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Aura Migraine: Prevention
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Aura Migraine: Prevention

Having an aura migraine seriously degrades the sufferer’s quality of life. Currently, there is no cure for this condition. There are, however, many strategies to prevent their onset. Avoidance of triggers and attention to underlying health conditions can reduce or even eliminate some or most of the symptoms. For immediate impact on your symptoms, nothing beats discovering your triggers. Stress is the most commonly reported instigator. Triggers can be foods or even smells. To make things more complicated, sometimes it is a combination of potential triggers that bring on an attack.

Some of the more common food triggers reported are those containing tannins and the amino-acid tyramine. A potential list of offenders might include:

• Alcohol – especially red wine

• Aged cheese

• Nuts

• Chocolate

• Coffee – too much or too little

• Processed meats

Strong smells can also bring on migraines. If you find this is true for you, you might want to consider carrying a handkerchief in your pocket. If you are extremely sensitive, keep some dust masks in your home and car emergency kits. These masks are easy to find at any hardware store. Offending odors can include:

• Perfume

• Cleansers

• Air fresheners

• Gasoline

• Pesticides

Keeping a migraine journal can be a powerful diagnostic tool in determining what exactly sets you off. It can also be a helpful reference when talking with your doctor about the frequency and duration of your attacks.

It is possible that aura migraines are experienced because of underlying health conditions. It is now believed that the root of migraines is genetic. Sometimes, appropriate management of the underlying health condition will help prevent recurrence of the migraine. Here is a list of ailments that are associated with aura migraine:

• Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome

• MTHFR Gene Mutation

• Anxiety Disorders

• Epilepsy

• Stroke (although stroke is not an underlying condition, it is highly associated with Aura Migraine)

• Raynaud’s Syndrome

• PFO Heart Defect

• Retinal Disease

• Mitral Valve Prolapse

• Thrombophilia

• Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

• Metabolic Syndrome

The number one thing that a person with aura migraine can do to improve their health is to quit smoking. The number two thing is for female migraineurs to switch to a non-hormone birth control pill. Both smoking and hormonal medicines can exacerbate aura migraine and greatly increase chances of having a stroke.

Aura migraine is a serious neurological disease that is not completely understood. Currently, there is no cure. However, we do know that there are some things we can do to lessen the amount we experience. Keeping a journal, avoiding triggers, and attention to possible underlying health issues will take you far down the road of prevention.

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