Migraine: A Neurological Disease Which is More Than a Bad Headache
Migraine is a common condition that is affecting people of all ages across the world. It not only has a debilitating but also damaging effect on the lives of the sufferers.
In serious cases, migraine often ruins relationships, careers and even increase the chances of developing serious health conditions. Though there is no cure for migraine currently, there are a number of ways to manage the condition and live a stress-free life.
What is a migraine?
Migraine is a neurological disease and a severe headache that mostly affect one side or the front side of your head. This condition is also accompanied by symptoms like sensitivity to external stimuli, nausea, and tiredness.
When it comes to migraine types, there are two types: migraine with aura and migraine without aura.
However, it is noticed that one-third of migraine sufferers experience migraine with aura. This type of migraine is characterized by an early warning sign known as aura i.e., before the actual migraine attack.
Migraine is often ignored, overlooked, and even sometimes labeled just as a headache. But remember misdiagnosis can lead to under or mistreatment of the condition. It is important to meet the doctor on time and accordingly start treatment with the right migraine medicine.
What causes migraine?
The exact migraine causes still remain unknown. But doctors believe that genetic and environmental factors might be the major reasons behind migraine.
Migraine is often thought to be caused due to a change in the levels of chemicals in your brain mainly serotonin levels. During a migraine attack, these levels decrease.
Low levels of serotonin can make blood vessels contract in your brain. The narrowing of blood vessels is considered to be responsible for the aura symptoms or warning signs.
The blood vessels dilate (widen) which makes you suffer from headaches and other linked symptoms.
It is important to understand that migraine reasons differ from person to person. There are some food items that can trigger migraine in some people like:
- Coffee or other products that contain caffeine
- Citrus fruits like orange and lemon
- Heavily processed foods like cooked meat
Keep one thing in your mind, dehydration is also one of the major causes of migraine.
Physical and emotional causes of migraine include:
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Bad posture
- Muscular tension is usually in the shoulders and neck
For some people, strong emotions and positive emotions can also lead to the problems of migraine-like joy and excitement.
Environmental factors that trigger migraine in people include:
- Humid weather conditions
- Strong smells
- Loud noises
- Strong lighting
- Smoky or stuffy rooms
- Flickering screens like television and computer screens
- Sudden changes in the temperature
You must know a few medications can also cause migraine in some people. Intake of painkillers on a regular basis or overuse of the medicine can make you suffer from migraine and severe headaches.
Symptoms of migraine
It is vital to understand that the symptoms of migraine are wide and even vary like the triggers. Every migraine patient is going to experience different types of migraine symptoms.
However, there are some common symptoms of migraine that people usually experience during a migraine attack.
Symptoms during the aura stage and early warning stage include:
- Changes in mood
- Visual disturbances like blind spots, flashing lights, or zigzag patterns
- Food cravings
- Stiffness of the neck or shoulders
- Pins and needles or tingling in your limbs, shoulders, or neck
- Problems with speaking
- Feeling dizzy, confused, or disoriented
- Food cravings
- Lack of coordination or loss of balance
Before the onset of the headache, the aura stage starts right before 15 minutes to an hour. There are also cases in which the sufferer starts losing consciousness in the aura stage. However, this symptom is rare.
During the stage of migraine headache symptoms, sufferers start experiencing a serious headache that often affects the front or one side of the head only. The pain might also shift its position during the time of migraine attack.
It is important to know that the pain is mainly experienced as a strong throbbing sensation, leading to migraine nausea with movement. Some of the other symptoms during this stage include:
- Abdominal pain
- Increased need to urinate
- Intense tiredness
- Sensitivity to noise, light, or smells
- Strong desire to rest in a dark or cold room
- Feeling cold or hot
It might be possible that symptoms come and go during this time but the stage lasts for almost 4 hours and 3 days.
Unbearable headache is one of the most common symptoms of migraine. But surprisingly, some people experience migraine even without the headache.
Some adults and children also experience stomach migraine along with the intestinal symptoms of migraine like nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea without any kind of headache.
On the other hand, some sufferers experience only the visual symptoms that are quite common with the aura stage. Once the headache stage passes away, migraine patients might continue to suffer from tiredness, difficulty in concentrating, weakness, and food cravings for several days.
Right now, there is no permanent cure for migraine. However, migraine treatment helps in averting attacks and decreasing the seriousness of symptoms.
Remember, searching for the right migraine treatment for yourself requires time and patience because not all treatments are going to be effective for everyone.
The doctor might recommend you to use some of the most effective medications like Generic Celexa and Generic Elavil. Both the drugs help in providing relief from migraine by affecting the balance of some natural chemicals present in your brain. In this way, the symptoms of migraine are released.
To ensure better relief, the
doctor might suggest you take strong
painkillers. If you want to experience effective results then start taking
painkillers at an early stage of migraine. In the later stages, it can be
difficult to digest painkiller tablets.
Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen can decrease your migraine symptoms and also provide migraine relief. But before you decide to try these medicines, make sure to consult the doctor to avoid kind of side effects.
Your doctor might prescribe anti-sickness medicines that can be bought over the counter. These medications usually come in tablet form or suppositories. They are also available as a combination of preparation with pain relief.
When it comes to the highly effective treatment of migraine, Triptans are the best solution. Triptans counteract the dilation of your blood vessels which is the main cause of migraine.
With the use of triptans as directed by the doctor, some people have experienced great relief from the problem of migraine. This medicine is available in tablet form but can be directed in the form of an injection or nasal spray by the doctor.
In the case of chronic migraine, the doctor also recommends preventative treatment. To prevent migraine, the most commonly prescribed medicines include beta-blockers, amitriptyline, and anticonvulsants that control serotonin levels.
In case, you find that the medical treatment is offering you little or no relief then immediately consult a migraine specialist and start the medications accordingly.
A migraine specialist will pay attention to the underlying causes and then accordingly suggest the most effective treatment.
Therefore, migraine treatment is a slow process and requires your patience to deal with it.