek medical attention or go to the Emergency Department. Often people do not know how to find relief with a migraine and seek medications for periodic symptom relief.
Well of course medication can help for a short time. But it can mask symptoms and sometimes you can get what we call a rebound headache following the medication dose. Who wants that right??
Why Some Medications DON’T Work
I will be the first to tell you that having tried numerous medications each of them had very strong side effects. Imitrex caused terrible jaw pain and loss of taste in my mouth. It also made me sick to my stomach as I was unable to eat anything for hours after taking it.
Topamax was another one that is generally prescribed for people that have a seizure disorder. The side effects of Topamax are so large that there are too many to list here. Topamax caused numerous issues with my health. I was unproductive at work, tired all the time and I lost about 4 pounds because I couldn’t eat. Which is a side effect of the drug.
Another one that I used was Maxalt. Maxalt was effective at getting rid of my headaches but I would become extremely tired after taking it. Alternatively, I wasn’t able to function for the rest of the day. Those are to name a few that I had personally tried for several months. ‘
To say the least, I began thinking that there was no other answer to my problem of having chronic migraine headaches. Essentially, I continued to take them for months. I suffered in health in other ways because of ALL of the side effects of the drugs.
After having had migraines for years, I realized that there must be something I can do to get rid of them. Low and behold the number one cause of migraines is Contraceptives. I completely quit taking contraceptives and used other forms of birth control.
Now, your probably wondering “Why on earth would you do that?” Because after years and years of suffering from migraines I had no other options. I chose my health over my birth control pill.
That wasn’t the only thing that assisted in helping me combat my migraines. I am going to fill you in on the secret that way you can control your migraines and combat the stress that it causes millions of people.
Tips for Preventing a Migraine
Close to your menstrual cycle Eliminate Red wines
Red wines have tannins in them that cause the brain to release a hormone called serotonin. An abrupt change in serotonin levels can cause your hormones to change which then can trigger a migraine.
Take in plenty of FLUIDS
A lack of water in your body or dehydration can cause a chemical imbalance in not only your body but also your brain. Your brain is made up of 73% water. Your brain needs water to function properly.
Beware of hormonal changes in your body
Women are more susceptible to migraines than men due to the simple fact that women are well…women. We have a lot more going on in our bodies than men. Keep your hormones in check. Make sure you are aware of your hormones. It can make a huge difference in the way your body responds to the changes.
Things such as the time of the month or menses, or even common hormone-related problems. These can include Thyroid hormones and metabolic hormones.
Don’t skip a meal–
As with water, skipping a meal or snacking all day can lead to your body’s way of saying “Hey I’m lacking in nutrients FEED ME!”. Skipping meals can also lead to a shift in your body’s function and can, therefore, lead to a migraine.
Keep a normal sleep schedule-
Sleeping on a normal schedule, whatever your schedule may be is essential to build your body back up to achieve its optimum levels. Sleeping does so much for the mind and the body and allows your body to restore itself. Creating a sleeping pattern can assist your body in creating better habits for change.
Now I have mentioned several ways to prevent a migraine but now you’re probably wondering “Ok now how can I get rid of a Migraine if I do get one?” The following are only suggestions and for you to utilize at your own leisure.
I am not a doctor, but these are the things that I did on my own to reduce my migraine symptoms to the point that I was able to be fully functional after. Here are 5 simple steps to get rid of a migraine fast using home remedies.
Steps to Getting Rid of a Migraine
Take Ibuprofen or an NSAID
Axing all prescribed medications out of the equation can help immensely. But adding in hormones and many other stressors of life (aka womanhood), migraines can still arrive without warning. At first signs of a migraine taking an Anti-inflammatory can contribute to the effects of the migraine. Thus causing it to be less severe. WIN!!
NSAIDs can include Naproxen sodium and Ibuprofen/Motrin. Recovery time following the Aura made the headache more tolerable to the anti-inflammatory effects that Motrin/Ibuprofen has in it. Ibuprofen was the best thing for migraine relief.
Use essential oils
Essential oils were quite new to me a few years ago. Especially when the migraines that I kept getting were at their peak. I had just had a baby and I was suffering from sleepless nights and stress due to common work-related problems. Having come across essential oils for migraine relief from a friend of mine, that pointed me in the direction of DoTerra essential oils.
Doterra has many essential oils. I have tried quite a few of them from Doterra. Past tense (my fave) works best for treating migraines at home quickly. Past tense is created for tension headaches and migraines. Try rubbing it on your temples and infusing or diffusing it in a diffuser to get optimal relief.
You can purchase that Past Tense here: Doterra Essential Oils
***DOTERRA is an affiliate link, which means I may earn a commission if you choose to purchase from the website.
Light sensitivity can often happen with migraines. Try creating darkness in a bedroom and remaining calm for a half-hour to an hour can release tension. Taking a nap also allows your body the opportunity to release. Sometimes being tired or exhausted can trigger a migraine so resting up may help with migraine pain relief. This allows your body to reset thus helping relieve the symptoms of a migraine.
Neck and Foot cold therapy-
This may sound silly but after trying so many things with little relief, I came across this remedy and found it to be very effective. The instructions are below. As Follows Ice on Neck, Feet in Water
- Soak a washcloth in water and place it in the fridge or freezer depending on how cold you can stand it to be.
- Fill up the kitchen or bathroom sink with Epsom salts, ice and water, and even some essential oils like Peace to help calm you.
- Sitting at the edge of the sink of your choice, with your head on your knees, place the washcloth on the back of your neck and put your feet in the sink. Remain like this for 20-30 minutes.
Applying cold water and Epsom salts allows your muscles in your feet and your neck to relax. Your feet have many pressure points in them that can trigger various parts of your body. When you put your feet into a cold bath, you allow your feet to be the center. It then releases the pressure points that are associated with the pain. A great alternative for getting rid of a migraine.
Drink some Caffeine
Migraines have been known to be linked to caffeine deprivation. If your body is reliant on caffeine than increasing your caffeine intake when you have a migraine can help substantially. Over the counter medications are also available for Migraines that have caffeine in them. Try Midol or Excedrin Migraine they work great for moderate Migraines.
Although these are only a few recommendations, there are many other ways you can find relief from migraines using remedies at home. As simple as migraines may sound, they are not the type of migraine that you want to have consistently.
Implementing some of these remedies into your daily routine can minimize migraines. While some of these can help reduce the migraine and increase motivation to keep you on track for the day.
***If you have a debilitating migraine that causes you lack of function and occurs more than 6-8 times in a month seek the medical advice of a doctor.