Migraine prevention can be daunting since there is no one clear-cut cause for them, but there are steps you can take to reduce their likelihood based on what we know. Some methods are more holistic in nature, others are pharmaceutical, but they have all been shown to be effective in a significant percentage of migraineurs.
The first category is one that most individuals dread; lifestyle changes. This category includes some fairly obvious items which may improve life in general and can apply to those who don’t suffer from migraines as well as those who do. Dropping bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol can remove migraine triggers. Eating a well-balanced, low fat diet, with grains, fruits, and vegetables, is another way to reduce the chance of migraine headaches. A regular dose of exercise will improve overall blood flow and will help prevent attacks, as well.
Next, are the more natural or holistic approaches to migraine prevention. These include adjustments from a chiropractor, acupuncture and acupressure treatments and relaxation techniques such as yoga, hypnosis, meditation or visualization. There is disagreement as to the effectiveness of some of these treatments, but there are those who swear by them, so they do work for a certain percentage of migraine sufferers.
The only issue with either of these two approaches to migraine prevention is that we live in a world where we expect instant results. If an individual changes their diet, but three days later they suffer a migraine, they are likely to give up on the lifestyle change as it “obviously” isn’t working. What we want is a quick fix for migraine issues and this leads us to the next method.
Pharmaceutical or medicinal migraine preventions are sought after because when someone wants to know how to prevent migraines, we can simply say “Take a pill.” Unfortunately, there is no one pill that can prevent migraines in all cases and in all patients. There are beta-blockers, anti-convulsants, antidepressants, NSAIDs and others, but their effectiveness is not one hundred percent and some of them have side-effects that can be almost as disruptive as the actual migraine.
Although we are making progress in all three of these treatment areas, we have no “silver bullet” that will end migraine suffering once and for all. As we can see, preventing migraines from occurring is not an exact science. For now, work with your physician, try to lead as healthy a lifestyle as you can manage and avoid known triggers.