Migraine refers to a neurological issue that can result in multiple symptoms. The major symptom of migraine is an enervating and intense headache. The other symptoms include nausea, sound and light sensitivity, vomiting, tingling or numbness and speech problems. Here, we will go through all the symptoms, causes, and migraine treatment to a quick cure.
Migraines are hereditary at times and can occur at any age. Migraine treatment is a necessity as and when you sense a symptom. Doctors diagnose migraines with the help of your medical history, ruling out several other symptoms and symptoms. The two major types of migraines are:
- Common migraines or without aura
- Classic migraine or with aura
Migraine problems can occur at any age whether you are a small child or a senior. According to medical research, women are more prone to migraines in comparison to men. When we talk about risk factors of migraine, family medical history takes the first place.
Symptoms of migraine
Before we get to the ways of migraine treatment, you must be aware of the various symptoms of migraine. The surprising fact is that the symptoms of a migraine start a day or two even before the headache. Doctors call it the prodrome stage. The common symptoms during this preliminary stage are:
- Food cravings
- Stiffness in the back and neck
- Low energy or fatigue
- Frequent yawning
When we are talking about a classic migraine or the one with aura, the aura occurs post prodrome. During this stage, you may experience issues with your vision, speech, movement, and sensation. You should go for proper migraine treatment by this time to prevent further issues. The more common signs during the aura are:
- Problems in clear speech
- Temporary loss of vision
- A tingling or prickling sensation or feeling in the arms, legs, and face
- You may see light flashes, bright shapes, and spots
Acute stage of migraine
As you read further, you will get to know about the most advanced or severe stage in which a person experiences immense pain along with other symptoms. The acute stage can start right from the time when an aura occurs or after that. Such advanced issues can last for a couple of hours or even for a few days. Common symptoms of acute migraine include:
- Sound and light sensitivity
- Throbbing and pulsing headache
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Pain in various sections of the head, for example, the front, back, left, right or the temple
Right after the attack or acute phase, you may relapse and go back to the prodrome stage. Now for the post-attack prodrome, mood swings and irritation are common issues.
You may, at times feel happy and excited and again feel sad and depressed later. Fatigue and tiredness are common features of this stage too. There is still a dull and mild headache that you may be experiencing.
The intensity or duration will probably differ from one person to another. There are times when you may not go through a prodrome stage and still get a migraine attack suddenly. Therefore, migraine treatment right at the initial stages is mandatory to prevent a painful journey.
Major causes of migraine
Scientists and researchers have still not come up with definite causes of migraines. However, there are several probable causes that you must be aware of by now.
They are some of the triggering or contributing factors of the condition. The alteration in the chemical functioning of the brain is a part of the entire migraine process. Besides this, some of the other factors are:
- Bright lights
- Weather extremes or too much heat
- Alterations in barometric pressure
- Triggering foods
- Changes in progesterone or estrogen and other hormonal functions mainly during periods or pregnancy
- Unusual smells
- Excessive stress
- Usage of nitroglycerin or oral contraceptive
- Loud sounds
- Changes in sleep timings and patterns
- Skipping meals
- Excessive physical activity
When you go for migraine treatment, the doctor may suggest you maintain a ‘headache journal’. When you start noting down your day-to-day activities and the food you eat, it becomes easier to asses what may cause your migraine attack.
The sad part about the entire story is that there is no absolute cure for migraine issues. However, when you go to a doctor for migraine treatment, he will surely try to manage the symptoms.
As a result, you may not have to face the severity of the disorder. There is always a plan for every treatment and a plan, in this case, will depend on certain conditions. They are:
- Your age
- If there are any regular medicines that you consume for chronic issues
- The frequency of migraine or headaches
- If you feel like vomiting or experience nausea when there is a headache
- Your migraine issue falls under what category
- Duration and intensity of pain
The more advanced treatment plan will include a blend of the following:
- Migraine remedies that you can prepare on your own
- Any type of alternative care such as biofeedback, acupressure, meditation or acupuncture
- Adjustment in your lifestyle to avoid migraine triggers and stress management
- Migraine medications or OTC pain, for example, Tylenol or NSAIDs
- You may require a hormonal therapy if you notice that you are experiencing migraine pains only during the time of your periods
- Prescribed medicines that you consume daily to keep migraine pain at bay
- Prescribed medication for vomiting and nausea
- Medicines that you take to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks
Quick remedies for migraine
You may try the following remedies to ease your pain a little:
- Lie down on a raised surface, such as the bed and put off the lights in the room. There should be no noise in the room.
- Put a cold piece of cloth behind the neck or over your forehead
- Massage the temples and scalp
There are basic medicines, as you already know, to ease the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks. However, you will not get any medicine that will guaranty you a complete cure. There are cases in which surgery has also been conducted as a part of migraine treatment.
