Healthy Ways to Deal with a Migraine

As a student, there are very few things that can keep you from doing what you know must be done. From the common cold to an extreme hangover, college students persevere. But what do you do when you realize you have a migraine? How can you push through when all you really want to do is lay down in dark, cool room with an ice pack on your head?

As per Mayo Clinic, “a migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.”

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If you’ve never experienced a migraine, consider yourself lucky. Migraines can last for hours or days at a time with little to no relief. Often the pain leaves sufferers unable to do anything and performing basic tasks can be a struggle.

As someone who suffers from migraines, I have found a few tricks that help decrease the frequency of my migraines and one that helps me get back to functioning when I am having one.


1. Be mindful of what you eat.

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When I first started having migraines, my neurologist gave me an extremely long list of foods that could be causing them. Instead of cutting everything except for salads from my diet, I decided to log what I eat and to note if I get a migraine or not.


2. Keep track of your menstrual cycle.

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Periods suck. Being on your period while having a migraine should be in the top 10 things you never want to experience. By tracking my cycle, I realized that I usually start to have symptoms a few days before, so I make sure to drink as much water as possible and decrease my caffeine intake.


3. Hydrate and decrease caffeine intake.

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I love all things associated with caffeine and during my freshmen year, I was averaging close to five cups of coffee a day and not enough water. I’ve cut my caffeine intake down to two cups a day and bumped my water intake up to a minimum of 72 oz a day.


4. Exercise regularly.

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Going to the gym has also helped decrease the amount of migraines I get. When my doctor told me that exercise would help, I thought he was just trying to get me in better shape but it actually worked. I try to go to the gym around three times a week.


If you are experiencing a migraine, something that has really worked for me was soaking my feet in hot water and adding a few drops of peppermint oil. The hot water helps draw the pressure away and the peppermint helps with nausea. You can also apply the peppermint oil to your temples or neck.


If you have frequent migraines but haven’t seen your doctor, I highly suggest making an appointment. Sometimes migraines can be caused by stress or they can be a symptom of another problem.


Have any tips about dealing with migraines? Let us know!