A migraine is a type of headache. It may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head.
Some people who get migraines have warning symptoms, called an aura, before the actual headache begins. An aura is a group of symptoms, including vision changes. An aura is a warning sign that a bad headache is coming.
For more details you can watch:
Causes for MIGRAINE:
Migraine headaches tend to first appear between the ages of 10 and 45. Sometimes, they begin later in life. Migraines may run in families. Migraines occur more often in women than men. Some women, but not all, may have fewer migraines when they are pregnant.
Changes in hormone levels during a woman's menstrual cycle or with the use of birth control pills
Changes in sleep patterns
Exercise or other physical stress
Loud noises or bright lights
Odors or perfumes
Smoking or exposure to smoke
Stress and anxiety
Migraines can also be triggered by certain foods.
Most common are:
Foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Foods with tyramine, which includes red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and certain beans
Fruits (avocado, banana, citrus fruit)
Meats containing nitrates (bacon, hot dogs, salami, cured meats)
Onions, Peanuts and other nuts and seeds
Processed, fermented, pickled, or marinated foods
True migraine headaches are not a result of a brain tumor or other serious medical problem. Only a health care provider who specializes in headaches can determine if your symptoms are due to a migraine or other condition.
For more details you can watch:
Types of migraine:
Migraine with aura : where there are warning signs before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
Migraine without aura : where the migraine occurs without warning signs
Migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop.
Migraine headaches often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages, including prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome, though you may not experience all the stages.
One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that signify an oncoming migraine, including:
Aura may occur before or during migraine headaches. Auras are nervous system symptoms that are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light. Sometimes auras can also be touching sensations (sensory), movement (motor) or speech (verbal) disturbances. Most people experience migraine headaches without aura. Each of these symptoms usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes, and then commonly lasts for 20 to 60 minutes. Examples of aura include:
Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
Speech or language problems (aphasia)
Less commonly, an aura may be associated with limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).
When untreated, a migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours, but the frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. You may have migraines several times a month or much less often. During a migraine, you may experience the following symptoms:
Pain on one side or both sides of your head
Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
Nausea and vomiting
Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
The final phase, known as postdrome, occurs after a migraine attack. During this time you may feel drained and washed out, though some people report feeling mildly euphoric.
When to see a doctor
Migraine headaches are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you regularly experience signs and symptoms of migraine attacks, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches.
Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different.
See your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following signs and symptoms, which may indicate other, more serious medical problems:
An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap
Headache with fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or trouble speaking
Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse
A chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
New headache pain if you're older than 50
For more details on symptoms of MIGRAINE you can watch:
Your doctor can diagnose migraine headache by asking about your symptoms and family history of migraines. A complete physical exam will be done to determine if your headaches are due to:
Muscle tension, or
Sinus problems, or
A brain disorder.
There is no specific test to prove that your headache is actually a migraine. Your doctor may order a brain CT or MRIscan if you have never had one before. The test may also be ordered if you have unusual symptoms with your migraine, including weakness, memory problems, or loss of alertness.
An EEG may be needed to rule out seizures. A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) might be done.
For more details you can watch:
There is no specific cure for migraine headaches. The goal is to treat your migraine symptoms right away, and to prevent symptoms by avoiding or changing your triggers.
There are three main aspects of treatment:
Acute symptomatic control, and
Medications are more effective if used earlier in an attack. The frequent use of medications may result in medication overuse headache, in which the headaches become more severe and more frequent. This may occur with Triptans, Ergotamines, and Analgesics, especially Narcotic analgesics. Due to these concerns simple analgesics are recommended to be used less than three days per week at most.
Be aware of :
Taking medicines more than 3 days a week may lead to rebound headaches. These are headaches that keep coming back due to overuse of pain medicine.
Too much ibuprofen or aspirin can irritate your stomach.
If these treatments do not help, ask your doctor about prescription medicines. These include nasal sprays, suppositories, or injections.
For more details you can watch:
Migraine and children
Some points to note about migraine in children include the following:
Migraine is common in children. It affects about 1 in 10 school-age children.
Symptoms can be similar to those experienced by adults. However, sometimes symptoms are not typical. For example, compared with adults, attacks are often shorter; pain may be on both sides of the head. Also, associated symptoms such as feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting) may not occur.
Abdominal migraine mainly affects children.
Common triggers in children include missing meals, lack of fluid in the body (dehydration) and irregular routines. So, if a child is troubled with migraine attacks, it is important to try to have regular routines, with set meals and bedtimes. Also, encourage children to have plenty to drink.
Many of the medicines used by adults are not licensed for children:
- Paracetamol or ibuprofen are suitable and are commonly used. Do not use aspirin. - As regards anti-sickness medicines, domperidone is licensed for children of all ages, and prochlorperazine is licensed for children older than 12 years. - Triptans are not licensed for children and so should not be used.
Migraine when pregnant or breast-feeding
The good news is that about 2 in 3 women with migraine have an improvement whilst pregnant or breast-feeding. However, about 1 in 20 women with migraine find that their migraine gets worse whilst pregnant.
The bad news is that many of the medicines used to treat migraine should not be taken by pregnant or breast-feeding women.
For relief of a migraine headache:
Paracetamol is the medicine most commonly used, as it is known to be safe during pregnancy.
Ibuprofen is sometimes used but do not take it in the last third of the pregnancy (the third trimester).
Aspirin - avoid if you are trying to conceive, early in pregnancy, in the third trimester and whilst breast-feeding.
Triptans - should not be taken by pregnant women at all. Triptans can be used during breast-feeding, but milk should be expressed and discarded for 12-24 hours after the dose (see manufacturer's information on the packet).
For feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting) - no medicines are licensed in pregnancy. However, occasionally a doctor will prescribe one off license.
Medicines used for the prevention of migraine are not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.
Yoga therapy can help with migraine in the following ways:
By release of muscle tension that contributes to migraine
By lowering stress levels
By increasing self-awareness so potential triggers can be avoided
By encouraging regular relaxation to avoid 'weekend migraine syndrome.
Release of tension
Simple yoga postures help to release tight muscles in the back, neck and head which can impede blood flow and contribute to headaches and migraine.
Lowering of stress levels
Yoga can lower our stress levels by inducing a calming effect on both the body and the mind so making us less reactive in potentially stressful situations. This can be achieved through simple breathing techniques, breath linked movements and deep relaxation.
A regular yoga practice encourages us to be more aware of how we are feeling which gives a migraine sufferer valuable time to take suitable action to avoid the on-set of a potential migraine.
Learning how to relax
Learning how to relax regularly helps prevent migraines that are stress induced and helps prevent 'weekend' migraines. This type of migraine is triggered when a person starts to let go and relax at the end of their working week, as this tends to cause blood vessels to dilate which triggers the migraine. Learning how to relax regularly for 10-15 minutes can prevent this.
For more details about YOGA for Migraine you can watch:
Here are ten of the best poses you'll want to know and work into your yoga practice.
Pranayama Breathing Cat Pose Head to Knee
Half Lord of the FishesSeated Forward Bend Legs Up the Wall
Knees to Chest Seated Eagle Child's Pose
Regardless of whether you struggle with migraine or tension headache, yoga once or twice a week begins to build muscle memory and train you on the poses that can abort an oncoming migraine attack.
If you are diagnosed with migraine, figuring out your personal triggers and avoiding them is a good way to prevent headaches. There are many ways to do this:
Stay on a Regular Sleep Schedule
Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, even on weekends.
Missed meals and low blood sugar are migraine triggers.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can cause migraine headaches.
Avoid Food Triggers
These vary from person to person, but common ones include:
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many Asian dishes
Nitrates and nitrites, found in processed or cured meats
Sulfites, found in many dried fruits
Alcohol, especially red wine
Large amounts of caffeine
During a migraine headache, exercise worsens pain, but otherwise, light to moderate exercise can relieve stress, another major migraine trigger.
Avoid Stressful Situations.
If you feel stress building, try to remove yourself from the setting and calm down.
Limit Estrogen-Containing Medications
The hormones in birth control pills as well as in hormone replacement therapy drugs used for menopause symptoms can cause migraine headaches. If you're taking one of these medications and experience migraines, your doctor may consider reducing your dose or stopping the medication altogether.
There are various techniques available to reduce tension and stress. Studies have shown the following to be effective in preventing migraine headaches.
There are various techniques used to relax the body, including deep breathing, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation (a technique of tensing and relaxing various muscles in a specific order).
This can reduce muscle tension, encourage relaxation, and improve sleep.
Dietary modifications that exclude common food triggers may help you pinpoint just what is causing your headaches. Although the list of potential food triggers is long, the most common are chocolate, red wine, caffeine, MSG, Aspartame, cured meats, aged cheese, nuts, nitrate, sulfites, alcohol and ice cream.
Recent studies show that omega-three fatty acids, the kind found in fish oil, may help prevent migraines. Caffeine, found in coffee, tea and colas, as well as more "hidden" sources like chocolate and some medications including Anacin, Excedrin, Actifed can exacerbate headache.
Headaches may also be triggered by chronobiology factors (sleep schedules), hormonal changes, environmental factors, head or neck pain (of another cause), physical exertion, stress and anxiety and trauma to the head. Dietary factors such as alcohol and tyramine containing foods are also known triggers. Tyramine is an essential amino acid made in the body. It is a protein found in foods, which is chemically broken down and used by various cells in the body. Tyramine cannot be found on food labels, but its sister chemical phenylalanine can and should be avoided.
Foods to Watch/Caution
Decaffeinated coffee and colas
Caffeine sources should be limited to 2 cups a day including coffee, tea,
Fruit juices, club soda
Wine (especially red)
Non-alcoholic fermented beverages
Velveeta, American or synthetic cheese
Yogurt in 1/2 cup preparations or less
Aged or processed cheeses including cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, parmesan,
romano, brick, brie, camembert, gouda, gruyere, emmantaler, stilton,
provolone, roquefort, blue
Food containing cheese such as pizza, macaroni and cheese, yogurt and sour
Meats, Poultry, Fish
Freshly prepared meats, fish, poultry
Aged, dried, salted, smoked, cured or processed meats and those
Pickled, dried or smoked herring
Sausage, bacon, salami, pepperoni, bologna, hot dogs, pates, liverwurst,
and marinated meats
Any meat prepared with tenderizers
Asparagus, string beans, beets, carrots, spinach, pumpkin, tomatoes,
squash, zucchini, broccoli, potatoes, onions cooked in foods, Chinese pea
pods, navy beans, soy beans
Raw onions, fava or broad beans, lima beans, pea pods, snow
peas, pickles, olives, sauerkraut
Apples, applesauce, cherries, apricots, peaches
Limit to 1/2 cup per day: oranges, grapefruit, tangerine,
pineapple, lemon, lime, avocados, bananas, figs, raisins, dried fruits,
papaya, passion fruit, plums
Commercially prepared yeast products leavened with baking powder such
as biscuits, pancakes, coffee cakes, etc.
All cooked and dry cereals
Homemade yeast breads
Fresh coffee cake
Yeast and yeast extracts
Breads or crackers containing cheese, chocolate and nuts