Stepping into the Light is Difficult for Migraineurs

July 20th, 2013

Summer Migraine Relief and Prevention

 

Migraine sufferers often get left in the dark during this popular time of year 

For many people, summer is a time for taking vacations, drinking iced tea and lemonade, enjoying the weather, family outings, weekend trips, relaxing days at the beach, and simply enjoying the warm weather and sunshine.  But for migraine sufferers warm weather can mean serious trouble and sensitivity to light makes that beautiful sunshine blinding and often painful.

Battling Light & Heat
The lazy days of summer we all look forward to can be a nightmare for migraine sufferers.  In fact some people are migraine free during the winter months but with the arrival of summer and warm weather the migraines set in and reoccur all season long.  They find themselves more often than not opting to stay indoors.  Of course staying in where you can control the environmental factors may be a solution, but not if you want to enjoy some outdoor fun.

As a basic outdoor strategy, be sure to wear dark sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat. Also, staying hydrated is key to avoiding light and heat related headaches. Humidity is really tough to control out of doors, but following some of the suggestions made in preventing barometric pressure and altitude headaches is good general advice for those who will be out in the humidity as well.

Headache Prevention for Outdoor Enthusiasts
The barometer drops rapidly just before a storm, and your blood vessels may react to that, trying to equalize the pressure.   Many sufferers recognize this fact and even find themselves watching the weather channel to know when to anticipate a summer storm migraine.

Strategies for barometric pressure headaches
Some migraineurs have reported that lying down in a dark room can ward off the pressure headache, but if you are or want to be an outdoor enthusiast, you have to figure out other ways to deal with it.  The good news is that whether technophile or phobe, there are gadgets that can help you. If you are one who prefers gadgets over devices and apps, Newspring  Power International Company, Ltd. offers a fishing barometer designed to check the barometric pressure at specific locations.

The application for migraineurs is that you can set the device for up to six places where you might wish to go for the day, and program it to warn you when a storm is approaching any of those places. If you prefer a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), there are several smart phones and tablets which have barometric sensors with free apps that will send you alarms when pressure reaches the danger zone for you.”

If you are already taking MigreLief for prevention, eating a magnesium rich snack when the barometer starts dropping can help to prevent the impending headache. When going for an outing, be sure to pack some nuts such as walnuts, almonds or cashews, and banana or raisins. If you have room for a small cooler, yogurt is also rich in magnesium. In addition, these snacks will keep up your blood sugar in a healthy way. Low blood sugar, especially when eating erratically on a daytrip, can trigger a migraine.

AVOIDING OTHER SUMMERTIME MIGRAINE TRIGGERS

Stress – After a flurry of activity and preparation, when a person finally has a chance to relax, headaches often set in.  The beginning of the weekend or a vacation is a common time for migraines to occur.  Take it easy, plan in advance, and just agree with yourself or family members that the number one key to everyone enjoying the time is to relax and be unhurried in everything.

Change in sleep patterns – The longer days of summer find people going to sleep later than usual especially when on vacation, or shifting between time zones.  This disruption in a normal sleep pattern can lead to migraines, so try to maintain as normal a schedule as possible, or, if you know you will be up later than usual, try to squeeze in an afternoon nap.

Allergies & Altitude –  Allergens in the environment can also cause migraines, and the level of some allergens can increase with humidity.   Higher altitudes for summer campers can also be a problem.  Higher altitude means thinner air, which means your circulatory system is working harder, in turn affecting the load your brain vessels are carrying. Keep up with similar treatment as suggested for barometric pressure headaches, and add some raw, local honey to your diet to alleviate stress from airborne allergens.


ULTIMATE PREVENTION

If you know what your triggers are, it is always best to avoid them if possible and hopefully prevent a migraine.  But even if all precautions are followed, migraines may still strike so it may be time to consider attacking your migraines and all potential future migraines with nutrition.   “Let food be your medicine,” said Hippocrates. Even if you eat right, upping certain nutrients such as magnesium, feverfew, and vitamin B2 can seriously assist in controlling migraines and headaches.  Anyone with underlying nutritional deficiencies and imbalances causing dysfunctional brain process especially need these nutrients (See “The Science of MigreLief”).

Taking MigreLief with its Triple Therapy protocol is a convenient and measured way to get the right amount of the necessary nutrients to help maintain normal cerebrovascular tone and function.

If migraines are controlling your life and keeping you from having a fun memorable summer, take control of your health so you may step into the light once again without fear.

 

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

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