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What Can Er Do For Migraine

What Role Do Hormones Play In Migraine

The Migraine Guy – The ONE Thing You Should Do If You Go To The Emergency Room

Before age 10, boys and girls are equally affected by migraine. After puberty, however, the rate of migraine increases dramatically in girls. By the age of 17, migraine affects eight percent of boys and 23 percent of girls. We can thank the relationship between estrogen and migraine.

Migraine attacks are often triggered by the drop in estrogen that occurs before menstruation, and sometimes during ovulation. The condition usually improves during pregnancy, when estrogen levels rise. After delivery, however, estrogen levels plummetand migraine attacks resume.

For many women, migraine attacks worsenor happen for the first timeduring the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause. They might diminish after menopause, but that transition can take years.

During that time, women can feel much worse, says Lay. So they really need to be actively seeking out treatment that works and not just waiting it out until menopause.

Dont Forget To Schedule A Follow

If you do end up in the emergency room because of a migraine attack, be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with the provider that normally cares for your migraine. If you currently arent seeing a headache specialist,;search for one here. That way your medical records will be up to date and any changes to your medication schedule can be enacted. You will also be able to go over the details of your visit and relay any new information you received from the emergency room doctor.

Preparation is the key when it comes to living with migraines. By following the steps outlined here, our hope is that you receive compassionate, prompt, effective help should you ever find yourself in the emergency room for your migraine. For more information on whether your migraine symptoms warrant a trip to the emergency room, check out this piece from the American Migraine Foundation resource library. If you have questions and would like to speak to us directly, contact us here.

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Acute Exacerbations And Emergency Department Presentation

Migraine causes acute headaches, which typically last 4 hours to 3 days if untreated and which frequently require bed rest, pain medications, and time off from work and other activities. Although most patients with migraine function normally between attacks, for many, migraine is a pervasive disorder that interferes with work, family, and social life.1 Most individuals with migraine are able to treat their attacks at home, but this treatment is not always successful. Furthermore, when the initial oral acute treatment fails, subsequent attempts are likely to fail as well. Of Americans with migraine, 7 percent reported using an ED or urgent care center for treatment of severe headache within the previous 12 months.8 In a representative sample of adult ED visits in the United States, headaches accounted for 2.2 percent of visits or 2.1 million ED visits per year.9 In fact, a 5-month study in an American health maintenance organization found that migraine sufferers accounted for more ambulatory ED visits than patients with asthma .10 In addition, migraine sufferers were more often found to have multiple ED visits.11

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Signs Of Another Serious Condition

Are other circumstances or conditions causing my head pain?

Occasionally, an episode might seem like a migraine attack but may actually be related to another condition or triggering event. Some examples include:

Physical Injury or TraumaIf you have recently experienced trauma to the headregardless of severityit is possible you may have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury ; this could very well cause of any associated head pain. Even injuries that seem mild at the time may still have long-term consequences for the brain. If you have experienced any type of vehicle accident or fall, it is always best to have a doctor check for non-visible injuries, particularly any involving your head. Certainly, if any of your symptoms are extreme or persist, then you should consider going to the emergency department.

StrokeMigraine and stroke can share similar symptomssuch as headache, numbness on one side of the body, dizziness, and loss of visionwhich may make it difficult to distinguish between them. Specific migraine subtypes have also been linked to higher rates of stroke, further blurring the line these two conditions. In cases where stroke-like symptoms present themselves, especially if they are new or severe, it is always best to exercise extreme caution and call the emergency department.

What Happens When You Go To The Emergency Room For A Migraine

Wondering why your head hurts and what you can do about it ...

The most important question to consider before you head to the E.R. is also the most obvious: How will they treat your migraine when you get there? After all, thereâs no point in traveling there if theyâre just going to give you the same medication you have at home.

Luckily, emergency room staff are unlikely to just hand you a painkiller and send you on your way. Because your digestive system slows down during a migraine, medical workers wonât give you a pill or tablet at the E.R. Instead, theyâll infuse an acute treatment via IV, which works a lot faster. Theyâll also use an IV to keep you hydrated.

After visiting the E.R. for a migraine, you should contact your primary care doctor to go over what happened. Youâll want to identify any triggers that mightâve led to a more severe attack, and consider making changes to your treatment plan if you need to.

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What Are The Warning Signs

When you are suffering from a migraine, you are fully aware of the fact. The pain and inflammation in the head and face manifests itself as a severe and debilitating headache. However, the warning signs for the complex complicated migraine are numerous. These signs can present themselves as early as hours or even days before the onset of the ailment. The following symptoms are classified as part of the pre-headache phase:

  • Stiffness in the neck and shoulder area
  • Mood disturbances such as crankiness or jumpiness
  • Onsets of food cravings
  • Excessive yawning or fatigue
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or the feeling of needing to urinate more frequently

However, symptoms can also be warnings for other ailments in the body. Because of this, it may only become clear to you after experiencing it a number of times as to whether or not this pre-headache phase applies to you, and how. A good idea is to keep a headache diary to keep track of everything that happens when you experience a migraine before, during, and after. This is also helpful when it comes to treatment, as it may be able to help your health care practitioner to better diagnose and treat you.

