Migraine, or extreme headaches, can steal the peace and tranquility from your life. Although it is a genetic disorder, environment, lifestyle, diet and hormonal imbalance also play a large role in how often you get an attack. Individuals suffering from migraine can feel completely drained at times. The fatigue often manifests into a throbbing ache on one or both sides of the head. In extreme cases, patients also experience nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light and even pressure on their eyes.
According to a study by University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in 2016, consuming processed foods high in nitrites or monosodium glutamate (MSG) and having too much alcohol can trigger migraine.
Dr Shruti Sharma, bariatric counselor and nutritionist, Jaypee Hospital says. “A migraine is a common disability in adults as well as children and shows female predominance. Unilateral throbbing in the head, which ranges from moderate to severe intensity is a common manifestation of migraine. It’s a chronic headache disorder characterized by recurrent attacks lasting for four to 72 hours of a pulsating quality, moderate or severe intensity, aggravated by routine physical activity and associated with nausea, vomiting, photophobia or phonophobia.”
“Stress, sleep and environmental factors are important trigger factors in women and differ significantly from the factors for men. Trigger factors are frequent in migraine patients, and avoiding them may result in a better control of the disorder. Many women also witness migraine headaches right before or even during menstruation. Some also report hormone-induced migraines during pregnancy or menopause. This is caused due to the change of estrogen levels in women,” says Dr Sharma.
Raising concern on how migraine is more common in metro cities, Dr Joydeep Ghosh, consultant of internal medicine at Fortis Hospital, says, “Excessive amount of stress, work pressure, night life, lack of sleep are much more dominant in metro cities. This results in increased incidence of migraine in the metro population.”
People suffering from migraine often take the help of medicine but apart from that, there are few lifestyle changes too that can control the effect. Regular meals, staying hydrated and consuming at least eight glasses of water in a day, maintaining regular sleep patterns, downsizing stress and curbing caffeine intake can surely help.
Here is a list of dietary changes suggested by experts
* Consume foods rich in magnesium such as green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale), fruits (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries), legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans), seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna) and cruciferous vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts).
* Have calcium-rich food such as soybeans, white beans, lentils, almonds, whey protein and food rich in complex carbohydrates, and fibre.
* Have non-citrus fruits like cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes. Consume less of apples, bananas, peaches, and tomatoes.