Migraines are the absolute worst, believe me, I know.
Have you ever had one? If so, you would like to know how to get rid of migraine headaches.
How do you get rid of a migraine?
My strategies for getting rid of a migraine range from natural to conventional and everything in between. Read on to find out more!
A migraine isn’t just any old headache.
According to my friend and colleague Dr. Robert Rountree, migraines are typically caused by disorders of the blood vessels in the head.
What is a migraine headache?
Migraine headaches are known to recur periodically and are characterized by severe pain, often focused on one side of the head.
Although light has been known to make them worse, I have experienced migraines caused by a chemical smell or fragrance.
Difference Between Migraines and Headaches?
If you’re wondering what the difference between migraines and headaches is, it’s pretty simple.
Headaches are caused by muscle tension in the head, while migraines are associated with vasoconstriction or the lack of vasoconstriction, which can cause swelling of the blood vessels in the head.
When I had migraines in the past it felt like my brain didn’t fit in my skull, the pain was incredibly intense and piercing.
Part of this collection of migraine symptoms was feeling like I had a nail in my head, or a headache in my eye, or a severe headache on my forehead.
My headache was so severe that sometimes I couldn’t sleep.
Migraines and nausea
When migraines are intense, the pain can be nauseating.
Sharp headaches and eye pain are enough to make you not only feel sick, but also make you vomit. Trust me, it used to be that bad.
Migraine Headache Symptoms
Symptoms of a migraine headache include, but are not limited to:
- Strong pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual disturbances
- Penetrating feeling in the head
Dietary causes of migraines
There are a number of things that can cause migraines, including diet products like MSG, chocolate, cheese, and more.
I didn’t find that going without chocolate and cheese prevented migraines, but avoiding MSG helped.
Here are a few other things that are believed to cause intensely painful headaches:
- Food allergies
- Nutritional deficiencies
In addition to the diet-related causes listed above, some additional triggers of headaches and migraines include:
- Hormonal Shifts
- lack of sleep
- Chemical allergies
- Weather change
- Dehydration / overhydration
- Keto flu
Migraines with aura?
If you’re wondering what a migraine aura is, I’m here to help.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, some people experience an aura before they have a migraine. An aura is essentially made up of temporary sensory changes that take place just before pain begins.
Most often these are obstructive vision changes that last up to an hour.
The American Migraine Foundation also states that approximately 75% of migraine sufferers do not have auras
Headache in the back of the head
Typically, a back headache is a tension headache, not a migraine.
Tension headaches consist of dull aches and pains, tightness or pressure around the forehead, and tension around the occipital ridge or back of the head.
As a child I got migraines and my parents used to give me baby aspirin very often.
Later, in my teenage years, I rose to frequent handfuls of aspirin, which could have worsened my gut lining and eventually led to the onset of celiac disease.
Don’t make this mistake. You can find the cause of recurring headaches by seeing a school doctor or a functional medicine doctor.
Headache Vitamin D Deficiency
A great example of how to get to the bottom of the cause of migraines was a friend of the boys in elementary school.
Finn suffered severe life-changing headaches at the age of ten.
His mother took him to his pediatrician, who found his vitamin D levels had bottomed out. He suffered from severe vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D low symptoms
While the optimal range for vitamin D is 30-100 ng / ml, its value was 13.
Finn was given a high dose of vitamin D weekly from his doctor and his migraines came on completely.
Curing a migraine in the process is not easy. I know that from experience. Here are a few things that can work when you’re in the middle of an episode.
Foam Roller – roll out the neck muscles to relieve pressure in the head
Hydration – drink water but hydrate properly
- Avoid hypernatremia – water without electrolytes can make symptoms worse
Electrolytes – used to relieve symptoms of migraines, including pain
Aspercreme – topical drug for pain relief; bypasses the intestines, protects the intestinal mucosa
Cannabis – a potential solution to severe headaches
Tylenol – is a good option when there is no nausea
- Imitrex – prescription nasal spray to nip episodes in the bud
There are a number of standard drug options for treating severe headaches.
First, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be a great option. These include Tylenol, Advil, Alleve, and the like.
Prescription medication for migraines
If you’re feeling sick to keep a pill with you (that’s what happened to me), you may need a prescription for Imitrex, a nasal spray that treats the condition.
I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure how effective it is, but I’ve heard fantastic things about it from friends.
So it may seem backward to start on migraine cures and then move on to prevention, but if you’ve ever had a really severe headache, you know the priorities and the order in which they come.
The solutions for migraine prevention range from a change in diet and lifestyle adjustments to strategies for reducing toxic body stress:
I’ve seen massive reductions in migraines since using LMNT electrolytes.
I often suffered from severe headaches and one reason for this was that I drank too much water and it thinned the electrolyte balance our body needs to function properly.
By the way, there is a word for excessive hydration and it is hyponatremia.
Drinking electrolytes with your water is great as it both prevents and relieves migraines.
Meaning of hydration
According to Tyler Cartwright, “hydration is understood as a balance between the volume of fluid and the amount of electrolytes that are present in that volume of fluid”.
It’s not just water, it’s what goes with it!
He goes on to say that one of the biggest struggles we have with our general health right now is not just headaches, not learning, but unlearning.
That’s because we need to understand that electrolytes like salt, magnesium, and potassium are absolutely essential to function properly.
Sugar and headache
At the same time, we need to properly hydrate and avoid swimming in the sea of sugar that is offered to us as a fake solution.
I’ve also found that I don’t get as many headaches on a low carb diet.
Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance
One of the main problems with an electrolyte imbalance is a migraine headache. Apart from that, another problem is constipation.
Electrolytes keep me properly hydrated and also prevent the water I drink from flowing right through me.
I don’t run to the bathroom all the time to urinate and my cells are actually absorbing the fluids I consume!
For those on a keto diet, you may have heard of or experienced the dreaded keto flu, which often includes severe headaches. LMNT electrolytes have been a crucial component in reducing keto flu symptoms for me.
For more information, see How to Beat the Keto Flu.
Why does my head hurt every day?
After all, have you ever experienced a spark that hurt your head every day? Or maybe you thought, “Why does my head hurt when I wake up?
I’ve gone through times when this happened to me and it was horrible.
There were two things that helped.
The first? Electrolytes! What a difference.
The second will sound strange, but it’s true, DNRS. If you can’t get rid of a chronic headache, read Wired for Healing.
Elana’s migraine cures
Will these tips cure every single headache or migraine? Of course not, I wish life were just that easy!
But with these strategies, which range from natural (hydration and foam rollers) to medication, you have plenty of tools in your toolbox for migraine prevention.
They also have strategies for getting out of misery when you find yourself in the middle of a migraine attack.
Your migraine cures
What are your tips for preventing and curing migraines? Let’s stop the headache and spread the love!
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