(NaturalNews) Although many medications and strategies are touted for their ability to relieve migraines, few scientifically validated solutions are widely known for naturally preventing their occurrence. Research in a group of Nebraska employees suggests a multicomponent intervention based on trigger avoidance and lifestyle changes may help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines considerably. Participants completed the Migraine Disability Assessment questionnaire and received personalized coaching, with follow-up questionnaires over a 12-month period. By the end of the study, participants reported a 76 percent reduction in migraine frequency, a 31 percent reduction in severity, and a 66 percent reduction in perceived disability.
Although the study involved the use of some preventative prescription medications, natural preventative supplements - such as magnesium capsules - have been shown to be effective at reducing the frequency of migraines. The study used a convenience sample instead of a randomized control trial design, but provides a helpful analysis of potential systematic treatment to reduce the impact of migraines on personal productivity and quality of life.
Tips for avoiding migraines naturally
With summer in full swing, many individuals are plagued by heat and sunlight-induced headaches. By knowing individual triggers, many people can adopt natural prevention methods to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Consider following a similar multi-component intervention to prevent migraines naturally, and begin with a baseline measure of migraine severity using the Migraine Disability Assessment (http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/healthtopics/pdf/assessment.pdf). After implementing the steps below, repeat the assessment at three-month intervals to track progress and improvement or to discuss continuing problems at a visit with a health professional.
1. Keep a headache journal. Track the day, time, severity, and duration of any migraine. Also take note of the foods, beverages, weather, and activities preceding the onset of the pain.
2. Be aware of common triggers and try to avoid them. Heat, light, loud noise, rain, stressful situations, and certain substances (such as caffeine and alcohol) are common predecessors of migraines. Work to avoid common triggers and take note of any that consistently seem to cause the onset of pain.
3. Avoid nutrient deficiencies. Research indicates an association between magnesium deficiencies and more frequent headaches. Discuss a magnesium supplement with a health professional, or increase magnesium in the diet by consuming more nuts, soybeans, and spinach.
4. Follow a steady sleep schedule. Avoiding irregular or disruptive sleep patterns can help reduce stress and prevent the onset of migraines. Do not oversleep to make up for lost sleep, as this can also trigger migraines.
About the author: Katie BrindAmour is a Certified Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness freelance writer. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, searching for the perfect wine and chocolate combination, and spending time with friends. She has a Masters in Biology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. She also enjoys blogging for Women's Healthcare Topics and Healthline Networks.