In the realm of of body aches, perhaps no other issue can be as debilitating as a migraine. Those who have not had one may think of a migraine as a severe common headache. But it’s not…A migraine is significantly more excruciating.
A migraine is a collection of neurological symptoms that usually includes a severe recurring intense throbbing pain on one side of the head accompanied by one or more of the following: visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. (http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html)
If you suffer from migraines, chances are you know the precursors leading up to one. Many report having auras (a group of symptoms), or vision anomalies prior to getting a migraine. Other warning signs include yawning, difficulty concentrating, nausea, and trouble finding the right words.
Certain foods, environments, activities and physical stress and body chemistry may act as triggers for a migraine. “Triggers” are specific factors that may increase your risk of having a migraine attack. (http://uhs.berkeley.edu/home/healthtopics/pdf/triggers.pdf).
Migraine ranks in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses. Amazingly, over 10% of the population, including children, suffers from migraine. More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine attacks. And women are more likely to get them than men.
While you may wonder if such a severe pain is related to something else, true migraine headaches are not a result of a brain tumor or other serious medical problem. However, only an experienced health care provider can determine whether your symptoms are due to a migraine or another condition.
There is no specific test to prove that your headache is actually a migraine. However, your doctor may order a brain MRI or CT scan if you have never had one before or if you have unusual symptoms with your migraine, including weakness, memory problems, or loss of alertness.
Most people start treating their migraines with over the counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If you have frequent migraines, your doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce the number of attacks. You may need to take the medicine every day for it to be effective. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001728/)
There are a number of alternative methods for treating migraines. These include acupuncture, biofeedback (relaxation techniques), massage and chiropractic treatments. In addition, there some herbs, vitamins a minerals that have shown to be effective – there is some evidence that the herbs feverfew and butterbur (these should not be taken if you are pregnant) may prevent migraines or reduce their severity. A high dose of riboflavin (vitamin B-2) or magnesium also may prevent migraines by correcting tiny deficiencies in the brain cells. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/migraine-headache/DS00120/DSECTION=alternative%2Dmedicine, http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/migraine-headache-000072.htm)
Move-Over-Migraine Green Smoothie
(Makes 4 cups)
- Magnesium content in parenthesis
- 1 frozen banana (33mg)
- 1 cup cooked spinach (158mg)
- 1-2 dates (3-6mg)
- 1 cup almond milk (<20mg?)
- 1/4 avocado (18mg)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (56 mg)
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (25mg)
- 1/4 cup wheat germ, raw (69mg)
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (35mg)
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (43mg)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (for taste)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (for taste)
Note: You could also dump more greens in there, like mixed greens or kale, to make this a super-green smoothie, which is just great for your health all around!
Total: Approximately 463 mg of magnesium (DV is 400mg)!
Boil spinach in small pot (set aside to cool, retain liquid). Meanwhile, blend oats, peanut butter, wheat germ, flax, dates, and almond milk together until liquefied. Add banana and avocado and blend fully (adding more water or milk if too thick). Add spinach (with liquid), molasses, cinnamon, and vanilla and a handful of ice to regain icy consistency. (Or if you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, just dump everything in at once!)