Migraine can change your brain

Migraine suffers know what real agony is. Besides the excruciating, pounding headaches, victims must endure the nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound that most often accompany these headaches. All productivity ceases. To make matters worse, a new study discovered that migraines—specifically ones with aura—can permanently alter the structure of your brain.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that those who had migraines with aura showed a 68% increased risk of white matter brain lesions, compared with those who did not have migraines. This terrifying figure prompts us to face the problem of migraine squarely.

Only relying on migraine drugs may backfire

Taking drugs or painkillers is the usual way to deal with annoying migraines. However, most medications available in the market come with side effects, making the dilemma that much harder. In a recent study published by the journal Headache, two-third of the subjects reported symptoms like sleepiness, fatigue, racing heartbeat and difficulty thinking after taking prescribed medications. So is there a more effective way to relieve migraines than taking drugs? I am glad you asked.

The all-natural solution to preventing most migraines begins with your diet. Learning how to relieve and prevent migraines via your diet involves paying closer attention to what you consume and making a few simple lifestyle changes.

1. Be careful with foods with hormones

Be careful when choosing meats–especially beef and dairy products that contain hormones. Try to choose organic, fresh cuts of meat and avoid phosphoproteins. A group of phosphoproteins in milk called “casein,” which comprises nearly 80 percent of all the protein in milk, is a major trigger of migraines and other types of headaches. Doctors often seek to eliminate all sources of casein in a migraine patient’s diet. It is commonly listed as “sodium caseinate”, “calcium caseinate” or “milk protein” on many food labels.

2. Avoid foods loaded with simple carbs and processed sugar

Reactive hyperglycemia or a spike in glucose in the bloodstream occurring after you eat has been deemed one of the most surprising causes of migraines according to CNN Health. Excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates such as white sugar and pasta, can cause migraines. When you eat simple carbs, your blood sugar rises and your body then produces extra insulin to break down the sugar. This causes your blood sugar levels to drop dramatically. That spike and plummet of blood sugar can lead to headaches.

3. Stay hydrated but avoid stimulating drinks

It is common knowledge that dehydration can cause headaches and greatly exacerbates the condition in those who frequently experience migraines. Practitioners recommend that you drink plenty of hydrating fluids- especially water- and limit the amount of alcohol consumed. They also warn that you should avoid large amounts of tea, coffee, soda, and other beverages containing copious amounts of sugar and caffeine which can be triggers.

4. Consume cold food and beverages slowly

Ah yes…the dreaded brain freeze. We’ve all experienced it. It turns out that it is an actual medical condition. It’s called a “cold stimulus headache.” It is characterized by pain in the middle of the forehead or behind the eyes and nose lasting for less than five minutes after rapidly consuming cold food or drink. What’s even more surprising is that some researchers believe that this phenomenon can actually trigger a migraine, so try to take it slow or drink your beverages with less ice.

Research is definitive; migraine sufferers are more likely to have changes in their brains than are people who didn’t have migraines. By making a few simple dietary changes and being cognizant of your eating habits, you can greatly reduce the number of migraines experienced and minimize changes to the brain.

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