While there is no known cure for migraine headaches, it is possible to bring the condition under control using a few preventative measures outlined below. A good way to prevent a migraine is to know what triggers it. It is helpful for a migraine sufferer to keep a daily log of his/her headaches as it could be discovered that a migraine occurs after eating a particular type of food or when under stress. Avoiding these migraine triggers could prevent a migraine attack from happening.
There are many medications available which can help to prevent a migraine headache from occurring. A doctor will typically prescribe migraine prevention medication if other preventative measures do not work. Often beta-blockers are prescribed such as timolol, propranolol and metoprolol. It is not known exactly how beta-blockers prevent migraines but people who have been prescribed them often say that they do work. Anti-depressant medication such as amitriptyline has been shown to prevent migraine headaches. This medication can be used in combination with beta-blockers and typically a sufferer is started out on a low dose which can be increased if needed. Anti-convulsant medications also have proved helpful in preventing migraines. A typical anti-convulsant prescribed for the prevention of a migraine is topiramate.
Other medications are also used for the prevention of migraines but there is limited proof as to how effective they are. These include the high blood pressure medicine verapamil, the anticonvulsants levetiracetam and gabapentin and anti-migraine medications pizotifen and methysergide.
Even that some medications are reported to be effective by preventing migraine headaches most of them include side effects that can lead to other serious medical conditions. Therefore it is recommended to try diet or natural migraine headache treatment.
Many migraine sufferers who have had up to three migraine attacks a week have found that practicing yoga daily resulted in their migraines from occurring so often. A 3-month Indian study conducted in New Delhi has found that certain yoga postures, chants and breathing exercises helped to reduce the occurrence of migraines significantly. It is thought that serotonin plays a key role in the development of a migraine headache and yoga is well known for improving serotonin levels.
The regular participation of physical activity can help to prevent migraine attacks. Physical activity helps relieve stress and it also brings balance to one's life and helps to cleanse the mind and body. Exercising regularly helps to improve blood circulation and it is also beneficial to the body's immune system. However, migraine sufferers should not exercise vigorously as excessive physical activity is a known migraine trigger. Walking, taking the steps instead of the elevator, bicycling and light aerobics are recommended.
Eating a very healthy, well-balanced diet is beneficial to migraine prevention. The best migraine prevention could very well be a diet that is wholesome, fresh and unprocessed as possible so that the chemical triggers for migraines are eliminated. It also is helpful to eat healthy foods in small portions spread out throughout the day. This type of eating pattern can help prevent hunger-induced headaches and also goes far in avoiding the ingestion of large amounts of chemical triggers. Eating five or six small meals everyday also fires up the body's metabolism and helps fight weight gain which is a factor that can contribute to the risk of developing migraine headaches.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
While you may not enjoy reading this, you will be able to sleep better when you don't smoke or drink too much alcohol. Not getting enough sleep is a well known trigger for a migraine attack. Smoking is never a good habit to partake in nor is the over-indulgence of alcohol. Red wine and beer are both known migraine triggers so if you must drink, do so in moderation. Your doctor can help get you started on a non-smoking campaign and there are now many over-the-counter nicotine pills, patches and sprays which can help you kick the habit once and for all.