Know the best treatment for Migraine headaches; along with everything you need to know about migraine headaches. What is a migraine? A migraine is severe throbbing headaches or pulsing sensations, mostly on one side of the head. I was diagnosed with migraine at the age of 18, and with timely treatments and correct diagnosis, could control the condition in a better way. So, let us know more details about what is migraine and its treatment.
A migraine is a headache of varying intensity that is usually accompanied by nausea as well as sensitivity to light and sound. People usually wonder, what causes migraines; the truth is it could be triggered by some foods or drinks, stress, exercise, or hormonal changes. These headaches are normally easy to self-diagnose thus lab tests or imaging may not be required.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Migraine Headaches
Is migraine a serious problem? While migraines can be self-diagnosed, a neurologist will check your medical history to confirm whether you have a family history of migraines. The doctor will also confirm the symptoms and conduct a neurological examination.
According to Mayo Clinic, for migraines that are complex, severe, or unusual, the neurologist will have to conduct the following tests to rule out other causes. These tests include:
- MRI scan – this scan uses powerful radio waves and magnetic fields to provide a detailed image of your brain and blood vessels.
- CT scan – this scan uses X-rays to provide cross-sectional images of the brain.
Once the tests are conducted and confirmed by the expert medical practitioner, they will start with the right treatment for migraine headaches.
What are the Symptoms of Migraine
The most common symptom of migraine is experiencing an intense headache on one side of your head. The pain ranges from moderate to severe and is associated with a throbbing sensation that intensifies when you move or do other activities.
Other times, the headache could be on both sides of the head and the pain may extend to the whole face, neck, or back of the neck.
Some other symptoms of migraine headaches include:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Poor concentration
- Feeling very hot or very cold
- Abdominal pain
These additional symptoms are not common to everyone as people experience migraines differently. Migraine symptoms may last up to four hours in mild cases or three days in a row for the ones that last long. It is common to feel lethargic for up to a week when you recover.
Are there any Warning Signs or Triggers for Migraine?
According to NHS, one in every three people who suffer from migraines experience temporary warning signs also called an aura. These symptoms usually precede a migraine attack. Some of them are:
- Visual problems – seeing blind spots, flashing lights, or zigzag patterns.
- Feeling dizzy.
- Numbness or feeling pins and needles.
- Difficulty speaking.
- Loss of consciousness (quite rare)
What is the Best Treatment for Migraine?
There are two types of migraine drugs; those that prevent migraines from occurring and those that stop migraines.
Preventive Drugs for Migraine
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, consult with your doctor on using preventive medicine for migraines. Your doctor may recommend prescription drugs such as:
- Anticonvulsants – these are drugs that prevent and reduce seizures. Examples include topiramate and valproic acid.
- Antidepressants – in this category, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are mostly recommended. Examples are Elavil and Aventyl.
- Beta-blockers – these drugs work to relax your blood vessels and are usually prescribed to regulate blood pressure. In the case of migraines, the following may be recommended; Tenormin, Lopressor, Corgard, or Inderal.
- Botox – while Botox is usually associated with antiaging, this injectable can also be used to prevent migraines from happening. Your doctor will inject your face and scalp after every three months. This is recommended for individuals who experience headaches for 15 days or more in a single month.
- Calcium-channel blockers – these drugs help to reduce the narrowing of blood vessels in the treatment of heart disease. Drugs in this category that can be used for migraine treatment are Cardizem, Cartia, Covera HS, and Verelan.
Pain Relieving Drugs for Migraine
Disclaimer – Doctors and medical professionals will diagnose the condition and recommend using drugs. These drugs are only mentioned for awareness purposes, and should not be considered as medical advice.
These drugs help reduce the pain during a migraine attack. Generally, analgesics, caffeine, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are used to address migraine pain. Drugs under this category include:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Anaprox DS, Naprosyn)
Using analgesics and NSAIDs continually can have adverse effects. These drugs could worsen migraines due to medication overuse.
Natural Remedies for Treating Migraine at Home
There are natural ways to prevent migraines, according to healthline.com. Natural remedies may vary from person to person. These home remedies for migraine are –
- Avoid trigger foods – foods such as hotdogs, chocolate cheese, ice creams, alcohol, and processed foods contain trigger ingredients such as nitrates and tyramine.
- Drink lots of water – being dehydrated could cause headaches, thus drinking lots of water will prevent this.
- Inhale lavender oil – this provides faster relief. You can also apply this oil to your temple.
- Acupressure – by applying pressure to specific points of the body, you may experience pain relief.
- Use ginger – ginger is known to reduce nausea caused by migraines. It also helps to minimize migraines severity.
- Go for yoga – by breathing, meditating, and exercising, yoga could help relieve body stress that may be triggering your migraines. Migraine frequency, duration, and intensity may also be reduced.
- Take magnesium-rich foods – magnesium deficiency is claimed to cause headaches and migraines. Foods such as almonds, cashews, eggs, milk, peanut butter, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are all good additions to your diet.
- Go for a weekly massage – massage may help minimize the frequency of migraines through its ability to improve sleep.
Most Frequently Asked Question for Migraine
How do I know I have a Migraine and not a headache?
Migraines are extremely painful headaches that are associated with a pulsing sensation on one side of the head. It is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to sound and light. Headaches, on the other hand, cause pain in the head, face, or neck, but not as intense as migraines.
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Does Dehydration trigger Migraines?
While dehydration may not necessarily cause migraines, it may trigger its occurrence. This is because lack of enough water in the body affects the brain’s water or ion balance, which will, in turn, affect the electrical function of the brain.
What are the four stages of Migraine?
Migraines occur in four stages:
- Prodrome – this occurs a day or two days prior to the migraine attack. It is associated with mood changes, food cravings, or increased thirst and urination.
- Aura – this stage includes visual symptoms such as vision loss or seeing bright spots or light flashes.
- Attack – this is the stage when the migraine occurs, and it can last between four to 72 hours. At this point, you experience all the symptoms of a migraine.
- Post-drome – after a migraine attack, a person usually feels drained and extremely tired.
Can I buy Over-The-Counter Drugs for Migraines?
Yes. The most commonly recommended drugs for migraines are NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil).
When should I see a Doctor for my Migraines?
Although you can manage your migraines yourself, there are symptoms that will let you know that it is time to see the doctor for migraine treatment in Denver. As described by WebMD, these symptoms are:
- Three or more headaches per week
- Severe and persistent headaches
- Using pain relievers daily for headaches
- Headaches disrupting your social and work-life
With the right information and expert medical intervention, any situation can be dealt with. Know the migraine triggers, what causes migraine and how to treat migraine headaches at home. For any symptom that raises a red flag seek medical advice without any delay.
The content is not for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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