Muslim Eve\’s Ramblings

June 21, 2006

Top 10 Lifestyle Modifications to combat migraine

Filed under: Ladies interests — Me2 @ 9:49 pm





has been observed that women tend to suffer more from migraine than men. There
is completely no reason to believe that women who suffer from migraine live a
life in constant dread of the symptoms.

Try incorporating these general nutritional guidelines to
combat or even overcome migraine:

1) Correcting and preventing
low blood sugar level:

One of the most common triggers of migraine is a low blood
sugar level. This in other words is called Hypoglycaemia, a health state in
which the blood sugar level in your body drops below the normal range, which is
not safe and comfortable for your body. This however does not indicate that you
should end up eating something sugary, for a increase in sugar level will lead
to production of more insulin, which in turn will cause the sugar level to fall
again. The symptoms may vary from weakness, shaking, irritability, nausea,
fatigue and pallor. The good news is that sensible snacking and adopting good
eating habits both high in fibre and sweet can prove beneficial. This could be
fruit, a slice of wholemeal bread with a topping of banana, honey, biscuit, etc.
Always keep healthy snacks readily available at work and at home.

2) Try sticking to fresh

Focus your eating plan on fresh vegetables, fruits and whole
gram cereal foods, with lean proteins, small amounts of fat and plenty of water.
Avoid processed meats such as salami and other sausages, mangetout and the
flavor enhancer “Monosodium glutamate” (MSG). MSG is found in a lot of
ready-made meals, bottled sauces, crisps and often in Chinese restaurant food.
Stick to fresh foods and avoid MSG intake. Eat a variety of foods to keep your
body well nourished and disease free.

3) Avoid excess of caffeine,
alcohol and desserts:

Most people regard that having caffeine, strong red wine and
an irresistible chocolate dessert makes up for a good dinner-but they hardly
come to realise that after over-feeding on these foods, they fall into the bed
tired and wake up feeling awful, head heavy, eyes cloudy, neck stiff and stomach
nauseous. You need to remember that caffeine, strong red wine, aged cheese, and
chocolate are classic migraine triggers. Try
working out on a personal ‘damage limitation’ plan? By maintaining a diary and
writing down what you are eating that might have triggered off migraine.
Triggers such as eating cheese can cause a migraine within 20 minutes. If you
think estrogen might be a trigger, consult your doctor regarding oral
contraceptives or ask for an alternative hormone therapy.

4) Have small well-balanced

Aim for having small, regular well balanced meals. Try
avoiding a gap of more than three or four hours between your snacks or meals.
Regular meals not only help to keep your blood sugar level steady, they also
help protect your stomach from too much acid and ensure that there is a regular
flow of food through the bowel.

5) Shed extra body weight:

Try to keep your weight within the ideal range of your
height. If you are overweight, start making changes towards consuming healthy
food and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Make concerted effort
to establish healthy eating habits. Remember, being overweight can adversely
affect your blood pressure and this heightens the potential for migraine
headaches. To check your target weight, click here. Also, aerobic exercise for
at least 30 minutes three times a week will help reduce frequency or severity of
migraine. Exercise on a regular basis, even if there is a change in daily
routine (such as when traveling, when you have houseguests, or when your
workload increases).


For controlling migraine


keep a record of attacks, noting

When and what you eat and drink, how much under stress you
feel and any other possible triggers.


keep as fit as possible. Regular exercise will also help you to relax more


eat regularly. Low blood sugar can set off migraine attacks.


learn to cope with stress.


rest in dark, quiet place if you feel an attack coming on, and take preventive


discuss medication or treatment regularly with your doctor.


drive when you have an attack.


prolong attacks by trying to ignore them.

6) Try maintaining a regular
sleep pattern:

Irregular sleep pattern can often contribute to migraines.
Oddly enough, oversleeping at weekends can induce migraines as much as under
sleeping due to stress. Try to get regular amount of sleep each night.

7) Take out time to relax:

It is vital to reduce both physical and emotional stress and
take out time, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, to relax. Make a serious date
with yourself everyday to relax and just do it! Even if you can’t identify that
it’s stress that provokes your migraines, you should still take the
stress/relaxation aspects of your life seriously. Focus on deep breathing number
of times throughout the day to nourish every part of your body with an essential
nutrient – Oxygen.

8) Are you a case of lactose

This is one of the less common trigger ingredients, but
nevertheless one that can cause severe headaches in some people. The problem
seems to occur when your digestive system is deficient in an enzyme called
Lactase, which breaks down Lactose, found in diary products such as cream,
butter, yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream and milk. Avoid having too many foods high in
Lactose; anyone who is in particularly sensitive to Lactose should completely
avoid it.

9) Avoid artificial sweetness:

Artificial sweetness which manufacturers use in low-calorie
drinks, squashes, tonic waters and other soft drinks, can trigger Migraine in
women particularly who are sensitive to it. So avoid consuming them as far as

10) Act quickly:

As soon as you feel severe headache, act quickly and consult
your doctor. Maintain the medication treatment plan designed by you and your
physician. Early intervention may help prevent the migraine from progressing
into a severe, disabling attack. Some women apply cold cloths or soft ice packs
on the back of their neck, while others find warmth more helpful, as the pain is
caused by the constriction of blood to the head. Medications should not be taken
without the consultation of the Physician as few of them carry serious side
effects and are contraindicated in pregnancy, ischaemic heart disease and
peripheral vascular disorders.

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