Migraine is a primary headache disorder often characterized by recurrent headaches that ranges from moderate to severe. The headaches typically affect one half-sided of the head to be pulsating in nature, and last between two to seventy two hours.

Two-third cases of migraine is said to run in families, and changing hormone levels may also play a role as migraines affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty and two to three times more women than men. Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors.

Migraine is a severe, painful headache that can be preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

 

Types:

  • Prodrome (which occurs hours or days before the headache).
  • Aura (which immediately precedes the headache).
  • Pain phase also known as headache phase.
  • Postdrome (the effects experienced following the end of a migraine attack)

 

Causes of Migraine are:

  • Allergies and allergic reactions.
  • Bright lights, loud noises, flickering lights, smoky rooms, temperature changes, strong smells and certain odors or perfumes.
  • Physical or emotional stress, tension, anxiety, depression or excitement.
  • Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep.
  • Smoking or exposure to smoke.
  • Skipping meals (mostly breakfast) or fasting causing low blood sugar.
  • Dehydration.
  • Alcohol.
  • Hormonal triggers such as menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills or menopause.
  • Foods containing tyramine ( For example, red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (such as bacon, hot dogs or salami).
  • Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products and fermented or pickled foods.
  • Medication such as sleeping tablets, contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy.

 

Symptoms/signs:

For Prodrome

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
  • Food cravings
  • Neck stiffness
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Frequent yawning

For Aura

  • Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
  • Vision loss
  • Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing noises or music
  • Uncontrollable jerking or other movements

For Attack or Pain Phase.

  • Pain on one side or both sides of your head
  • Pain that feels throbbing or pulsing
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting

For Post-drome

  • Confusion
  • Moodiness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

 

Prevention of migraines:

  • Recognizing the things that trigger an attack and trying to avoid them.
  • Anti-seizure drugs such as Topiramate (Topiragen, Topamax) and Valproic acid (Depacon, Depakote) may help to calm the nerve cells in the brain.
  • Beta-blockers usually treat high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s not clear how they help prevent migraines. But it may be because they improve blood Some that work for these headaches include:

 

 

 

 

Migraine treatment:

Currently, there is no cure for migraine. Treatment for this condition is aimed at preventing a full-blown attack, and alleviating symptoms if they come.

Robert Sheeler MD, a Mayo Clinic doctor, reveals five steps that could help. These are:

  1. Getting enough sleep
  1. Reducing stress
  2. Drinking plenty of water
  3. Avoiding certain foods
  4. Regular physical exercise.
  1. Whether you use aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, they work faster and better and keep the pain away for longer when combined with caffeine.

Pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, are reported to work faster, better and keep pain away for longer period when combined with caffeine. This is because; caffeine helps reduce inflammation and gives a boost to common headache remedies.

 

Article By:  eDokita Team.

 

Reference:

  1. Bartleson JD, Cutrer FM (May 2010). “Migraine update. Diagnosis and treatment”.Minn Med. 93 (5): 36–41. PMID 20572569
  2. Diener, HC; Charles, A; Goadsby, PJ; Holle, D (October 2015). “New therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of migraine.”. The Lancet. Neurology. 14(10): 1010–22. Doi:10.1016/s1474-4422(15)00198-2. PMID 26376968.
  3. Wikipedia, Migraine overview, 2016. Web
  4. Helen Webberley. ‘Migraine causes and treatment’. Medical News Today 2015. Web.
  5. Mayo Clinic. ‘Migraine Symptoms’. 2016. Web.
  6. ‘Caffeine and Headache’. 2016. Web.
  7. NHS Choices. ‘Migraine Prevention’. 2016.