Migraine Symptoms, Triggers and Natural Treatments in Tallahassee, FL

Migraines are definitely less common then tension or "regular"headaches but they often create intense, sometimes debilitating symptoms for millions of people.  According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are the third most prevalent illness world wide with women 35-55 years of age the most commonly affected group.  Interesting family fact, migraines typically run in families with 90% of sufferers having a family member with migraines.  Here in the United States, about one in four homes has someone who has occasional migraines as a minimum.(1

Sadly, many people get accustom to the pounding head pain, sensitivity to light or noises, and even sleeping difficulties, migraines can make daily living quite uncomfortable and difficult to hold everything together. The key is finding headache relief naturally without using medications.

Migraine Symptoms

Research experts and Doctor have established four primary stages in most migraines (however some people only experience one or two stages):  prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome.  These four stages attempt to explain the typical symptom transitions from the pains phases to when the pain subdues but each person experiences them slightly differently.(2)

Most common migraine symptoms

  • Experience subtle changes;  neck stiffness, uncontrollable yawning
  • Flashes of light, vision loss, pins and needles sensation in arms or legs
  • Pain on one of side head, pulsating or throbbing head pain, light headed, blurred vision, sensitivity to lights, sounds or smells, and difficulty sleeping
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritability
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Nausea, upset stomach 
  • Throbbing pain on one side of the head

Many people can feel a "migraine attack coming" as they feel uneasy( sensations of an aura or visual disturbance).  Simultaneously, their vision may become disturb with their stomach churning and hurting while their head may begin to throb.  Withing thirty to forty minutes most migraines begin setting in. (3)

Common Migraine Triggers

Here are some triggers and risk factors for onset of migraines:

  • Excessive caffeine, alcohol (especially wines with nitrates), or drug/medication withdrawal
  • Dehydration (often seen as bright yellow urine)
  • Excessive stressful situations like a job, finances, or spouse/relationships
  • Woman 35-55 years old going thru hormonal fluctuations, especially if they are pre or peri-menopausal
  • Eating a poor nutrition diet with additives, chemicals and synthetic ingredients or meal skipping especially breakfast 
  • Exposed to loud noises over long periods of time
  • Eye strain from staring at a monitor for hours at a time or too much bright, direct sunlight
  • Quick changes in weather can cause extreme changes in barometric pressure

Natural Migraine Treatments

  1. Eating a whole foods anti-inflammatory diet - Many super tasty, addictive foods actually worsen migraine headache pains like corn syrup, refined white sugar, refined grains, some aged cheeses, red wine, artificial additives(aspartame), high sodium foods, cold cut meats with processed nitrites or nitrates.  On the other hand, fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, wild caught salmon (high in Omega 3 fats) and other whole, unprocessed foods can help you prevent or treat migraines.(4)
  2. Getting Consistent Good Sleep - Either getting too much or not enough quality sleep can act as a trigger for migraines.  Real important to establish a bedtime sleep routine where you avoid caffeine, sugar foods as well as electronic wireless devices.  If possible, falling asleep between 10-12 pm is a great way to help balance your hormone levels.  Reading a good book, meditation, yoga or even mindfulness can be help relieve stress if you need it. (5)
  3. Chiropractic Adjustments - The AO Treatment plus massage therapy are natural, gentle migraine treatments.  Massage Therapy along with manual cervical traction can relieve migraine headaches by releasing trigger points in the shoulders and neck.  Thus, Massage Therapy can improve blood flow and improve range of motion for the head and cervical spine.  
  4. Consider essential oils and aromatherapy - gently massaging pressure points in the temples of the head can also help relieve headaches along with use of lavender, frankincence, rosemary or peppermint essential oil.  Many people report great benefit from aromatherapy diffuser, especially in the bedroom before falling asleep. (6)