Migraine Triggers

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I rose early to do some yoga – which made me feel excellent 🙂

Too bad this feeling was short lived…. As I went to open the blinds this morning I was greeted with the morning sun and a shot of bright light to my eyes. The light triggered a bright, “floater” in my right eye followed by a sharp, familiar pain in my head and in my eyes. Yup. Migraine.

Migraines are not new to me. I’ve suffered with them since I was a young girl and they still come to visit me — though fewer and farther between. It has been a couple years since my last one.

This prompted me to think, “What triggered this?”

I was in the middle of drinking a smoothie with raw cacao so my instant thought was the chocolate. Chocolate contains phenlethylamine, theobromine and caffeine, all of which can trigger a migraine by altering cerebral blood flow.

But I eat raw cacao a lot and this is the first time its been followed by a migraine, which made me think that hormonal shifts are a component. I just finished up with my period. The days following flow are almost always accompanied by a (bad) headache.

Then I remembered my lunch yesterday. After going to three or four different restaurants and leaving frustrated that I was unable to find gluten free/dairy free options my husband and I (in desperation) stopped into a restaurant that served gluten free, “natural” burgers.

I am not a huge beef eater, but I’ve been experimenting with introducing it back into my diet in the past couple of months. We were both starving and quite grumpy, so we agreed to order something.

Ground beef is a definite migraine trigger as much of it contains nitrates. Sodium nitrate is a preservative that can dilate blood vessels in the head, causing pain. The beef was definitely out of the ordinary for me and I believe could be the primary reason behind my migraine today.

Natural Relief from Migraines

This jagged, bright floater disrupted my vision. Better yet, it took over my vision. It was all I could see. Even when I closed my eyes — it was still there shining bright. I started to panic. My work is done on the computer screen and there was no way I could focus on that….

I shut the blinds and laid my head down on my desk. What could I do? After twenty minutes the floated started to dissipate, allowing my mind a chance to figure out how I was going to get through the work day.

My experience with migraines reminds me that the BEST remedy for a migraine is sleep. For me, this is the only solution that works (most of the time) to calm down a migraine headache.

But sleep was out of the question. I couldn’t afford to have another sick day. So amidst my pounding head I used the following natural remedies to treat my migraine and I tell ya it really helped. Enough so for me to write about it to you tonight 🙂

Here are the natural remedies I used for my migraine….

1.) Fish Oil — I doubled up my normal dosage so I ended up taking 2000 mg. Fish oil helps inflammation and prevents constriction of blood vessels especially beneficial to the brain 🙂

2.) Magnesium — I took Magnesium in supplement form and also absorbed it through my skin with an Epsom Salt Bath. You’ll have to figure out your own dosage on this one. Too much can cause alternative, not so fun effects (like diarrhea, Lol).

Studies show that during a migraine attack that the body has lowered levels of magnesium and an infusion of this mineral can provide rapid relief. The skin is the best way to absorb magnesium. The Epsom salt bath was really, really helpful.

3.) Essential Oil Blends — There are essential oil blends out there that are great for headaches. The one that I like includes a blend of calming and cooling oils including wintergreen, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, cilantro, marjoram, roman chamomile, basil and rosemary.

I rolled it on my temples, underneath my nose (so I’d consistently smell it) and on the back of my head and neck. The cooling sensation provided much relief. I rolled it on frequently today 🙂

4.) Lots of Water! Dehydration can be another migraine trigger. I stayed away from anything other than water today and have been making sure to drink more than enough.

On the Positive Side?

I am feeling much better tonight 🙂 I always feel good when I am able to manage pain that would have been truly debilitating in the past with natural methods. It reminds me that the body is truly an amazing mechanism and when it cries out with pain it is usually a reaction to something.

I think it empowering to stop and retrace steps that could trigger pain (in hopes of preventing the same pain from happening in the future) and taking steps now to make the pain go away without the use of a little white pill — which I found were never effective with migraines anyways.

What about you…. Do you suffer with migraines? Do you have other suggestions for natural remedies for migraines? I’d love to hear from you….

Much love,


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