What Is A Migraine Headache
Although the term “migraine” is often used to describe any severe headache, a migraine headache is the result of specific physiologic changes that occur within the brain, and lead to the characteristic pain and associated symptoms of a migraine.
Migraines usually are associated with sensitivity to sound, light, and smells. A migraine attack may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. This type of headache often involves only one side of the head, but in some cases, patients may have pain bilaterally or on both sides. The pain is often described as throbbing or pounding and it may be made worse with physical exertion.
Not all headaches represent migraines, and migraine is not the only condition that can cause severe and debilitating headaches. For example, cluster headaches are very severe headaches that affect one side of the head in a recurrent manner . The pain is sometimes described as “drilling,” and can be worse than migraine pain in some cases. Cluster headaches are less common than migraine.
Tension headaches are a more common cause of headache. These occur due to contraction of the muscles of the scalp, face, and neck.
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.
Supplement For The Brain
Migraines are a long time in the making.
Usually, it is just a big life trigger that puts our body over the edge and into regular migraines.
Some common straws that break the camels back are:
Illnesses and infections
Because it takes so long to build up to creating the migraine brain and we are often unaware until its too late, it can take more than just dietary and lifestyle changes to reverse the brains fragility.
This is where getting a high quality holistic healthcare practitioner like myself, NUCCA chiropractors, CHEK practitioners, naturopaths, functional medicine practitioners etc can make a world of difference.
But we can boost the brains functioning ourselves if we just know where to look.
This review suggests that magnesium should be tried in every migraine patient because as much as half of all migraine patients may be magnesium deficient.
This placebo controlled study of vitamin B2 riboflavin found that it significantly decreased frequency and duration of migraines.
This study found that:
The results from this study indicate that folate intake in the form of FA may influence migraine frequency in female MA sufferers.
This study found that pyridoxine supplementation:
Led to a significant decrease in headache severity and duration of migraine with aura attacks compared to placebo
So magnesium as well as vitamins B2, B6 and B9 have all been found to be effective in some studys and many including migraine with aura.
Don’t Miss: How To Get A Migraine
Try A Different Temperature
There are two tried-and-true methods that most of us turn to when facing an injury and its pain: hot or cold therapy. While it might seem odd to consider placing an iced or heated pack on your head, it can make all of the difference in just a few minutes.
As Stress Knots and the Mayo Clinic both recommend, simply choose which works best for your migraines. When you apply heat, your muscles will relax, and pain will lower. If you choose icy cold, you will numb the areas most in pain to all that they are feeling.
Try out one of these headache hat or other ice pack headbands â keep the included ice pack in the freezer so it’s cold when pain strikes. If heat works for you, try this moist heat headache wrap or eye mask.
Image via Shutterstock
Medications For Acute And Chronic Migraines
- Triptans , may be extremely effective in treating migraines and may be prescribed to help patients treat their migraines at home. A combination of naproxen and sumatriptan is now available. Additionally, sumatriptan is now available as a patch, which delivers the medication though the skin.
- Not every patient can take these medications, and there are specific limitations regarding how often these medications can be used.
Other migraine treatments
Also Check: Why Do Migraines Go Away After Vomiting
What Is The Relationship Between Magnesium And Migraines
Scientists have carried out much research on the relationship between magnesium and migraines. There is a consensus that migraine sufferers tend to have lower levels of magnesium compared to people who have never experienced a migraine.
According to one of the most recent studies on the topic, magnesium oxide appears to be just as effective at preventing migraine compared to valproate sodium. Whats more, it is associated with fewer adverse effects. Another study suggests that taking daily magnesium supplements could help to prevent migraines related to the menstrual cycle.
What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine
Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:
- Visual symptoms or vision loss.
- Sensory symptoms .
Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:
- The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
- Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.
Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
- Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.
Also Check: Headache Relieved By Vomiting
Need A Quick Migraine Cure Learn How To Stop Migraines Fast
Ferdie earned his BSN in 2016 from Lyceum of the Philippines University and is working as an RN in the emergency department of SPCDH.
A comprehensive guide to migraines and how to stop them.
