What Will You Do When You Get Your Next Migraine
This morning you thought of migraines only as unnecessary pains.
Now you know that a migraine is your bodys way of telling you something is wrong.
The remedies that work for you depends on what is causing your migraine. Work with your health care provider to determine if your migraines are caused by stress, deficiency, or toxicity.
In this article, we covered the causes and remedies for migraines and headaches. The focus is on natural and holistic remedies that will remove the cause, not just treat the symptoms.
What natural, alternative, or holistic migraine remedies work for you? What did I miss in this article?
Please share or leave a comment with your questions.
I Thought I Was Having A Stroke Or Some Kind Of Brain Failure Because My Vision Went Out In My Right Eye Dominique 28
I didn’t know the difference between a headache and a migraine until I was older. They were just bad headaches to me. It wasn’t until college that I got my first aura migraine, which was the scariest symptom ever. I thought I was having a stroke or some kind of brain failure because my vision went out in my right eye.
so hard to describe sometimes they feel like a splitting sensation through my eye and temple, extending toward the back of my head. Sometimes it’s localized to one side other times it’s the full head. Its such a wild thing to have this pain with no trauma, because it feels like an injury. Typically for me it’s either behind my eyes, in my temples, or in the back of my skull .
Watch For Weather Changes
Weather changes can cause migraines in different people.
One study found that weather affects headaches in 50.6% of participants . Of 77 participants, 33.7% were sensitive to temperature and humidity, 14.3% to changing weather patterns, and 12.9% were sensitive to barometric pressure.
Another study of 100 people found significant weather sensitivity in small subgroups . But there wasnt a significant association in the entire 100 participants. The researchers argued that weather cannot be used to predict migraine attacks in the general population of people with migraines.
Keep track of weather changes and your migraine attacks to find your weather sensitivity. If you find that certain weather can trigger your migraines, avoid stressful activities that day. For example, save your intense workout or workload for another day.
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Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men
Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines
The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.
Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:
- Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
- Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Feeling very warm or cold .
- Pale skin color .
- Euphoric mood.
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What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine
There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.
When Should I See My Doctor
If you get severe headaches but dont know whats causing them, or if the pattern of your headaches changes, it is important for you to consult a doctor. Even if you have previously consulted a doctor and been diagnosed with migraines, but your prescribed treatment has not been successful, it is worth going again. Migraines can be managed.
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Drink Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee
Sipping on beverages that contain caffeine, such as tea or coffee, may provide relief when you are experiencing a headache.
Caffeine improves mood, increases alertness and constricts blood vessels, all of which can have a positive effect on headache symptoms .
It also helps increase the effectiveness of common medications used to treat headaches, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen .
However, caffeine withdrawal has also been shown to cause headaches if a person regularly consumes large amounts of caffeine and suddenly stops.
Therefore, people who get frequent headaches should be mindful of their caffeine intake .
Certain herbs including feverfew and butterbur may reduce headache symptoms.
Feverfew is a flowering plant that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Some studies suggest that taking feverfew supplements in doses of 50150 mg per day may reduce headache frequency. However, other studies have failed to find a benefit .
Butterbur root comes from a perennial shrub native to Germany and, like feverfew, has anti-inflammatory effects.
Several studies have shown that taking butterbur extract in doses of 50150 mg reduces headache symptoms in both adults and children .
Feverfew is generally considered safe if taken in recommended amounts. However, butterbur should be treated with caution, as unpurified forms can cause liver damage, and the effects of its long-term use are unknown (
Foods containing them have been shown to trigger headaches in some people.
What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
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Throbbing Pain On One Or Both Sides Of The Head
Pulsating pain is a classic sign of migraines. The throbbing is often felt on one side of the head.
In an online survey of patients with migraines, the National Headache Foundation found that 50% “always” have throbbing on one side, while 34% say they “frequently” have this symptom.
Migraine pain often burrows behind the eye.
People will blame it on eye strain and many will get their eyes checked, but that won’t make their headaches any better, Dr. Messina says.
Practice Yoga And Meditation
Meditation is an effective long term solution for migraine sufferers. Mindfulness meditation helps to relieve stress and raise your HRV.
One study found that meditation can promote healthy heart rate regulation which supports effective recovery from stressful events.
Yoga and Migraines
Practicing yoga can help you relieve stress, increase strength and flexibility, decrease pain, improve sleep, and increase circulation . The benefits of yoga not only help prevent migraines, but they can also improve the quality of life.
One study compared conventional migraine care with conventional care with yoga therapy. Both groups showed significant improvement, but the yoga therapy group had better improvement.
Another study found that practicing yoga for three months can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches .
Other relaxation practices that can help with migraines are deep breathing, tai chi, and progressive muscle relaxation.
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Diagnosis: Why Do I Have A Headache
Before a doctor can start to treat your headache, they will need to understand what is causing your headache. The International Headache Society recognises over 200 headache types, although the two most common types of primary headaches are migraine and tension-type headache . Cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias are less common, but are extremely painful, and recognising symptoms early is important.
You can use our headache types directory to identify what your symptoms might mean before consulting a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Its helpful to keep a headache diary in the weeks leading up to your appointment, recording the number of headache days, severity, and any relevant symptoms. This will help your doctor look for any patterns or triggers, and will ensure you dont forget to tell them about any specific symptoms.
