One of the most common types of headaches diagnosed in American women is the migraine. Although it affects mostly women, men can be affected as well. There are more than 28 million Americans who have been recorded as having this type of vascular headache. The good news is that there is a migraine cocktail which can help reduce the pain and symptoms of the migraine.
When one is experiencing a migraine, what is happening is the temporal artery (located under the skin of the temples) is enlarging causing the nerves to stretch around the artery. It is the tension on the nerves that is causing them to release chemicals that create pain, inflammation, and more enlargement of the artery.
What Is Migraine Cocktail?
A headache cocktail is made up of three drugs, hence why it is called a cocktail.
The cocktail is made up of:
The first two drugs included in the migraine cocktail shot are prescription medications while caffeine is an over-the-counter medication, such as No-Doz. You will need to consult with your general practitioner or a headache specialist to receive the two prescription drugs.
Once you have all three medications, the instructions are as follows:
When the headache begins take one of each medication together.
Take the migraine cocktail every eight hours, up to three times a day.
Take the headache cocktail with food if it upsets your stomach.
If you are concerned about price, these three medications are actually quite inexpensive. Although the prescription Imitrex (also used for migraines) costs $20 per tablet, you can purchase all thirty doses of three medications for approximately $30.
Home Remedies for Migraine
Using an ice pack compress will help your blood vessels return to normal size. Once they return to normal size your migraine will go away. The best way to use an ice pack is to wrap a soft pack in a towel and compress against your temples, altering sides every few seconds for up to three minutes (or find an ice pack that fits all the way around your forehead).
Henna flowers have been effective at curing headaches for years. Simply dip the flowers into vinegar then rub against your forehead for relief.
Drinking a cup of chamomile tea when you begin to feel the onset of the migraine will help relax the nerves, reducing the pain.
Niacin Rich Foods
Niacin is found in yeast, whole wheat, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, liver, and fish. When your body is deficient in niacin, it is more likely to create a migraine; in effect, supplementing with 100 mg of niacin daily has been known to help reduce migraine pain.
Taking 120 mg ginkgo biloba extract before meals has been shown to reduce migraine symptoms. It does so by increasing your blood circulation throughout your body.
Some studies have shown that migraines are partially due to insufficient amounts of magnesium in the body. One way to reduce migraines is to increase the amount of magnesium you consume. This can be done through adding more fruits, nuts, and dark green, leafy vegetables to your diet or by taking magnesium supplements.
Preventing Further Problems
Get More Sleep
This may seem simple, mainly because it is. When you are tired and exhausted, your body is not able to function at its best. This means that when you do not get your 7-9 hours of sleep each night you are more likely to contract a migraine.
If you find yourself having a difficult time falling asleep, then you need to be more aggressive with your strategy. Try turning off all electronics, dimming the lights, and relaxing in quiet for an hour before you go to bed.
Anyone who is trying to live a healthier lifestyle needs to be sure that they include a daily exercise habit. Exercising reduces stress, relieves migraine symptoms, and even prevents them from occurring. Plus, getting regular exercise will help you sleep better.
It is best to start with a light exercise routine such as a 30 minute walk once a day. Then, as you build momentum and endurance you can add in more advance exercise techniques.
Although caffeine is included in the migraine cocktail shot, drinking caffeinated drinks on a regular basis may cause more prevalent migraines. This is because the caffeine causes a nervous adaptation within the body. When the caffeine is removed from your daily habit you may go into withdrawal which will also increase your chances of developing a migraine.
Having caffeine in the cocktail is to help aid in any caffeine withdrawal. One of the best ways to avoid migraines is to slowly wean yourself off caffeine.
Watch for Migraine Inducing Foods
When you have a migraine, think about which foods you eat. You may even want to keep a migraine journal to record the scenario of foods, lights, activities, drinks that you participated in right before the migraine. After you have recorded the foods you have eaten right before your migraines strike for several occurrences, you will have a good idea as to which foods, if any, cause your migraines.
The most common trigger foods are chocolate, cheese, alcohol, and citrus. Once you have determined your trigger foods, try to avoid them.
Learn Your Light Sensitivities
Some people have migraines triggered by light sensitivities. If you are in an environment lit by fluorescent lights, this may be your trigger as well. Take a few days to avoid the fluorescent lights for a few days after your migraine occurs, then visit the area again to test this theory. If you have a migraine after spending a short amount of time back in the fluorescent light, then the light is your most likely culprit.