What Is a Migraine headache?
Migraines are extreme, often incapacitating headaches. The most common kinds of migraine headache are those with aura (classical migraines) and those without aura (common migraines).
Migraines can start in childhood or might not take place up until early their adult years. Women are 3 times most likely than men to have migraines. Household history is among the most common risk aspects for having migraines.
What Are the Symptoms and Phases of a Migraine?
Migraine symptoms may begin one to two days prior to the headache itself. This is called the migraine’s prodrome stage. Symptoms consist of:
- food yearnings
- tiredness or low energy
- frequent yawning
- neck tightness
Some– but not all– people might also experience an aura after the prodrome stage. An aura causes visual, motor, and/or speech disruptions, such as:
- trouble speaking plainly
- feeling a tingling or tingling experience in the arms and legs
- flashes of light
- seeing shapes, light flashes or bright spots
- transient vision loss
The next stage is known as the attack phase. This is the most severe or severe of the phases when the actual migraine happens. Attack phase symptoms can last anywhere from 4 hours to three days. Symptoms of a migraine can differ from individual to individual. Some symptoms might consist of:
- feeling dizzy or faint
- increased level of sensitivity to light and noise
- pain on one side of the head
- pulsing and/or pulsating pain
After the attack stage, a person will experience the postdrome stage. During this last stage, an individual will often experience changes in mood and feelings, which can range from feeling blissful and incredibly pleased, to feeling very tired and apathetic.
What Causes a Migraine?
Scientists haven’t identified a definitive cause for migraines. Nevertheless, they have actually found some contributing elements that can set off the condition as food, cold weather, light, dehydration, alcohol, etc. This includes modifications in brain chemicals, such as a reduction in serotonin levels.
Factors that might set off a migraine include:
- intense lights, severe heat, or other extremes in weather
- changes in barometric pressure
- hormonal modifications, such as estrogen fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause for women
- consuming alcohol or caffeinated drinks
- foods such as aged cheese, salty, or processed foods
- consuming food ingredients, such as aspartame (a synthetic sugar) or monosodium glutamate (MSG).
consuming foods that have the additive tyramine, which is discovered in soy products, fava beans, difficult sausages, smoked fish, aged cheeses, and Chianti wine.
- excess stress, loud sounds, physical activity, skipping meals, loss of sleep.
- taking particular medicines, such as oral contraceptives or nitroglycerin.
- unusual smells.
If you experience a migraine headache, your doctor might ask you to keep a headache journal. Documenting what you were doing, what foods you ate, and what medications you were taking in the past your migraine headache started can help identify your triggers.
What Are the Risks Associated with Migraines?
Migraine headaches can cause risks and issues, both from the headaches themselves and from the medications you take to aid with your symptoms.
In some cases migraine headaches can be lasting, happening anywhere from 3 to 15 days or more in a month. Because the headache affects your ability to believe clearly, you may have problem at school or at work.
Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in high doses or for an extended period of time can result in stomach pain or bleeding ulcers. Taking medicines for more than 10 days a month for longer than three months can cause more headaches. This can cause medication-overuse headaches.
If you take prescription medications for your migraines, you’re at risk for experiencing a condition referred to as serotonin syndrome. Lots of prescription medicines improve the amount of serotonin in the brain to reduce migraines. Examples include:
- duloxetine (Cymbalta).
- fluoxetine (Sarafem, Prozac).
- paroxetine (Paxil).
- sertraline (Zoloft).
- sumatriptan (Imitrex).
- venlafaxine (Effexor XR).
- zolmitriptan (Zomig).
Excessive serotonin can result in hallucinations, nausea, throwing up, agitation, diarrhea, and a rapid heart rate. In some instances, this condition can be dangerous. As constantly, make sure to take your medications as prescribed.
When Should I See a Doctor About My Migraines?
Sometimes the symptoms of a migraine headache can imitate those of a stroke. It’s essential to seek immediate medical interest if you or an enjoyed one has any of the following symptoms:
- headache that causes slurred speech or sagging on one side of the face.
- headache that begins really suddenly and badly without any lead-in symptoms.
- headache that accompanies a fever, neck stiffness, confusion, seizure, double vision, weak point, numbness, or difficulty speaking.
- headache with an aura where the symptoms last longer than an hour.
Make a consultation to see your doctor if your headaches begin to impact your daily life. Tell your doctor if you experience pain around your eyes or ears, or if you have numerous headaches a month that last for several hours or days.
How Are Migraines Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose migraines by listening to your symptoms and carrying out a physical examination to dismiss other potential causes. Imaging scans, such as a CT or MRI scan, can rule out other causes, including growths or strokes.
How Are Migraines Treated?
Medications can be utilized to either prevent the migraine from occurring or treating it once it takes place. Your doctor will choose what medication to recommend based on the intensity of your headaches and any of your other health conditions. Non-prescription medications may offer relief too.
Other steps you can take at home to eliminate migraine pain consist of:
- lying down in a peaceful, dark space.
- massaging your scalp or temples.
- placing a cold fabric over your forehead or behind your neck.
Many individuals likewise take part in preventive strategies, such as avoiding their known headache triggers.
Migraine headaches can be severe, incapacitating, and unpleasant. Treatments are available, and determining migraine triggers can help prevent the headache from happening in the first place.
Last modified: August 8, 2016