A migraine can happen at any time. You’re sitting in your office, writing notes for the morning appointment, when you slowly start to see white, sharp lights flickering in your periphery. The left side of your face goes numb and then the same with your hands. Your head unexpectedly seems enlarged to three times its size. You realize that you’re on the verge of getting your next throbbing migraine headache. Several hours later, your meeting is going on without you, and you’re locked in the washroom, bracing yourself while experiencing a skull-crushing pain and dizziness. You feel helpless and can only see out of one eye. It starts to feel like your head is placed in a vice. The next morning, a co-worker takes a jab at you for missing work for a simple “headache.”
Headache? Hardly. Migraines are a disabling condition that cause problems for 24 million Americans and continue to be highly under-diagnosed. They are not like your normal stress or sinus headaches. Migraines can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days and, in a number of reported cases, can stretch out for monthsperhaps even years.
Do you suffer from migraines? Learn a quick cure. In this article, the following topics will be covered:
How To Get Rid Of A Headache Naturally
A lot of factors such as stress, food intolerances, lack of sleep can trigger headaches. Knowing and identifying which factor caused your headache or migraine can help you tackle it accordingly and get rid of it faster. While there are medications that work to relieve headaches, you can also try a few of these natural headache treatments at home. Below are a few ways that you can get rid of a headache naturally.
Read Also: Can Ocular Migraines Cause Numbness
How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Fast With The Chill Method
You aren’t at your best when a Migraine attack hits. The beginning of an attack brings exhaustion, difficulty thinking, and anxiety. It can be tempting to panic and give in to the fear – especially if you don’t have your abortive meds in reach.
Panicking will make only make it worse – I know from experience. Your breathing becomes more shallow when you’re stressed, kicking your nervous system into fight-or-flight mode and depriving your brain of the oxygen it needs.
You don’t have to remember how to get rid of a Migraine fast, just remember to CHILL.
Diagnosing Migraine Aura Without Pain
Migraine aura without pain can be hard to diagnose. It can be confused with stroke or seizures. Your doctor will have to rule out other, more common, health conditions before diagnosing you with migraine aura without pain. A migraine diary is an important tool in helping your doctor accurately diagnose silent migraine.1,,2
Recommended Reading: Am I Having A Migraine
Also Check: What Triggers Migraines With Aura
Who Should Take A Medicine To Prevent Migraine Attacks
There is no definite rule. For example, you may wish to consider this option if you have:
- More than two migraine attacks per month that cause significant disruption to your life.
- Less frequent, but severe, migraine attacks.
- The need to use a lot of painkillers or triptan medicines to treat migraine attacks.
- Painkillers or triptans for migraine attacks not working very well, or you are unable to take them because of side-effects or other problems.
Before embarking on preventative treatment, it is probably best to keep a migraine diary for a few months to assess:
- How often and how bad your migraine attacks are.
- Your current use of medication to treat the migraine attacks.
This may help you to decide if preventative treatment is worth a try, and also to help assess if you may have medication-induced headache. See the leaflet called Migraine trigger diary, including a migraine diary that you may like to print out and use.
Take Time For Yourself
Burst / Pexels
We all need time to ourselves. Set aside a period of time every day that is just for you. Whether you meditate, listen to a relaxation or meditation app, exercise a bit, or just sit quietly doing nothing, use this time to focus on you, how youre feeling, and what you need. This self-care will pay off, leaving you more relaxed and aware of yourself.
You May Like: Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Migraines
How Much Magnesium Should I Take To Prevent Migraine
According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraine sufferers should take between 400mg and 500mg of magnesium oxide every day to prevent symptoms from developing. It is worth noting, however, that supplement formulations may vary. Some natural remedies contain lower doses of magnesium in combination with other healthful ingredients designed to reduce inflammation and combat the long-term effects of migraine.
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.
Recommended Reading: Prefrontal Cortex Headache
Botulinum Toxin Injections To Prevent Migraine
In July 2010 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency licensed the use of botulinum toxin injections for the prevention of migraine. This decision was based on research studies that seemed to show it to be an effective treatment at reducing the number of migraine attacks .
