Your Health: Treating a migraine and spotting the warning signs

Health Reports

More than four million adults experience at least 15 migraine days a month, but there are some things that you can do to prevent a migraine attack.

It’s Your Health tonight.

About one in every eight people experience migraines. Throbbing headaches that can last for hours or even days.

“And they get a variety of different symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and sometimes sensitivity to light and noise as well,” said Vincent Martin, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

But you may be able to thwart off a migraine episode by avoiding common triggers.

First pay attention to what you eat and drink. Common culprits can include caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, deli meats, and foods with MSG.

Secondly, don’t skip meals. Fasting can bring on a migraine.

“Stress is a big trigger. So not only when the stress comes on, but also when the stress is gone. It’s called a let down headache,” said Dr. Martin.

Yoga and meditation may help you manage your stress levels. Also remember that migraines are often triggered by a poor night’s sleep.

Try to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day. If you feel a migraine coming on, turn off the lights, apply hot or cold compress to your head or neck, and drink a small amount of caffeine.

A recent study in Europe found that smelling or rubbing lavender oil for 15 minutes can relieve migraine symptoms.

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