In my last blog post, Reaching Out To Offer A Helping Hand, I spoke of a friend who found relief for her migraines from a whole food product I referred her to. This is a continuation of that post as we divulge what a migraine really is.
Migraines are debilitating, period. Those who suffer may experience cognitive impairment affecting one's ability to work and interact with family and social life. Migraines tend to run in families, so if you have a relative who also had them, you may also be at risk.
So what defines a migraine? Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine
Here is a listing of the different types of migraines:
Coexisting Migraine and Tension-Type Headaches AKA Chronic Migraine
Cyclic Migraine Syndrome
Migraine With Aura
It would be a lengthy process to define each type of migraine here, however we can talk about some of the triggers:
Intense Physical Exertion
Changes In The Weather
Food (Wine, Beer, Chocolate, MSG, Aspartame, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Aged Cheeses, Salty Food)
Unpleasant Odor, Fragrance and Strong Smells
Depression/Anxiety/Tension and Medication Overuse
What can we do to avoid these triggers? Well, we can't change the weather, however we can learn to eat with the process of elimination. My trigger was Gluten and Stress! Once I eliminated my food allergy and reduced my stress levels , my Tension Headaches reduced significantly to being completely eliminated.
Learn what triggers your migraines and keep a diary with you to write these down. You will want to show this to your doctor as well.
If stress is a factor and trigger in your daily life, you may need to consider alternative ways to reduce your levels. Reducing cortisol will naturally reduce stress in the body and may give your body the much needed break it deserves to break this cycle of pain and discomfort associated with migraines.
Massage Therapy is also another great way to reduce stress. Just make sure you do not have a migraine when you get the massage as this could make it worse. Consult with your massage therapist for further information regarding a treatment protocol.
The key is to avoid the triggers and treatment to reduce the frequency and duration of these horrible headaches. The American Headache Society is a great resource for anyone who needs help.
Wishing you all the best as you unlock your secret to perfect health.
Your Personal Wellness Advocate,