Exercise Triggers Migraine Headaches

We often think of migraine triggers as being something we eat or drink, not getting enough sleep or too much stress.  These are certainly common triggers that migraine sufferers are well aware of.

New studies have shown that something that is supposed to be good for us and healthy for us can – and does – trigger migraine headaches.  When we hear about ways that we can keep migraines under control, we are told that staying healthy is a good way to diminish the frequency and severity of migraines.  Yet, one of the healthiest things we can do – exercising – is actually found to be a major trigger in some people.  Running, cycling, swimming or weight lifting are popular, but when they are connected to migraines, they can discourage even the best athletes.

If you are finding that you get migraines when you exercise, there are some things you can do to avoid, eliminate or at least diminish these awful headaches.  Experts – especially ultra runners and triatheletes – state that it is important to stop these headaches before they start by staying hydrated.  It is important to drink fluids before engaging in whatever type of exercise you wish to choose, and it is important to stay hydrated and make sure you replace electrolytes.  If you still get a migraine, experts suggest drinking a 20 ounce electrolyte drink and then drink another 20 ounce electrolyte drink over the next 30 minutes.  Taking those steps plus cutting down caffeine by 50% and eliminating salt can also help.

One other way to fight these exertion headaches is with proper nutition.  This can mean eliminating sugar, sugar substitutes like aspartame, artificial flavors and preservatives including MSG, high doses of caffeine, nuts, peanut butter, beans, aged cheese and nitrates, comonly found in hot dogs and lunch meats. 

Even though you might have to adjust your diet or exercise regimen a little, it will be worth it to eliinate those debilitating migraine headaches.  There is a way to deal with these headaches and still have a busy active life.

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