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Refreshing Green Juice Recipe for Migraine and Headache Help

September 7, 2019 | 7:30pm

Migraines and headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons including dehydration.  Drinking plenty of water is always helpful, however certain juices could also provide help due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Each ingredient in this recipe was selected based on benefits it could provide in this situation.

 

INGREDIENTS

16 oz filtered water or coconut water
1 cup pineapple
1 cup kale (3-4 leaves)
1 stalk celery
½ lemon, juiced
1 cup cucumber (about ½ a large cucumber)
½ inch ginger root
1-1/2 cups ice

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all ingredients into a blender.  Secure the lid and blend well for at least 60 seconds.

Note: You can omit the water and ice and extract the ingredients with a juicer, or leave it as is for a whole food juice by keeping the fiber.

Enjoy! (Recipe makes 2 servings)

The ingredients in this drink are very healthy and may help with headache, migraine, nausea and/or stomach upset. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a potent herb that has been known to help with any type of pain or swelling of the tissues. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain, a natural enzyme that has been known to be a form of natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory as well. Cucumber is 95% water and can help with dehydration. It is thought that the chemicals in celery act to cause sleepiness, increase urine to decrease fluid retention, decrease blood pressure, decrease blood sugar, decrease blood clotting, and increase muscle relaxation.

 

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Avoid Back to School Migraines – A Guide for Parents & Students

September 1, 2019 | 7:56pm

Every year as summer draws to a close, parents, teachers, and students from all walks of life get ready to start a new school year. Everybody knows that going back to school can be stressful – different teachers, new friends, and a whole new set of responsibilities can overwhelm even the most confident of kids or teenagers. With all these changes it’s no wonder why seven out of every ten students will have at least one headache during the school year.

Headaches can range from minor nuisances to extremely uncomfortable, and when they become chronic (constantly recurring), they can take a serious toll on your ability to go about your daily life. There are several types of headaches: cluster headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and many more. However, one of the most common (and intense) types of headaches are migraines.


What Are Migraines?
A migraine is a severe and recurring type of headache that’s extremely painful and debilitating. Though no two migraines are the same, more often than not, they are usually accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, sound and light sensitivity, and typically occur on only one side of the head.

Migraines don’t just affect adults; some children start suffering from them as early as the age of two, and it is estimated that around 10% of all school-aged kids and teenagers get migraines periodically. Children’s migraines may be more bilateral such as pain across the forehead as opposed to unilateral, one side of the head.  The pain may be of shorter duration than an adult’s migraine and less frequent.

Children may also experience abdominal migraines, severe stomach pain without a headache which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.  If you child experiences cyclic vomiting or stomach pain, ask your pediatrician about abdominal migraine.  Unfortunately, doctors and researchers are not completely sure of what causes migraine.  Migraines are thought to be hereditary.  A child with one parent who suffers with migraines has a 50% risk of developing them.  If both parents suffer with migraines, the risk increases to 75%.

What Are Migraine Triggers?
While on the surface migraines seem to come out of nowhere, most people can identify at least some of the factors that set off an attack. These factors are called triggers, and they vary from person to person. For some, triggers can be as specific as particular sounds or smells, while for others, their triggers can be extremely common daily events like stress or hormonal changes, and therefore are much harder to avoid.

Learning to identify your triggers can significantly reduce both the amount and the severity of migraines as the new school year starts. According to the National Headache Foundation, the amount of migraine and headache-related visits to the emergency room by children between the ages of 5 and 18 increases every year around fall.

As you may have already guessed, stress is one of the main culprits of back to school migraines; children as young as five can feel anxious and overwhelmed about schedule changes, new extracurricular activities, and everything else that comes with the beginning of a new academic year. But stress is not the only factor that can set off migraines on school-aged children and young adults. Other common triggers include:

Sleep deprivation
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that children between the ages of four and 13 get 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night. A good night’s sleep is not only essential for growth and development; it also has been shown that sleep deprivation is one of the most common migraine triggers for both children and adults.

