For more information on getting tested, and how to optimize your vitamin D levels, please see this previous article. I also recommend you take the time to view my free one-hour video lecture on vitamin D, in which I go over the nearly unbelievable benefits you will receive by understanding this essential nutrient.
Common Migraine Triggers to Avoid
However, it is important for everyone to fully appreciate that treating migraines by using a simple remedy is rarely effective. So while using supplements like these B vitamins might be useful, this is still an allopathic approach that is very similar to using medications.
It is my belief that pain can be one of your strongest allies if you use it to help you to find what is truly contributing to the cause of the problem.
Just as there are numerous theories on the actual mechanics of migraine pain, there are a wide number of potential triggers — and what triggers a migraine for you might not trigger it in someone else. So rather than just popping some B vitamins you will want to consider a more comprehensive strategy.
However, here are several of the most commonly reported triggers:
- Food and Drink: Many people experience migraines when they eat certain foods, especially wheat, dairy (especially pasteurized), sugar, artificial preservatives or chemical additives. Cured or processed meats, alcohol, aspartame, caffeine, and MSG are common culprits.
- Allergies: Including food allergies and food sensitivities, and chemical sensitivities.
- Dehydration and/or Hunger
- Changes in sleeping cycle: Both missing sleep and oversleeping can trigger a migraine.
- Stress: Any kind of emotional trauma can trigger a migraine, even after the stress has passed.
- Physical exertion: Extremely intense exercise or even sex has been known to bring on migraines.
- Hormones: Some women experience migraines before, or during their periods, during pregnancy, or during menopause. Others may get migraines from hormonal medications like birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy.
- External stimuli: Bright lights, fluorescent lights, loud noises and strong smells (even pleasant ones) can trigger a migraine.
- Weather changes, seasonal changes, and changes in altitude
How to Relieve Migraine Pain Without Dangerous Drugs
Migraine pain can be seriously debilitating and may be one instance where you could justify popping a pill for instant relief. Unfortunately, migraine medications tend to only work in 50 percent of people, half the time…
They also have intense side effects such as “medication overuse headache,” which often occurs when people take too much of a headache drug. Worse than that, if you take tryptamine-based drugs, which bind to serotonin receptors to constrict your cranial blood vessels, but your pain is not due to engorged blood vessels, then constricting them can potentially do a lot of harm. And, lo and behold, serious cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke, are in fact side effects of these types of drugs.
Fortunately, there are better ways to treat migraines than pharmaceutical drugs.
First, you’ll want to make sure you avoid the triggers.
Most often this means eating healthy whole foods and avoiding processed ones. Avoiding wheat, grains, sugar and all fluids but water also seem to be particularly effective. In fact, following my eating plan typically reduces migraines by about 80 percent, as it virtually eliminates all common food-related causes of headaches.
Regular exercise will also help to keep migraines away by improving your response to stress, along with the underlying inflammatory conditions that can trigger migraines.
Those are the lifestyle choices that you’ll need to focus on long-term, if you want to reduce your migraines. But if a migraine does strike and you need immediate relief, here are a several safe, healthy alternatives that you can try:
1. Use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Newcomers who use this simple process by themselves achieve relief 50 percent to 80 percent of the time and, in many cases, the relief is complete and permanent. More sophisticated uses by an EFT expert may be required for some migraine sufferers.
2. Stimulate your body’s natural painkilling ability. By putting pressure on a nerve just under your eyebrow, you can cause your pituitary gland to release painkilling endorphins immediately.
3. Take 10 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a glass of water. Endorphins are released by your brain when the cayenne hits your stomach lining.
4. Sniff green apple scent. One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy so consulting with an aromatherapist may be beneficial. Other aromas that stand out of the crowd include peppermint, sandalwood oil, lavender, and eucalyptus.
5. Hot and cold packs. For some people, heat will do the trick, while others get more relief from cold. Experiment to see which one works for you, but avoid extreme temperatures. You can also try placing your hands in hot (but not scalding) water, which seems to pull pressure from your head.
I recommend trying all of them, and in various combinations, to find the one that works best for you.
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