More women than men get migraines. Photo: Thinkstock
Not sure it’s a migraine?
Migraine headaches are characterised by a constant throb or pulse, feel worse with physical activity, and come with nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch. Some people even experience auras just before the pain strikes (flashing lights, blind spots), tingling in the arms or legs, or a feeling of extreme weakness. Concerned? Consult your doctor.
If you’re a migraine sufferer, popping a pill could be the way to go. According to a recent review by healthcare information providers The Cochrane Collaboration, ibuprofen can relieve migraine symptoms. Reviewers looked at nine studies involving over 4000 migraine sufferers. More than half of those who took ibuprofen were pain-free within two hours compared to those who received a placebo. The review also found that nausea, vomiting and other symptoms that usually accompany migraines decreased within two hours.
Lose the fat
According to a US study, migraine sufferers who stuck to an extremely low fat diet for two months experienced less intense and shorter headaches that didn’t require as much medication. Researchers said eating less fat could improve the flexibility of blood vessels so they expand and contract more easily. They also found that subjects traded fats for carbohydrate-rich foods, which raises serotonin levels – a brain chemical linked to lower migraine risk. Try cutting back on saturated fats: those found in fatty meats, milk and cheese. Instead, try good fats like those from olive oil, walnuts and linseeds.
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