From allergy shots to birth control pills, unexpected treatments that can ease your chronic headaches.
Hallie Levine Sklar
May 15, 2013
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If you experience migraines, you've probably tried a wide range of treatments to prevent the headaches and ease the pain: over-the-counter medicine, prescription drugs, maybe even acupuncture or biofeedback.
If you haven't had any success yet, don't give up! Here are five migraine remedies you probably haven't triedand may not even be aware of.
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Known as a wrinkle fixer-upper, Botox was FDA-approved to prevent chronic migraines in 2010. (Plastic surgeons accidentally discovered this use after patients reported migraine relief; scientists aren't sure how it works.)
Botox is recommended for those who suffer migraines more than 15 days a month. It's covered by insurance if you have a diagnosis of chronic migraines and get the shots from a neurologist.
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Dropping some pounds
Women with greater amounts of belly fat are 37 percent more likely to get migraines than those who have trimmer torsos, according to a 2009 Drexel University College of Medicine study. Losing 10 pounds can make a difference.
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Curbing your allergies
About a third of people with allergies also have migraines, per the American Headache Society. "When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases chemicals such as histamine and other substances that can trigger a headache," explains Vincent Martin, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. His research found a 50 percent reduction in migraines among people who got allergy shots.
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Checking the forecast
For every 5-degree-Celsius rise in temperature, the risk of having a severe migraine goes up 7.5 percent, according to a report in the Harvard Gazette. Migraine sufferers are also a third more likely to get a headache on days lightning strikes within 25 miles of their home, says a University of Cincinnati study. Stay in air-conditioning during heat waves, and if you know a storm's brewing, try to keep your other triggers to a minimum.
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Popping the birth control pill
Many women report a relief in migraines with taking active (versus placebo) birth control pills continuously.