1. A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. The pain is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days if untreated. Foods, stress, and hormones can be migraine triggers.
2. Migraine Symptoms - Throbbing pain typically occurs on one side near the temples, forehead, and eyes. Migraine headaches can make you very sensitive to light, sound, or mild exertion, such as climbing the stairs. Many people have nausea, vomiting, or vision problems.
3. Migraine With Aura- About 20% of people who suffer from migraine headaches will have an aura about 20 minutes to an hour before the pain. They may see flashing lights, wavy lines, or dots, or they may have blurry vision or blind spots. These are called "classic migraine headaches."
4. What causes Migraine?- Migraine headaches may be set off by some specific cause, such as flickering lights. This could be a reflection from snow or water or from fluorescent bulbs or television or movie screens. Emotional stress is a common trigger of migraine headaches. While it's impossible to completely avoid stress, relaxation exercises can help you cope.
It's important for people prone to migraine headaches to have a regular pattern of meals and sleep. Low blood sugar from skipping meals can trigger a migraine. Eating too much sugar also can cause a spike, then a "crash" in blood sugar. For many women, migraine headaches are tied to their menstrual cycle, occurring either a few days before or during their period, when estrogen levels drop. Migraine sufferers often report that certain foods trigger their headaches. Common culprits include MSG, red wine, cheese, chocolate, soy sauce, and processed meats. Aged, fermented, and stored foods have higher levels of tyramine, a substance created from the breakdown of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyramine may cause blood vessels to constrict then expand, and it may be a trigger for some migraine headaches.
5. What you can do? - When combined with some pain medications, caffeine can help provide relief. However, too much caffeine can lead to headaches when the stimulant effect wears off.
Find out what triggers migraine headaches by keeping a headache diary. Each time you suffer from a migraine, make a note about the warning signs (the "prodrome"), triggers, and severity.
Migraine headaches are also more common among people who have epilepsy, depression, asthma, anxiety, stroke, and some other neurologic and hereditary disorders.
6. Diagnosing Migraine - Migraine headaches are diagnosed primarily from symptoms, but your doctor may want to do a brain scan to rule out other causes of headaches, such as a brain tumor or bleeding in the brain.
7. Treatment - Combinations of common pain relievers and anti-inflammatories may help: acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium. However, overuse may actually make headaches worse or may lead to ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems. Triptans, the most common medication prescribed for migraine headaches, are most effective when taken early in an attack. Side effects of triptans include nausea, dizziness, tingling, numbness, and chest pain. If triptans don't give you relief, your doctor may prescribe dihydroergotamine (Migranal) or ergotamines (Cafergot or Migergot) as tablets, nasal sprays, or injections.
8. improvement assessment - After you have treated two or three headaches, ask yourself some simple questions. Are you getting the relief you need? If not, you should ask your doctor about altering treatment. Overuse of medications can sometimes lead to chronic headaches. You shouldn't take prescribed medication more than two times per week. Pain medicines containing narcotics should be taken at the direction of physician because they can be habit-forming.
9. alternatives - Biofeedback and relaxation training can give you relief that is similar to the help you get from medications. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that uses very fine needles inserted in specific spots to balance the body's energy flow. Some researchers have found acupuncture causes the brain to release chemicals that affect pain.
Please follow the above guidelines and we wish you enjoy a healthy life.