Migraine 101; Causes, Prevention And Remedies.

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Migraine is a name synonymous with throbbing pain and days of discomfort. People usually consider migraine as just another headache but it is far worst than that and only a person going through the pain can tell better. But the good news is that there are treatments and remedies for migraines.

It is estimated that as much as 65% of people have a migraine once a year. The debilitating pain and in many people leads to several allied symptoms like sensitivity to sound and light. Most people have migraine headaches at one side of the head but it can occur on both sides as well. People can sometimes tell if they are gonna get the pains soon or not. This is because of the common pre migraine symptoms called the migraine aura. Special remedies for migraines can also help in avoiding migraine aura.

Why Is Migraine Caused?

Migraine has no specific cause, known so far. Researchers are convinced that certain changes in brain chemicals are the main cause of migraines. The levels of serotonin and another neurotransmitter called Calcitonin gene-related peptide are the primary suspects. Genetics also appears to play a significant role here. Another reason for migraines can be brainstem and trigeminal nerve changes. There are several other reasons for migraines.

In females, hormonal alterations can also trigger migraines. Women experience migraines specifically during menstruation due to altered hormones in the body.

You can learn more about migraines. 

Migraine Triggers

Although migraine has many triggers, a common few are:

1. Emotional Triggers

Emotional triggers include stress, mood swings, depression, as well as a sudden shock or excitement can also lead to a migraine attack.

2. Physical Reasons

Excessive tiredness, muscle tension, and aches going through jet lag, or excessive physical exertion also tend to initiate a migraine headache.

3. Dietary Causes

Foods that have tyramine, citrus fruits, cheese, chocolates, caffeine, and alcohol tend to trigger a migraine headache.

4. Chemical Triggers

Medicines like some specific sleeping pills, contraceptives, and drugs used for hormone
replacement therapy are believed to be able to cause migraines.

5. Environmental Causes

Bright lights, sounds, and certain smells plus changes in temperature can also set off a migraine.

6. Sleep Disturbances

Too much or too little sleep can also cause a migraine headache.

Types of Migraine

When you hear the word migraine, the first thing that comes to your mind is throbbing pain. But migraine is much more than just pain it is a neurological disorder. There are several subtypes of migraine which are discussed below:

1. Complicated Migraine

Some people who experience migraines tend to have an aura, that signals that a severe migraine attack is on its way. The aura comprises a series of sensory symptoms like seeing black dots or feeling tingling or numbness on one side of the body. It can last anywhere between 10-30 minutes.

2. Common Migraine

Common migraine is difficult to differentiate from other headaches due to no specific initial symptoms. It lacks the prodrome and aura phase. However, photophobia, phonophobia, pain on one side of the head, pain that aggravates by physical activity, nausea, and vomiting are characteristic symptoms of the common migraine.

3. Migraine Without Headache

It a silent migraine, also known as Acephalgic migraine. Here the affected experiences a dizzying aura, visual symptoms, nausea, other phases of migraine but no headache.

4. Hemiplegic Migraine

A migraine that feels more like a stroke and includes numbness of one side of the body, with pins and needles sensation is termed as hemiplegic migraine. People with this kind of migraine develop weakness on one side of their body. Visual symptoms may also follow but there may or may not be a severe headache in this case.

5. Retinal Migraine

The migraine that results in temporary loss of vision in one eye is called Retinal migraine. This usually affects women of childbearing age. A little is known about this condition but affected people must consult a doctor.

6. Chronic Migraine

If you tend to have migraines for more than 15 days/month you are suffering from chronic pain. The severity of pain and symptoms may vary over these days. In this case, you might need to consult the best neurologists.

Natural Remedies For Migraines

Natural remedies are employed and sworn by many people who find these effective in migraine relief. Some people even say that this is the fastest way to relieve a migraine. Apart from these remedies, simple tips can also help in lessening the pain and discomfort of migraines.  Some popular natural remedies for migraine treatment naturally are discussed below:

1. Acupressure

Acupressure is used for alleviating migraine pain and allied symptoms of nausea. In acupressure, a therapist applies pressure to specific points in the hands to relieve pain and discomfort symptoms.

2. Feverfew

Feverfew is another herb known to help minimize symptoms of migraine. Although there is no science-backed evidence found to support this claim but still it’s a popular remedy among the masses.

3. Oils

    • Peppermint oil is another popular ingredient for migraine treatment naturally. The menthol found in peppermint oil is known to inhibit a migraine attack. Applying this oil to the forehead and temples eases migraine-associated symptoms of light sensitivity, pain, and nausea.
    • Inhaling lavender oil or applying diluted lavender oil to temples has been found effective in migraine relief. You may need to inhale it for 15 minutes.

4. Ginger

Ginger is equal to the prescription drug in its activity against nausea and pain due to migraine. It is popularly used for nausea due to other conditions as well. Since it has fewer side effects, it can be safely used for migraine treatment in pregnancy as well. It stands amongst the most easily followed remedies of migraines.

5. Yoga

Yoga is another great aid for feeling better during a migraine attack. It employs body posture, breathing techniques, and meditation to hamper the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines.

6. Biofeedback

Another relaxation method called biofeedback is also used for the treatment of migraines naturally. It is specifically helpful to dampen migraines arising due to physical triggers such as stress and muscle tension.

7. Magnesium In Diet

Besides these, all adding magnesium to your diet is a great way to prevent migraines with aura. This also prevents migraine symptoms in women during menstruation.

Magnesium deficiency can cause headaches and migraines. Foods containing magnesium include:

  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Milk

Other foods like coffee and tea are also associated with migraines relief and treatment.

You are likely to find relief from migraines by following these remedies for migraines but sometimes this condition requires medical attention.

Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top neurologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online appointment booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.

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She is pharmacist by profession and has worked with several health care setups.She began her career as health and lifestyle writer.She is adept in writing and editing informative articles for both consumer and scientific audiences,as well as patient education materials.

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