If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you know that the pain can make it difficult to perform even the simplest daily tasks. Treatment for migraines has improved vastly over the years with medications that can target certain triggers in the brain. While new medications offer hope, the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) notes that 40% of those who suffer from migraines will need to practice some sort of preventative treatment to keep them at bay.
For some, this may look like taking medications to prevent an attack. From nasal sprays to injections, there are a variety of methods to block migraine attacks or alter nerves in the brain, per the AMF. Healthline explains that beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and antidepressants are also commonly prescribed to prevent migraines. If you don’t want to take medication, however, there are other ways to help prevent migraines that involve making a few adjustments to your lifestyle.
Identify and manage triggers
Learning to identify triggers is one way to lessen the frequency of migraines. This can be challenging because as SELF notes, triggers can be just about anything, including certain foods or simply a change in weather. For this reason, keeping a diary can help you hone in on what might be setting off your migraines. If you keep a journal of everything in your day including what you eat and drink (and when), your periods, the weather, when you exercise or feel stressed, you might be able to notice a pattern. Once you see a pattern, you might be able to recognize, and hopefully, avoid triggers.
Stress is also a major cause of migraines. According to Healthline, 80% of migraine sufferers report that stress can trigger a migraine. Recognizing the symptoms of stress might be the key to preventing a migraine. Mood changes, fatigue, sadness, and neck stiffness are just a few warning signs of stress. Exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and finding a way to fit relaxation techniques into your schedule can all help.