However, more than 90% of high-schoolers and nearly 80% of middle-schoolers start school before 8:30 am. It is also common that teens don’t fall asleep before 11:00 pm, making it harder to get the recommended amount of sleep each night. As if that wasn’t enough, during the first weeks of school, thanks to all the stress and excitement of the new academic year, kids and teens find it even harder to get enough sleep.

Skipping meals
Skipping or waiting too long between meals is also a big migraine trigger for school-aged children and young adults. During the first few weeks of school, as we settle into our new schedules, it can be easy to skip breakfast or grab a quick snack for lunch, but this could mean bad news for migraine sufferers.

When you don’t eat or go too long between meals, your blood sugar levels drop too low. This is called hypoglycemia and it usually causes headaches even on people who don’t suffer from migraines. Migraine attacks and headaches caused by low blood sugar levels are usually more painful and can last longer than other attacks. They also tend to be accompanied by blurred vision, nausea, excessive yawning, sweating, and mood swings.

Screen time
Most of us have suffered the consequences of spending too much time on the computer or staring at our phones; our eyes hurt, our neck becomes stiff, and almost inevitably a headache creeps in. Migraine attacks triggered by the computer or phone screen are becoming increasingly common now that we spend a good portion of our days on our electronic devices.

Prolonged screen time has been shown to trigger migraines for several reasons: first, fixating your eyes on a monitor for a long time requires effort from both your brain and your ocular muscles, both of which have to work quite hard to keep focused on the screen for an extended period of time.

Also, extremely bright screens can trigger migraines in people who are photosensitive (sensitive to bright lights). Aside from these factors, hunching over the computer, tablet or phone can lead to neck and back pain which can worsen migraines.

Dehydration
Did you know that healthcare professionals estimate that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? There is a lot of controversy regarding how much water a person should drink; some sources recommend 8 glasses, others have said that the appropriate amount is between 11 and 15 cups, and others assure that drinking 2 to 3 cups of water every hour should be enough to keep you hydrated.

Ultimately, the amount of water people need is based on a variety of factors like their weight, activity level, whether it is hot or cold outside, etc. The best way to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle with you at all times and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink – according to healthcare professionals, once thirst hits you are already dehydrated!

 

Other common migraine triggers for school-aged children and teens include:

  • Caffeine
  • Loud noises
  • Strong odors
  • Lunch meats
  • Chocolate
  • Salty foods
  • Alcohol and smoke
  • Stress
  • Some types of cheese
  • Food additives and chemicals (like MSG)
  • Teeth grinding
  • Weather changes

Managing Your Migraines at School
As you may have realized, some of the most common school-related migraine triggers can be hard to avoid. Since there is nothing you can do to control triggers like the temperature outside, puberty and hormonal changes, bright lights in the classroom, and loud noises, managing your migraines can become a frustrating task.

The good news is that other triggers like lack of sleep, stress, skipping meals, and dehydration can be prevented by making healthier choices. Here are five tips to keep migraines at bay during the school year:

1. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Even though according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids and teenagers could benefit from starting school later in the day both health and academic-wise, most children still have to wake up before 7:00 am to get to school on time. This means that getting enough sleep can be an extremely difficult – if not impossible task for some kids.

But if you suffer from migraines, maintaining good sleeping habits should be just as important as eating healthy or exercising. We recommend getting ready to sleep and practicing good sleep hygiene habits hours before you even go to bed to get the best quality sleep possible.

By limiting daytime naps as much as possible, making sure you don’t consume caffeine or foods that can disrupt sleep (particularly fatty, sugary or rich foods) too close to bedtime, and not bringing your cellphone or tablet to bed, you will be able fall asleep earlier and keep insomnia from triggering a migraine. For the first few weeks of school, try going to bed earlier than usual as that will help you get more sleep in and reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with the new school year.

2. Keep a Trigger Tracker
One of the worst things about migraines is not knowing when they are going to happen. Getting a headache before a midterm, right in the middle of class or during an extracurricular activity can be extremely frustrating. That’s why learning to recognize the factors that set them off is extremely important, and the best way of doing so is with a trigger tracker.

