If you suffer from migraine headaches, you know how bad they can be. Headaches of all sorts send thousands of people to emergency rooms, emergency medical and urgent services centers and walk in clinics around the nation. The good news is that there are things that you can do to reduce your urgent medical needs when it comes to the problems associated with migraine headaches,
- Drink more water. By the time our bodies register thirst, we are already dehydrated. It has been estimated that so many people in the United States are dehydrated that it is often considered to be a “silent” epidemic. While your headaches may not be caused directly by being dehydrated, drinking some water when you feel a headache start to move in, can help. There are no real side effects to drinking a glass of water so, at the very least, it is worth a try.
- Exercise more. Like the advice to drink more water, most people in the United States can benefit from a little more aerobic exercise. In addition to making you healthier overall, which will reduce your urgent medical needs, it will help reduce your stress level. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which promote happiness. Stress is a key factor in the development of all kinds of problems, including migraine headaches. Experts in this area recommend getting between 30 and 40 minutes of exercise three to four times a week. The time you spend working out can prevent you from spending that time dealing with a nasty headache.
- Try meditation. Anything that can help you calm your mind can help prevent and reduce the impact of tension and migraine headaches. One key to a successful meditation session is to relax and not beat yourself up. When you first begin this practice, you mind will wander. That is ok. If you stick with it, by focusing your energy on your breath, you will arrive at a more calm state of mind.
- Get more sleep The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night but few of us do. The problems that come from a lack of sleep are many and they include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and it can cause people to suffer from more headaches and have more intense ones when they do have them. One thing you can do to get better sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene — go to bed and get up at the same time every day, read from a book or magazine before bed and limit the activities you do in your bedroom.
- Think about supplements to up your intake of magnesium. Research has shown that when people are deficient in magnesium, they can develop more migraines that are more intense. Experts recommend taking 400 mg each day.
- Keep a migraine diary. Whenever you suffer from a migraine, make a note of what happened. Did your headache become one of a kind of urgent medical needs or did you take care of it at home? What did you eat and drink before the headache started? What were you doing? Did you notice any strange smells, sights or sounds? A lot of people experience an “aura” before a migraine. Knowing what was happening when the headaches strike can help you see if there is a pattern. Many people have trigger foods and drinks. Once you know what they are, you will know what to avoid.
- Cut down on your caffeine. This may seem counterintuitive because caffeine can help a headache. It can be so effective at helping people with headaches that some remedies for the problem have caffeine in them. The problem is that caffein is addictive and one symptom of headache withdrawal is a nasty headache. This is why you should gradually wean yourself off of caffeine if you are used to drinking it.
There are times when your urgent medical needs are due to headaches you cannot prevent. By getting into more healthy habits, you may be able to prevent some of your migraines from developing and make the ones you get less severe. This will save you trips to local emergency clinics.