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.
Keep A Headache Diary
Keeping a headache diary is a good way to figure out the association between migraine triggers, your lifestyle, and headache, says Robert Cowan, MD, professor of neurology and chief of the division of headache medicine at Stanford University in California. With a headache diary, youll start to see a pattern, such as you get migraines on weekends or in the afternoon. If you take migraine medication, you record this in your diary.
Dr. Cowan recommends using a free headache diary app to keep track of migraines and triggers. He and two colleagues created the free app BonTriage, which is available in the App Store.
Beware Of Hormonal Changes
Hormones play a significant role in terms of migraines. Many women tend to experience more migraine headaches during, or just before, their menstrual period. Women should be especially vigilant with their diet and exercise habits during this time. This will ease symptoms before they begin. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy may increase the frequency and severity of migraines. Some women may find relief by switching to another form of birth control, while others may find they have fewer migraines while taking birth control.
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Can Herbal Products Or Dietary Supplements Prevent Migraines
A number of herbal products and dietary supplements are available for the prevention of migraines. These include, in particular, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, feverfew, butterbur and riboflavin .
There is a lack of conclusive in this area, so it’s not possible to say whether these products can prevent migraines. Some studies suggest that magnesium and a certain feverfew extract can reduce the number of migraine attacks. But the quality of these studies isn’t good enough to prove that these products have a preventive effect.
Although dietary supplements and herbal medicinal products are often considered to be well tolerated and safe, they may still have side effects. For instance, feverfew extracts can cause gastrointestinal problems. These products can also lead to drug-drug interactions with other medications.
Recognizing The Signs Of A Migraine
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Lower High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is part of your bodys warning system that tells you something is wrong and needs to be fixed. It is also a huge contributor to ocular migraines. You need to take the necessary steps to keep it under control by taking your blood pressure regularly, reporting it to your doctor and taking your medication as prescribed.
Additionally, changing to a heart-healthy diet, adding some light exercise like walking and spicing up meals with heart-healthy herbs will really help.
Dont Get Caught Without Your Sunglasses
Summer can be tough on the eyes. Invest in some good sunglasses. Polarized lenses are great because, in addition to darkening, they cut glare. If you can go for optical grade lenses, do. They arent as likely to produce distortion as inexpensive sunglasses. Still troubled by light from around your glasses? Try a baseball cap or another type of hat to block out the sun that comes in from above the sunglasses.
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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.
Bonus: Learn And Build
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Between attacks is a good time to educate yourself and build a support system to help you through the next one.
- Educate yourself on head pain causes, symptoms, and treatments. It’ll allow you to better care for yourself and understand what your healthcare provider says about your condition and treatment.
- Keep a daily headache and migraine diary including what you eat, activities, and other factors that may lead to head pain. It can take up to 48 hours for a trigger to cause a headache or migraine, so a careful diary may help reveal patterns.
- Find a support group in your community or online so you have understanding people to vent to and learn from. You’ll feel less alone and could pick up valuable information.
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How To Stop An On
- How to stop an on-coming migraine in 30 minutes
- Techniques to reverse an on-coming migraine
- What is causing your migraines/headaches
- Getting your brain the resources it needs to prevent migraines
- Take the migraine test
- How to super hydrate and the importance of minerals
- Self-care for migraine prevention
- Having the right mindset for migraine prevention
- Relaxation techniques to help the nervous system
- Neck care techniques and stretches
- Step by Step – how to get rid of a migraine
- Customize your daily routine
How Are Migraines Diagnosed
To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:
- Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
- Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
- Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
- Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
- Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
- Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
- Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
- Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
- Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.
Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.
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Tips On How To Prevent A Migraine Attack From Happening
Fever, flu, sinusitis, stress and tension can all irritate the head, causing pain in the head. Migraine is another pain. Doctors describe migraine as a recurrent headache associated with symptoms such as dizziness, visual disturbance, facial or limb pruritus, and nausea. Migraine can make the patients feel very tired and uncomfortable. Suffering from a migraine is a terrible experience. However, do not worry too much about this because this article can help you prevent this. But first, let’s take a look at basic information about migraine. As a result, you can accurately determine your problem.
How Are Migraines Prevented Or Managed
There are many ways to manage migraines both to prevent an attack and to treat an attack once it starts . It is important to have a migraine management plan and this will probably involve lifestyle changes and medication.
If you suspect you are getting a migraine, you may get some relief from pain-relief medicines. Some people find they can prevent a migraine by treating it early.
Some people can manage migraine with pain relief available from pharmacies others might need prescription medications to deal with an acute attack. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about options.
During the migraine, rest in a quiet, dark room. Get as much help as possible with responsibilities at work, for family and so on.
If you get migraines fairly often, there is a wide range of preventive medicines that can reduce the number and severity of the attacks.
