Have you ever found yourself smoothly navigating your day only to be halted by the pain of a migraine. If you’ve battled migraines, maybe you’re familiar with your triggers and maybe you acknowledge that you had a glass of red wine or a chocolate bar last night? Maybe it’s due to hormonal fluctuations or maybe it came upon you out of nowhere? Whatever the case, migraines can be debilitating and can have significant negative consequences for the migraine sufferer and individuals close to them.
As sufferers looking for ways to mitigate the consequences of migraines much has been studied when it comes to triggers. The American Migraine Foundation shared the following list of 10 of the most common triggers: stress, changes/irregular sleep schedule, hormones, caffeine and alcohol, changes in weather, diet, dehydration, light, smell, medication overuse. Some of these are more easily managed than others.
Poor Sleep Quality
Take a sleep schedule for instance. Healthy sleep hygiene is something that, for the most part, we can control. Striving to get to bed and wake up at a consistent time every day is something that, with practice and commitment, can be achieved. Yes, life may get in the way, a late night out with friends or a long overdue weekend lie-in, yes it won’t be perfect, but recognizing the potential negative impacts when we make adjustments to our sleep schedule is key.
Secondly, dehydration is a big culprit and another trigger that can be managed, albeit easier said than done, by the sufferer. Daily fluid intake is recommended to be 2 Litres. Being sure to always have a glass of water handy and monitoring how much you drink can be important steps in ensuring appropriate hydration levels. 1/3 of migraine sufferers say that dehydration is a trigger – buy a fancy water bottle or a reusable cup with a straw. Fill it at the start of the day.
Caffeine and Alcohol
Thirdly, caffeine and alcohol are seen to be migraine triggers as well. Some migraine sufferers indicate that drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages can bring on a headache whereas other sufferers rely on caffeine to manage symptoms. For wine lovers, red wine has been found to be more triggering than white, yay for savvy b lovers, but any and all forms of alcohol can lead to adverse symptoms.
The journey to become more aware of your triggers is an important one, hence why many physicians suggest keeping a Migraine Diary. Several tools have been developed to help migraine sufferers do just that. Migraine Canada refers to the Canadian Migraine Tracker and another popular app called Migraine Buddy. The following link provides suggestions on how to use a migraine diary: https://migrainecanada.org/posts/the-migraine-tree/trunk/core-skills/how-to-use-a-migraine-diary/
Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding your triggers and awareness can lead to different choices. In conjunction with making healthy lifestyle adjustments understanding supplements that may help to prevent migraines can be part of an overall migraine management strategy.
CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, acts as the body’s energy producer. Peter S. Sandor said, “A lack of energy in the brain may be a cause of migraine.” He went on to say, “CoQ10 may give a boost to those cells and help prevent migraine.” More information on this study can be found in an article published by the American Academy of Neurology.
Additional studies have demonstrated similar results and while more research with larger sample sizes is needed – talk to your doctor about potential benefits and the best dosage for your individual situation
So learning your personal migraine triggers through a Migraine Diary, to making lifestyle adjustments to manage your triggers, to potentially incorporating a supplement like CoQ10 to address prevention are all positive approaches to dealing with a debilitating condition. Lifestyle adjustments can help you feel like you’re buying back control, while supplements may help with inhibiting the migraine in the first place. Take care of you so you can take care of others.
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