A common health condition, causing bouts of severe headaches with a feeling of pulse in the head.Migraine episodes can cause severe pain for hours or days.Symptoms usually develop over approximately five minutes and last up to an hour.Many effective treatments are available to reduce symptoms and prevent additional headache episodes.There is no way to prevent it, but some tips may help reduce the number and severity of episodes.
It is a common health condition, usually beginning at an early age, where it causes episodes of severe headache with a sense of pulse in the head accompanied by nausea, vomiting, excessive sensitivity to light and sound with the inability to continue daily duties and activities. It is usually on one side, and migraine episodes could cause severe pain for hours or days.
▪️ Migraine with alert (focal or classic headache); there are specific warning signs before it starts (e.g. seeing flashing lights).
▪️ Migraine without alert (common migraine); it occurs without specific warning signs, lasts longer, and affects daily activities.
▪️ Migraine alert without a headache (silent migraine); you experience an alert or a sign, but a headache does not occur.
(Migraine, pathological headache).
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.
One or two days before a migraine, you might notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including:
▪️ Mood changes, from depression to euphoria.
▪️ Food cravings.
▪️ Neck stiffness.
▪️ Increased thirst and urination.
▪️ Frequent yawning.
For some people, aura might occur before or during migraines. Auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They’re usually visual, but can also include other disturbances. Each symptom usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes and lasts for 20 to 60 minutes.Examples of migraine aura include:
▪️ Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light.
▪️ Vision loss.
▪️ Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg.
▪️ Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body.
▪️ Difficulty speaking.
▪️ Hearing noises or music.
▪️ Uncontrollable jerking or other movements.
A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. How often migraines occur varies from person to person. Migraines might occur rarely or strike several times a month.During a migraine, you might have:
▪️ Pain usually on one side of your head, but often on both sides.
▪️ Pain that throbs or pulses.
▪️ Sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes smell and touch.
▪️ Nausea and vomiting.
After a migraine attack, you might feel drained, confused and washed out for up to a day. Some people report feeling elated. Sudden head movement might bring on the pain again briefly.
Although its causes are unknown, it may be the result of abnormal activity that temporarily affects the nerve and chemical signals or blood vessels in the brain.
There are a number of migraine triggers, including:
▪️ Hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen, such as before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause, seem to trigger headaches in many women.
Hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, also can worsen migraines. Some women, however, find their migraines occurring less often when taking these medications.
▪️ Drinks. These include alcohol, especially wine, and too much caffeine, such as coffee.
▪️ Stress. Stress at work or home can cause migraines.
▪️ Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells — including perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke and others — trigger migraines in some people.
▪️ Sleep changes. Missing sleep, getting too much sleep or jet lag can trigger migraines in some people.
▪️ Physical factors. Intense physical exertion , might provoke migraines.
▪️ Weather changes. A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
▪️ Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.
▪️ Foods. Aged cheeses and salty and processed foods might trigger migraines. So might skipping meals or fasting.
▪️ Food additives. These include the sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods.
▪️ Family history.
▪️ Age: it often occurs during adolescence.
▪️ Gender: women are at higher risk than men.
If you have migraines or a family history of migraines, a doctor trained in treating headaches (neurologist) will likely diagnose migraines based on your medical history, symptoms, and a physical and neurological examination.
If your condition is unusual, complex or suddenly becomes severe, tests to rule out other causes for your pain might include:
▪️ MRI. An MRI scan uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the brain and blood vessels. MRI scans help doctors diagnose tumors, strokes, bleeding in the brain, infections, and other brain and nervous system (neurological) conditions.
▪️ CT scan. A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of the brain. This helps doctors diagnose tumors, infections, brain damage, bleeding in the brain and other possible medical problems that may be causing headaches.
Many effective treatments are available to reduce symptoms and prevent additional headache episodes, including:
1. Medications either to relieve symptoms during an episode or even to completely abort them, or preventive medications taken regularly. The patient may be advised to use both types.
2. Rest while keeping eyes closed in a quiet, dark room, and going to sleep.
3. Placing a cool cloth or ice on the forehead or behind the neck.
4. Avoiding migraine triggers.
Guidelines for people with migraine.
▪️ Do not take too many analgesics;
▪️ Maintain a healthy lifestyle;
▪️ Limit the intake of caffeine;
▪️ Reduce and manage stress;
▪️ Get sufficient rest;
▪️ Exercise regularly;
▪️ Avoid the migraine triggers;
▪️ Make sure the sleeping environment is comfortable by keeping devices away from the bed.
Nontraditional therapies might help with chronic migraine pain.
▪️ Acupuncture. Clinical trials have found that acupuncture may be helpful for headache pain. In this treatment, a practitioner inserts many thin, disposable needles into several areas of your skin at defined points.
▪️ Biofeedback. Biofeedback appears to be effective in relieving migraine pain. This relaxation technique uses special equipment to teach you how to monitor and control certain physical responses related to stress, such as muscle tension.
▪️ Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy may benefit some people with migraines. This type of psychotherapy teaches you how behaviors and thoughts affect how you perceive pain.
▪️ Herbs, vitamins and minerals. There is some evidence that the herbs feverfew and butterbur might prevent migraines or reduce their severity, though study results are mixed. Butterbur isn’t recommended because of safety concerns.
A high dose of riboflavin (vitamin B-2) may also prevent migraines or reduce the frequency of headaches. Coenzyme Q10 supplements might decrease the frequency of migraines, but larger studies are needed.
Due to low magnesium levels in some people with migraines, magnesium supplements have been used to treat migraines, but with mixed results.
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