Home remedies for migraine treatment
Headaches are common and people can experience it every day. Even a mild headache becomes uncomfortable and unbearable with repetitiveness. Migraine headaches form a common type that starts from a moderate level and can become severe too.
While there is a proper migraine treatment, you can combine that with some easy home remedies for migraine. We are listing some of the natural remedies for migraine headaches:
1. Drink water
Inadequate and improper hydration can result in a migraine or other types of severe headaches in people. Several studies have come out with a common report that speaks of improper hydration.
It may result in headaches related to migraine or tension. Drinking more water is capable of reducing severe headaches in less than an hour.
Yes, it is true that if you drink a few glasses of water when you are experiencing a headache, you will be relived within 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Moreover, dehydration results in irritability and concentration problems. If you want to prevent these issues, try to stay hydrated, drink enough water all through the day and also include foods rich in water into your daily diet.
2. Magnesium helps
Magnesium is an essential mineral and helps to trigger several functions correctly. For example, magnesium helps to control blood sugar and also reduces nerve transmission.
The catch here is that magnesium has been claiming to be an effective and safe remedy for headaches. According to scientific reports, people who suffer from migraines have higher levels of magnesium deficiency in comparison to the ones who don’t have migraine issues.
Another group of studies came out claiming that a dosage of 600 mg of oral magnesium nitrate is capable of reducing the intensity as well as the frequency of migraine headaches. However, you must be careful when you consume magnesium supplements. It is because an improper dosage may lead to other disorders including diarrhea.
3. Alcohol is bad
It is indeed not always that you will have a headache just after gulping down an alcoholic drink. However, it is a fact that most people who have headache issues, especially due to migraines report problems after consuming alcohol.
Excessive alcohol also causes cluster and tension headaches. Alcohol acts like a topical vasodilator that will stretch the blood vessels wider. As a result, blood flow becomes abnormally speedy. Such an occurrence can be a common cause of headaches.
Moreover, people suffering from high blood pressure and similar issues must be more careful of the adverse effects of alcohol. Alcohol, at times also plays the role of a diuretic that triggers the loss of electrolytes and fluids due to frequent urination. As a result, a person may suffer from dehydration, which is again another triggering factor of migraine.
Sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on your health in several ways. It may cause headaches in a lot of people. A headache experiment was conducted on two groups.
The first group included people who slept for less than 6 hours for a couple of days at a stretch. The second group slept normally until the end of the test period.
When the reports came out, the expected result was there in front of everyone. People in the first group were more likely to suffer from severe headaches due to sleep-deprivation in comparison to the other group.
5. Unhealthy histamine
Histamine is a natural chemical that exists in a normal human body. It plays an important role in the functioning of the digestive, immune and nervous systems.
The same chemical can also be found in other food items such as cured meat, aged cheeses, smoked fish, wine, beer, and other fermented food items. Those who are prone to migraine headaches may suffer from related problems due to the consumption of histamine-rich foods.
There are cases in which doctors have come across people who suffer from a lack of histamine. It is because the enzymes in their body do not work properly. Therefore, avoiding foods that contain histamine is a good idea to prevent migraine headaches.
6. Essential oils
Liquids that are highly concentrated and are extracted from rare plants are essential oils. Most of them have a unique aroma that becomes a part of medical science known as Aromatherapy.
All of the essential oils possess therapeutic values and are mainly used topically. However, some essential oils can also be used for ingestion. Lavender and peppermint are two essential oils that work wonders for headaches.
A good remedy to reduce tension headaches is to rub peppermint oil on your temples. On the other hand, you can apply lavender oil on your upper lips and continuously inhale it. It is a great remedy for migraine and its associated symptoms. Lavender and peppermint oils are easily available online.
7. Cold compress
Use a cold compress to reduce the symptoms of headaches caused due to migraine issues. If you can apply a cold compress to your head and neck, it will reduce inflammation. Besides, doing this will also lower nerve conduction and also contract all blood vessels.
All of the conditions help to reduce headaches. An experiment that was conducted on 28 women successfully proved that a cold gel compress can be extremely helpful in reducing migraine issues. Making a cold compress at home is not very difficult.
Just take a waterproof bag and fill it with ice. Now wrap it up by using a soft towel. Now apply this pack to your neck, temple and the back of your head.
Sip on beverages such as coffee or tea to get some instant relief from headaches due to migraines. Caffeine helps to cheer you up, keep you more focused and also constricts the blood vessels. As a result, the pain decreases.
Caffeine also elevates the effects of common migraine or headache medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Caffeine withdrawal is also associated with severe headaches.
It means a person who has been consuming large amounts of caffeine regularly will experience intense headaches if he/she stops suddenly.
Migraine is a common issue amongst people of all ages and the symptoms are spreading more now. Our lifestyle and diet are two major problem areas. We hope that now you are extra aware of the other causes and can take care to prevent those.