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Migraines and Headaches

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Can Migraines Be Prevented?

Yes, migraines can be prevented. You can reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks by identifying and then avoiding migraine triggers. You can keep track of your headache patterns and identify headache triggers by using a headache diary.

Recalling what was eaten prior to an attack may help you identify those foods that cause your migraines and make the necessary dietary changes to avoid these triggers in the future.

Stress management and coping techniques, along with relaxation training, can help prevent or reduce the severity of the migraine attacks.

Women who often get migraines around their menstrual period can take preventive therapy when they know their period is coming.

Migraine sufferers also seem to have fewer attacks when they eat on a regular schedule and get adequate rest. Regular exercise -- in moderation -- can also help prevent migraines.

When lifestyle changes aren't effective at preventing migraines, there are other options. 

When the headaches are severe, occur more than two or three times a month, and are significantly interfering with normal activities, your doctor may prescribe preventive medication. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches and are generally taken on a regular, daily basis.

Also, Cefaly is the first FDA-approved device for preventing migraines in people over age 18. The portable headband-like device gives electrical impulses on the skin at the forehead. This stimulates  the trigeminal nerve, which is associated with migraine headaches. Cefaly is used once a day for 20 minutes, and when it's on you'll feel a tingling or massaging sensation.   

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on April 25, 2012
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