Keeping a trigger tracker is easy; you can use a notebook, a diary or your phone to list anything that you ate, did or that happened right before your migraine started. For example, maybe you were about to take a test when the headache began, or you were in the middle of PE; these are all things worth noting on your trigger tracker so next time you won’t be caught off-guard. Other important things to include on your trigger tracker or trigger diary are any symptoms that you felt (auras) leading up to the attack, where the pain was located, the weather that day, etc.

Over time, you will be able to connect the dots and identify some of the factors that may cause or worsen your migraines. Learning to recognize these factors can help you prevent future migraines or at least be ready when it comes.  (Downloadable Migraine Diary & Trigger Tracker)

3. Consider Taking a Nutritional Supplement
There are several prescription drugs that treat migraines but they often come with unwanted side-effects.  Nutritional supplements are a safe and healthy option. Different plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals have been shown to address nutritional deficiencies that may be associated with migraines.  The following three have scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness:

Magnesium – Several studies have shown that migraines may be partly caused by low magnesium levels in the brain, which is why taking a daily magnesium supplement can help you prevent these and other types of headaches.  Magnesium has numerous effects that support cerebrovascular (blood vessels in the brain) tone and function. 180 mg per day for children and 360 mg per day for adults is recommended.

Feverfew – The herb feverfew is a plant that belongs to the daisy family and has also been shown to be extremely beneficial for adults and children suffering migraines.  Feverfew has been known to help maintain normal platelet aggregation (avoid clumping together of blood platelets) and reduce or eliminate vasospasms in the brain’s blood vessels.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) – Many migraine sufferers are known to have mitochondrial energy deficiencies before a migraine attack.  The mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells.  Riboflavin at the correct dose helps maintain healthy mitochondrial energy reserves, and has been known to help keep migraines at bay.  200 mg per day for children age 2-12 and 400 mg per day for teens and adults is recommended.

Remember, when it comes to taking dietary supplements, consistency is key for migraine sufferers.  There is a build-up period of up to 3 months where supplements must be taken every day to experience maximum benefits.

4. Make a Plan
Once you’ve been able to identify some of your triggers using a tracker or a diary, plan ahead to avoid a ‘surprise’ attack. During the first few weeks of school, take it upon yourself to remove any unnecessary stressors from your day to day activities; for example, pack your backpack the night before so you are not running around in the morning looking for your supplies – stressing out early in the morning, or as we mentioned earlier, skipping breakfast, are big migraine triggers.

Also, keep emergency snacks in your bag in case you get hungry during the day or you accidentally skip a meal but remember that fatty or sugary foods sometimes trigger headaches. Some quick snacks that are considered “migraine safe” foods include:

  • Plain pretzels
  • Saltines
  • Bread (white, wheat, rye, bagels, etc.)
  • Cereal (except sugary cereals or cereals with nuts or dried fruits)
  • Carrot sticks

5. Reach Out
Suffering from migraines at school can make you feel isolated and different from your peers. Sometimes you may choose to avoid hanging out with your friends or skip social events because you are concerned you may get a migraine. Many people who suffer from migraines feel lonely and misunderstood because of their chronic pain.

To fight those feelings of loneliness and frustration, it is important to reach out; your friends and family members want to help but sometimes they don’t know how to. Talk to them about how you feel and explain what are some things they can do to help you feel better when you are in pain.

At school, ask your parents to talk to your teacher or guidance counselor – more often than not schools offer resources like testing accommodations, screen reading technologies to help out with eye strain and photo-sensitivity, and more.

We hope that you found this back to school with migraines guide helpful. Remember that there are things you can do to keep migraines from controlling your life, and that by planning ahead you can reduce surprise attacks. Also, don’t forget to ask for help and reach out to your family and friends whenever your migraines are making you feel lonely or left out, going through an attack with the support of the people you love will always make it easier!

To the Best of Health,

The MigreLief Team at Akeso Health Sciences

 

 

 

 

For more health tips, help for migraine headaches, coupons and more, visit MigreLief.com and subscribe to our newsletter!

 

 

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