What is Migraine?
Most of the people think that Migraine is a headache but it is an incomplete truth. Migraine is different from other headaches. It is a neurological condition and it could be a severe, recurring, and painful headache. It is a powerful headache that often happens with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Other symptoms include disturbed vision, sound and smells, and feeling sick and weak. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
Symptoms of Migraine:
There are different types or stages of migraine that involve different symptoms. The most common symptoms of a migraine is a headache, sensitivity to light and noise, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick) and lethargy (lack of energy).
Migraine attack types/stages:
Migraine can progress through four stages:
- Prodrome – Warning stage
- Aura – Not always present
- Attack – Headache
- Postdrome – Recovery
Symptoms of every stage are different. It is not necessary that everyone who has migraines goes through all stages.
Prodrome: Migraine symptoms may begin one to two days before the headache itself. This is known as the Prodrome stage. Symptoms during this stage are:
- Food cravings
- Fatigue or low energy
- Decreased appetite
- Frequent yawning
- Neck stiffness
Aura: Aura is second stage. During an aura stage, you may have problems with your vision, sensation, movement, and speech. They usually start slowly and build. They normally lasts 20 minutes to an hour. Examples are:
- Difficulty speaking clearly
- Feeling a prickling or tingling sensation in your face, arms, or legs
- Seeing shapes, light flashes, or bright spots
- Temporarily losing your vision
- Weakness or numbness on one side of your body
- Movements you can’t control
Attack: The next stage is the attack. This is the most severe and acute stage when the actual migraine (headache) pain occurs. Attack phase symptoms can last anywhere from hours to days. Symptoms of a migraine can vary from person to person. Some symptoms may include:
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Pain on one side of your head
- Pulsing and throbbing head pain
Postdrome: This is the last phase. It usually lasts for about 24 hours after the headache ends. You might feel:
- Drained and washed out
- Sensitive to light and sound
What Can Trigger a Migraine?
The cause of migraines is not yet known. It is suspected that they result from abnormal activity in the brain. A team of scientists believed that migraines happened due to changes in blood flow in the brain. A migraine starts when overactive nerve cells send out signals that activate the trigeminal nerve, the nerve that supplies sensation to your head and face. Here are a number of migraine triggers:
Hormonal changes in women: – Women may experience migraine symptoms during menstruation, due to changing hormone levels. Fluctuations in estrogen seem to trigger headaches in many women.
Sleep changes: – Tiredness and insufficient sleep can trigger migraines in some people. Missing sleep, getting too much sleep or jet lag can trigger migraines in some people. Shoulder or neck tension, poor body posture, and physical overexertion have all been linked to migraines. Sometimes low blood sugar and jet lag can also trigger in some people.
Emotional feelings: – Stress, depression, anxiety, excitement, and shock can trigger a migraine. These triggers could be a reason for many diseases.
Sensory stimuli: – Triggers in the environment like bright lights, flickering screens, strong smells, second-hand smoke and loud noises are also possible triggers.
Food and Drink: – Alcohol, especially wine and caffeine can contribute to triggering migraines. Chocolate, aged cheese, citrus fruits, and salty processed foods can also trigger. Irregular mealtimes, skipping meals, and dehydration has also been named as potential triggers.
Treatment of Migraine:
There’s no cure for migraine headaches. Treatment also depends on person to person and the cause. Many drugs can treat or even prevent some of them but you need to avoid triggers also.
Here are some advises which can help to reduce the frequency of migraines.
- Getting enough and sound sleep
- No stress, physically and mentally
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding certain foods
- Avoiding alcohol
- Regular physical exercise and Yoga
We can reduce the chances of migraines just to change in our lifestyle and daily routine. The cause of many diseases is our lifestyle. If we slightly change in our lifestyle, we can save ourselves from many diseases.