In this article:
- How is a migraine different than a headache?
- Common causes of a migraine
- Natural supplements for migraine prevention
- Other natural forms of migraine treatment
Anyone who has had a migraine knows they're more than just a headache. A migraine is a neurological condition that comes with a wave of different side effects. Migraine headaches are different from other headaches due to all the additional, total-body, side effects that often accompany them. Before you even begin feeling any headache pain, you may experience cravings, fatigue, irritability, depression, or neck stiffness in what is called “the prodrome stage”. The next phase of a migraine is called an aura which makes you feel disoriented or confused. You may have difficulty speaking, temporarily lose your vision, see strange shapes or flashes, or feel tingling sensations throughout your body. Once the migraine attack is in full swing, you may feel dizzy, nauseous, begin vomiting, become sensitive to light and sound and experience throbbing pain and/or sharp migraine pain in an area of your head.
Not everyone's migraine symptoms are the same. For some chronic migraine sufferers, it is a very severe, painful, and drawn-out process. Sometimes they can be linked to certain events, like menstrual migraines. For others, they come and go quickly without warning. Overall, women are three times more likely to experience migraines due to hormone fluctuations. Family history is another strong indicator of the severity and frequency of migraines.
Common causes of migraines include:
Treating and preventing migraines is often a difficult process that requires advice from a specialized healthcare professional. Migraine patients can undergo a series of tests such as a CT scan or MRI to rule out any underlying causes like tumors or stroke.
Migraine medications can be bought over the counter and may be able to provide relief, but in many cases they just don't cut it. Prescription medications like amitriptyline or even antidepressants may be given under the advice of a healthcare professional. Oftentimes, these medications come with the potential for severe side effects such as insomnia, nausea, constipation, fatigue, lowered blood pressure, decreased libido, and weight gain. If you want to go the natural route, consider using the following natural dietary supplements as a preventative measure against migraines.
A quick aside: butterbur extract was once used as a common migraine treatment. In recent years, however, butterbur products have been found to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which have been linked to liver toxicity and are no longer recommended for the safe treatment of migraines.
Migraines are no easy hurdle. When developing an "attack plan" to overcome migraine attacks and reduce migraine pain, start off by visiting your doctor to rule out underlying causes and set you on the right path to a safe, effective, and natural treatment plan. Whether you want to boost your immunity, fill in some nutritional gaps, improve energy, or possibly prevent future migraines, taking vitamin D and magnesium could be right for you!
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