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Migraine Symptoms, Treatment, Causes , Prevention & Home Remedies for Migraine

Updated on September 29, 2012

Migraine Overview

When it comes to headaches, migraine is the most severe of all. Migraine happens to people usually and frequently. The thing is, the severity of the pain differs. Around 80% of migraine patients might have developed this disease before their 30s itself. Frequent headache torments patients like anything.

What is and is not Migraine?

If it’s been just a few days or weeks since you have developed this headache, it’s not migraine then. If the headaches arrives all of a sudden along with fever, drowsiness, mental fluctuations, weariness, oral or visual inconveniences, fits, headache while sleep etc consult a specialist at the earliest and diagnose the disease, for these are not the symptoms of migraine.

Migraine and Women:

It is women who usually suffer from migraine. Studies have revealed that when 6% of men have migraine, with women, it’s 15%. Just before menstruation women usually suffer from head ache. 15% of women encounter migraine only during this period. Even though migraine won’t be that severe for pregnant ladies, chances of complexities cannot be neglected blindly.

The severity and frequency of migraine alleviates in most patients once after 40s. But with some women migraine may gain severity and frequency after menopause.

Those who take hormonal medicines too encounter migraine every now and then. Migraine can be a hereditary affair as well.

Identifying Migraine:

If frequent, throbbing sensational head ache continues for days together, it can be suspected as migraine. According to the International Headache Society, following are the main symptoms of migraine:

  1. Frequent headache that lasts for 4 to 72 hours.
  2. No particular reason for headache.

    Any two of the following:
  1. Pain on only one side of the head
  2. The nature of the pain—Throbbing
  3. The movement of body or head augments the pain
  4. Reasonably severe pain
  5. Any one of the following:\
  6. Nausea or Vomiting
  7. Intolerance towards light and sound

How to Fight Migraine?

Studies reveal that in some migraine patients what induces the headache is the situation or circumstance that they get into. Identifying such situations and avoiding them will help to fight migraine.

Alcohol, chocolate, ghee, Chinese food items containing mono sodium glutamate, beverages having caffeine content, orange etc. augment the probabilities of a migraine attack.

Irregular and untimely food consumption, starvation, sleeplessness, over time sleeps, penetrating scents like perfume or soaps, tiresome works, mental traumas, stress, heavy light, dim light, climatic changes, hormonal imbalances during menstruation—all these are major migraine triggers.

Migraine Causes:

The main symptom of migraine is severe head ache that attacks alternately. The pain may be felt on one side of the head or on both sides or around the eyes. Behind the forehead, on both sides of the head you may feel a throbbing sensation—that can be the beginning. You can feel your vein pulsating strongly, if you touch there. This acquires severity in a few minutes or in a few hours.

To avoid all disturbances, the patient may prefer to sleep in a dark room with out any noises. Even a slight touch on the head augments the pain. You may feel nauseating and may even vomit. For some, the pain alleviates with a vomit. But for some only medicines will be of any help. Usually the pain disappears with a sound sleep. At times the pain continues even after a good sleep. This kind of headache is usually known as Common migraine or migraine without aura.

How Classical Migraine Occurs?

In around 20% of the migraine victims, some temporary changes in the functionalities of some parts of the brain can be observed. These changes will usually be connected with vision.

Some see glittering strings of light before their eyes. For some, the vision is gonna get blurred. At times, some may develop numbness or feebleness on one side of the body. Some encounters difficulty to think, talk or walk. These are gonna last for 1 to 15 minutes; if not more. These inconveniences repeat every time the migraine arrives.

In course of time, these symptoms lessen and throbbing headache gains severity. The proceeding symptoms will be same as that of the common migraine. This type of migraine is known as Classical Migraine or migraine with aura. The discrepancies in the functioning of the brain may last in some patients even after the head ache is gone. This is called Complicated Migraine. And very rarely, this may become permanent.

Dizziness and Blindness:

The most common type of migraine found in women and kids is Basilar Migraine. Symptoms like temporary blindness, dizziness, imbalance, indistinct talks, and numbness in hands, legs or face may remain for 10 to 30 minutes. After that the headache upsurges. If this headache upsurge further more, the victim may even fall unconscious.

There is yet another kind of migraine that influences the movement of eyes—Opthalmoplegic Migraine. In this type of migraine, either along with the pain or after the retreat of the pain, the nerves that move the eyes may get damaged resulting in partial or full closure of the eyes or in squinted eyes.

Migraine in Kids:

Kids may develop migraine without even exhibiting any headache symptoms. The general symptoms of migraine in kids include alternate stomach ache, vomiting, dizziness, imbalance, weariness etc.

Kids and grown ups, rarely, develop weariness or lack of strength on one part of the body. Even after the head ache is gone, the fatigue may still last. This type of migraine is hereditary.

Status Migranosis

If a migraine victim suffers from severe headache for days together, then it is Status Migranosis. Headache backed up by dizziness, nausea and vomiting is gonna make life an infernal affair for the victim. Infections, blows or strokes on the head, drug addiction etc. can result in this kind of migraine.

Treat with Care:

Migraine is not a fatal disease. Treatment is decided based on some aspects like how frequent does the head ache gains severity and how seriously does this influence the victim’s day to day life. If the headache frequents only once in a month or two, pain killers that can be used securely at the beginning stage itself will suffice. To avoid mental strains, yoga, meditation, counseling, exercise etc. can be performed. It is equally crucial to take food and sleep at regular times.

The Medicine for Migraine :

If the headache frequents despite the above mentioned practices, then the patients will need proper medication. Medicines for migraine can be categorized into two as those taken after headache and those taken to prevent headache.

Normal pain killers like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aceclofenac etc. will do, if the head ache is not that severe. This will be of use if taken at the beginning of the pain itself. Ergotamine and Triptans are medicines that can be taken after the migraine attack.

Strong medicines belonging to the Triptan group will alleviate the pain considerably. This can be availed as pills, injection or nasal spray; but should be used only as per the instructions of a doctor. Pregnant ladies and those who have heart diseases or vein related diseases should thoroughly avoid the intake of this medicine.
To Fight Headache…

These medicines are usually prescribed when the migraine attacks become a daily matter and when it affects the smooth functioning of day to day life. These medicines are to be taken regularly from 3 to 6 months. Roughly stating, it is advisable for someone who suffers from migraine attacks at least thrice in a month, to start medication.

Propranolol, Metoprolol, Sodium Valproate, Flunarizine, Topiramate, Amitriptyline, Verapamil, Gabapentin, Cyproheptadine etc. are some of the major medicines used for this purpose. If the severity of migraine alleviates after taking these medicines for 3 to 6 months, the doze can be reduced and can be stopped gradually.

These medicines should be strictly used as per the instructions of a doctor. Along with these, all circumstances that may induce migraine too should be avoided.


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    • LensMan999 profile image

      LensMan999 4 years ago from Trans-Neptunian region

      Hi vocalcoach,

      Happy to find that you found the hub informative. Thanks for your comment.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is an excellent and very informative hub on Migraine Headaches. I'm lucky. I've only had a few in my entire life. I've known people who have had to go to bed when one comes on.

      Voted up useful interesting and sharing!