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Migraine – What and How of It ?

5 min read

Migraine, the pulsating pain or headache that usually happens on one side of the head has become a common problem. Healthy habits and simple medical treatments can stop migraines before they originate.

Migraine is a disease of neurology which can show multiple symptoms. It is characterized by severe, weak headaches with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, speech discomfort, confusion or tingling and light and sound sensitivity.

Migraines are a common occurrence and affect every generation. Migraines may start in childhood, or may not occur until early adulthood. Females are more likely to have migraines than males. The most common risk factor for developing migraines might be embedded in your family history.

The most popular types of migraine headaches are those without aura (formerly referred to as regular migraines) and those with aura (previously related to as classic migraines).

Early Symptoms Associated With Migraine

Migraine 3

Image Source – healthcentral

Symptoms of migraine can spring one to two days before the headache itself. It is called the period of the prodrome. During this stage, the symptoms may include:

  • Food cravings
  • Exhaustion depression or low energy
  • Yawning pace
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Stiffness of the neck

Real Symptoms

For aura migraine, the aura arises after the point of the prodrome. You may face problems with your vision, sound, movement and voice during an aura. Some of those problems include:

  • Hard to speak clearly
  • Feeling a tingling sensation on your neck, arms or legs
  • Seeing images, flashes of light or points of light
  • Lose your eyesight momentarily

The next step is known as the phase of a migraine attack. It is the most intense or severe of all the stages when one suffers the real migraine pain. It may overlap or occur in some people during an aura.

Symptoms of the attack process can last from hours to days. The symptoms of pain or headache are different from person to person. These signs likely include:

  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound 
  • Nausea and dizziness or feeling faint pain on one side of your head, either on the left, right, front, or back, or in your temples
  •  Pulsating (throbbing) headache
  •  Vomiting

After the Migraine Attack

A person experiences the postdrome phase after the attack. Most common symptoms during this phase are changes in mood and feelings. They can range from feeling euphoric and extremely happy to feeling very tired and unresponsive.

The intensity of these phases can occur at varying degrees in different people. Sometimes a phase gets skipped, and a migraine attack may occur without causing a headache.

Ways to Overcome Migraine

  • Keep bright lights and unpleasant noises away.
  • For migraine headaches, noisy sounds or music, flashing lights and sensory stimuli are widespread triggers. These sensations can be painful to bear.
  • Beware of food choices you make.
  • Know what foods and chemicals can give you a headache, and learn how to prevent it. Caffeine or alcoholic drinks particularly red wines or champagne are popular triggers.
  • Limit the average amount of food you eat or skip it entirely if possible.
  • By keeping a diary, you can easily recognize your specific migraine triggers.

Keep a schedule of activities you are doing, the food you are eating and the medicines you are taking.

Hormonal Changes

Hormones play a meaningful role in migraines. A lot of women tend to experience more migraine headaches during their menstrual cycle, or just before.

During this time, women should be especially careful about their diet and exercise habits. That will relieve symptoms before they begin.

Oral contraceptives and hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) can increase the frequency and severity of migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some women may find relief by moving to other types of birth control measures, while some may find that when taking birth control measures, they face fewer migraines.

Correct Medication

Migraine 2

Image Source – healthcentral

While migraines can be managed with or without medication, having the proper nutrients is essential. Taking some herbs and minerals can help guard against migraines.

It has been shown that magnesium deficiency leads to the onset of migraines, and taking a daily supplement will help minimize outbursts.

Fasting or missing meals and sleep may cause frequent migraine headaches. Skipping meals, malnutrition and exhaustion contribute to migraine.

Have food within an hour of waking up and keep taking every three / four hours afterwards. Make sure you have enough water to drink, and never miss a meal.

Lack of sleep can also intensify symptoms, so make sure you clock in at least 7-8 hours of peaceful sleep. However, even having too much sleep can cause headaches, so don’t try snoozing too long to make up for the missed sleep.

What Does Research Specify?

A research conducted in England among patients by a team of psychologists has revealed that migraine has a significant and unrecognized influence on the quality of life.

Handling the beast’ became a key metaphor resonating with the experience of all the sufferers who tried to manage their migraine dilemma in different ways. Three significant trends got identified:

  • They made sense of their problem
  • They consciously did something about it through self-help or professional advice
  • They resigned

Another study conducted by R Allan Purdy, a renowned expert, has revealed that migraine though, an acute problem is a curable disease with proper care.

Another study by the New England Journal of Medicines talks of the use of ubrogepant for treatment of migraines.

For some, it is inherited, however, can be controlled if followed with a routine schedule of good sleep and exercise.

Final Word

It can be challenging to distinguish migraine from other forms of headaches. Diagnosing and managing headaches in early stages of frequent occurrence will help a person receive preventive therapy to reduce the risk of migraines.

Pay careful attention to the time before the trouble begins and inform your doctor about symptoms of an aura.

Time.com published in Dec 2019 about a new type of drug that cures the pain faced in migraines.

References:- 

https://svn.bmj.com/content/2/3/160

https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/full/10.2217/fnl-2018-0041

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1463213/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870579/

https://cp.neurology.org/content/9/3/233

https://time.com/5743585/new-migraine-drug/

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1813049

https://www.healthcentral.com/condition/migraines

 

 

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