Migraine is a neurological disease that is often associated with episodes of severe headaches and autonomic symptoms. Migraine is a term that is derived from a Greek word meaning pain on one side of the head or half head. Migraine pain is debilitating that can defocus a person from day to day activities. Largely seen in women, migraine is also seen in men. Migraine is a disease that results from neurovascular pathway. The actual cause of migraine is not clearly known, Mediation of migraine attack occurs with abnormal elevation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Generally migraine is a progressive that starts as prodrome phase, aura phase, pain phase and postdrome.
- Prodrome phase is a painless stage associated with depression or euphoria, altered mood, sensitivity to smell, constipation, diarrhea, and stiff muscles.
- Aura is a phase where the patient experiences transient headache with visual, sensory and motor symptoms.
- Pain phase is a unilateral throbbing headache that ranges from moderate to severe intensity. The pain is associated with sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, confusion.
- Postdrome: This is the phase when the symptoms of migraine persist for a few days. The patient may experience tiredness, gastrointestinal symptoms, mood changes, weakness and hangover.
Causes Of Migraine
Migraine is caused due to genetic reasons or induced by environmental factors. The intensity of lighting, noise, and poor air quality are few environmental triggers. Changing hormone levels can also affect the occurrence of migraine. Physiological changes in women’s life such as menarche, perimenopause, menopause, pregnancy can lead to hormonal changes. Some of the common triggers of migraine attacks is stress, fatigue, hunger or menstruation. Foods rich in tyramine, monosodium glutamate are expected to lead to an attack.
How To Overcome Migraine Headaches?
Don’t Depend On OTC Pain Killers: Migraine headaches are indeed hard to overcome. If unchecked, migraine can be severe and affect normal life. So, taking over the counter pain killers to cure migraine headaches can’t help. The physiology of migraine is a vascular and taking simple pain killers will not help unless you want the complete episode to be subdued.
Take A Neurologist’s Help: It is important to visit a neurologist to understand the disease completely. If you are taking oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, estrogens or hormone supplement therapy inform the doctor that you suffer from migraine.
Identify The Risk And Triggers: Observing the common triggers that cause migraine attack will help you to shortlist those factors and reduce the incidence of attack. Prepare a pattern of time at which you experience attack, possible triggers and avoid them totally.
Avoid Food Triggers: Certain food items such as red wine, food containing monosodium glutamate, alcoholic beverages.
Check Your Lifestyle: Sleep well as it is very important for psychological balance. Avoid unhealthy habits namely drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco products.
Holistic Approach: Yoga and meditation will help calm down the mind. Reiki and acupuncture are a few other methods by which vascular physiology altered to reduce the symptoms of migraine.