The key to preventing migraines is to learn what triggers them in the first place. Just like chronic fatigue syndrome treatment, managing migraines involves modifying your lifestyle to avoid things that can make the ailment worse.
Aside from avoiding your triggers as much as possible, it’s also essential to avoid certain lifestyle habits that are known to make migraines worse:
1. Not watching what you consume
Certain foods and drinks can trigger migraines, such as caffeine, red wine, processed meats, soy, and artificial sweeteners. Sometimes, even the smell alone can trigger a full-blown migraine. If you don’t pay attention to what you eat, however, it can be harder for you to determine the trigger food and cut it out soon enough.
2. Putting yourself in stressful situations
Sometimes, stress is unavoidable, especially at work or in school. Unfortunately, it’s also the number one trigger for many people who suffer from migraines. Hence, whenever you can avoid a stressful situation, do it for your own sake. Alternatively, learn how you can better manage your stress by adopting healthy coping mechanisms.
3. Overexerting yourself
Getting enough exercise is vital to one’s overall well-being. However, overexerting yourself can do more harm than good. When doing any physical activity, whether it be walking or weight lifting, pay attention to your body. Know what your limits are and respect them. Otherwise, you can trigger a migraine and have to stop your workout altogether.
4. Spending too much time in front of a screen
Electronic screens are also common causes of migraines. Hence, reducing your screen time can also reduce the frequency and intensity of your migraines. Aside from reducing screen time, lowering the screen brightness and using eye protection mode are also helpful.
5. Having poor posture
Poor posture can lead to neck and shoulder pain, which, in turn, can lead to migraines. If you spend most of your sitting in front of a desk, practice proper posture. Moreover, take a break now and then to stretch and walk around.
6. Staying up late
If you like staying up late doing non-essential activities, it’s time to kick that habit if you want to prevent more migraines. Go to bed on time and ensure you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, including the weekends. If you have trouble falling asleep, consult with your primary care provider for possible solutions.
7. Taking too much medication
For many people, the first instinct when experiencing a migraine is to self-medicate. However, taking too much medication, particularly NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), can lead to recurring headaches and dependence. This habit is also bad news for your kidney, especially with extended use.
8. Skipping meals
If you regularly skip meals, the hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that follows can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to a migraine.
9. Not drinking enough water
Not having enough water in your body can also cause hypoglycemia and trigger migraines. Moreover, dehydration can put your body at risk for more stress and fatigue.
Taking good care of yourself is the best way to avoid a migraine. Hence, if you have one or more of the habits mentioned above, get rid of them as soon as possible to help reduce your migraines. However, if the pain is too overwhelming, it’s best to seek professional help.