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How Do You If You Have A Migraine

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

What to do if you have migraine?

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.

Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided

Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.

Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.

There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.

Are There Different Types Of Migraine

There are different types of migraine. There is an international classification system for migraine which doctors use to diagnose and treat them.

The most common types of migraine fall into two categories:

Migraine with aura also covers some rare types of migraine such as hemiplegic migraine and migraine with brainstem aura.

Not everyone will have a typical migraine. Your experience of migraine will be unique to you.

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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.

What Is A Headache

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Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching. The pain can range from mild to severe, and they usually occur on both sides of your head. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common headache type is a tension headache. Triggers for this headache type include stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.

Tension headaches arent the only type of headache other headache types include:

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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.

Do Migraine Headaches Contribute To Sleep Disorders

Although there is little research on how migraine headaches cause sleep problems, scientists and health care professionals are investigating the potential links between the two.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis is the combination of processes by which the body stabilizes itself, including the balance between being asleep and awake . One theory is that a migraine may occur as the bodys way of regulating and adhering to the bodys natural circadian rhythms. For people who do not get enough sleep, a migraine may arise as the brains unforgiving way of telling the body to lie down and rest. On the other hand, a powerful migraine may jolt one out of rapid eye movement sleep that the brain feels has lasted for long enough.

The Central Nervous System

Medical experts have recently pointed to the central nervous system as involved in both the regulation of sleep schedules and the neurology behind migraine attacks. There appears to be a possibility that sleep problems and migraine are not two separate disorders but rather two symptoms or effects of the same biological malfunction.

Side Effects From Medication

Doctors often prescribe preventive medication for individuals who experience migraine, including blood pressure-lowering medications, antidepressants, and antiseizure drugs. Some of these medications particularly antidepressants may have side effects that include difficulty sleeping and fatigue.

Chronic Pain

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What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:

Eat regularly and do not skip meals.

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
  • Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.

When To Call A Doctor About Your Migraines

What to do if you have chronic migraines

If youre not getting satisfactory relief from over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes, or if youre taking over-the-counter medications more than 10 to 15 times per month, talk to your primary care physician about your headaches.

The evaluation of headaches usually starts with the primary care doctor, who assesses whether a patient has a common headache or something more serious, says Santiago Mazuera Mejia, MD, a neurologist at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Primary care doctors often continue to see people with infrequent migraines. However, if at some point, there is a need for more complex treatments, patients usually go to neurologists and headache specialists who have additional training in preventive and acute treatments as well as nonmedical treatments.

Its important to get evaluated by a doctor because taking over-the-counter medications too frequently can sometimes lead to serious side effects or actually make you get headaches more often.

Its helpful to keep a diary if you experience migraines because you may discover your triggers, which can inform which type of treatment is best for you. Write down what time your migraines occur, how long they last, how you slept the night before, what you ate/drank that day and when, how you felt emotionally that day, etc. Then bring that information to your doctor.

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Treatment For Migraine Headaches

Find out what your triggers are and avoid them. Keep a headache diary so you can track things like what you’ve eaten and had to drink, how much you’ve slept, activities you’ve taken part in, weather, and other factors. After you’ve had a few migraine headaches, you can see what things they have in common.

You may be able to catch a migraine on the front-end. Abortive medications, which you take as soon as you feel one coming on, can often stop the process. Drugstores carry over-the-counter ibuprofen medications specifically for migraine headaches. If they aren’t enough to help, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications.

If you don’t respond to other treatments and you have more than 4 migraine headache days a month, your doctor may suggest preventive medicines. You can take these regularly to reduce the severity or frequency of the headaches. These include seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines , and some antidepressants.

It’s also possible you will be prescribed use of external medical devices for relief. They include a hand-held called gammaCore which is a noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator . I, it can be placed on the vagus nerve in the neck to interrupt verve signals for migraine relief. Another device called a SpringTMS can be used for treatment or prevention or migraines. It is placed on the back of the head and gives off a pulse of magnetic energy into part of the brain to stop or ease

Visual Disturbances And Nausea

Around 25% of people who experience a migraine will also experience an aura. A migraine aura is a non-permanent neurological syndrome that can range in appearance from flashes of light, zig-zags or blurred and blind spots in your vision. For many, a migraine aura is the first warning sign of the onset of the migraine and strikes within an hour before it occurs. Typically, a migraine aura begins in the center of your field of vision and expands outward.

Nausea is another common sign that you are experiencing a migraine. The reason why nausea and migraines are correlated is not yet clear.

If you are experiencing a migraine aura for the first time, it is important to see your doctor as these symptoms can also be the sign of a more serious condition, such as a stroke.

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How To Know Youre Experiencing A Migraine

Migraines are recurrent episodes that usually manifest with headaches, and they can be accompanied by other symptoms as well. The experience is often so distressing and similar to other neurological illnesses that it is not safe to assume that you are having a migraine before other serious conditions are ruled out.

Migraine diagnosis can take timewhile your medical history is the key to diagnosis, medical tests may confirm whether your recurrent episodes are actually migraines.

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Tension Headache Vs Migraine

What To Do When You Have A Migraine: Guide You Pass ...

Tension headaches, which are brought on by emotional, mental or physical stress, are more common than migraines.

People who have tension headaches often complain of a band of pain across their forehead, or pressure on either side of the head. The pain is tiring, but not as severe as migraine.

Migraine, on the other hand, usually hurts worse on one side of the head. And, you may experience light sensitivity, aura, or bright lines or dots in your field of vision.

Tension headaches may resolve on their own once the source of stress is gone. In these cases, over-the-counter pain medications and lifestyle adjustments may help.

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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:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • 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.

    How Do You Know If Youre Having A Migraine Or A Headache

    Blog post | 11 Mar 2019

    Headaches are, unfortunately, a part of life. They can be triggered by many things, from hot dogs and ice cream to swimming goggles. Nine out of 10 people have had a headache.

    While they are are less common, its estimated that almost 5 million Australians experience migraines. Due to hormonal factors, migraines are believed to affect more women than men, and migraines typically run in families.

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    To Determine Whether Head Pain Is A Migraine Physicians Follow These Guidelines And Criteria

    Your head is pounding, your stomach is churning, and every whisper sounds like a shout. You think you might suffer from migraines, but the idea of talking with a doctor somehow feels intimidating. How will your physician be able to determine whether your head pain is migraine-related? Heres a quick overview of what to expect when visiting a primary care doctor or neurologist.

    What Is The Treatment

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    Migraine is complex and there are different treatments available. The right treatment for you will depend on the type of migraine, your symptoms, how often you have attacks and how bad they are. It will also depend on your medical history.

    Migraine treatment usually includes acute treatment such as painkillers and anti-sickness medication to stop or shorten an attack. If you are having more than four attacks a month you can ask your GP about preventive treatment. This is usually taken every day to reduce how often you have attacks and how bad they are.

    Reviewing any lifestyle factors or triggers that may contribute to the attacks, such as stress, change in routine and sleep patterns, can help. There is currently no cure for migraine.

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    Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause

    If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle, may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.

    But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens. , which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.

    What Is A ‘migraine With Aura’

    There are 2 types of migraine: migraine with aura, and without aura.

    It might sound a bit paranormal, but migraine with aura is very real. Some people see flashing lights or a change in their vision some having trouble speaking, and some feel ‘pins and needles’ in their arms and legs. This can happen before or during a migraine attack.

    Even if you get auras, you may not experience one with every migraine. The aura itself usually lasts less than an hour. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why it happens.

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    Migraine And Sleep Problems: What You Need To Know

    People living with migraine commonly have difficulty sleeping. Disrupted sleep habits, decreased sleep quality, and sleep disorders can leave a person feeling exhausted. In fact, a study of 226 people with migraine found that almost 60 percent experience fatigue from the condition. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure better, more restful sleep.

    Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

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    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.
    • Smoking.

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    Cluster Headache Vs Migraine

    Just like migraines, cluster headaches affect one side of the head and are incredibly painful.

    But unlike migraines, cluster headaches come on suddenly with a piercing pain that feels like someone stabbed you in the eye or temple with a knitting needle. Cluster headaches can also result in a stuffy nose and teary eyes.

    Migraine pain usually starts with some type of signal, such as a flashing light in your visual field or a light aura. While cluster headaches can resolve quickly , migraines can last for days.

    What Commonly Triggers A Migraine

    People who get migraines may be able to identify triggers that seem to kick off the symptoms. Some possible triggers include the following:

    • Stress and other emotions
    • Biological and environmental conditions, such as hormonal shifts or exposure to light or smells
    • Fatigue and changes in one’s sleep pattern
    • Glaring or flickering lights

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