7 Natural Ways to Cure Headaches
Healthy Lifestyle Habits Help Relieve Symptoms
Headaches and migraines aren’t just an adult problem. In fact, about 1 in 10 school-age children suffer from migraines, and more than half experience their first attack before age 12. According to Marie Roth, registered dietitian for Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohls Eat Well, Be Well Program, evidence is weak on the effectiveness of standard migraine preventive drugs in children, and therefore dietary, lifestyle, and non-medication methods should be utilized. These include:
- Identifying food sensitivities. Keep a food diary or consider an elimination diet to help identify trigger foods or food additives. Stick to clean, unprocessed whole foods as often as possible by eating a diet rich in plant foods and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar and white flour.
- Increasing the consumption magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and omega-3 fats— These nutrients, along with ginger, help reduce inflammation, increase relaxation and have been shown to reduce pain and the frequency of migraines.
- Staying well-hydrated. According to the National Headache Foundation, headaches are a common symptom of mild to moderate dehydration. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of clean water daily.
- Engaging in regular aerobic exercise. According to the National Pain Foundation, participants of regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, experience fewer migraines, as well as a reduced intensity of the pain. Adults are advised to get 150 minutes of exercise weekly, while children need about 60 minutes every day.
- Establishing good sleep habits. There is an established link between migraines and poor sleep. The American Migraine Foundation recommends sticking to a regular sleep schedule, getting an age-appropriate amount of sleep and establishing healthy sleep habits. These include setting a regular bed time, cutting out screen time 1-2 hours before bed, minimizing blue light which suppress the “sleep hormone” melatonin, and practicing relaxation techniques.
- Considering other non-medical treatments such as biofeedback, relaxation techniques, and acupuncture. Behavioral methods may help reduce the tendency for muscle contraction and uneven blood flow associated with some headaches. They may be particularly beneficial for children and adolescents.
- Balancing hormones. Abnormalities or fluctuations in hormones have been observed in both tension-type and migraine headache sufferers. The best way to balance hormones is to eat a well-balanced, clean diet; stay hydrated, manage your stress and get plenty of exercise and sleep.
THIS MESSAGE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BLYTHEDALE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AND KOHLS EAT WELL, BE WELL NUTRITION PROGRAM. FOR MORE TIPS AND INFORMATION VISIT WWW.BLYTHEDALE.ORG/KOHLS
Blythedale Children's Hospital, through the generosity of Kohl’s Department Stores, is proud to offer Blythedale and Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well, an innovative outreach program designed to bring health and nutrition education to schools throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Through this program, Blythedale staff members teach healthy eating habits to children by providing curricula, training and educational tools to school districts throughout the area. The program provides general nutrition guidelines to students, parents and school faculty. Blythedale Children's Hospital offers experts in nutrition and health-education to speak with local parenting groups, PTAs and school personnel.
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