Published on December 30, 2013
Getting Rid of Migraine Headaches Migraines have been making people’s lives miserable since the dawning of mankind. As a result, the cures for migraines have been deeply explored. Unfortunately, no cure has been found, but there are ways to manage migraines. A migraine is neurological disorder that is characterized by severe headaches, altered bodily perceptions, and nausea. Migraines headaches create a throbbing or pulsing sensation on one area of the brain. Migraines can hinder your ability to function and enjoy your life. In order to learn about how to get rid of a migraine fast, you will need to understand a little more about them. There are several different types of migraines. Types of Migraines Migraines without aura This is known as the common migraine. It is unilateral and pulsating. It lasts from 4 to 72 hours, and the symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. This type of migraine occurs in 80 to 85% of migraine suffers. Migraines with aura An aura is a sensory warning that happens 10 to 30 minutes before the migraine starts. An aura can occur during a migraine, because an aura can last for 20 to 60 minutes. Only 20 to 30% of migraine suffers have migraines with aura. The most common aura is a visual aura. This includes bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, distorted vision, seeing zigzag lines and temporary vision loss. Other senses are affected as well. You can have a ringing in the ear or a change in smell, taste and touch. Ocular migraines This type of migraine causes partial vision loss or complete blindness that lasts less than an hour. Hemiplegic migraine Hemiplegic migraines might result in temporary paralysis or muscles weakness due to nerve or sensory changes. They only affect one side of the body. Precursor symptoms include temporary numbness, dizziness, or vision changes. Before you think hemiplegic migraine, make sure you are not suffering from a stroke. Retinal Migraine This is a migraine centered around the eyes. It can cause temporary, partial or complete loss of vision in one eye. It starts with a dull ache behind the eye that may spread to the rest of the head.
Basilar Artery Migraines These migraines are usually preceded by dizziness, confusion, or loss of balance. Other symptoms associated with this type of migraine include the inability to speak properly, ringing in the ears, and vomiting. Hormonal changes in young women are the biggest trigger for this type of migraine. Status Migrainous A rare and severe type of migraine that can last 72 hours or longer. The pain and nausea can be so intense that you might require hospitalized. Certain medications or medication withdrawal can also cause this type migraine. Ophthalmoplegic Migraine Like Retina migraines, Ophthalmoplegic migraines are centered around the eyes. Ophthalmoplegic migraines have pain around the eye that includes paralysis in the muscles surrounding the eye. This condition requires immediate medical attention. It can cause pressure on the nerves behind the eye that cause an aneurysm. Some other symptoms of this migraine include droopy eyelid, double vision and other vision changes. Fortunately, this is a rare form of migraine. Severity scale The Severity Scale measures the severity of a migraine. This is helpful in determining ways to get rid of it, and it is good information to give to your doctor. Mild Pain: The migraine does not interfere with usual activities. Moderate Pain: It is inhibiting and limits some activities. Severe Pain: Prevents all activities. This is when a migraine is disruptive to your life. Many people cannot do simple things like household chores when they are suffering from a severe migraine. Risk Factors There are several unavoidable factors that make people prone to migraines. Family History 4 out of 5 migraine suffers have a family member who also suffers from migraines. Children have a 50% chance of having a migraine if one parent has them. Children have a 75% chance if both parents have them. Gender 30 million people suffer from migraines. 75% of them are women. Nearly 48% of all women will experience one migraine during their lifetime. A quarter of women suffers have four or more attacks a
month. 35% of women suffers have one to four sever attacks a month. 40% of women suffers experience one or less attack a month. Age Most migraines suffers are between the age of 20 to 50. Most have their first migraine during adolescences. Hormonal Changes More than half of women migraine suffers have a migraine before, during or after they have a period. This is called the “menstrual migraine.” Only a small portion of women just have migraines during this time. Most have them throughout the month. There is no clear answer as to why the menstrual cycle and migraines are linked. There is a theory that it has to do with a shift in the body’s chemicals. Right before a woman begins her cycle, her levels of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. Migraines might be triggered by this drop in hormones, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affects a woman’s pain sensation. Triggers for Migraines There are things in our lifestyle and environment that might trigger a migraine. Some triggers are avoidable, and some are not. Emotional Stress Stress is one of the most common triggers of migraine headaches. Events usually fuel stress. For example, a wedding or a new baby can cause stress. During these stressful events, certain chemicals in the brain are released and the sympathetic nervous system creates a flight or fight response. The release of chemicals such as serotonin can provoke vascular changes that result in a migraine. Do not repress emotions during these times. It results in anxiety, worry, excitement and fatigue, and they increase muscle tension and dilate blood vessels to intensify the severity of the migraine. Stress can be reduced or prevented by doing the following: Eating healthy foods Being active at least 30 minutes for four days out of the week Doing relaxation exercise Getting enough sleep Figuring out what causes the stress and trying to eliminate the stressors Sensitivity to specific chemicals and preservatives in foods 30% of migraines might be caused by certain food and beverages. It is believed that aged cheese, alcoholic beverages and food additives such as nitrates found in pepperoni and hot dogs and MSG are triggers.
