Migraines are more prevalent amongst women, with about 15-18 percent of women worldwide getting them, compared to six to seven percent of men. About 60 percent of women affected have menstrual-related migraines, meaning they tend to coincide with their menstrual cycle.
Migraines are still one of the most poorly understood medical disorders out there. Part of the problem has been that the experiences of those suffering from migraines vary greatly.
Aside from throbbing, searing pain, which may or may not be one-sided, some experience “auras” prior to onset, while others do not. There may also be nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, sweating, and/or sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.
Individuals that haven’t had migraines before may be frightened by the neurological symptoms, which can simulate a stroke where you start to have disturbed vision, and even short term visual loss and/or seeing spots or wavy lines, and/or tingling in your arm or leg.
Diet for Migraine Relief
Quite a few people have reportedly rid themselves of migraines on the Paleo diet, which can be summarized as “any food that can be eaten without being processed.” That means “no grains, bread or pasta, and no pasteurized dairy” but does include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, some nuts and oils along with wild caught fish, organic poultry and grass-fed lean meats.
I believe a return to “real food” is one of the most profound interventions for the 21st century. We’ve strayed so far from the foods we are designed to eat, going back to basics and refocusing your diet on fresh, whole, unprocessed, “real” food can improve just about anyone’s health, regardless of what health issues you need to address. You can easily mold your diet around the principles of Paleo eating . Generally speaking, the following key factors apply to anyone seeking a “healthy diet”:
|Eliminate all gluten products||Organically grown produce, and grass-fed or pastured animal products that are free from additives and genetically engineered ingredients|
|Eliminate all artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. My sister is one of many who will get a guaranteed migraine if she consumes any aspartame. Obviously, even if you don’t have migraines, there simply is no reason to ever consume aspartame||Carbohydrates primarily come from vegetables (except corn and potatoes, which should typically be avoided). Dramatically lowering your intake of non-vegetable carbs could improve leptin and insulin signaling which could also improve migraines|
|Focus on unprocessed, whole foods, eaten raw or only lightly cooked (ideally, try to eat at least one-third of your food raw, or as much as you can manage)||Food from high-quality, local sources|
Some quick and natural tips for quick relief
Eating Healthy Foods and avoiding processed ones is the first thing you can do.Avoiding wheat, grains, sugar and all fluids but water seem to be particularly effective. Regular exercising reduces response to stress along with the underlying inflammatory condition that may trigger migraines. Some other things you may try for immediate relief are one or more of the following:
|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||EFT Emotional Freedom Technique
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
|Take anywhere from 1/2 to 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in an 8 oz glass of water (hot or cold). Endorphins are released by your brain when the cayenne hits your stomach lining. Another alternative is to swallow a dollop of wasabi paste||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|
|Hot/Cold compress: Alternate hot and cold compresses on your forehead and/or behind your neck||Massage your ears, ear lobes, and the “crown” of your head — the ring of muscles that circle your head where a crown would sit|
Sources and References
- 2 Migraine.com
- 3 PLoS One 8 e71007
- 4 Huffington Post July 26, 2013
- 5 Nature Genetics 45, 912–917
- 6 Huffington Post June 24, 2013
- 7 Huffington Post April 22, 2013
- 8 Scientific American July 21, 2013
- 9 NutraIngredients.com April 2, 2009
- 10 European Journal of Neurology 2004 Jul;11(7):475-7
- 11 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- 12 Cephalalgia 2010 Jul;30(7):829-37
- 13 Lancet 1979 May 5;1(8123):966-9
- 14 Sun Sentinel June 18, 2013