The Wellness Series #5 – Everything you need to know about headaches and migraines

The dread of suffering with a migraine or headache is for me, right up there with toothache and hay fever. Three things I simply cannot handle yet always seem to get. Sometimes, the pain of a migraine gets so intense that I often wish I could rather exchange it for a fibromyalgia flare up which, if you have any idea as to how intense that is you can understand just how much I hate getting a migraine. So, for today’s post, in collaboration with Health Renewal, I will be sharing all the facts you need to know about migraine headaches as well as some tips to ease up the pain that will hopefully improve your quality of life.

Migraine headaches are recurrent, painful headaches that are usually accompanied by light and sound sensitivity as well as nausea. Usually described as a throbbing pain rushing through one’s head, a migraine headache limits your ability to carry on with normal day to day activities and is often worsened by physical activities. For me, it starts off with a slight headache or heaviness on the one side of my head and, if I don’t take proper precaution, it blows out either into a really bad but manageable headache or an intense migraine that lasts about 2 days. This beginning stages of a migraine is called the prodrome and the experience varies from person to person which can include symptoms I usually get such as appetite loss, stiff neck and sore or weak eyes.

“In the early years of migraine research, scientists believed that the headache portion of a migraine resulted from the dilation of blood vessels, while the aura portion of a migraine was caused by vasoconstriction. However, more recent evidence suggests that these vascular changes are not the cause of a migraine, but rather an epiphenomenon that accompanies the pain. Today, migraine is viewed as a result of complex dysfunction within the central nervous system” – Health Renewal.

According to the doctors over at Health Renewal, there are many things one can do to avoid or ease the tension that comes along with a migraine headache and the few that always works for me is to avoid caffeine and being around people who reeks of cigarette smoke.  A head massage and a good nap does wonders when coupled with some yoga specifically meant to treat headaches and migraines, my favourite being the two videos linked below by Yoga with Adriene.

If however, you feel as if you have exhausted every other option with regards to treating your headaches, then I would highly recommend a visit to a Health Renewal Doctor to try and pinpoint the causes of your pain. I have had a few consultations with some doctors at Health Renewal and left every consultation feeling inspired and in awe of how much information they give you. One of the things they recommend is keep a food diary and note down then your headache starts which might come after eating a high amount of processed meats or cheeses and for some, even garlic!

So, what can you do to help with your headaches?

Drink plenty of water as soon as a headache starts as it could be a sign of dehydration, especially in the mornings in winter if you sleep with a heater on.

Keep a food diary and note down what you eat as well as when you get a headache. This will come in handy if you decide to see a doctor and can help you see for yourself what kinds of food or drinks contribute to tension.

Try to ease up on the sugar and chocolate as for many people, it makes headaches much worse and instead, try to sip on fruit infused water.

If you are starting to get a headache but have errands to run, be sure to wear sunglasses when outside so that shifts in light does not cause too much tension.

And finally, do these two low impact workouts below which are great at alleviating pressure in your neck and head.

This post was also featured on the Skin Online blog which is fast becoming the go-to site for anything health related! Read about it here and be sure to have a look at their other posts.

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Fatima

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