What is a Migraine?
Have you ever been going about your day, only to suddenly realize your vision is slightly altered? You blink several times but you still notice that you’re not seeing things as clearly as you were a minute ago? In many instances, this is an indicator that a migraine is going to affect you very soon. A migraine is defined as a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. Those of us who suffer from them frequently know that it can feel much worse than the description. A migraine can literally cripple you for the rest of the day. You may not see clearly, so driving becomes a hazard. Your head feels like it is being crushed in a vise, so it is hard to concentrate. Your neck and shoulders tighten, so turning your head can be painful. You may also become very nauseous, so eating or drinking anything can be problematic.
Vitamin D and Migraine Headaches
There are a number of reasons why people suffer from migraines. Some well known migraine triggers are: hormonal changes, certain foods, stress, sensory stimulation (i.e. bright lights, flashing patterns), changes in environment, medications and even sudden changes in the weather (i.e. barometric pressure). New research indicates that Vitamin D deficiency is a common factor among many migraine sufferers. As such, migraine sufferers who are Vitamin D deficient have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. It is not yet clear why a Vitamin D deficiency causes migraine headaches, but what is known is that Vitamin D is not only used to help the body absorb Calcium. In addition, it also helps maintain the immune system, keeps the heart’s arteries from being clogged with calcium deposits, as well as maintaining brain function.
What Should I Do If I Get a Migraine?
There are countless home remedies if you get a migraine attack. However, not every remedy will help every migraine sufferer, as this is very much trial and error. Here are some remedies that I have found helpful in easing migraine pain:
- If you’re not nauseous, eat some light food (such as toast or a banana) and take an anti-inflammatory over the counter drug. Without food, the drug may upset your stomach.
- Consume something caffeinated – caffeine can help if it was not the cause of your migraine to begin with. However, don’t consume too much or the effect will be counter-productive.
- Lie down in a darkened room, preferably on a comfortable bed or couch. Wear comfortable, non-restricting clothes.
- Put a cool moist washcloth on your forehead or neck. You can also use cooling gel strips (available in many drug stores) which are self-adhesive.
- Take a hot (but not scalding) bath – this may relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
- If you have one, make an appointment with your Chiropractor (not a home remedy, but helpful nonetheless).
Unfortunately, sometimes these remedies do not always work. If you have tried every remedy you know of and the migraine persists, please see your primary care physician as soon as possible. Your doctor may have to prescribe a migraine stopping medication.
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