What is a migraine? Why migraine happens. Who gets migraines? Treating migraines.

Non-Medicinal Routes to Relief

These days, the most common method of treating migraine headaches is with oral medications. There are a wide variety of prescription and non-prescription drugs available to address the symptoms of migraines as well as aid in prevention of migraine headaches. For many people these remedies work and they are happy using them. Many others search for alternative ways to deal with migraine pain.

The Options Are Available

There are several options available to the person who would prefer to use natural or non-medicinal methods of healing, some with good results and some with results unproven by conventional medicine. Such herbs as feverfew, which has been used for centuries as a treatment for headaches and pain, made a comeback in the 1980s in England as an alternative treatment for migraines. Several studies indicated a reduction in occurrence and intensity of headaches, however there are problems with interaction with other drugs, so consultation with a healthcare practitioner is recommended before taking the herb.

5-Hydroxytryptophan, Harnessing the Body's Chemicals

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring compound produced by the body from the amino acid tryptophan. The body uses it to make the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin. This is available as a supplement and since serotonin levels affect migraines, 5-HTP has been suggested as a supplement treatment. Studies and research indicate that 5-HTP may prevent migraines and reduce the frequency and severity of them. In trails the supplement proved very effective in treating migraine headache symptoms.

Eat Your Veggies and Take Your Supplements

Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral found in some of the foods available for consumption, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. It is also found in nutritional supplements. Necessary in the body for the function of more than 300 biochemical reactions, magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar levels and is vital for normal muscle and nerve function. It is also important to heart rhythm, immune function, blood pressure and bone health. Several studies have shown promising results for magnesium treatment in the case of migraine headaches. In one trail, magnesium taken over a nine-week period at 600mg per day reduced the frequency of migraines by 41.6 percent in the group taking magnesium compared to 15.8 percent in the placebo group. The only side effect in this study was diarrhea. Magnesium can interact with other medications such as those for osteoporosis, calcium channel blockers and some antibiotics so again, it is good practice to make sure there are no conflicts.

CoQ10, More Than A Beauty Product

Coenzyme Q10 has been tested and shows excellent results as a migraine preventative. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring substance and an essential part of the transport chain of electrons in the brain. In tests the results indicated a 50 percent reduction in frequency of migraines in 61.3 percent of the patients in the trail. And, the good news is there are very few side effects. It does take time to achieve results and use of Coenzyme Q10 could take between five to 12 weeks to achieve 50 percent reduction.

As research continues into alternative methods of treatment, more and more effective options are being made available.