Publication date October 27, 2023
6 Simple Ways to Help Women Get Relief from Migraine
If you have ever been diagnosed with migraine, you know it's way more than a severe headache.
Nada Hindiyeh, M.D., a headache neurologist in Palo Alto says, “Chronic migraine is a neurological disorder that affects many parts of the brain.”
The study found that women with a history of migraines were more likely to have hot flash migraine that was severe or very severe, compared to women who had never had migraines.
The study's authors say that their findings suggest that migraines and menopause may be linked in some way.
Source: Today Show
If you are wondering how you stop migraines during menopause, it goes without saying, that finding the right medication is key for getting relief.
But while the medicine is a proven way to prevent menopause migraine, it is not only part of the story. It is also essential to take good care of yourself and understand how to cope with migraine pain when it strikes.
The same lifestyle choices that improve overall health also can reduce the number of migraines you have and lessen the migraine pain.
On that note here are a few simple ways that can help stop migraines:
1. Find a Calm Environment
As soon as you notice the first sign of a migraine, take a break and if possible step away from whatever you are doing.
Now, turn off the lights because lights and sound can make migraine pain worse. Relax in a dark, quiet room and try to sleep if you can.
It is also good to apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck.
These Ice packs have a numbing effect, which may dull the headache. On the other hand, hot packs and heating pads can relax tense muscles. You can also take warm showers or baths that may have a similar effect.
When in a migraine, caffeine alone can relieve headaches in the early stages.
Caffeine also may increase the pain-reducing effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and aspirin.
But, you need to be careful, because drinking too much caffeine often can result in withdrawal headaches later on. Also, having caffeine too late in the day may interfere with sleep, which can affect migraines.
2. Sleep well
Migraines can be very challenging to manage sometimes, especially at night, they can keep you from falling asleep or wake you up at night. Similarly, migraines are often triggered by a poor night's sleep.
Source: Open-access government
Here are some tips to get a quality sleep.
- Set regular sleep hours. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day that you have set. In case you nap during the day, keep it short. Naps longer than 20 to 30 minutes may interfere with your nighttime sleep.
- You can also listen to soothing music, or read a favorite book that will help you relax and promote better sleep.
- Try to keep your room less distracted, don't watch television, or take work materials to bed. Close your bedroom door and turn on a fan to cover distracting noises.
- Don't try too hard to sleep. The harder you try to sleep, the more awake you'll feel so If you can't fall asleep, read or do another quiet activity until you become drowsy.
Aside from these tips you also need to keep in mind that you watch what you eat and drink before bedtime. Intense exercise, heavy dinner meals, caffeine, and nicotine, can interfere with sleep.
3. Eat wisely
What you eat and when you eat can heavily influence your migraines. Here are some points to consider:
- Eat your meals at about the same time every day.
- You should not skip any meals because fasting increases the risk of migraines.
- Keep a food journal to track the foods you eat. And when you have migraines you can easily find potential food triggers.
- If you notice that a certain food is triggering a migraine, remove it from your diet to see what happens. These foods can be anything including aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol.
4. Exercise regularly
When you do exercise regularly, your body releases certain chemicals that block pain signals to your brain. These chemicals also help reduce stress and depression, which are the two conditions that can make migraines worse.
Obesity also improves the risk of chronic headaches. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and diet can offer additional benefits in managing migraines.
You can take your healthcare provider’s help for this, they can recommend exercises that will help you prevent a migraine plus you will enjoy doing that too.
It can be anything including walking, swimming, and cycling. Just remember to ease into exercise gradually, as very intense exercise may trigger migraines.
5. Manage stress
Migraine and stress often go hand in hand. You cannot avoid daily stress, but you can keep it under your control to help manage your migraines.
The following are a few tips to consider:
- Manage your time wisely. Update your to-do list every day, both at home and at work. Delegate what you can, and separate large projects into smaller manageable chunks.
- Simplify your life. Don’t try to do everything or chores into the day. Instead, find a way to leave some stuff out.
- Take a break. If you feel overwhelmed, a few slow stretches or a quick walk may renew your energy for the task at hand.
- Be positive. I know It may sound silly to you but it can solve a lot of problems. If you find yourself thinking, "This is impossible," switch gears. Think instead, "This will be tough. But I can make it work."
- Enjoy yourself. Find some time for yourself to do something you enjoy. It could be anything a game, reading a book, having a coffee with a friend, or pursuing a hobby. Doing something that you enjoy can reduce stress naturally.
- Relax. Take deep breaths and focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes every day. It may help your body to relax your muscles, one group at a time.
6. Keep a migraine diary
Keeping a migraine diary or journal can help you determine what triggers your migraines.
Note when your migraines began, what you were doing at the time, how long they lasted, and what, if anything, provided relief.
Until recently, avoiding migraine triggers was considered one of the best advice to prevent migraines. But, new research suggests this may increase sensitivity to potential triggers.
A more helpful approach may be to slowly expose yourself to triggers, and learn how to cope with these headache triggers by using behavioral management techniques.
These may include identifying and challenging negative thoughts, relaxation training, stress reduction, and more.