Skipping Meals The body needs food to function. When you skip a meal you are depriving your body of nourishment, as a result a migraine can occur. Caffeine Migraines can be caused by excessive caffeine consumption or the withdrawal from caffeine. Due to the blood vessels becoming sensitized to caffeine, an abrupt drop in caffeine levels result in a migraine headache. Changing Weather Conditions Migraines may be triggered by sudden changes in the weather such as falling barometric pressure, a sharp increase in humidity, and a sudden drop in temperature. Smoking Smoking triggers migraines, because the nicotine found in tobacco stimulates the blood vessels in the brain and causes them to constrict. Quitting smoking will relieve you of the headaches. Note: Second hand smoke can also trigger migraines. Asthma Asthma and migraines are very similar. When someone has an asthma attack, the body releases the same chemicals it does when someone is suffering from a migraine. The release of chemicals can cause a migraine to form. Hypertension Uncontrolled high blood pressure may result in an increase of migraine frequency and severity. Hypertension can be prevented by doing the following: Maintaining a healthy weight Getting regular exercise reducing salt intake only drinking alcohol in moderation Reducing stress Sleep Disorders Too much sleep and the lack of sleep can cause a migraine. Set a specific time to go to bed and a time to wake up. Prevention and Treatment The cause of migraines is unknown. Therefore, there is no cure for it. Scientist believed that the thickening of the blood vessels resulted in migraines. However, there is a new theory that migraines are caused by inherited abnormalities in certain areas of the brain that act as the migraines pain center. These pain centers are hyperactive nerve cells that send out impulses to the blood vessels. This causes them to clamp
down or constrict, followed by dilation and the release of serotonin, prostaglandins, and other inflammatory substances that cause the painful pulsation. There are four stages of a migraine. Prodome, aura, attack and postdrome. A migraine can be treated during any phase. It is best to start treating migraines during the prodome and aura phase. Prodome happens a day or two before the migraine occurs. Some symptoms to look for are fatigue, diarrhea, stiff neck and moodiness. If you experience at least two of these, avoid migraine triggers. Ways to Prevent Migraines The best ways to prevent a migraine is to start regular healthy habits for eating, sleeping and exercising. Preventative Medication Beta blockers help prevent migraines by improving your blood flow. Anti-seizure drugs reduce migraines because epilepsy and have similar reaction in the brain. Antidepressants help regulate levels of serotonin in the brain. Botox is for chronic migraines. A chronic migraine is a migraine that lasts longer than 15 days. Botox reduces the number of migraines and decreases the intensity by affecting the facial nerves. Supplements Only consider supplements if your migraines are disruptive to your life. Here are few supplements to try. Butterbur is an herb that reduces the frequency of attacks, possibly by reducing inflammation. Vitamin B2 reduces headache frequency from four per month to two. Magnesium is a nice supplement to take because low levels of magnesium might trigger migraines. Lifestyle changes Biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy are two ways to help prevent migraines. Biofeedback therapy is when electrodes are attached to your head and neck to measure muscle tension and relaxations. Biofeedback therapy helps you to be able to recognize and control those states. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn how to mediate. Ways to treat a migraine. Relaxation If stress is a cause of the migraine, relaxation can help get rid of it. Most stress migraines are caused by a change in blood pressure and breathing patterns. Practice breathing exercises that will help your body relax, and you can stave off a migraine. Playing soothing music can help relax you during your breathing exercises. Pain Relieving Medication Over the counter medicine such as aspirin and Tylenol can help with mild migraines.
Excedrin Migraine combines acetaminophen and aspirin with caffeine, which narrows blood vessels and increases the effectiveness of pain relievers. This can relieve moderate migraines. Triptans are the best prescription option for treating severe migraines, but because they constrict blood vessels. However, you can’t use them if you have a history of heart attack or stroke. Apply a cold compress Place it directly on the area of pain. This method offers quick relief and sometimes can get rid of the migraine completely. Find a quiet room Lie down in a dark room and avoid lights and loud noises. Also tilt your neck to one side for about ten seconds. This relieves tightness and discomfort. Lifestyle Avoid known triggers. You can find out your personal triggers by keeping a journal. Write down every time you have a migraine and what events lead up to the occurrence. Knowing your triggers is crucial in prevention and relief of migraines. New Discoveries Chelsea Community Hospital in Michigan has a new procedure to treat severe migraines. It is called a nerve block. A nerve block is when a steroid is injected into the occipital nerves. The injection works by reducing the inflammation and swelling of the tissue surrounding the occipital nerves. This is a last resort procedure for chronic migraine suffers. For more information about how to get rid of a migraine visit our website.
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