Migraines can be debilitating. The severe, throbbing headaches are typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite. Many migraine sufferers also develop blurred or distorted vision, or see pulsating lights or dark spots. Most migraines last from 4 to 12 hours, but they can last much longer.

Migraines can be triggered by certain activities, food or smells. Emotions or stress can trigger migraines, too. And women often find that migraines occur or worsen around their menstrual periods.

Not all migraines can be prevented. But if you can identify your headache triggers and avoid them, this may help reduce how often you have migraines and how badly they hurt.

Common migraine triggers include:

  • Sun or heat
  • Stress or relief from stress. (Some people get their migraines when they are home relaxing after a stressful day or week).
  • Lack of sleep
  • Caffeine
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Anything stale, dried, fermented, salted, smoked or pickled for example - stale and non-fresh meats and liver.
  • Chinese food
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts especially peanuts
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Travelling
  • Changes in weather or altitude.
  • Overuse of pain medications.

Even if you avoid all triggers, you’ll probably still experience an occasional migraine. And many people have frequent and severe migraines no matter how well they avoid triggers.
Eat everything in moderation. Especially avoid sudden drastic changes in your diet, such as suddenly cutting out all caffeine or suddenly eating large amounts of peppermint. Whatever it may be, ease into it and eat a well balanced diet. Adopt lifestyle changes.

Once a headache or migraine symptoms begin, it helps to:

  • Rest in a quiet, darkened room.
  • Drink fluids to avoid dehydration (especially if you have vomited).
  • Stay away from self-induced vomiting in an attempt to relieve migraine headaches - It can lead to erosion of the oesophageal lining and lead to long-term damage to the throat. Frequent vomiting may also erode the enamel of your teeth.