If you have just started getting migraines, keeping a diary about them can help you understand when they happen, and what triggers them. That may help you prevent them, and may also help you to explain what you are experiencing with your doctor.
In the longer term, non-medicine therapies can also help to prevent migraine. These include:
- relaxation training, such as yoga and meditation
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When Are Medications For The Prevention Of Migraines Considered
Acute migraine attacks are usually treated using painkillers like acetylsalicylic acid , ibuprofen, acetaminophen or migraine medicines such as triptans. But these medications aren’t suitable for preventing attacks.
Preventive medications are taken every day for a longer period of time, regardless of whether you have acute symptoms or not. The aim is to stop migraine attacks from happening in the first place. Many experts consider preventive medication to be effective if it reduces the number of migraine attacks by half. They recommend using medication for prevention if
- you have three or more debilitating migraine attacks per month,
- the attacks often last longer than three days or are especially severe,
- treatment with painkillers or triptans doesn’t help,
- you can’t use painkillers or migraine medication for health reasons or because of side effects, or
- you have to use painkillers or migraine medication on more than ten days per month.
Whether or not you would like to use preventive medication is ultimately your decision. It will depend on things like how bad your migraines are and how you weigh the pros and cons of treatment with medication.
Why Weather Triggers Migraines
There may be different reasons for why certain weather events trigger Migraine. High humidity and extremely dry conditions may exacerbate dehydration, one of the most common and preventable Migraine triggers. Bright lights and sun glare activate a condition called among many people with Migraine.
Why lightning and barometric pressure are associated with Migraine isn’t completely understood. It may be that environmental changes that affect the body’s homeostasis or set-point may predispose someone to develop Migraine.
Headache specialist Dr. Vince Martin is the lead author on a handful of studies on weather-related Migraine. In an interview during the 2018 Migraine World Summit he explained:
“Rising barometric pressure can trigger a migraine attack in some individuals. Falling barometric pressure can trigger it in some individuals. But the two often do not cross. So generally speaking, you’re either sensitive to falls or you’re sensitive to rises but not both.
As for lightning, Dr. Martin and researchers suggest a couple of different theories. More study is needed on medical and natural remedies for headaches caused by weather.
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Dont Let Yourself Get Dehydrated Even A Little
This is important all year, but especially in the summer. You may hear or see news reports warning about dehydration and heat stroke. Heed them. Dehydration is a major headache and migraine trigger for many people.
What you drink can make a difference, too. Soda or iced tea, although summer favorites, can have a great deal of caffeine. Water or electrolyte-containing beverages are always good choices!
Consume The Same Amount Of Caffeine Every Day Or None At All
There are a few reasons people with migraine should be cautious about consuming caffeine, says Strauss, including its mild diuretic effect. It makes you pee out water and fluid, so you may think youre doing really well in hydration, but too much caffeine may be impacting that, she says.
In addition, people with migraine can be really sensitive to caffeine, and it can affect the quality of your sleep, says Strauss. Not getting good-quality sleep can be a trigger for migraine.
It would be best if you could eliminate caffeine, but thats not always possible or desirable for some people, says Strauss. I would suggest trying to not have caffeine after breakfast time. That would be a good way to limit the effects it would have on sleep and also minimize the amount of caffeine that youre having throughout the day, she says.
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Do Your Best To Destress
Yeah, we know: That isnt always the easiest thing to accomplish. But it makes sense to figure out how to fit some calm into your day. Stress is one of the most reported triggers for migrainewe think because it causes a change in chemicals and hormones in the body, says Dr. Natbony. Stress can cause migraine and migraine can cause more stress, leading to an almost endless cycle. And if your body is accustomed to constant stress, a day without it can result in a let down migraine when your stress level abruptly drops. So find your own personal road to peace whether thats meditation, a yoga class, a hot bath or some quiet reading time and do that thing regularly.
What Happens During A Migraine
Every migraine begins differently. Sometimes people get a warning that a migraine is on its way. A few hours or even days before the actual headache, people might feel funny or “not right. They might crave different foods, or feel thirsty, irritable, tired, or even full of energy. This is called a “premonition.”
Some people get auras. These are neurological symptoms that start just before the headache and last up to an hour. An aura is different in every person, but it often affects vision. For example, a person might:
- have blurred vision
- see spots, colored balls, jagged lines, or bright flashing lights
- smell a certain odor
- feel tingling in a part of their face
Once the headache starts, light, smell, or sound may bother people with migraines or make them feel worse. Sometimes, if they try to continue with their usual routine, they may become nauseated and vomit. Often the pain begins only on one side of the head, but it might eventually affect both sides. Trying to do physical activities can make the pain worse.
Most migraines last from 30 minutes to several hours some can last a couple of days.
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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.
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.
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