What Is A Migraine
A migraine is a type of primary headache disorder that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. People with migraine may experience recurring symptoms that doctors call episodes or attacks.
Headaches are only one symptom of migraines, and they can range in severity. Migraine can cause intense, throbbing headaches that last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
A migraine headache usually affects one side of the head, but some people experience pain on both sides.
A migraine episode can occur in four distinct phases, though not everyone experiences every phase.
Doctors also call the premonitory phase the preheadache or prodrome phase. It includes nonpainful symptoms that occur hours or days before the headache arrives.
Premonitory phase symptoms can include:
- unexplainable mood changes
- sensitivity to light, sound, or smells
Auras refer to sensory disturbances that occur before or during a migraine attack. Auras can affect a persons vision, touch, or speech.
Visual auras can cause the following symptoms in one or both eyes:
- flashing lights
- blurred vision
- blind spots that expand over time
Sensory auras cause numbness or tingling that starts in the arm and radiates to the face.
Motor auras affect a persons ability to communicate and think clearly. Motor auras include:
- slurred or jumbled speech
- difficulty understanding what others say
- difficulty writing words or sentences
- having trouble thinking clearly
How Is Abdominal Migraine Treated
Once a child is diagnosed with abdominal migraine, treatment generally falls into two categories: relieving symptoms during an episode and preventing future episodes.
While there are few studies on the treatment and management of abdominal migraine, doctors may prescribe the following medications, based on their usefulness in treating migraines:
- NSAIDs or acetaminophen to relieve the pain.
- Triptans. This family of drugs is commonly used to treat migraine headaches and, if taken as soon as a migraine starts, can prevent symptoms from progressing.
- Anti-nausea medication. Anti-nausea drugs act by blocking chemicals in the brain that trigger vomiting.
Some studies have shown evidence to support the use of the following medications in preventing abdominal migraine:
- Pizotifen, a benzocycloheptene-based drug.
It’s As If There’s A Glass Shattered In Front Of Me And I Can’t See Cory 26
I remember having my first migraine when I was in fifth grade, but then didn’t have one again until I was around 22. Since migraines run in my family, and I come from a family of doctors, I was able to sort of self-diagnose. I went to a neurologist, who classified it as a classic migraine.
The first symptom is a disturbing aura that takes over my vision. It’s as if there’s a glass shattered in front of me and I can’t see. My vision literally disappears or I see a psychedelic pattern. That lasts for about 20 minutes. Then, the headache comes on one side of my forehead. Its literally the worst pain you can imagine I have a really high pain tolerance. Anywhere from 4 to 5 hours later I will get really nauseous and then vomit. After I puke, I usually feel better, and almost deliriously happy that it’s over.
I got three in one day when I was on vacation in Hawaii. That was horrible because I didn’t have my medication with me. I was in so much pain, just weeping in the hotel room like a baby and barfing my brains outor trying to, at least. And I couldn’t look at the sunset or scenery because it looked like my aura.
You May Like: Indica Or Sativa For Headaches
Migraine: Not Just A Bad Headache
It may start with tightness in your neck, followed by flashes of light in your vision and a feeling of pins and needles in one of your legs. Finally, the pain starts. Extreme, stomach-churning pain in one side of your head that lasts for a full 24 hours before it finally subsides, leaving you drained and sensitive to light and sound. This is just one illustration of what the disabling neurological condition known as a migraine might feel like to any of the 1 billion migraine sufferers worldwide.
Its more common than asthma and diabetes combined, said Kathleen B. Digre, MD, the chief of the Division of Headache and Neuro-Ophthalmology for University of Utah Health. Its a disease that can affect people across their lifespan. Babies can have migraines. Children can get carsick and have episodic vomiting
What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.
Also Check: Can Antidepressants Cause Migraines
What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers
Some risk factors make you more likely to get migraine headaches. Other things may trigger a migraine.
Common migraine risk factors include the following:
- Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
- Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
- Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.
Common migraine triggers include the following:
- Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
- Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
- Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work. But you can also become stressed by exercising too much or not getting enough sleep.
- Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
- Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
- Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.
Foods that may trigger migraines:
- Aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
- Aged cheese
- Soy sauce
Neck Pain With Migraine
If your neck pain is due to your migraines, you might begin to notice a pattern, especially in terms of the timing of your symptoms.
Most often , neck pain thats part of a migraine begins at the same time as other migraine symptoms . But the neck pain can begin a few days before your other migraine symptoms, or it may last after your other migraine symptoms have resolved.
Features of migraine-associated neck pain include:
- If your neck pain is associated with your migraines, it might only come on when you have your migraines. However, you may also have frequent or constant neck pain, and it can worsen when you have your migraines.
- Migraine associated neck pain typically feels like an aching muscle soreness and tenderness at the base of the neck and upper shoulders.
- While migraines tend to cause pain on one side of the head, the associated neck pain can affect one side, or it can involve both sides.
- The pain might be worsened with certain positions, but it is unlikely to completely resolve in response to any change in your body position.
Neck pain in migraine is often dull and achyit is not normally associated with severe, sharp pain. Neck pain that is associated with migraine should not involve weakness, numbness, tingling, or other sensory changes.
This type of migraine pain is considered to be associated with the migraine pain process, and it shouldnt cause neurological abnormalities.
You May Like: Can You Take Ibuprofen And Sumatriptan
Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like
A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.
What Causes Abdominal Migraine
The cause of abdominal migraine is unknown. We dont know the exact connection between an abdominal migraine and a classic migraine, but we do know theres a connection between the gut and the brain, says Deena Kuruvilla, MD, a neurologist and specialist in facial and headache pain at Yale Medicine. Many of the drugs we use to treat depression, for example, are effective in treating an abdominal migraine.
Don’t Miss: Advil Migraine Pills
I Get Migraines Right Before My Period Could They Be Related To My Menstrual Cycle
More than half of migraines in women occur right before, during, or after a woman has her period. This often is called “menstrual migraine.” But, just a small fraction of women who have migraine around their period only have migraine at this time. Most have migraine headaches at other times of the month as well.
How the menstrual cycle and migraine are linked is still unclear. We know that just before the cycle begins, levels of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. This drop in hormones may trigger a migraine, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect a woman’s pain sensation.
Talk with your doctor if you think you have menstrual migraine. You may find that medicines, making lifestyle changes, and home treatment methods can prevent or reduce the pain.
The Pain Of Living With Migraine Can Be Compounded By Misunderstanding From Our Friends Family And Colleagues
Migraine is the third most prevalent and sixth most disabling medical illness in the world in the U.S. alone, over 37 million men, women and children live with the burden of unpredictable episodes, and the stress of not knowing when a crippling migraine attack will hit. Yet despite the severity and pervasiveness of migraine, this invisible disease is widely misunderstood.
Misconceptions about migraine dont just contribute to the shortage of medical professionals focused on migraine, but also have a real, human cost. People living with migraine may experience a lack of support offered by loved ones who dont understand when they have to cancel plans or a lack of empathy from employers and colleagues when frequent migraine attacks prevent them from excelling at work. Here are some common misconceptions that people living with migraine face.
Also Check: Does Excedrin Contain Ibuprofen
The Link Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Migraine
Paula: A lot of people with Migraine will report that they also deal with IBS. Is that truly IBS or is that just a form of Migraine?
Dr. Starling: Irritable bowel syndrome is something that is comorbid with patients that have Migraine, meaning a lot of individuals with Migraine will also have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In irritable bowel syndrome, individuals will have alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
It’s definitely possible that someone who has irritable bowel syndrome with those alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation may be more prone to some of the GI symptoms, or gastrointestinal symptoms, in Migraine, but I do think that they’re recognized as two separate disorders. I could imagine, though, that individuals that have irritable bowel syndrome are more susceptible to having those symptoms when they have a migraine attack.
Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors
Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:
- Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
- Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
- Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
Migraine Is Much More Than Just A Headache
There are different types of migraine that involve different symptoms. There are many features or symptoms that are a part of migraine. There are also differences in how severe a symptom might be.
The most common symptoms of a migraine attack include:
- throbbing headache
- sensitivity to light, noise and smell
What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine
The main symptoms of migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding headache often affecting the front or one side of the head, nausea and sometimes vomiting , and an increased sensitivity to light smells and sound. The throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving.
Other symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or cold, perspiration , and an increased need to pass urine. This can occur before, during or after the migraine attack.
People might also experience stomach aches and diarrhoea.
It is common for people to feel tired for up to two or three days after a migraine.
Recommended Reading: Mayo Clinic Headache
Recovery Or Postdrome Stage
This is the final stage of an attack, and it can take hours or days for a drained, fatigued or hangover type feeling to disappear. Symptoms can be similar to those of the first stage . Often, they mirror these symptoms. For example, if you lost your appetite at the beginning of the attack, you might be very hungry now. If you were tired, you might feel full of energy.
Being aware of the different stages of the migraine attack can be helpful. It can help you prepare for an attack, get a diagnosis and decide when to take acute treatment, such as painkillers or adapt your activities.
It is useful to have a rescue treatment plan for when attacks occur. This may include painkillers such as a triptan, a NSAID or paracetamol. It often also includes anti-sickness medication.
For other people, being aware of the stages and symptoms of a migraine attack can help their understanding. It may also help with the frustration and lack of understanding people often face around migraine, especially at work and in education.
Out Of 10 People Experience A Stomach Ache With Migraine Attacks
Not just a headache” has become a rallying cry for the millions of us living with Migraine. Even though Migraine creeps into almost all areas of our bodies and our lives, the general public still thinks of it as a “headache,” which is ironic when nausea and vomiting are among the most common symptoms.
Dr. Amaal Starling, headache specialist and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic, is just one of many valuable people in the Migraine community working hard to educate doctors, patients, and the public. Her education, clinical expertise, and personal experience provide her with a valuable perspective on Migraine disease.
We sat down with Dr. Starling to find out why so many of us experience a stomach ache with Migraine attacks.
You May Like: Tylenol Dizziness
The Top Of My Skull Feels Like It’s Being Pressed Down On Fernando 32
I can feel the pounding in my temples, or in my eyes, depending on where the migraine is. If it’s a migraine on one side, that eye gets very watery and my temple throbs, and the top of my skull feels like it’s being pressed down on. I definitely have to avoid looking directly at light. Thankfully, I do not feel nauseous.
With one particularly bad migraine, I could not get up from bed because every time I was upright, seated or standing, the pain in the left side of my head. I had to stay in bed lying on the side that did not hurt, while manually massaging my left temple until it had subsided slightly.
What Are Some Ways I Can Prevent Migraine
The best way to prevent migraine is to find out what triggers your attacks and avoid or limit these triggers. Since migraine headaches are more common during times of stress, finding healthy ways to cut down on and cope with stress might help. Talk with your doctor about starting a fitness program or taking a class to learn relaxation skills.
Talk with your doctor if you need to take your pain-relief medicine more than twice a week. Doing so can lead to rebound headaches. If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to help prevent migraine, take them exactly as prescribed. Ask what you should do if you miss a dose and how long you should take the medicine. Talk with your doctor if the amount of medicine you are prescribed is not helping your headaches.
Recommended Reading: Diarrhea With Migraine
What Are The Stages Of A Migraine
The Migraine Research Foundation says that migraine is a neurological disease that affects 39 million people in the U.S. Migraines, which often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood, can progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack and post-drome. Not everyone who has migraines goes through all stages.
Community Experiences Of Migraine And Weakness
Migraine.com advocates write about their experiences with migraine and the associated symptoms, including weakness. Some describe feeling weakness during the postdrome phase while others explore the symptoms of hemiplegic migraine and share a video of what it’s like for someone to have a hemiplegic migraine attack.
Read Also: Aspirin Or Tylenol For Headache