Whether or not you take preventive medications, you may benefit from lifestyle changes that can help reduce the number and severity of migraines. One or more of these suggestions may be helpful for you:

  • Avoid triggers. If certain foods or odors seem to have triggered your migraines in the past, avoid them.

    Your doctor may recommend you reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake and avoid tobacco.

    In general, establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals. In addition, try to control stress.

  • Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. If your doctor agrees, choose any aerobic exercise you enjoy, including walking, swimming and cycling. Warm up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches.

    Obesity is also thought to be a factor in migraine headaches, and regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.

  • Reduce the effects of estrogen. If you're a woman who has migraines and estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, you may want to avoid or reduce the medications you take that contain estrogen.

    These medications include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Talk with your doctor about the appropriate alternatives or dosages for you.

Jun. 04, 2013