A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling.
Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.
Medications can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. Talk to your doctor about different migraine treatment options if you can't find relief. The right medicines, combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes, may help.
Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, though you may not experience all stages.
One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including:
Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
Increased thirst and urination
Aura may occur before or during migraines. Most people experience migraines without aura.
Auras are symptoms of the nervous system. They are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision.
Sometimes auras can also be touching sensations (sensory), movement (motor) or speech (verbal) disturbances. Your muscles may get weak, or you may feel as though someone is touching you.
Each of these symptoms 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
Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
Hearing noises or music
Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
Sometimes, a migraine with aura may be associated with limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).
A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. The frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. Migraines may be rare, or strike several times a month. During a migraine, you may experience:
Pain on one side or both sides of your head
Pain that feels throbbing or pulsing
Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
Nausea and vomiting
Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
The final phase, known as post-drome, occurs after a migraine attack. You may feel drained and washed out, while some people feel elated. For about 24 hours, you may also experience:
Sensitivity to light and sound
When to see a doctor
Migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you regularly experience signs and symptoms of migraine attacks, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches.
Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different.
See your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following signs and symptoms, which may indicate a more serious medical problem:
An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap
Headache with fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or trouble speaking
Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse
A chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
New headache pain if you're older than 50
Though migraine causes aren't understood, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role.
Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway.
Imbalances in brain chemicals — including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system — also may be involved. Researchers are still studying the role of serotonin in migraines.
Serotonin levels drop during migraine attacks. This may cause your trigeminal nerve to release substances called neuropeptides, which travel to your brain's outer covering (meninges). The result is migraine pain. Other neurotransmitters play a role in the pain of migraine, including calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).
A number of factors may trigger migraines, including:
Hormonal changes in women. Fluctuations in estrogen seem to trigger headaches in many women. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately before or during their periods, when they have a major drop in estrogen.
Others have an increased tendency to develop migraines during pregnancy or menopause.
Hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, also may worsen migraines. Some women, however, find their migraines occur less often when taking these medications.
Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods may trigger migraines. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger attacks.
Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods, may trigger migraines.
Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
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 — can trigger migraines in some people.
Changes in wake-sleep pattern. Missing sleep or getting too much sleep may trigger migraines in some people, as can jet lag.
Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines.
Changes in the environment. A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.
Several factors make you more prone to having migraines, including:
Family history. If you have a family member with migraines, then you have a good chance of developing them too.
Age. Migraines can begin at any age, though the first often occurs during adolescence. Migraines tend to peak during your 30s, and gradually become less severe and less frequent in the following decades.
Sex. Women are three times more likely to have migraines. Headaches tend to affect boys more than girls during childhood, but by the time of puberty and beyond, more girls are affected.
Hormonal changes. If you are a woman who has migraines, you may find that your headaches begin just before or shortly after onset of menstruation.
They may also change during pregnancy or menopause. Migraines generally improve after menopause.
Some women report that migraine attacks begin during pregnancy, or their attacks worsen. For many, the attacks improved or didn't occur during later stages in the pregnancy. Migraines often return during the postpartum period.
Sometimes your efforts to control your migraine pain cause problems, such as:
Abdominal problems. Certain pain relievers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), may cause abdominal pain, bleeding, ulcers and other complications, especially if taken in large doses or for a long period of time.
Medication-overuse headaches. Taking over-the-counter or prescription headache medications more than 10 days a month for three months or in high doses may trigger serious medication-overuse headaches.
Medication-overuse headaches occur when medications stop relieving pain and begin to cause headaches. You then use more pain medication, which continues the cycle.
Serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a rare, potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when your body has too much of the nervous system chemical called serotonin.
While the risk is considered extremely low, taking migraine medications called triptans and antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. These medications naturally raise serotonin levels, and it is possible that combining them could cause levels that are too high.
Triptans and SSRIs or SNRIs may be used together, but it's important to watch out for possible symptoms of serotonin syndrome such as changes in cognition, behavior and muscle control (such as involuntary jerking).
