When most people get headaches, they pop a couple of aspirin, Advil, or Tylenol. For occasional pain relief, I have no problem with this. But chronic use of these over-the-counter medications can cause liver and/or kidney damage. Plus, some of the more heavy-duty migraine medications can cause high blood pressure.
Fortunately, there are several very effective ways to not only relieve headache pain—but to stop them from occurring:
1. Magnesium to the rescue: Take 400–800 mg per day of this unsung element and begin taking it as soon as you suspect a headache is coming on. It works by stabilizing the vascular reactivity that causes the intense throbbing in your head.
2. Take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Taking 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily can help to ward of migraine headaches. In fact the most powerful defense against migraine headaches is a combination of magnesium and CoQ10.
3. Feverfew has a long history of use for migraines, but be sure to go with a brand-name, high-quality product: There is a wide variation in the amount of its active ingredient in products tested. Be sure to select products standardized for parthenolide. The recommended dosage for migraine headache is 250 to 500 mg daily. Check your local health food store.
4. Be sure you are on a quality multivitamin formula that includes high levels of antioxidant vitamins C and E as well as B2. In one study of migraine patients, 400 mg of B2 given daily for three months resulted in fewer headaches and decreased pain in more than 68 percent of participants.
5. Try deep breathing, acupressure, meditation, or visualization to help eliminate your headaches. Slow down your life a bit and reflect. Many headaches are brought on by chronic worry, anxiety, frustration, and anger.
6. Consider acupuncture for chronic headaches.
7. For prevention, avoid animal products except for cold-water fish like salmon and sardines; increase your intake of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds; and eliminate caffeine, colas, and alcohol. Plus, some people suffer from headaches in response to EMF radiation from cellular and cordless phones and towers, so if you’re sensitive you want to avoid exposure.