What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain
For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:
- an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.
If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.
Can I Prevent Chronic Migraines
Taking care of yourself every day may prevent your migraines from turning into a long-term problem. For instance:
Catch some ZZZs. Not getting enough sleep can trigger a migraine. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of rest each night.
Watch your diet. While caffeine can soothe your pain, stopping it suddenly is a common cause of migraine. Other common food triggers include MSG , nitrates in cured meats like hot dogs, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol.
Manage your stress. Tension and worry are common triggers. Try to carve out a few minutes each day to do something you love, or learn to breathe deeply when youâre in the midst of a crisis. You might join a support group or talk to a counselor.
Have a meal plan. Fasting and skipping meals can trigger headaches. Try to eat around the same times each day.
Get moving. Exercise is a good way to ease your anxiety and stress. It can also help you get to, and stay at, a healthy weight. Since obesity raises your risk of chronic migraines, getting in shape is crucial.
Know your triggers. Not all migraines result from triggers. But if yours do, that set of triggers is unique to you. To learn what yours are, keep a headache diary. Each time you have an attack, write down details about what you were doing, how long the headache lasted, and how you felt before it started. This will help you begin to notice patterns — and avoid your triggers.
Migraine Research Foundation: âMigraine Facts,â âThe Impact of Hormones.â
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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Migraine In Other Inherited Disorders
Migraine occurs with increased frequency in patients with mitochondrial disorders, such as MELAS . CADASIL is a genetic disorder that causes migraine with aura, strokes before the age of 60, progressive cognitive dysfunction, and behavioral changes.
CADASIL is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, and most patients with the disorder have an affected parent. Approximately 90% of cases result from mutations of the < INOTCH3< I> gene, located on chromosome 19. Patients with CADASIL have significant morbidity from their ailment, and life expectancy is approximately 68 years.
Migraine is also a common symptom in other genetic vasculopathies, including 2 autosomal dominant disorders: RVCL , which is caused by mutations in the TREX1 gene, and HIHRATL , which is suggested to be caused by mutations in the COL4A1 gene. The mechanisms by which these genetic vasculopathies give rise to migraine are still unclear.
Treating Nausea And Preventing Vomiting
If you have nausea without vomiting, your doctor may suggest medication to ease nausea called anti-nausea or antiemetic drugs. In this case, the antiemetic can help prevent vomiting and improve the nausea.
Acupressure may also be helpful in treating migraine nausea. A showed that acupressure reduced the intensity of migraine-associated nausea starting as soon as 30 minutes, gaining improvement over 4 hours.
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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 Is A Headache
Headache is defined as pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. The pain originates from the tissues and structures that surround the skull or the brain because the brain itself has no nerves that give rise to the sensation of pain . The thin layer of tissue that surrounds bones, muscles that encase the skull, sinuses, eyes, and ears, as well as thin tissues that cover the surface of the brain and spinal cord , arteries, veins, and nerves, all can become inflamed or irritated and cause a headache. The pain may be a dull ache, sharp, throbbing, constant, intermittent, mild, or intense.
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Can Migraines Be Prevented
You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.
Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.
The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches are headaches that come in groups separated by pain-free periods of months or years. A patient may experience a headache on a daily basis for weeks or months and then be pain-free for years. This type of headache affects men more frequently. They often begin in adolescence but can extend into middle age.
- During the period in which the cluster headaches occur, pain typically occurs once or twice daily, but some patients may experience pain more than twice daily.
- Each episode of pain lasts from 30 to 90 minutes.
- Attacks tend to occur at about the same time every day and often awaken the patient at night from a sound sleep.
- The pain typically is excruciating and located around or behind one eye.
- Some patients describe the pain as feeling like a hot poker in the eye. The affected eye may become red, inflamed, and watery.
- The nose on the affected side may become congested and runny.
Unlike people with migraine headaches, those with cluster headaches tend to be restless. They often pace the floor and/or bang their heads against a wall. People with cluster headaches can be driven to desperate measures, including suicidal thoughts.
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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.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache
Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions:
In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have:
If you answer yes to two or three of these questions, then most likely you have migraine with sinus symptoms. A true sinus headache is rare and usually occurs due to sinus infection. In a sinus infection, you would also likely have a fever and thick nasal secretions that are yellow, green, or blood-tinged. A sinus headache should go away with treatment of the sinus infection.
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The American Migraine Foundations Guide To Triggers & How To Manage Them
The sudden onset of a migraine means a dark room, bed and a cool towel for most of us. While these seem to come out of nowhere, many will find that there are usually some signs that a migraine attack is on its way. These signs can reveal a pattern in your symptoms, and even provide you with preventative tools for managing migraine. Everyone has different triggers, but there are a few common culprits that affect a large number of people living with migraine. When you can identify your triggers, you are one step closer to effectively managing your migraine and avoiding future attacks.