Treatment consists of up to five courses of treatment with botulinum toxin injections every 12 weeks. The injections are given into muscles around the head and neck. It is not clear how this treatment may work for migraine. Botulinum toxin relaxes muscles but it may also have some sort of action to block pain signals. The theory is that these actions may have an effect of stopping a migraine headache from being triggered.
In 2012, guidelines were issued by NICE on this treatment. NICE recommends botulinum toxin type A as a possible treatment for preventing headaches in some adults with persistent migraine. The criteria set down by NICE for people who may be considered for this treatment are:
- If you have chronic migraine and
- You have already tried at least three different medicine treatments to prevent your chronic migraine headaches, but these have not worked and
- You are not taking too many painkillers or using them too often.
Also, treatment should be stopped if:
How to use the Yellow Card Scheme
If you think you have had a side-effect to one of your medicines you can report this on the Yellow Card Scheme. You can do this online at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
- The side-effect.
When Are Opioids Or Butalbital Useful For Migraines
Your doctor may suggest an opioid if none of the treatments listed above help, or if you have bad side effects.
It is not clear if butalbital should be used at all for treating migraines. If your doctor prescribes butalbital for your migraines, ask why. And ask if there are any other drugs that would work.
Don’t Miss: How Much Cream Of Tartar For Migraines
Remedies To Get Rid Of Headaches Naturally
Headaches are a common condition that many people deal with on a daily basis.
Ranging from uncomfortable to downright unbearable, they can disrupt your day-to-day life.
Several types of headaches exist, with tension headaches being the most common. Cluster headaches are painful and happen in groups or clusters, while migraines are a moderate-to-severe type of headache.
Although many medications are targeted at relieving headache symptoms, a number of effective, natural treatments also exist.
Here are 18 effective home remedies to naturally get rid of headaches.
How Are Migraines Treated In The Er
Many medicines are used to treat severe migraine headache pain in the ER, including those listed on the next page. The ER doctor may also give you other medicines for nausea and may treat you for dehydration .
Medicines for Pain Relief
Researchers found that the medicines listed below work to lessen or stop migraine pain. Nearly all of these medicines are given as a shot or through an intravenous tube in your arm. Some NSAIDs can also be taken by mouth.
|Neuroleptics and antiemetics are medicines that change the way certain chemicals act in your brain. Some of these medicines may also treat nausea and vomiting.|
|Sumatriptan||Sumatriptan is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels in your brain.Note: People with heart problems, such as narrowing or hardening of blood vessels in the heart, should not take this medicine.|
|NSAIDs||NSAIDs are medicines that relieve pain.|
|Opioids||Opioids are medicines that relieve pain. But, these medicines are rarely used for migraines because of possible side effects and the fact that other medicines work well to relieve migraine pain.Note: Taking opioids repeatedly to relieve pain can lead to overuse. Opioids can be addictive.|
|Dihydroergotamine||Dihydroergotamine is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels in your brain.|
Medicines To Stop the Migraine From Coming Back
The doctor may also give you a medicine to help stop the migraine from coming back within the next day or two.
How To Stop Migraine Pain
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
What Is Migraine Exactly
You may think of a migraine as a really bad headachebut the pain that accompanies it is far more severe. Migraine is actually a neurological disease. During an attack, groups of your brain cells become overactive, your blood vessels narrow, and blow flow to your brain shifts, which may contribute to the onset of symptoms, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. To be diagnosed, you have to experience the attacks repeatedly, which means having at least five excruciating headaches lasting 4 to 72 hours each per month, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Migraine has specific hallmarks to distinguish it from everyday headaches: The pain usually throbs, pounds, and/or pulses . This is usually accompanied by an upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting, which gets worse with physical activity. Migraine can also cause sensitivity to light, noise, and smells.
Migraine headaches can be brought on by triggers and these can vary wildlyanything from specific foods to stress to dehydration can spur an attack. However, not all migraine episodes have triggers, and if they do, you might not know what your individual triggers are. The headaches often feel dull and achy when they begin and gradually become more severe, eventually causing intense, throbbing pain. At their worst, migraine can make your whole head, face, jaw, and neck pulsate with pain.
You May Like: Migraine Cause Diarrhea