Migraine is one of the common problems people of this generation are facing. The main reason behind this is the complete change in technology and lifestyle. Today, we are living in a world of great facilities in all aspects. We have the internet to access to almost everything we want. We have got more delicious fast foods and snacks than ever before, and people often gets addicted to these kinds of food items. All these are advantageous, but there is a limit for everything and we have to use all these factors in a good manner in a way all these things are meant to be. Or else, it may lead to serious complications and migraine is one such result. It is estimated that migraine affects 10 per cent of people worldwide and this disorder is most predominantly found in people aged between 20 and 50. Migraine is 3 times more common in women than men. In this blog, let’s discuss more about migraine, their causes and methods to reduce the disorder.
A migraine is a type of headache that causes severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation most commonly on one side of the head. Vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound can also occur along with the headache. Migraines can be very painful and irritating as the pain from one side of the head can affect a person very badly. Doing more physical activities accompanied by this disorder can even make things worse. Migraines are not life-threatening, the pain lasts for a few hours or weeks, but the stage of suffering is really unbearable. In some people, a warning symptom occurs before or along with the headache. The warning symptoms include visual disturbances like flash or blind spots, difficulty in speaking and tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg. This warning symptom is called “aura”. The actual cause of migraine is not known clearly but they are assumed to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain. People having a family history of migraines are more likely to develop the disorder. Migraine can be controlled and reduced through medications, self-remedies, and change of lifestyle.
Stages of Migraine:
Migraine attack proceeds through four stages- Prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. All the people with migraine do not go through these stages.
Prodrome stage: The prodrome stage begins one or two days before the migraine headache. The prodrome stage is the first phase of migraine and is a warning signal that a headache is about to start. This stage includes constipation, neck stiffness, fluid retention, mood changes, frequent yawning, and increased urination. In some cases, doctors can successfully treat and cure migraine if you realize migraine in this first stage itself.
Aura stage: About 1 in 3 or 4 people with migraine passes through this phase. Aura may occur before or during the headache. The aura phase includes vision loss, difficulty in speaking, weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body, needles and pins sensations in the arm or leg, and seeing various shapes, bright spots, and flashes of light. The aura symptoms begin gradually, build up over several minutes, and can last for as long as 60 minutes.
Attack stage: As the name suggests, this is the phase where the migraine becomes critical. The pain begins above your eyes and will slowly spread to one side of your head. During this phase, you may experience pain most probably on one side of your head but often on both sides, throbbing or pulsating pain, nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and some occasions, smell and touch. If not treated, this phase lasts from 4 to 72 hours.
Post-drome stage: After the migraine attack, you will go through the post-drome stage where you may feel extreme tiredness, sluggishness, and confusion. In some cases, sudden head movement will trigger the pain again for a short period of time.
There are various factors that may trigger migraine headaches. Let’s see some of these factors.
- Some drinks may trigger migraine headaches. Alcohol is the main drink that triggers migraine. This includes wine, beer, scotch, whiskey, and champagne. Drinks rich in caffeine(drinks like coffee) may also trigger migraine.
- Lack of healthy sleep or oversleeping may trigger migraine in some people
- Some food items like aged cheese and salty and processed foods may trigger migraine. Avoiding food can also trigger migraine in some cases.
- Strong smells like the smell of perfumes and paint thinners may trigger migraine.
- Too much physical exertion like sexual activity might trigger migraine
- In women, hormonal changes can trigger migraine. Many women suffer migraines from fluctuations in estrogen before and during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
- Change of weather may provoke migraine.
- Some food additives like sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate may also trigger migraine
- Stress and tension
- Bright or flashing lights
- Loud sounds
Medicine can help you to get away from migraine to some extent. But it’s not only about medicine, caring for yourselves with self-remedies and some important activities can also help you to control migraine. Let’s see some of the effective methods to control migraine.
- A healthy sleep is an essential part of a human’s life. Lack of a good sleep or oversleeping is not at all good for your health and this may lead to several health issues including migraine. So, always ensure that you are getting good and healthy sleep. An adult human should get a sleep time of at least 7 hours.
- Always follow a healthy diet. There are many food items that may trigger migraine including aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. Avoid these types of food items and prepare a healthy diet. Avoiding food can also trigger migraine. So always have food that too at the exact time it is meant to be.
- Regular exercise is another important method to control migraine. During physical activity, your body releases certain chemicals that have the capability to restrict the pain signals to your brain. Exercise will always keep you happy, fit, and healthy and will help you to reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise is not only a good remedy for migraine but also an extraordinary remedy for many serious health issues.
- If in case you get migraine, try to move to a place with less or no light and sound as light and sound can even make your pain from bad to worse. You can also apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck. Pain may be dulled by ice packs because they have a numbing effect. You can relax tense muscles by applying hot packs or heating pads.
- On some occasions, having a small amount of caffeine can also reduce migraine pain. Caffeine may enhance the pain-reducing effects of acetaminophen and aspirin. But always remember, having too much caffeine may trigger migraine.
- Stress and anxiety are two serious problems a person faces in his/her everyday life. These two factors can lead to serious health issues including migraine. To eliminate these two factors, you should make a proper plan. If you are in such a situation, call your friends, conduct a meetup or party and refresh your mind. This will help you to attain much-needed confidence and also help you to stay away from migraine. Exercise can also help to eliminate stress and anxiety. Doing activities which you like can also keep your mind relaxed and refreshed. Deep breathing is another way to eradicate stress and anxiety. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutesevery dayy. This may help to relax your muscles ultimately making you cool and refreshed.
- If you are a person with consistent migraine, understanding what makes you prone to migraine can help. Make a small note of all the factors and activities that triggered migraine in you and avoid all such activities.
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Check your knowledge
Answer. Migraine attack proceeds through four stages- Prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.
Answer. Some food additives like sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate may also trigger migraine
Answer. Healthy sleep and regular exercise.