5 tips to prevent migraine

Migraine is a complex neurological headache disorder that can cause debilitating pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and more. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, approximately 12% of the US population ages 12 and older experience migraine, with women experiencing them three times more than men1. While there is no cure for migraines, there are some ways to help mitigate them.

  1. Keep a migraine journal: Keeping a journal to track your migraine attacks, symptoms, and triggers can help you learn how to identify patterns to avoid them in the future. It has been shown that migraine journals can help improve communication with healthcare providers, and potentially enhance quality of life2.Here are some tips on how and what to track in your migraine journal:
    1. Record the date, time, and duration of each migraine attack.
    2. Note the location and intensity of the pain, as well as any associated symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to light or sound.
    3. Keep track of potential triggers, such as certain foods, stress, or weather changes.
    4. Record any medications or remedies used to alleviate the symptoms and whether they were effective or not.
    5. Review your journal regularly to identify any patterns or trends to share with your healthcare provider.
  1. Follow a healthy diet: Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can play a crucial role in preventing migraines. Because certain foods can trigger migraines, while others may help prevent them, it is essential to incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein into your daily meal to not only provide your body with essential nutrients but also potentially reduce the frequency of migraines3.On the other hand, it is important to be mindful of potential trigger foods, including caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and aged cheese, which have been found to contribute to migraine attacks. By actively paying attention to your dietary choices and opting for wholesome alternatives, you can take a proactive role in managing your migraines, potentially alleviating their occurrence, and enhancing your overall well-being.
  1. Prioritize quality sleep: Insufficient sleep can trigger migraines, emphasizing the importance of optimizing your sleep patterns to prevent migraine occurrence and intensity. A recent study explored the intricate link between migraines and sleep, revealing that disruptions in sleep patterns, including how much you sleep, the quality of your sleep, and sticking to a consistent sleep routine, can have a significant impact on the frequency and severity of migraines4. To enhance the quality of your sleep and alleviate the risk of migraines, consider incorporating regular exercise into your routine. Engaging in physical activity not only promotes better sleep but also serves as a beneficial practice for managing migraines. Additionally, practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, may help improve sleep quality and reduce migraine attacks.
  1. Stay hydrated: Maintaining proper hydration is crucial for your well-being and migraine prevention. One of the most effective ways to stay hydrated is by consuming ample amounts of water while avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol. Not only does this promote hydration, but it also contributes to lowering the intensity of migraines5.To ensure optimal hydration, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily or more during increased physical activity or hot weather. Adopting this simple habit and remaining properly hydrated can reduce your risk of developing migraines and potentially decrease their severity if they do occur.
  1. Consider preventive medications and treatments: For individuals experiencing frequent or severe migraines, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional is critical to get medications or treatments tailored to your needs. It’s important to note that medications can sometimes come with side effects and may not always provide the desired results.

Fortunately, today’s patients can benefit from advancements in medical technology that offer innovative alternatives to traditional approaches. One such advancement is gammaCore™ non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator (nVNS). This FDA-cleared medical device is designed for the preventive and acute treatment of migraine and cluster headache. This portable, convenient, handheld device allows for self-administered in the comfort of your home or on the go. Treatment sessions are quick and involve 2 two-minute stimulations morning and night on the same side of the neck, up to 24 times a day.

To summarize, migraine prevention requires a holistic approach that includes identifying triggers by keeping a migraine journal, following a healthy diet, getting quality sleep, staying hydrated, and considering preventative medications and treatments. Adding these preventive measures to your migraine toolbox can help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines.

To see if gammaCore is right for you, visit our clinic finder to locate a health care provider near you, or contact our dedicated Customer Experience team at 888-903-2673 or customerservice@electrocore.com.

1. Buse, D. (2022, December 13). Understanding the American migraine prevalence and Prevention Study. American Migraine Foundation. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/ampp/
2. van Casteren, D. S., Verhagen, I. E., de Boer, I., de Vries Lentsch, S., Fronczek, R., van Zwet, E. W., MaassenVanDenBrink, A., & Terwindt, G. M. (2021). E-diary use in clinical headache practice: A prospective observational study. Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache, 41(11-12), 1161–1171. https://doi.org/10.1177/03331024211010306
3. Gazerani P. (2020). Migraine and Diet. Nutrients, 12(6), 1658. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061658
4. Waliszewska-Prosół, M., Nowakowska-Kotas, M., Chojdak-Łukasiewicz, J., & Budrewicz, S. (2021). Migraine and Sleep-An Unexplained Association?. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(11), 5539. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115539
5. Khorsha, F., Mirzababaei, A., Togha, M., & Mirzaei, K. (2020). Association of Drinking Water and Migraine Headache Severity. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 77, 81–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2020.05.034