Symptoms of primary headache disorders
Common Causes Of Headaches
The best way to get rid of a headache quickly may depend on whats causing it and what type of headache it is. A primary headache is caused by overactivity or problems with the pain-sensitive structures in your head, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common types of primary headaches include migraine attacks and tension headaches.
A less common type of primary headache is a cluster headache, which comes on suddenly, almost always affects only one side of the head, and is accompanied by a runny nose and tearing eye on the same side of the head as the headache. The pain of a cluster headache is severe and lasts from 15 minutes to 3 hours, when untreated. For most people, cluster headaches occur in a series, or in clusters, lasting weeks or months, separated by remission periods of months or years.
A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that can trigger pain-sensitive nerves in the head. There are many conditions that can cause a secondary headache, from a sinus infection to a brain aneurysm to hangovers to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
While a hangover or a headache caused by a sinus infection or by COVID-19 may respond to the same pain-relieving treatments as a tension headache, a brain aneurysm, or other severe headaches associated with neurologic changes such as weakness or loss of consciousness, for example, are medical emergencies that you shouldnt attempt to treat on your own.
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Other Types Of Headaches
Doctors have diagnosed hundreds of conditions associated with headaches. Here are just a few:
Medication headaches. Many drugs number headaches among their side effects. And although it seems paradoxical, many medications used to treat headaches can also cause medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches. Migraine sufferers are particularly vulnerable to a vicious cycle of pain leading to more medication, which triggers more pain. If you have frequent headaches and use medication, OTC or prescription, or both, for more than 10 to 15 days a month, you may have medication overuse headaches. The way to find out is to discontinue or taper your medication but always consult your doctor first. A corticosteroid such as prednisone may help control pain during the withdrawal period.
Sinus headaches. Acute sinusitis causes pain over the forehead, around the nose and eyes, over the cheeks, or in the upper teeth. Stooping forward increases the pain. Thick nasal discharge, congestion, and fever pinpoint the problem to the sinuses. When the acute infection resolves, the pain disappears. Sinusitis is not a common cause of chronic or recurrent headaches.
Ice cream headaches. Some people develop sharp, sudden headache pain when they eat anything cold. The pain is over in less than a minute, even if you keep eating. If you are bothered by ice cream headaches, try eating slowly and warming the cold food at the front of your mouth before you swallow it.
What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine
If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:
Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.
You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.
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What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs :
- Co-enzyme Q10.
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.
How Are Migraines Treated
Migraine headaches are chronic. They cant be cured, but they can be managed and possibly improved. There are two main treatment approaches that use medications: abortive and preventive.
- Abortive medications are most effective when you use them at the first sign of a migraine. Take them while the pain is mild. By possibly stopping the headache process, abortive medications help stop or decrease your migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, light sensitivity, etc. Some abortive medications work by constricting your blood vessels, bringing them back to normal and relieving the throbbing pain.
- Preventive medications may be prescribed when your headaches are severe, occur more than four times a month and are significantly interfering with your normal activities. Preventive medications reduce the frequency and severity of the headaches. Medications are generally taken on a regular, daily basis to help prevent migraines.
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Does Food Really Trigger Migraines
Of course, the relationship between food and migraine isnât clear-cut, and unfortunately, no single factor can be directly tied to your attacks. That said, there’s scientific evidence that suggests migraines may be triggered by certain foods. Additionally, 27% of those who experience migraines believe that particular foods are personally triggering.
According to Dr. Sara Crystal, clinical neurologist and Cove Medical Director, certain foods and additives are more likely to trigger headaches in a higher percentage of migraineurs, but even among individuals, other factors like stress, hormonal changes, and lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of an attack after consuming a known trigger.
So, without further ado, hereâs a list of the most common food triggers for migraine sufferers, in no particular order.
Migraine Is An Extraordinarily Prevalent Neurological Disease Affecting 39 Million Men Women And Children In The Us And 1 Billion Worldwide
Everyone either knows someone who suffers from migraine, or struggles with migraine themselves.
- Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.
- Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine.
- Amazingly, 12% of the population including children suffers from migraine.
- 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines.
- Migraine is most common between the ages of 18 and 44.
- Migraine tends to run in families. About 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine.
Most people dont realize how serious and incapacitating migraine can be.
- Migraine is the 6th most disabling illness in the world.
- Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room complaining of head pain, and approximately 1.2 million visits are for acute migraine attacks.
- While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month.
- More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.
Migraine is much more than a bad headache.
For many sufferers, migraine is a chronic disease that significantly diminishes their quality of life.
Migraine affects kids, too.
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What Will This Summary Cover
This summary will cover:
- Medicines to treat severe migraines in the ER
- What researchers have found about how well the medicines work
- Possible side effects of the medicines
- Things to talk about with the ER doctor
Note: This summary does not cover what researchers found about treating migraines at home or ways to prevent migraines. It only covers what researchers found about treating migraines in the ER.
When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider
- You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
- You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
- Your headache comes on suddenly.
- You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.
Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:
- The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
- Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.
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