Triptans include medications such as sumatriptan (Imitrex) or zolmitriptan (Zomig). Some common SSRIs include sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Sarafem, Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil). SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR).
Also, some people experience complications from migraines such as:
Chronic migraine. If your migraine lasts for 15 or more days a month for more than three months, you have chronic migraine.
Status migrainosus. People with this complication have severe migraine attacks that last for longer than three days.
Persistent aura without infarction. Usually an aura goes away after the migraine attack, but sometimes aura lasts for more than one week afterward. A persistent aura may have similar symptoms to bleeding in the brain (stroke), but without signs of bleeding in the brain, tissue damage or other problems.
Migrainous infarction. Aura symptoms that last longer than one hour can signal a loss of blood supply to an area of the brain (stroke), and should be evaluated. Doctors can conduct neuroimaging tests to identify bleeding in the brain.
Until recently, experts recommended avoiding common migraine triggers. Some triggers can't be avoided, and avoidance isn't always effective. But some of these lifestyle changes and coping strategies may help you reduce the number and severity of your migraines:
Transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation (t-SNS). This device (Cefaly), similar to a headband with attached electrodes, was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a preventive therapy for migraines. In research, those that used the device experienced fewer migraines.
Learn to cope. Recent research shows that a strategy called learning to cope (LTC) may help prevent migraines. In this practice, you are gradually exposed to headache triggers to help desensitize you to them. LTC may also be combined with cognitive behavioral therapy. More research is needed to better understand the effectiveness of LTC.
Create a consistent daily schedule. Establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals. In addition, try to control stress.
Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. If your doctor agrees, choose any aerobic exercise you enjoy, including walking, swimming, and cycling. Warm up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight, and obesity is thought to be a factor in migraines.
Reduce the effects of estrogen. If you are a woman who has migraines and estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, you may want to avoid or reduce the medications you take that contain estrogen.
Migraines are severe, recurring, and painful headaches. They can be preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs and other symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
Sensitivity to light or sound
Usually pain in one side of head
2)Emotional triggers Like Stress, depression, anxiety.
3)Physical causes -Tiredness and insufficient sleep , Low blood sugar ,poor posture etc.
4)Triggers in the diet -chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits , Irregular mealtimes.
5) Environmental factor -strong smells, second-hand smoke, and loud noises , temperature changes, and bright lights are also possible triggers.
Homeopathy has excellent clinical record in treating migraine safely and successfully. Homeopathic medicines work wonderfully in both acute as well as chronic migraine attacks.
According to the homeopathic system of medicine, migraine is a chronic disease occurring periodically. The patient may experience it as an acute problem, but because it is periodic and recurrent it needs continuous homeopathic treatment during the attack, and homeopathic medicines for migraine need to be taken even when there is no attack. All this is to reduce the frequency and intensity of subsequent attacks and eventually stop them.
In all types of acute and chronic illnesses, homeopathy applies the concept of individualization, which means that even if two people are suffering from the same type of migraine, a homeopathic doctor will study the whole case history of each of the patients — their exact nature of symptoms, temperament, feelings, likes and dislikes — and then suggest a remedy suitable for each of them to ascertain deep-rooted and permanent cures.
In modern days, migraine has become a common disease that affects the young and the old equally. Migraine as such cannot be cured, but improving lifestyle and Ayurvedic medication can help you keep this disease under control and improve your quality of life.
What is Migraine?
Migraine, commonly known as Sooryavarta in Ayurveda, is a medical condition in which the excessive stimulation of the blood vessels in the brain causes a throbbing pain on one side of the head and is associated with nausea, sensitivity and vomiting. This happens because the vomiting centre of the brain gets activated during an episode. These symptoms are the most common signs; however, it varies from person to person.
What Causes Migraines?
These headaches worsen upon sunrise and it is at its peak at noon, when the sun is at its highest intensity and slowly subsides on sunset. This is one of the major factors in setting in an episode; it is not true in every case.