When A Migraine Is An Emergency

There are several types of migraine emergency, all of which can be overwhelming. A migraine emergency usually feels different from a regular migraine, and your symptoms may feel unfamiliar and confusing. Migraine emergencies include:

Overall, it is not a good idea to ignore unusual migraine symptoms. While there is a strong chance that you may not be experiencing a serious medical event, it is best to have a professional medical evaluation.

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Where Do Migraines Hurt

A migraine is usually an intense pounding headache that can last for hours or even days. The pounding or pulsing pain usually begins in the forehead, the side of the head, or around the eyes. The headache gradually gets worse. Just about any movement, activity, bright light, or loud noise seems to make it hurt more.

The Road To Migraine Freedom

Do you have a Migraine or a Neck Headache- we discussed how upper cervical and neck can cause both

No two people experience migraineor respond to therapythe same way. A pill that helps one person may do nothing for another, and preventative treatment can take months to work.

You may have to try several medications to find one that works for you.

Managing migraine takes time and patience.

I am at the beginning of that journey. Ive adjusted my lifestyle, I take supplements, I keep a migraine journal, and I have a prescription on hand. Now that I recognize the early symptoms of a migraine attack, I know when to avoid triggers, get extra rest, and take my medication. If Im lucky, I can nip it in the bud.

For me, understanding my condition is half the battle. Im not constantly wondering what is wrong with me, or whether its all in my mind. When an attack comes on, I can explain why Im not myself. I dont feel as guilty about taking it easy or asking for support. And most importantly, I know Im not alone.

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What Happens To Your Brain During A Migraine

But during a migraine, these stimuli feel like an all-out assault. The result: The brain produces an outsize reaction to the trigger, its electrical system firing on all cylinders. This electrical activity causes a change in blood flow to the brain, which in turn affects the brains nerves, causing pain.

You’re Not Exactly Fine When You Leave

In absence of a cure for Migraine, you’re going to get medication. And lots of it. Enough to knock out a horse. Better not make plans for tomorrow that’s time for your Migraine hangover, aka postdrome.

“They give you “abortive meds.” Knock you out, send you home. Then you’re in a medicated induced coma for the rest of the day. Then you wake up the next day still having the same migraine.” Jaselle H.

“Shot me up with meds so strong I couldn’t even move.” Victoria S.

“Last time I was in the ER for a migraine they gave me the wrong meds which were too strong for me and I had a heart attack!! I went thinking they would make me better but instead it only made it worse!!” Jessica A.

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Consider What Caused It

If you can determine the cause of your migraine, you may be able to take additional steps to find relief. For instance, are you getting a migraine because you havent had enough to eat today? Some migraines can be triggered by a lack of food, which can cause . If you think your headache is triggered by hunger, eat something thats easy on the stomach such as saltine crackers. This, in combination with your medications, may give you additional relief. The National Headache Foundation says some people may crave carbohydrates just before a migraine hits. If this is the case, listen to your body and have a snack.

Dehydration can cause headaches too, and may make your migraine worse. If you havent had enough fluids today, get a drink of water. Sip slowly to avoid triggering nausea or vomiting.

They Don’t Know Your History And You’re In No Shape To Give Clear Direction

Pin on Migraine Awareness

In the midst of an attack, few of us can complete a coherent sentence. The Migraine Babble and nurse triage questions don’t play well together.

“They thought I was a druggie because my speech was confused, it was quite a busy night and they were attending ‘more critical’ cases first, road accidents victims and all! All I was given was a vomit bag and sleeping tablets! Woke up 5 hours later and decided to go home! Olè M.

“The ‘LAST’ time I went to the ER for a migraine I was in SO much pain I couldn’t see, I was in excruciating pain, I went in the wheelchair backwards because I just wanted to be in a ball and literally couldn’t straighten myself out. The check in person who takes vitals before they bring you back made me turn around in the wheelchair so she could get my vitals. I told them I couldn’t and I was just screaming no no no. She told me she couldn’t help me if I couldn’t sit straight. So I turned around and two seconds later I passed out cracked my head open on the floor and was unconscious for I don’t know how long.” Skipper D.

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What Will This Summary Cover

This summary will cover:

  • Medicines to treat severe migraines in the ER
  • What researchers have found about how well the medicines work
  • Possible side effects of the medicines
  • Things to talk about with the ER doctor

Note: This summary does not cover what researchers found about treating migraines at home or ways to prevent migraines. It only covers what researchers found about treating migraines in the ER.

What Are The Downsides Of Going To The Emergency Room With A Migraine

So, we know E.R. staff will be able to treat your migraine faster and more effectively than you could at homeâand when youâre in debilitating pain, the only thing that matters to you might just be making it stop as soon as possible.

But if thatâs the case, you should also take into account the amount of time you might spend waiting before you get that treatment. Thereâs really no way to know how long youâll have to wait, and the emergency room is the last place youâd want to be during a migraine.

Whyâs that? âWell, the emergency room is often a very loud, bright, chaotic place that treats a large number of patients with a wide range of conditions including heart attacks, strokes, and drug overdoses,â Dr. Bain explains. âTo put it bluntly, migraine patients are rarely a priority in the ER.â

And in the times of COVID-19, those other patients arenât just another source of unbearably loud sounds. Theyâre also a legitimate risk to your healthâand if you have COVID-19 and donât know it, you could be a danger to them. You shouldnât let the fear of coronavirus exposure stop you from seeking emergency care if you need it, but you should consider whether the treatment youâll receive is worth the risk youâre taking.

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An Abnormal Migraine Attack

Is my pain and any other symptoms new or extreme?

Although a migraine attack often yields unpleasant and even debilitating symptoms, certain symptoms may be immediate signals that require emergency medical attention. Many doctors recommend visiting the ER for what you might describe as the worst headache of your life. How a patient defines that will vary and could be influenced by numerous factors such as new or dangerous symptoms, severity or duration of pain, abruptness of an attack, or ineffectiveness of medications, among others. Headache symptoms may not even be associated with migraine at all, but rather a more serious condition such as brain aneurysm or concussion. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Confusion, memory loss, trouble speaking or slurred speech
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Loss of vision or other extreme changes in vision
  • Worsening pain that doesn’t respond to medication or normal relief techniques

Always document your symptoms and keep written records of what is “normal” for your migraine attacks so that you can share them with your doctor. It is important to remember that symptoms often differ from one attack to the next and the presence of a new symptom or trigger does not necessarily indicate something more dangerous, but you still want to be mindful when there are abnormalities.

How To Get Rid Of A Migraine: A Step

The 3-Minute “What Can I Do To Stop A Migraine

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A migraine is much more than your typical headache. It can cause extreme pain, nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The throbbing pain can quickly ruin your day and interfere with your life.

But you dont have to sit back and wait for a migraine to end. As long as you know how to deal with it, you can tackle it from all sides and get back to your daily life.

Take note of these simple steps, and youll be prepared the next time a migraine strikes.

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When You Need Emergency Migraine Care

Having said all this, the way you feel is your most important barometer to guide whether you go to an emergency room or not. Build a close relationship with your migraine doctor so you have all the knowledge you need to manage your condition without panicking, and ensure that your migraine and other medications dont ever run out. Document your triggers and attacks in a migraine diary and discuss the risk of these triggers occurring randomly with your headache practitioner. If youre able to identify the signs of a particularly bad migraine, you may be able to take steps to avoid it.

How Do I Know If I Should Go To The Er

If your migraine is too severe and the treatments listed above do not work, you may choose to go to the ER. If you decide to go to the ER, be sure to have someone else drive you there.

The symptoms of a migraine can be confused with the symptoms of a stroke. You should go to the hospital right away if:

  • You have an extremely severe headache
  • You have speech, vision, movement, or balance problems that are new or different from symptoms you have had before with your migraines
  • You have a stiff neck or fever with your headache
  • The headache starts suddenly, like a thunderclap, especially if you are over age 50

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You Have To Prove Your Pain And That You’re Not A Drug Addict

The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that’s escalating annually. ERs are trained to screen us all the same: hmmm, could you be one of the 36 million opioid abusers worldwide?

That complicates the problem of Migraine as an invisible illness for which there’s no scan or blood test to easily prove your diagnosis. The stigma continues.

“They think you are there because you are a “druggie”, ask you a million and one questions that you can’t answer because of the migraine fog.” Jaselle H.

“They assumed I was a drug addict because I was in my mid-twenties and writhing in pain with “no discernible reason”. Then I got an IV and froze for a few hours before going home.” Lorenzo T.

“I’m allergic to normal migraine meds and when I told them that, the doctor stormed out, came back with a syringe, gave it to the nurse and told me that he’d give me Demerol this time to help get rid of the headache but that I’d better never come back again because he was never giving me that med again. He said if I wanted it, I’d have to get it from someone else. It was the first and only time I’d gone to the ER for a migraine. I was so insulted and demeaned, I would never go back again. I couldn’t believe it.” Andi S.


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