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Migraines

A migraine is a neurological condition that causes severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It is frequently accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and acute sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it hampers your ability to perform your daily activities. Migraines usually run in families and affect all ages.

Schedule your visit to the doctor for diagnosing migraine headaches which are determined by clinical history, reported symptoms, and by ruling out other causes. Your doctor will prescribe medications that can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. The proper medicines mixed with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes might help.

Symptoms of Migraines

Migraines, which commence in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood, can progress through four stages: Prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. However, it is not necessary that everyone undergoes all the stages.

1. Prodrome

You will notice subtle changes, one or two days before a migraine. These symptoms act as a warning for an upcoming migraine, including:

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
  • Food cravings
  • Neck stiffness
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Frequent yawning

2. Aura

For some people, aura might start before or during migraines. Aura is a visual disturbance that builds gradually over several minutes and lasts for 20 to 60 minutes.

Examples of migraine aura include:

  • Visual phenomena where the person sees different shapes, luminous spots or flashes of light
  • Vision loss
  • Sensation pertaining to Pins and needles in an arm or leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the face or any side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hearing noises or music
  • Uncontrollable jerking or other movements

3. Attack

A migraine attack generally lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. These attacks will rarely strike several times a month.

During a migraine, you might have:

  • The pain generally on one side of your head, but often on both sides
  • Pain that throbs or pulses
  • Sensitivity to sound, light, smell, and touch
  • Nausea and vomiting

4. Post-drome

After a migraine attack, you might feel depleted, confused, and washed out for up to a day. Some people also feel elated.

Diagnosis

A doctor will treat your migraines by examining your family history, your medical history, symptoms, and a physical and neurological examination. Some of the tests that the doctor may order are:

  • MRI: The doctor use MRI scans to diagnose tumours, bleeding in the brain, strokes, infections, and other brain and nervous system (neurological) conditions. MRI scans use an intense magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of the brain and blood vessels.
  • CT scan: The doctor use a CT scan to diagnose infections, tumours, brain damage, bleeding in the brain, and other possible medical problems that may be causing headaches. CT scans use a series of X-rays to construct detailed cross-sectional images of the brain.

Treatment

Currently, there’s no cure for migraines, although your doctor will work with you to find out the most satisfactory treatment for you. Migraine treatment is aimed at alleviating symptoms and preventing future attacks.

Medications

Pain-relieving medications: The doctor will prescribe medication taken during migraine attacks and are designed to stop symptoms.

Preventive medications: These medicines are taken regularly, often daily, to reduce the severity or frequency of migraines.

Your treatment will include a combination of many strategies:

  • Self-care migraine remedies
  • Lifestyle adjustments, which will consist of stress management and avoiding migraine triggers
  • OTC pain or migraine medications, such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Hormone therapy if migraines seem to occur concerning your menstrual cycle
  • Counselling
  • Alternative care, which constitutes biofeedback, meditation, acupressure, or acupuncture
  • Neurostimulation surgeries: During this procedure, the surgeon will insert electrodes under your skin. The electrodes will deliver electrical stimulation to specific nerves.

Lifestyle and Home remedies

When migraines occur, try lying and take a nap in a peaceful, darkened room. Other practices that you could include are:

  • Relaxation techniques: Biofeedback and other forms of relaxation techniques will help reduce the number of migraines you have by teaching you ways to cope up with stressful situations.
  • Develop a daily routine: Try to follow a sleeping and eating timetable for consistency.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids which will help in the reduction of migraines.
  • Keep Record: Maintain a record of headaches which will help you identify the triggers and sought which treatment is most effective.
  • Exercise regularly: Take up daily exercise, which is a stress buster to prevent migraines.

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