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Lifestyle Changes Decrease Risk of Migraines in Teens

Under: Migraine & Headache

Can lifestyle changes decrease the risk of chronic migraine in teens?

I have written many articles about  preventing chronic migraines being the logical and healthier option than a lifetime of treating them with pain-killing over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs.

Rebound headaches from over-using the pain-killing option are a known fact and the extra migraines caused by this over-use are referred to as “Medication Over-Use Headaches (MOH).

So while I have written about natural options that have been clinically shown to prevent a percentage of migraines from occurring and to reduce the intensity of those migraines that do occur, studies suggest lifestyle changes can help to prevent migraines as well.

Back in 2010 a Norway study examined, interviewed, and had 5,847 teenagers fill out lifestyle questionnaires. Analysis of the data yielded some interesting, and perhaps, not surprising results:

  • Smoking increased the risk of chronic headaches like migraines by 50%
  • Being overweight increased the risk by 40%
  • Being physically inactive increased the risk by 20%

The authors found that as the presence of unhealthy lifestyle choices and factors increased, the risk to teenagers of chronic headaches or migraines increased substantially.

A more recent systematic review, Lifestyle Modifications to Help Prevent Headache at a Developmental Age, discusses the “lifestyle recommendations” for young headache and migraine sufferers as a perfect balance between regular sleep and meals, adequate hydration, limited consumption of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, regular physical activity to avoid being overweight as well as any other elements causing stress.  The review concluded “Homeostasis and regularity are important in the pediatric population that suffers from headaches, particularly during the challenging time of childhood and adolescent life.  Lifestyle recommendations should play a crucial role in the management of headache.”

Struggling with a debilitating migraine disorder is frustrating for both parents and their children. Finding the right treatment or combination of therapies is key.  A combination of lifestyle adjustments and nutritional supplements containing ingredients with proven benefits for young migraine sufferers may be life-changing for families.

To the best of health,

Curt Hendrix M.S. C.C.N. C.N.S.