No, not a headache, a migraine! And I don't wish one upon my worst enemy

That pulsating ache that radiates on one side of your head, might start out with a visual aura, can make you nauseous and even causes vomiting, can be nothing else than a migraine. "Nothing else", I say, and stop because I know that a migraine is not "nothing". In fact, migraines can be quite disabling and I know this because they have cost me many days of productivity in my life. 

If more than 3 million visits to the emergency room in the United States are dur to migraine attacks, it's no wonder people with a regular headache refer to it as "having a migraine"--the term has become a generic term. The sad thing is there really is no cure for migraine. However there are some things that have helped me decrease its occurrence. 


 

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I recall my first migraine attack when I was an adolescent. After all sorts of tests to rule out anything more serious, it was evident that I was displaying the classic symptoms of migraine: that aura (vision loss) I was referring to before, a pins and needle sensation in some parts of my body, speech problems, then all of that followed by intense pain, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting. I'd be out of commission (literally!) for a couple of days. 

It wasn't until years later that I realized that, in my case, the migraines were directly related to stress as well as the hormonal changes in my body: around my period and during the early stages of my pregnancies. Other people might find triggers in foods (alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods being some of the main culprits), changes in wake-sleep pattern, physical exertion... 

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After many years on medication, I was able to find other ways to help prevent migraines. Like many things having to do with health in general, lifestyle changes and some home remedies have allowed me to get rid of the prescription medicines and face each day with greater confidence that a migraine won't ruin it for me. I practice yoga and do relaxation exercises and meditation as much as possible. Resting and relaxation, particularly when a headache is coming, are key to keeping it at bay. Acupuncture is supposed to be helpful too and I know from personal experience that massage therapy is quite effective as well. 

Some home remedies that might help you include, fish oil, peppermint oil, eating ginger or taking ginger capsules, and applying cold or hot compresses.

I know I'll try anything to prevent a migraine attack because they are TORTURE! So much so, I don't wish one upon my worst enemy...

What remedies have helped you prevent or get rid of a migraine attack?

Image via Kedondeng/Flickr