How to Avoid a Migraine

Identify behaviors, foods, and other stimulants that commonly trigger migraine headaches so that you can avoid chronic pain.

How to Avoid a Migraine
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Overview
Many people suffer from migraine headaches, and those who have never had one are still susceptible to suffering from one. Migraine headaches can be triggered by certain foods, environments, stress and sleeping irregularity, among other things. Processed or preserved foods are also seen as common causes for migraine headaches, including the use of MSG, or mono-sodium glutamate. Men can get migraine headaches, but they are more common in women. Changing behaviors or foods are some of the most common ways to avoid a migraine.
Step 1
Reduce the amount of caffeine each day. Many individuals drink too much soda or coffee, leading to migraines. On the other hand, completely withdrawing from caffeine could lead to intense headaches or migraines, so it is best to cut back on intake slowly.
Step 2
Cut back on artificial sweeteners or other processed foods that cause chemical interactions within the brain and blood flow. Aspartame is an ingredient found in many sugar-free drinks and foods, and it is often the reason for headaches and migraines. Processed foods such as sandwich meat or bacon have nitrates, which have been shown to trigger migraine headaches. MSG is an additive used to enhance foods' flavor and has been blamed for migraine headaches in many people.
Step 3
Keep a schedule. Going to bed and getting up every day at the same time will establish a routine that keeps sleeping patterns constant. Some individuals find that they are more susceptible to migraines if they get a sleeping pattern disrupted. Keeping the body at an internal schedule will help reduce the number of migraines.
Step 4
Avoid bright or flickering lights. Some people are very sensitive to bright lights or flickering bulbs. When light is uneven to the viewer or comes to one side of the face, migraines are often triggered. Many people also find flickering lights or glare off of shiny objects to cause migraine headaches. When a mild onset of a headache begins, find a cool, dark room to relax in to prevent the headache from turning into a migraine. Applying a damp washcloth over the eyes can lessen the pain behind the eyes or forehead.
Step 5
Exercise daily to reduce the amount of headaches and migraines. Cardio exercises increases the blood flow to the brain, reducing the amount of painful headaches many people suffer from. Daily exercise is also ideal to keep the body relieved of stress, which is also a cause for headaches and migraines.
skill
1
ingredient
Decaffeinated beverages

Cool, dark room

Damp washcloth

ingredients
Decaffeinated beverages
ingredients
Cool, dark room
ingredients
Damp washcloth
tip
Relax in a dark, cool room at the onset of a migraine to reduce the intensity. Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as Excedrin Migraine to reduce the pain, or check with a doctor for a prescription-strength pain reliever
tips
Relax in a dark, cool room at the onset of a migraine to reduce the intensity. Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as Excedrin Migraine to reduce the pain, or check with a doctor for a prescription-strength pain reliever
keyword
avoid migraine, migraine headache, headache
keywords
avoid
keywords
migraine
keywords
migraine
keywords
headache
keywords
headache

Resources
reference
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia