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How Do You Know You Have A Migraine

What Are The Stages Of A Migraine

Migraine : What you need to know

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.

Bipoc Communities And Migraine

The prevalence of migraine among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the United States has not been well studied.


Of course, the prevalence of a disease doesnt tell the whole story. A paper in the Journal of the National Medical Association looked into the experience of headache among Black Americans and found that compared with white people with headache, African American headache patients are more likely to be diagnosed with comorbid depressive disorders report headaches that are more frequent and severe in nature have their headaches underdiagnosed and/or undertreated and discontinue treatment prematurely, regardless of socioeconomic status.

  • Only 47 percent of Black individuals with headaches have an official headache diagnosis, compared with 70 percent of white individuals.
  • Latinos with headaches are 50 percent less likely to receive a migraine diagnosis than white individuals.
  • Only 14 percent of Black patients with headache receive prescriptions for acute migraine medications, compared with 37 percent of white patients with headache.

Dr. Kiarashi also noted that BIPOC communities were underrepresented in migraine and headache research, based on the sample of studies on headache and migraine that her team reviewed.

How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension

Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.

Migraine vs. bad tension-type headache

Aura before onset of headachex

Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.

Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.

There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.

You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.

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Sensitivity To Light And Noise

Moderate to severe sensitivities to light happen when overactive nerve cells in your brain cause inflammation to occur in your blood vessels, which produces the throbbing pain you feel. People who encounter migraines may have the urge to lay down in complete silence and darkness, as any light or noise seems to intensify the headache. This is another hallmark migraine symptom as approximately 80% of people with a migraine also report light and sound sensitivities.

The 4 Phases Of A Migraine Headache

How To Tell If You Have A Headache Or A Migraine

The migraine sign everyone knows is a severe headache, but there’s actually more to it than that. In fact, there are four distinct stages to a migraine that can begin up to a full day before you descend into the pits of an attack. You might not go through every migraine phase every time you have one, and you may never experience some at all. Still, keep an eye out for these signs.

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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.

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.

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Is It Normal To Have Migraines While Pregnant

Every mama-to-be experiences a different normal during pregnancy.

But headacheseven severe headaches, including migrainescan be quite common when youre pregnant.

Theyre particularly common in early pregnancy, but usually become less frequent as your pregnancy develops.

Interestingly, if youre someone who usually suffers from migraines, you may notice that you get less of them during pregnancy. And thats totally normal too.

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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

How Do You Know If You Have Cluster Headaches?
  • 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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& 5 Massage And Medical Providers

If you are unable to calm your headaches on your own, professional help can provide excellent natural remedies for headaches. Physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists all have specialized training and techniques for natural remedies for headaches. Addressing muscular deficits, spine alignment, and trigger points can make a dramatic difference in the frequency and intensity of headaches.

While headaches happen to almost everyone, they do not have to be a chronic part of life. Following these tips for natural remedies for headaches can help you get your life back instead of being kept down by your pain. As always, if headaches persist, it is recommended to get checked out by your primary care provider.

What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline

The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.

The phases are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

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    How Can Parents Tell If Their Children Are Having A Migraine Headache

    Unlike adults who can describe their symptoms most young children are limited in their ability to describe their headache given their developmental stage.

    Important clues that can alert parents that their child is having a migraine headache is where their child suddenly appears:

    • Unwell or pale
    • Bangs or holds his or her head
    • Complains of a stomach-ache and/or vomits
    • Stops play
    • Wants to go lay down to rest in a dark, quiet room
    • After a period of rest/sleep, they go back to their activity

    How To Know You’re Experiencing A Migraine

    SEE: Do you have a headache or 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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    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 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.

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    Symptoms That Help Diagnose Migraine

    How do you know when you have migraine? The following symptoms, which are typical will help you know that you have a migraine headache.

    • Occurrence of recurrent five or more headaches over a period
    • If you have migraine with aura, two such attacks are enough to confirm the diagnosis.
    • Symptoms of migraine aura are also described in the post on migraine symptoms.
    • The duration of a headache can be between four to seventy-two hours.
    • The migraine headache is usually unilateral, of throbbing nature, moderate to severe in intensity and is aggravated or triggered by physical activity. All these symptoms may not be present but presence of any two of these can lead to a fairly confirmed diagnosis.
    • Presence of vomiting and/or nausea or photophobia and phonophobia is a fairly good indicator.
    • Presence of risk factors

    If the migraine sufferer is associated with any risk factor that makes him prone, the doctor will immediately suspect this as the cause of the headache. Risk factors include family history, age, and gender.

    How To Tell You’re Having A Migraine

    Headache Treatments : How to Tell if You Have a Sinus Headache

    Migraines are severely disabling, with symptoms ranging from intense head pain to nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. If you suffer from migraines, it’s helpful to know some common warning signs, so you can prepare for or try to prevent one. Watch this video for signs that a migraine might be around the corner.

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    What Are Brain Tumors

    A brain tumor occurs when abnormal cells form in the brain. In a healthy brain, cells follow a normal cycle of aging, death, and replacement by new cells. With tumors, this process is interrupted.

    The tumor cells continue to grow without dying even though the body doesnt need them. As the tumor grows it takes up space within the skull and interferes with normal brain activity.

    Tumors can cause damage by:

    • Increasing pressure in the brain.
    • Shifting the brain and causing it to push against the skull.
    • Invading and damaging nearby healthy brain tissue and nerves.

    Brain tumors can be benign or malignant .

    Benign tumors are non cancerous. They are typically slow-growing and have clear borders which separate them from healthy brain tissue. Spreading is rare. Benign tumors may be found in areas of the brain which control vital life functions and may still require urgent treatment. Around 60% of brain tumors are benign.

    A malignant brain tumor is a cancerous tumor in the brain. Brain cancer is the same as a malignant brain tumor. These are often life-threatening tumors which grow rapidly and aggressively spread to surrounding areas in the brain and central nervous system. Less than 40% of brain tumors are found to be malignant.

    How Do You Know If You’re 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, it’s 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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    How Can You Tell The Difference

    It can be hard to tell the difference between a migraine with aura and a TIA. Here’s what to look for:

    • With a stroke, symptoms usually come on suddenly. With a migraine, they happen gradually the headache usually starts small and gets more painful.
    • A stroke is more likely to have what are called “negative” symptoms such as you might lose sight in one eye or lose feeling in one of your hands or feet. A migraine is more likely to have “positive” symptoms. That means added sensations, like flashes in your vision or tingling in your skin.
    • If you’re young, it’s more likely to be a migraine. If you’re older, it’s more likely to be a stroke, especially if you’ve never had a migraine before or you have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.

    What Is The Difference Between Headache And Migraine

    Do You Have A Headache Or A Migraine? Here

    Migraine is a type of primary headache disorder, as is tension-type headache. The cause of neither is fully understood, but both appear to involve heightened sensitivity to stimuli, whether pain, in the case of tension headache, or environmental changes, in the case of migraine.

    While head pain is a symptom of both migraine and tension headache, migraine attacks are often accompanied by nausea and are made worse with routine physical activity, while tension-type headache is not.

    In addition, headaches caused by migraine typically occur on one side of the head, while tension headaches typically affect both sides.

    And migraine tends to have a pulsating or throbbing quality, while the pain of a tension-type headache is described as pressing or tightening.

    Having one type of primary headache disorder doesnt rule out having another. In fact, many people have both migraine and tension-type headache.

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    Do Migraines During Pregnancy Affect Your Baby

    If youre nursing a painful head right now, heres some good news: the migraines that are causing you such a headache wont affect your baby. Theres no evidence at all to suggest that.

    Butand this is importantits possible that some migraine medications can affect your little one.

    Ergotamine, for example, has been associated with birth differences. Your doctor wont prescribe this to you for a migraine if youre expecting a baby.

    So, how to get rid of a migraine when pregnant? Here are some things you can try:

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    When To Call A Doctor About Your Migraines

    If you’re not getting satisfactory relief from over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes, or if you’re 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.”

    It’s 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.

    It’s 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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