Caused by changes to serotonin levels in the body, migraine headaches can last for a few hours or several days and can seriously impact a patient’s quality of life. While over-the-counter and prescription medication can help lessen the pain, healthy habits and other practices can sometimes stop migraines before they start. Ample sleep and a healthy diet are vital to the prevention of migraines. Since foods such as chocolate or caffeine may act as triggers, keeping a food journal can be a helpful way to identify and eliminate possible causes. Regular exercise and stress management also regulate serotonin levels and help the body produce pain-blocking chemicals.
If a migraine does develop, individuals should find a dark place to recline with a damp cloth over the eyes. In the early stages of a migraine, small amounts of caffeine may enhance the effectiveness of aspirin and acetaminophen.