- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Coping with Migraine headache and leading a fruitful life
Migraine headache is a problem for many in the world, affecting 10% of world population. It is not a contagious disease, but is believed to be caused by extreme constriction followed by dilatation of blood vessels in the head. When you make a comparison you will know that women are more affected by migraine than men. If a migraine is not attended immediately, the pain increases and builds up to an unbearable intensity. I was a migraine sufferer since childhood, as far as I can remember. Many of my precious hours in my life had gone as a waste with severe migraine headaches, especially in my school and college days, and later life too.
Causes of Migraine
The exact cause of migraine is still unknown. The most common triggers quoted are stress, hunger, sleeplessness, and fatigue, accompanied by certain food intake.
In my own experience and some of the migraine sufferers I know, the causes vary.
In my case, I had noticed that if I take chocolates or anything with chocolates, or cheese, or paneer, the next day I would not be able to wake up without a migraine headache. Likewise, if I didn't have a proper sleep or food on time, or had a reason to worry, I was sure of facing a bad day the following morning. At the onset of a migraine, I used to become so quiet, and preferred to lie down in a relatively dark room, even without a TV sound or any type of music. Even the noises created by children outside used to irritate me. Chinese noodles also triggered a migraine headache to me; some of my migraine suffering friends too agreed to this.
My Migraine patterns
In my earlier days, usually my headache would start by afternoon and I would bring out everything in my stomach, and then sleep the whole night, pressing the affected area on the soft pillow. The next morning I would be up early, hungry and tired. This type of suffering went on at least 3 times a week, (some weeks even 4 times) causing great anxiety to my parents and siblings. What stories I heard from my friends were also more or less the same.
Later, the pattern of my migraine changed, after I started working, along with running a home. Mostly my headaches triggered in the early mornings, or just after one or two hours after midnight, and lasted until the next midnight. Sometimes the migraine even started during the day following a tensed day in the office, and had to push off home as it was difficult for me to manage my duties well.
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Treating a Migraine headache
Though I had taken prophylactic (preventive) treatment like Propranolol (Inderal), metaprolol, calcium channel blockers etc, they were not helpful in my case, at all. Those days I had noticed that the prescribed drug Sumatriptan if taken immediately at the onset of a migraine, used to help me. But it was very expensive and strong tablet, and I didn't want to take it very often, to avoid future complications. Once I realised what triggers my headache, I started avoiding them, as much as possible. There is no doubt prevention is the best policy than treating it.
Differentiating a Migraine headache
How do you recognize a migraine headache from other headaches? Are there anything special about this so called migraine headache? Many people classify all types of headaches as just under one general category as 'Headache', and they may not know how a migraine headache is differentiated from other headaches. It is estimated that nearly one out of every hundred people suffer from migraines.
Commonly seen differences
1. Most of the migraine headaches are intense, throbbing and affects the temple, or forehead or back of the neck.
2. Most of the time, a migraine headache occurs on one side of your head, but sometimes they do occur both sides. Most of the time the next attack will be on the other side.
3. Many people prefer to relax in a quiet and dark room, by staying away from light and sound, while suffering from a migraine headache.
4. Many migraine sufferers are sensitive to nausea and vomiting during an attack.
5. A migraine sufferer gets considerable relief after a vomiting.
6.. Sometimes migraine headaches are associated with an aura.
7. After about 24 hours of an attack, the migraine sufferer may feel drained of energy and exhausted, unable to do the daily activities satisfactorily, for some time.
8. A migraine headache can last from 4 hours to 3 days.
My Latest technique
Recently, I learned that by sleeping without a pillow prevents a headache. I got adjusted to sleeping without a pillow now, and my headache has reduced to 75%.
Leading a fruitful life
I had tried several types of treatments like allopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy and reiki. Reiki was helpful to some extent if given immediately, but where to get someone to give reiki as and when you want. Though I have learned reiki and practise often now, I can't practise it on me during a migraine attack, as at that time I wanted only to lie down quietly.
Gradually, I learnt to adjust my life avoiding the situations which are responsible for triggering a migraine headache, and started practising yoga regularly, which brought a great relief in my suffering. I'm now free from such throbbing headaches and whenever I get a mild headache I apply some balms on the affected area, and continue with my exercises, which will follow by a warm water bath, and my headache would disappear in minutes. I started drinking more water which I believe cleanses our system and removes the toxins in our body.