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All The Things You Need to Know About Migraine Headaches

Published on 24th January 2023

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All The Things You Need to Know About Migraine Headaches

Many people mistake migraine for a very bad headache. But, in reality, it’s so much more! A migraine attack can leave you in bed with throbbing pain triggered by even the slightest movement, light, or sound. This article will examine the types of migraines, the migraine symptoms you may experience, and several ways to prevent and treat the condition.

1. What’s a migraine?

A migraine is a common condition that is felt as a throbbing, pulsating headache on one side of your head. It worsens if you are active or exposed to bright lights and loud sounds. Many people experience migraines for 3-4 hours, but the effects also last for a few days.

Studies show that at least half of the adult population gets migraines, and women are 3 times more likely to experience these headaches than men.

2. What increases the risk of migraines?

A few risk factors can increase the incidence of migraines:

● Genetics: Many people who suffer from migraines have a close family member who also has symptoms, which shows that migraines tend to run in families. Studies show that four out of five people with migraines have a family history.
● Women between the ages of 15 and 55 are more likely to get migraines because of hormone fluctuations.
● Stress tends to trigger migraines.
● Children may also get migraines but tend to complain of stomach issues like nausea and vomiting.

3. What causes a migraine?

Migraines are complicated, and there are many causes leading to episodes. Experts reveal that specific nerves around your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain, leading to the headache you feel. Inflammatory chemicals are released, which worsens migraine symptoms.

4.Functional Medicines and Treatments for

A variety of factors can trigger migraine attacks. A few common ones are:

● Emotional stress, anxiety, worry, and excitement can increase muscle tension in your neck, head, and shoulders. The headaches can be more severe as the blood vessels in your brain dilate or are enlarged.
● Missing or delaying meals.
● Sensitivity to certain foods and drinks like alcohol, chocolate, and food preservatives or pickled foods.
● Caffeine withdrawals can cause headaches when the caffeine levels drop suddenly.
● Frequent use of pain-relieving medications can cause rebound headaches.
● Many women tend to get migraines around their menstrual cycles. Hormone changes can also occur with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy during menopause.
● Flashing, bright UV, and blue light from TV, phone, or computer screens.
● Changing weather conditions
● Changes in altitude during flight travel.
● Exhaustion.
● Dieting
● Dehydration
● Inadequate sleep
● Loud noises.
● Exposure to strong odors
● Smoking

5. How often do migraines happen?

Different people experience different frequencies of migraines ranging from once a year to even once a week. Most people complain of bad headaches 1-4 times per month.

6. What is an aura?

An aura is a group of sensory, motor, and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. They are also called premigraine symptoms. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.

Premigraine symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:

● Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
● Blind spots in your vision.
● Numb or tingling skin.
● Speech changes.
● Ringing in your ears (tinnitus).
● Temporary vision loss.
● Seeing wavy or jagged lines.
● Changes in smell or taste.
● A “funny” feeling.

7. What are the different types of migraines?

There are several types of migraines, including:
● Migraine with or without an aura
● Silent migraine or a migraine without a headache includes the symptoms of the migraine without the pain.
● Hemiplegic migraine occurs with temporary paralysis on one side of your body, like numbness, extreme weakness, tingling sensations, loss of sensation, dizziness, or vision changes.
● Retinal or ocular migraine, where you may experience a temporary, partial, or complete loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind your eye that spreads to the rest of your head.
● Chronic migraine is when you experience the symptoms for at least 15 days per month. The severity of the pain and the aura symptoms may differ, but taking pain-relieving medications for 10-15 days can cause rebound headaches that worsen and prolong the pain.
● Vertigo, slurred speech, ringing in the ears, double vision, vomiting, or loss of balance may occur before the headache.
● Status migrainosus is a rare migraine that lasts more than 3 days with severe pain and nausea.

8. What are the phases of a migraine episode?

The common migraine symptoms are experienced in four stages:
1. Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. It is also called the “preheadache” or “premonitory” phase.
2. Aura: The aura phase can last between 5 and 60 minutes.
Premigraine symptoms can start in the prodrome phase and extend into the aura phase.
3. Migraine symptoms include a headache that lasts for 4-72 hours, described as drilling, throbbing pain that starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other.
4. The postdrome stage lasts 1-2 days and is often called a migraine “hangover.
Most patients with migraines go through all four stages within 3 days.

9. How are migraines diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask for a detailed history of your headaches and details of the condition if any other family members suffer from them. They may also order some tests to ensure no other causes for your headaches or rule out seizures, such as:

● blood tests
● imaging tests, like a CT scan or an MRI
● electroencephalogram (EEG)

What are some home remedies that help with migraines?

You may be advised to:
● Rest in a dark, quiet, cool room.
● Apply a cold compress or warm washcloth to your forehead or behind your neck
● Get a head massage
● Try yoga or meditation.
● Apply pressure to your temples in a circular motion.

10. What kind of medications are prescribed for migraines?

Over-the-counter medications

Drugs with pain-relieving ingredients like ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen, and caffeine are effective with mild headaches. Your doctor may also prescribe vitamins, minerals, or herbs, including:

● Riboflavin (vitamin B2).
● Magnesium.
● Co-enzyme Q10.

Other natural Ayurvedic herbs

1. Ginger
2. Magnesium
3. Ginkgo biloba
4. Butterbur

Homeopathy drugs

Several drugs may be used in homeopathy to relieve migraine headaches. These include:
● Belladonna treats headaches with sensitivity to noise and light.
● Bryonia is used for a heavy or "splitting" headache with steady pain over one eye. Pain worsens with any motion. You may experience nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth.
● Gelsemium relieves congestive headaches at the base of the head, aggravated by stress.
● Glonoinum relieves sudden headaches aggravated by heat.
● ● Ignatia is helpful for migraines after emotional upsets
● Nux vomica to treat nausea and digestive troubles after excess food or alcohol.

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