It has been observed that women tend to suffer more from migraine than men. There is completely no reason to believe that women who suffer from migraine live a life in constant dread of the symptoms.
Try incorporating these general nutritional guidelines to combat or even overcome migraine:
One of the most common triggers of migraine is a low blood sugar level. This in other words is called Hypoglycaemia, a health state in which the blood sugar level in your body drops below the normal range, which is not safe and comfortable for your body. This however does not indicate that you should end up eating something sugary, for an increase in sugar level will lead to the production of more insulin, which in turn will cause the sugar level to fall again. The symptoms may vary from weakness, shaking, irritability, nausea, fatigue, and pallor. The good news is that sensible snacking and adopting good eating habits both high in fibre and sweet can prove beneficial. This could be fruit, a slice of wholemeal bread with a topping of banana, honey, biscuit, etc. Always keep healthy snacks readily available at work and at home.
Focus your eating plan on fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole-gram cereal foods, with lean proteins, small amounts of fat, and plenty of water. Avoid processed meats such as salami and other sausages, mangetout, and the flavor enhancer “Monosodium glutamate” (MSG). MSG is found in a lot of ready-made meals, bottled sauces, crisps, and often in Chinese restaurant food. Stick to fresh foods and avoid MSG intake. Eat a variety of foods to keep your body well-nourished and disease free.
Most people regard that having caffeine, strong red wine, and an irresistible chocolate dessert makes up for a good dinner-but they hardly come to realize that after over-feeding on these foods, they fall into bed tired and wake up feeling awful, head heavy, eyes cloudy, neck stiff and stomach nauseous. You need to
remember that caffeine, strong red wine, aged cheese, and chocolate are classic migraine triggers. Try working out a personal ‘damage limitation’ plan. By maintaining a diary and writing down what you are eating that might have triggered off migraine. Triggers such as eating cheese can cause a migraine within 20 minutes. If you think estrogen might be a trigger, consult your doctor regarding oral contraceptives or ask for an alternative hormone therapy.
Aim for having small, regular well balanced meals. Try avoiding a gap of more than three or four hours between your snacks or meals. Regular meals not only help to keep your blood sugar level steady, but they also help protect your stomach from too much acid and ensure that there is a regular flow of food through the bowel.
Try to keep your weight within the ideal range of your height. If you are overweight, start making changes towards consuming healthy food and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Make a concerted effort to establish healthy eating habits. Remember, being overweight can adversely affect your blood pressure and this heightens the potential for migraine headaches. To check your target weight, click here. Also, aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week will help reduce the frequency or severity of migraine. Exercise on a regular basis, even if there is a change in daily routine (such as when traveling, when you have house guests, or when your workload increases).
DO’S AND DON’TS
Irregular sleep patterns can often contribute to migraines. Oddly enough, oversleeping at weekends can induce migraines as much as undersleeping due to stress. Try to get a regular amount of sleep each night.
It is vital to reduce both physical and emotional stress and take out time, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, to relax. Make a serious date with yourself every day to relax and Just do it! Even if you can’t identify that it’s stress that provokes your migraines, you should still take the stress/relaxation aspects of your life seriously. Focus on deep breathing a number of times throughout the day to nourish every part of your body with an essential nutrient – Oxygen.
This is one of the less common trigger ingredients, but nevertheless, one that can cause severe headaches in some people. The problem seems to occur when your digestive system is deficient in an enzyme called Lactase, which breaks down Lactose, found in dairy products such as cream, butter, yoghurt, cheese, ice cream and milk. Avoid having too many foods high in Lactose; anyone who is particularly sensitive to Lactose should completely avoid it.
The artificial sweetness which manufacturers use in low-calorie drinks, squashes, tonic waters, and other soft drinks, can trigger migraines in women particularly those who are sensitive to them. So avoid consuming them as far as possible.
As soon as you feel a severe headache, act quickly and consult your doctor. Maintain the medication treatment plan designed by you and your physician. Early intervention may help prevent the migraine from progressing into a severe, disabling attack. Some women apply cold cloths or soft ice packs on the back of their neck, while others find warmth more helpful, as the pain is caused by the constriction of blood to the head. Medications should not be taken without the consultation of the Physician as few of them carry serious side effects and are contraindicated in pregnancy, ischaemic heart disease, and peripheral vascular disorders.