The other triggers that cause migraine attacks according to Ayurveda are:
Spicy and oily food
Stress, anger, grief, jealousy
Suppressed emotions or natural urges
Consumption of too much of dry, salty and pungent food
Consuming polluted food
General triggers may include:
Smoking and drinking
Physical stress and exercise
Fluctuation in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle or the use of birth control pills
Stopping intake of tea or coffee suddenly
Stress to sensory organs in the form of bright noises, bright lights, strong perfumes or odours etc.
Certain foods or beverages may also trigger an episode of migraine. These include baked foods, chocolates, processed foods, spicy foods, onions, dairy products and peanuts. These kinds of foods are known to suddenly increase Kapha dosha or Pitta Dosha and as a result, trigger an attack.
Symptoms of Migraine-
It is usually characterised by a stinging, throbbing pain on one side of the head and is followed by nausea and vomiting. Some people may get visual aberrations called an aura- such as blind spots, blurred visions, distorted lines etc.
Ayurvedic medications that can help migraine are:
Indian licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra
Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
Hareetaki – Chebulic myrobalan-Terminalia
Amalaki – amala – Emblica officinalis
Mallika – Jasminum officinale
Hareetaki – Chebulic myrobalan-Terminalia
Bala – Sida cordifolia
Kumari – Aloe vera
Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
Simple home remedies useful in migraine:
Tender leaves of jasmine or tender leaves of pomegranate are taken along with a pinch of salt and crushed well to obtain fresh juice. Early in the morning, preferably in empty stomach, 2-3 drops of this fresh juice is instilled to both the nostrils. Procedure is repeated once again evening hours (6-7 pm). This reduces the severity of headache in migraine.
One fist full of Doorva grass (cynodan dactylon) is taken and its fresh juice is obtained. To this, 2 pinch of licorice powder is added and mixed well. This is consumed during the noon hours. Procedure is repeated for 20-30 days. This helps to reduce the severity of illness significantly.
Take coriander seed powder – 1 teaspoon. add it to one cup of water, leave it as it is at night, next day morning, drink it on empty stomach.
Soak 5 raisins and 5 almonds in water at night, next day morning, eat them.
A migraine is one of the worst form of headache. It is reported that over 90 percent of people who suffers from a migraine are unable to work. The intense pain totally makes them vulnerable. A mammoth 113 million workdays are wasted globally due to this problem. This being said, if the pain is slowly starting to set in, it is possible to manage it at the workspace.
Here is a convenient guide to do just that:
1. Pain Medication: If you are a migraine patient, it is likely that you have your migraine medication with you. The first step is to try the medication. If on the other hand, the medication is not available basic painkillers can be given a shot to manage the pain. Basic pain medications, such as ibuprofen are easily available over the counter and are capable of providing temporary relief.
2. Educate co-workers: Despite awareness about migraine pain, many org97704anisations continue to turn a deaf ear about the problem. Instead of fighting with the whole organisations, it makes sense to educate your immediate colleague about a migraine. All you require is 1-2 people who have your back.
3. Control the environment: With the onset of the pain, it becomes more and more difficult to resume work. Few environmental changes such as adjusting the monitor to the eye level, using a sachet of odour neutralizer and switching off the nearest light will help you to manage the pain for few hours.
4. Staying hydrated: Migraine tends to increase multifold if the body is not hydrated. It is, therefore, essential to drink as much water as you can. Apart from water few other drinks such as lime juice and green tea can be of great assistance to hold the pain back for quite some time.
5. Small snacks: Although eating during a migraine can be tough because of the buzzing pain it is a good idea to have small snacks throughout the working hours. An empty stomach creates acidity and further aggravates the pain. Small time snacks such cookies and chocolate bar can come really handy at this time.
6. Get enough air: A centralised workplace can be claustrophobic and intensify the pain for many. Get out of the workspace to get some fresh air. A sudden gush of oxygen can be a welcome relief from the monotonous and crowded office floor.
7. Apply water on the skull: While this might sound like a crazy idea, applying a small amount of water in the middle of the skull can give temporary relief from the throbbing effect of a migraine. If ice is available in the office pantry, make no hesitation in applying it on the migraine side of the forehead. Ice is capable of spreading a cooling effect throughout the forehead and the skull.