What Causes Migraine And Chronic Migraine
Anyone who has experienced a migraine knows theyre painful. These intense headaches can cause:
- sensitivity to light
- changes in vision
If you experience sporadic migraines, the headache and symptoms may last only a day or two. If you suffer from chronic migraines symptoms may occur 15 days or more each month.
Migraine headaches are a bit of a mystery. Researchers have identified possible causes, but they dont have a definitive explanation. Potential theories include:
- An underlying central nervous disorder may set off a migraine episode when triggered.
- Irregularities in the brains blood vessel system, or vascular system, may cause migraines.
- A genetic predisposition may cause migraines
- Abnormalities of brain chemicals and nerve pathways may cause migraine episodes.
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How Are Headaches Classified
In 2013, the International Headache Society released its latest classification system for headache. Because so many people suffer from headaches, and because treatment is difficult sometimes, the Headache Society hoped that the new classification system would help health care professionals make a more specific diagnosis as to the type of headache a patient has, and allow better and more effective options for treatment.
The guidelines are extensive, and the Headache Society recommends that health care professionals consult the guidelines frequently to make certain of the diagnosis.
There are three major categories of headache based upon the source of the pain.
The guidelines also note that a patient may have symptoms that are consistent with more than one type of headache, and that more than one type of headache may be present at the same time.
What Are Primary Headaches
Primary headaches include migraine, tension, and cluster headaches, as well as a variety of other less common types of headaches.
- Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache. Tension headaches occur more commonly among women than men. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 20 people in the developed world suffer with a daily tension headache.
- Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. Migraine headaches affect children as well as adults. Before puberty, boys and girls are affected equally by migraine headaches, but after puberty, more women than men are affected.
- Cluster headaches are a rare type of primary headache. It more commonly affects men in their late 20s, though women and children can also suffer from this type of headache.
Primary headaches can affect the quality of life. Some people have occasional headaches that resolve quickly while others are debilitating. While these headaches are not life-threatening, they may be associated with symptoms that can mimic strokes.
Many patients equate severe headache with migraine, but the amount of pain does not determine the diagnosis of migraine. Read our Migraine Headache article for more information about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of migraines.
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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.
Common Causes Of Migraine Headaches
Comments: 1 | August 11th, 2021
In the United States, migraines affect 39 million men, women and children.
Migraines affect 1 billion people worldwide.
- Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.
- Migraine affects about 28 million women in the U.S.
- 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women.
- 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.
- Migraine is the 6th most disabling illness in the world.
- More than 4 million adults experience 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.
Not another migraine!
Oh no, you feel another migraine coming on and theres nothing you can do to stop it. Its time to lie down in a dark room, cover your eyes and wait it out. You miss a couple of days of work, cant take your kids to their soccer game and or go to your friends birthday party. You desperately want these to go away and never come back.
Migraines can be debilitating and they stop your life in its tracks. As you can see from the statistics, migraines are a big problem. You need to know about some very common causes of migraine headaches so that you can prevent and end them once and for all.
What is a Migraine?
Identify the Underlying Cause of Your Migraine
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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:
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
Aura Phase: Strange Feelings Start
About 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 people with migraines get an “aura” that begins before the headache or starts along with it. It may not happen with every headache, though.
An aura can include:
Changes in vision, such as:
- A flickering, jagged arc of light. It may have a complicated shape. It usually appears on the left or right side of your vision. Over a few minutes, it may get bigger.
- A blind spot in your field of vision. This problem — combined with the flickering lights — can make it hard to drive or focus your eyes on small objects.
- You might “see” images from the past or have hallucinations.
These symptoms may continue to get worse over the next several minutes.
Skin sensations. You might feel tingling or “pins and needles” in your body during an aura. It may also cause numbness. These feelings often affect the face and hands, but they can spread out across the body. They may continue to expand over the next several minutes.
Language problems. You may have a hard time communicating with others. Symptoms may include:
- Trouble expressing thoughts when you speak or write
- Trouble understanding spoken or written words
- Trouble concentrating
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What Foods Help Relieve Migraine Pain
Although caffeine is sometimes a migraine trigger, it may help some individuals combat their migraine symptoms. In certain instances, drinking a caffeinated beverage during a migraine attack may help a person alleviate his or her migraine pain.
Also, research indicates bland foods may help relieve migraine pain. These foods include pears, saltine crackers and white bread.
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.
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