If you’re among the 12% of Americans who suffer from migraines, you know it’s far more than just a headache. Migraines often have no single defining cause, can be triggered by a myriad of seemingly unrelated situations or events, and cause symptoms so severe that functioning can seem an impossibility. They can last for days, leave you feeling shaky and weak in the aftermath, and prevent you from living the life you’ve planned for yourself.
Dr. Stanley Mathew at American Rehabilitation Medicine in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, provides a range of effective treatments for migraine. He avoids opioid-based therapies and instead focuses on identifying your unique triggers and helping you plan to avoid them. He can also administer non-opioid medications and complementary migraine treatments and therapies to help you regain control over your life.
Here, he discusses five ways you can reduce your risk of migraines.
1. Journal your migraine history
Keep a detailed record of your migraines as well as your day-to-day life to help identify migraine triggers. Every time you have a migraine, write down everything you can think of from the day of and the day before, including what you ate, things you were exposed to, activity you engaged in, and even the weather. Over time, a pattern may emerge that helps you steer clear of triggers.
2. Live consistently
A steady, balanced routine can help reduce your migraine risk. Wake up at the same time each morning, eat at the same times each day, get regular exercise, and try to go to bed at the same time each night. Avoiding inconsistency or change can help ward off migraines.
3. Track your diet
Eating the wrong foods can trigger migraines, and eating the right foods can help you avoid them. Avoid or strictly limit caffeine, alcohol, sugar, sodium, and MSG or nitrites. Add foods like brown rice, colorful veggies, and dried fruit or nuts to support your system. Also consider supplementing with B-12 vitamins under your doctor’s supervision. Don’t skip meals, as low blood sugar can make you feel worse.
4. Keep moving
Overly vigorous exercise or working out in extreme temperatures can trigger a migraine, but so can inactivity. Try to engage in moderate exercise almost every day to keep your circulation going and endorphins high.
5. Manage stress
Migraines and stress are strongly linked, especially in women. Learning how to manage stress can help cut down on migraine episodes and also improve your overall health. Find things you enjoy doing that help calm you and keep you centered.
If lifestyle strategies like these aren’t enough, your treatment plan at American Rehabilitation Medicine may also include specialized non-opioid pain medication, or you could be a candidate for Botox®️ treatment to control your migraines.
If you are a migraineur, contact our office at 319-369-7331 or schedule an appointment online using our convenient booking tool. We can help you manage your migraines.