You may be wondering why only one side of the head feels painful!! Or,You may have a headache if you are out in the sun, hear some noise, or are sensitive to smell and touch. You are undoubtedly dealing with a migraine headache. But did you realise that your child may also face migraine headaches?
Yes!! Children may also suffer from migraine. Their migraine headache may last from 1 hour to 6 hours and can linger up to 1-3 days. 3% of preschool children, 4% to 11% of elementary school-aged children, and 8% to 15% of high school-aged children suffer from migraine. Repetitive and painful headaches not only affect your children’s health, but also their academic performance and overall personality development. Read on to know more about symptoms of migraine in children, natural ways to reduce migraine headache and foods that help in relieving migraine headache.
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WHAT IS ACTUALLY MIGRAINE HEADACHE?
When there are complex alterations in neurological activity of the brain, it may end up hindering the normal thinking patterns of a person and also cause headaches. The child may suffer light migraine that occurs once or twice in a month upto more than 15 headaches in a month which can be called as chronic migraine. Children may also develop this because of their family history of migraine.
It is most commonly seen in girls who are reaching the age of puberty where they undergo hormonal and body changes.
causes of migraine:
Initially, migraine was explained as a result of blood vessels changing their size causing irregularities in the blood flow. Recently, migraine headache is explained as a disorder of the brain that affects brain, blood vessels as well as nerves. This disorder is caused by release of chemicals such as serotonin in the brain. Because of these changes, the inflammation and headache of migraine are prevalent.
Symptoms of migraine headache in children:
Migraine comes with some of the symptoms like stomach pain, head banging in infants, sensitivity to light, sound and touch, vomiting, diarrhoea, urinating a number of times, intense headache, hitting the head, urge to sleep more, nausea, sweating too much and dehydration.
Common reasons for migraine in children:
- Hormonal changes
- Head injuries
- Cold and flu
- Ear and sinus infections
- Disturbed sleep
- Consuming foods with MSG (monosodium glutamate)
- Brain Tumor
- Anxiety/ Depression
- Loud noises
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Tips to relieve MIGRAINE:
1. Regular Sleep Cycles
Not having good sleep patterns such as not sleeping on time, sleeping in the day, waking up late etc may trigger migraine headache in children. Thus by fixing the sleep pattern of the child, migraine can be reduced.
Dehydration is a cause of migraine headache in kids. Try to remind them to drink more water regularly. Giving colourful bottles may help in this.
3. Ice packs
Putting an ice pack on the head, scalp, forehead and neck heals the pain from the headache. The ice pack helps to lower the flow of blood thus prevents attacks. Cold water bag or wet towel can also do the job.
4. Stay away from bright light and loud noise
Bright light and sound may worsen the migraine. Hence, staying away from the same for sometime and resting in a dark silent room may help relieve headache.
5. Involve in physical activity and meditation
Physical exercise releases endorphins in the brain which help to suppress some kinds of pain in the body. Meditation can help in calming down the mind. Motivate children to do some outdoor activities, meditation and involve them in small small exercises.
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6. Head massage
A nice head massage, also with oil aids blood circulation which may help in reducing the headache.
7. Hot water bath
Taking a hot water shower along with an ice pack on the neck helps in reducing migraine pain. The hot and cold combination works really well in healing migraine attacks.
8. Nature therapy
Roaming in natural fresh air and walking in greenery help to soothe the mind and relaxes the mind.
Ingredients/herbs that help TO REDUCE migraine headache:
1. Lemon balm
Lemon balm may be useful in treating tension headaches, especially if they’re happening as a result of stress. Its relaxing properties can help you to release tension, and relax your muscles. It also helps to open up and relax tight blood vessels, which can contribute to headaches.
Chamomile is a feathery aromatic leaf that helps to prevent and treat headache and migraine. It contains parthenolide and some other compounds which get in the way of serotonin and prostaglandin which help to dilate the blood vessels and in turn help in reducing migraine triggers.
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It contains natural oil. The chemical compounds in this oil, which include gingerols and shogaols have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Ginger extracts may also increase serotonin (happy hormones). Increasing the serotonin levels in your brain may help stop migraine by reducing inflammation and restricting blood vessels.
Peppermint is a hybrid herb that soothes the nerves and helps in improving circulation. Drinking peppermint tea can help to relieve migraine headaches.
Nuts are a good source of magnesium which is proven to soothe head pain by relaxing the blood vessels. They are packed with antioxidants, protein, calcium, fiber, potassium, and healthy fats like omega 3. Nuts are a good source of vitamin E that research has shown can help control migraines. Some of the nuts that you should include in your child’s diet are almonds, cashew nut, walnut and hazelnut
Seeds are rich in omega3 fatty acids, which can reduce the production of molecules and substances which results in inflammation that may cause headaches. It also contains a decent amount of magnesium which may help prevent blood vessel spasms. Few seeds to include in your kids diet are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds and chia seeds.
7. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and kale are rich in vitamin B-9 and magnesium. These nutrients help in relieving headaches of migraine
8. Sweet potato
Sweet potato is rich in beta carotene, vitamin-C, manganese, potassium, copper, niacin, vitamin B-6 and B-12 which are natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances which help to reduce headaches of migraine.
Beetroot are rich in manganese, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid which are proven nutrients for migraine treatment.
10. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate may contain magnesium and it helps to reduce stress and relax the mind.
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