A migraine headache can be extremely painful and often debilitating. The severest forms of migraine can completely take over your life until you’re unable to live normally.
If you are suffering from migraines as well, your best defense in your condition is to understand how migraines work and what you can do to treat them effectively.
What is A Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache?
Unfortunately for people suffering from this condition, the cause for migraine is still undetermined.
Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache is a severe type of headache and of which pain may originate from almost any part of the head.
It can last from several hours to a few days at the most. Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache is endemic in people from fifteen to fifty-five years old. It also affects more women than men and those whose medical history include migraine.
Possible Triggers of Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache
Although the cause of migraine is unknown, several factors have been noted as possible triggers of migraine.
Food and Sleep – People who are having sleeping problems and eating insufficient amount of food are more prone to suffering from migraine. If you are making use of an inappropriate diet and one that is close to starving you instead of keeping you healthy, that can also trigger a migraine attack.
External Surroundings – Places where the light is too strong or when the noise levels are too high can also lead to migraine attacks. If you’ve noticed this happening in your case, you might wish to avoid such places in the future especially if you’re alone and there’s no one to help you when you’re suddenly having one of your migraine attacks.
Menstrual Periods – Because of the hormonal changes that are occurring in a woman’s body during her monthly cycle, she may also be liable to suffering a migraine attack during these instances. Although a direct link between hormones and migraines hasn’t been satisfactorily established yet, women should nevertheless prepare themselves for a migraine attack whenever they’re having their monthly course.
For some individuals, a sleeping pill or painkiller is usually sufficient in keeping both migraine attacks and dysmenorrheal pain at bay.
Stress – Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache attacks may also be triggered by unnatural levels of stress and anxiety. People with a history of migraine should therefore make a conscious effort not to feel stressed or pressured if they wish to avoid a migraine attack. If this is your situation as well, there are natural and medical treatments available to help you manage stress.
Climate and Temperature – Moods and werewolves are not the only things that are affected by a change in climate. The frequency of migraine attacks may also depend on the weather so if you’re sad during a particular type of weather, prepare yourself from a possible migraine attack as well.
Addictions – If you have a habit of too much smoking, drinking, or eating chocolate, these are just some of the vices of which overindulgence can lead to suffering from migraine attacks. Kill two birds with one stone by eliminating these addictions from your life and effectively reducing the chances of suffering from migraine attacks as well.
Foods – Studies have also shown that there are certain types of foods that can cause people to have migraine attacks. Although the most commonly cited food as a possible trigger of migraine attacks are those containing additives, the type of food is usually dependent on a case-to-case basis.
Types of Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headache
Classic – Your period of suffering will last half an hour at the most, and your migraine might temporarily impair any or all of your senses. Women, more than males, are more likely to suffer from this type of migraine.
Common – People suffering from common migraines may not have impaired senses but may still be prone to vomiting and feeling dizzy.
Having a Productive Consultation with Your Doctor about Migraine Migraine Headache and Tension Headaches
To help your doctor reach an accurate diagnosis about your condition, make sure that you’ve taken note of pertinent details about your situation such as the frequency of your headaches, which parts of your head is affected, the duration of these attacks and possible events that may have triggered it.
As yet, there’s still no universal cure for migraines and even a completely healthy lifestyle won’t be able to guarantee protection from migraines. Nevertheless, support and care from your family and friends will definitely go a long way in alleviating the discomfort brought by migraine. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor immediately.
What are the symptoms of migraines?
There are four different phases of migraines. You may not always go through every phase each time you have a migraine.
- Prodome. This phase starts up to 24 hours before you get the migraine. You have early signs and symptoms, such as food cravings, unexplained mood changes, uncontrollable yawning, fluid retention, and increased urination.
- Aura. If you have this phase, you might see flashing or bright lights or zig-zag lines. You may have muscle weakness or feel like you are being touched or grabbed. An aura can happen just before or during a migraine.
- Headache. A migraine usually starts gradually and then becomes more severe. It typically causes throbbing or pulsing pain, which is often on one side of your head. But sometimes you can have a migraine without a headache. Other migraine symptoms may include
- Increased sensitivity to light, noise, and odors
- Nausea and vomiting
- Worsened pain when you move, cough, or sneeze
- Postdrome (following the headache). You may feel exhausted, weak, and confused after a migraine. This can last up to a day.
Migraines are more common in the morning; people often wake up with them. Some people have migraines at predictable times, such as before menstruation or on weekends following a stressful week of work.
How are migraines diagnosed?
To make a diagnosis, your health care provider will
- Take your medical history
- Ask about your symptoms
- Do a physical and neurological exam
An important part of diagnosing migraines is to rule out other medical conditions which could be causing the symptoms. So you may also have blood tests, an MRI or CT scan, or other tests.
How are migraines treated?
There is no cure for migraines. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing additional attacks.
There are different types of medicines to relieve symptoms. They include triptan drugs, ergotamine drugs, and pain relievers. The sooner you take the medicine, the more effective it is.
There are also other things you can do to feel better:
- Resting with your eyes closed in a quiet, darkened room
- Placing a cool cloth or ice pack on your forehead
- Drinking fluids
There are some lifestyle changes you can make to prevent migraines:
- Stress management strategies, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback, may reduce the number and severity of migraines. Biofeedback uses electronic devices to teach you to control certain body functions, such as your heartbeat, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
- Make a log of what seems to trigger your migraines. You can learn what you need to avoid, such as certain foods and medicines. It also help you figure out what you should do, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule and eating regular meals.
- Hormone therapy may help some women whose migraines seem to be linked to their menstrual cycle
- If you have obesity, losing weight may also be helpful
If you have frequent or severe migraines, you may need to take medicines to prevent further attacks. Talk with your health care provider about which drug would be right for you.
Certain natural treatments, such as riboflavin (vitamin B2) and coenzyme Q10, may help prevent migraines. If your magnesium level is low, you can try taking magnesium. There is also an herb, butterbur, which some people take to prevent migraines. But butterbur may not be safe for long-term use. Always check with your health care provider before taking any supplements.