As you probably know by now, I have suffered with migraines for many, many years. At first they were just a few a month at most. I was started on a medication in England at that time called Migralieve (which can now be purchased over-the-counter actually). My first-line treatment after I came to the U.S. from England as my migraines worsened was Imitrex in the sumatriptan family. As I’ve mentioned before, the preventatives just didn’t help me and unfortunately, the sumatriptans were very limited in the amount that could be taken per month, so add in the Vicodin and I was definitely hooked!
Before we go any further – Disclaimer: You should talk to your doctor about what might work best for you, and whether you would benefit from prescription or over-the-counter drugs in addition to “natural” remedies.
As you also know, I have become an avid believer in natural remedies. They have worked well for me. Still, I have to admit that there are times when I still have to take a sumatriptan on a “bad migraine day,” but considering I had migraines almost daily and heavily relied upon pain meds, I can definitely live with where I am at and be happy about it! Whereas before I would be counting the days until I could next get a refill of either my Imitrex of Vicodin, I now have a large supply of Imitrex in reserve as I so rarely use it – and of course, no Vicodin as part of my medication relief!
So here are just a few of the things that I have found help me.
Drink some coffee. I have found a quick cup of coffee or caffeine can prevent the beginnings of a headache from turning into a full-blown migraine. Drink it quickly, and drink it black — trust me, adding dairy is a mistake.
Cool down. After downing the caffeine, find a way to lower your body temperature. If you’re at home, you could try a very cold shower, concentrating the water on the lower back and the back of your knees. (This will cool down your body the fastest.) Of course, putting an ice-pack on your neck can also be effective. If you are away from home, try carrying around Icy-Hot patches or a couple of instant-cold packs so that when you are caught someplace other than home, these are easy alternatives to use as a “quick fix.”
Pinch the bridge of your nose. If you are like me when I have a bad migraine, I would love to apply pressure to my eyeballs to get them to stop hurting. Obviously, this is not a smart move! Instead, try pinching the bridge of your nose. It can provide temporary relief.
Vomit. I know that sounds gross, but sometime with the nauseated feeling from the migraine, don’t you sometimes, “If I could just throw up, I know I would feel better?” If you feel that your nausea is severe but you’re holding back because you hate throwing up, just getting it over and done with can be very helpful. Some people have reported up to a 50% cure after vomiting.
If “temporary fixes” don’t work, then sometimes it’s best to lay down in a dark room and focus on a simple task. While some find it soothing and comforting to do something like rereading a favorite book, or listening to some familiar and comforting music, for others, just the thought of trying to focus on anything at all is just too plain difficult. What we are ultimately aiming for is trying to rest and fall asleep. I guess for some these rituals help them to fall asleep. If lying in a dark room with a cold pack on your eyes and neck can help, then do that. Ultimately, trying to get some sleep can really help….especially if you are one of those people who are lucky enough that your migraines typically last less than 6 hours because chances are you will probably wake up with your migraine gone.
As a reminder…..
Hydrate Post-Migraine. As I have mentioned many times, if you are dehydrated then that, in and of itself, can trigger a migraine. If you don’t re-hydrate yourself after a migraine, you may be setting yourself up for a headache the next day. Try drinking at least double the water you think you should have to make sure you are well hydrated.
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