Warning signs, causes, and treatment for migraine

Warning signs, causes, and treatment for migraine

A migraine is an unbearable throbbing or pulsing headache that generally affects one side of the head. It’s a neurological disorder that causes nausea, vomiting, and severe light and sound sensitivity. Migraine episodes can persist for hours or days, and the agony can be unbearable. The condition commonly tends to run in families and affects all ages. Migraine is found to be more common in females in comparison to males.

The most prevalent migraine headaches are episodic vs. chronic, followed by aura-free and aura-accompanied. Some migraines can be prevented or alleviated with the use of correct remedies, self-help cures, and lifestyle adjustments.

How does a migraine feel?

Migraine symptoms include pain that could range from:

  • Pulsating
  • Vibrating
  • Piercing
  • Pounding
  • Debilitating

It might also be a painful, dull aching. The ache starts off mild, but if left untreated, it can progress to severe.

Symptoms of migraine

It usually starts 1–2 days before the headache and is called the prodrome stage. Symptoms include:

  • Desire for food
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness or exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Stiff neck

The aura appears following the prodrome stage in migraine with aura. Auras can cause issues with vision, feeling, movement, and speech.

The attack phase is the next stage. It is the most intense or severe phase of migraine pain and can occur during an aura or overlap. Symptoms of an attack phase might last hours or days and varies from person to person.

The postdrome phase generally follows the attack phase, wherein the mood and sentiments fluctuate. These might range from euphoria and joy to exhaustion and apathy. A dull headache may linger.

The length and severity of these stages vary from person to person. A migraine episode can occur without creating a headache if a phase is missed.

What triggers migraines?

Migraine has no known cause. It is believed that “abnormal” brain activity impacts nerve signals, neurotransmitters, and blood vessels.

Many migraine triggers are constantly reported, including:

  • Glaring lights
  • Harsh weather
  • Dehydration
  • Variations in barometric pressure
  • Hormone fluctuations in women during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Excessive tension
  • Loud noises
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Missing meals
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Strange odors
  • Specific foodstuffs
  • Smoking
  • Drinking

Your doctor may advise you to keep a headache journal if you get migraines. Noting what you were doing, eating, and talking before a migraine episode might help you pinpoint your triggers.

How is migraine analyzed?

A complete medical plus family history is taken, and a physical exam is performed to rule out other possible reasons before a doctor can diagnose a migraine.

Imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI can rule out alternative reasons, including:

  • Brain abnormalities
  • Tumors
  • Stroke

Treatment for migraines

Migraine isn’t curable, but your doctor can help you manage it by teaching you how to address symptoms, which may lead to fewer episodes overall. Treatment can also soothe the symptoms of migraines.

Your treatment strategy is determined by:

  • Age
  • Frequency of getting migraines
  • Type and severity of migraines

Your treatment strategy may include:

  • Stress management and preventing migraine causes
  • Prescription migraine drugs are used as soon as an attack begins to prevent severe symptoms and reduce pain
  • Hormone treatment related to your menstrual cycle
  • Counseling
  • Meditation
  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Medication that can either prevent or treat a migraine attack

Preventing migraines

If you get migraines, you can try a few things to prevent attacks. Some may suit you better than others:

  • Find out what foods, fragrances, and situations cause your migraines and avoid them.
  • Drink water to prevent water loss from diarrhea and dizziness.
  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Prioritize good sleep as it is vital to overall wellness.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Make reducing stress a priority.
  • Spend time relaxing.
  • Regular exercise can help reduce stress.

Takeaway

Migraine symptoms might also resemble stroke symptoms. If you or your loved one suffers from regular headaches or if your headache causes slurred speech or facial drooping, produces new leg or arm weakness with a fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, seizure, double vision, weakness, numbness, or difficulty, then you should consult your doctor.

Also, if you feel like you are experiencing the “worst headache ever,” and if it lasts more than an hour and is followed by a loss of consciousness, it could be considered an aura and the start of a migraine.

While migraines can be devastating at times, there are remedies and treatments available that could make them more manageable.

 

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