Live Chat

Migraine


Migraine

A migraine is a common type of headache that 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 disturbances, that are a warning sign that a bad headache is coming.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Migraine headaches tend to first appear between the ages of 10 and 45. Sometimes they may begin later in life.

  • Migraines occur more often in women than men,
  • Migraines may run in families.
  • Some women, but not all, may have fewer migraines when they are pregnant.

A migraine is caused by abnormal brain activity, which is triggered by stress, certain foods, environmental factors, or something else. However, the exact chain of events remains unclear. Today, most medical experts believe the attack begins in the brain, and involves various nerve pathways and chemicals. The changes affect blood flow in the brain and surrounding tissues.

Migraine attacks may be triggered by:

  • Alcohol
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bright lights
  • Certain odors or perfumes
  • Changes in hormone levels (which can occur during a woman's menstrual cycle or with the use of birth control pills)
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Exercise
  • Loud noises
  • Missed meals
  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Smoking or exposure to smoke

Certain foods and preservatives in foods may trigger migraines in some people. Food-related triggers may include:

  • Any processed, fermented, pickled, or marinated foods
  • Baked goods
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy products
  • Foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Foods containing 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)
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Peanut butter

This list may not include all triggers.

True migraine headaches are not a result of a brain tumor or other serious medical problem. However, only an experienced health care provider can determine whether your symptoms are due to a migraine or another condition.

Symptoms

Vision disturbances, or aura, are considered a "warning sign" that a migraine is coming. The aura occurs in both eyes and may involve any or all of the following:

  • A temporary blind spot
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Seeing stars or zigzag lines
  • Tunnel vision

Not every person with migraines has an aura. Those who do usually develop one about 10 - 15 minutes before the headache. However, it may occur just a few minutes to 24 hours beforehand. A headache may not always follow an aura.

Migraine headaches can be dull or severe. The pain may be felt behind the eye or in the back of the head and neck. For many patients, the headaches start on the same side each time. The headaches usually:

  • Feel throbbing, pounding, or pulsating
  • Are worse on one side of the head
  • Start as a dull ache and get worse within minutes to hours
  • Last 6 to 48 hours

Other symptoms that may occur with the headache include:

  • Chills
  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Problems concentrating, trouble finding words
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sweating

Symptoms may linger even after the migraine has gone away. Patients with migraine sometimes call this a migraine "hangover." Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling mentally dull, like your thinking is not clear or sharp
  • Increased need for sleep
  • Neck pain

Signs and tests

Your doctor can diagnose this type of headache by asking questions 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, sinus problems, or a serious brain disorder.

There is no specific test to prove that your headache is actually a migraine. However, your doctor may order a brain MRI or CT scan if you have never had one before or if you have unusual symptoms with your migraine, including weakness, memory problems, or loss of alertness.

Expectations (prognosis)

Every person responds differently to treatment. Some people have rare headaches that require little to no treatment. Others require the use of several medications or even occasional hospitalization.

Complications

Migraine headache is a risk factor for stroke in both men and women.

Migraine headaches generally represent no significant threat to your overall health. However, they can be a long-term (chronic) problem and may interfere with your day-to-day life

Homeopathic treatment for Migraine:

Migraine has been believed to be an obstinate condition to treat. However, it is a common experience of the practice of homeopathic system of medicine that migraine is curable.

The homeopathy approach to the treatment of migraine patients is more individualistic. This means, homeopathy believes that migraine is a personality disorder and hence the treatment should be determined only on the basis of in-depth study of the patients' personality. This approach helps treating most cases of migraine successfully.