Select Page

September 4, 2021 Glynis Kennedy

How to cure a Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological condition that can cause multiple symptoms. It’s frequently characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines often run in families and affect all ages.

The diagnosis of migraine headaches is determined based on clinical history, reported symptoms, and by ruling out other causes. The most common categories of migraine headaches are those without aura (previously known as common migraines) and those with aura (previously known as classic migraines).

Migraines can begin in childhood or may not occur until early adulthood. Women are more likely than men to have migraines. Family history is one of the most common risk factors for migraines.

Symptoms

Migraines, which affect children and teenagers as well as adults, can progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. Not everyone who has migraines goes through all stages.

Prodrome

One or two days before a migraine, you might notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including:

Aura

For some people, an aura might occur before or during migraines. Auras are reversible symptoms of the nervous system. They’re usually visual but can also include other disturbances. Each symptom usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes and can last up to 60 minutes.
Examples of migraine auras include:

  • Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
  • Vision loss
  • Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking

Attack

A migraine usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours if untreated. How often migraines occur varies from person to person. Migraines might occur rarely or strike several times a month.
During a migraine, you might have:

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

 

Postdrome

After a migraine attack, you might feel drained, confused, and washed out for up to a day. Some people report feeling elated. The sudden head movement might bring on the pain again briefly.

Migraine Risk Factors

The American Migraine Foundation estimates that more than 38 million Americans get migraines. Some things may make you more likely to get them:

  • Women have migraines three times more often than men.
  • Age. Most people start having migraine headaches between ages 10 and 40. But many women find that their migraines get better or go away after age 50.
  • Family history. Four out of five people with migraines have other family members who get them. If one parent has a history of these types of headaches, their child has a 50% chance of getting them. If both parents have them, the risk jumps to 75%.
  • Other medical conditions. Depressionanxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy can raise your odds.

Migraine Triggers

Some common migraine triggers include:

  • Hormone changes. Many women notice that they have headaches around their period, while they’re pregnant, or when they’re ovulating. Symptoms may also be tied to menopause, birth control that uses hormones, or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Stress. When you’re stressed, your brain releases chemicals that can cause blood vessel changes that might lead to a migraine.
  • Some foods and drinks, such as aged cheese, alcohol, and food additives like nitrates (in pepperoni, hot dogs, and lunch meats) and monosodium glutamate (MSG), may be responsible for some people.
  • Skipping meals
  • Getting too much or not getting as much as you’re used to can cause headaches. Caffeine itself can be a treatment for acute migraine attacks.
  • Changes in weather. Storm fronts, changes in barometric pressure, strong winds, or changes in altitude can all trigger a migraine.
  • Loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells can set off a migraine.
  • Vasodilators, which widen your blood vessels, can trigger them.
  • Physical activity. This includes exercise and sex.
  • Tobacco
  • Changes to your sleep. You might get headaches when you sleep too much or not enough.

 

When to see a doctor

Migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you regularly have signs and symptoms of migraine, 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 could indicate a more serious medical problem:

  • An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap
  • Headache with fever, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, double vision, numbness or weakness in any part of the body, which could be a sign of a stroke
  • Headache after a head injury
  • A chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
  • New headache pain after age 50

Are Migraines Curable?

There’s no cure for migraines yet. But medications can help prevent or stop them, or keep your symptoms from getting worse.
You can also avoid things that trigger your migraines. Lifestyle changes like easing stress,change of diet, meditating and having good sleep habits etc., can help too.

Are Migraines Fatal?

Most migraines don’t cause lasting harm.
Rarely, you can have a complication called migrainous infarction. That’s when you have a stroke while you’re having a migraine. But there’s no evidence migraine can trigger a stroke.
It’s extremely rare, but a hemiplegic migraine can sometimes lead to a coma or other serious complications.
A very intense headache that starts suddenly can be a sign of another, more serious condition, like a stroke or aneurysm. Get medical help right away if this happens.

Migraine Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your health history and your symptoms. It may help if you have a diary of your symptoms and any triggers you’ve noticed. Write down:

  • What symptoms you have, including where it hurts
  • How often you have them
  • How long they last
  • Any other family members who have migraines
  • All the medicines and supplements you take, even over-the-counter ones
  • Other medicines you remember taking in the past

Your doctor may order tests to rule out other things that could cause your symptoms, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Imaging tests like MRI or CT scans
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Treatments for migraine:
There’s currently no cure for migraines, although a number of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms.
It may take time to work out the best treatment for you. You may need to try different types or combinations of medicines before you find the most effective ones.

If you find you cannot manage your migraines using over-the-counter medicines, your GP may prescribe something stronger.

During an attack

Most people find that sleeping or lying in a darkened room is the best thing to do when having a migraine attack.
Others find that eating something helps, or they start to feel better once they have been sick.
Painkillers

Many people who have migraines find that over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen, can help to reduce their symptoms.
Cautions
When taking over-the-counter painkillers, always make sure you read the instructions on the packaging and follow the dosage recommendations, and be aware of all the side effects they have.
 Triptans
If ordinary painkillers are not helping to relieve your migraine symptoms, you should make an appointment to see a GP.
They may recommend taking painkillers in addition to a type of medicine called a triptan, and possibly anti-sickness medicine.
Triptan medicines are a specific painkiller for migraine headaches. They work by reversing the changes in the brain that may cause migraine headaches.
Common side effects of triptans include:

  • warm sensation
  • tightness
  • tingling
  • flushing
  • feelings of heaviness in the face, limbs or chest

Some people also experience feeling sick, a dry mouth and drowsiness.

Anti-sickness medicines

Anti-sickness medicines, known as antiemetics, can successfully treat migraine in some people even if you do not experience feeling or being sick.
These are prescribed by a GP, and can be taken alongside painkillers and triptans.
Side effects of antiemetics include drowsiness and diarrhoea.

Acupuncture
If medicines are unsuitable or do not help to prevent migraines, you can try acupuncture.
Some GP surgeries offer acupuncture, but most do not, so you may have to pay for it privately.
Evidence suggests a course of up to 10 sessions over a 5 to 8 week period may be beneficial.

Homeopathy
One of the most common reasons people seek homeopathic care is to treat migraines.
Professional homeopaths recommend treatments based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account the individual’s constitutional type. In homeopathic terms, a person’s constitution is his or her physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.

Other Natural Ways to Reduce Migraine Symptoms

1. Acupressure – Acupressure therapy may help relieve some migraine symptoms.

Acupressure involves the application of pressure to specific parts of the body. Stimulating specific points of the body in this way is believed to release muscle tension and alleviate pain. Physical treatments like chiropractic, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, and craniosacral therapy might ease headache symptoms.

2. Diet changes – Many people who get migraines notice certain foods can trigger them.

Common food triggers for migraines include:

●       processed foods

●       red wine

●       alcohol

●       chocolate

●       caffeinated beverages

Being aware of what might be triggering a migraine is critical. Some people use a food diary or migraine journal to keep track of potential triggers.

Changing diet or eating patterns to avoid triggers may help to prevent migraines in the future.

3. Essential oils – Essential oils are often used as natural remedies. Most popular oils that reduce headache pain are lavender and peppermint.

4. Ginger – The researchers found the effectiveness of ginger was statistically comparable to sumatriptan, and users were as willing to continue with either treatment.

5. Stress management -stress is a common trigger for migraines. Stress can also create a cycle where migraine pain worsens the stress, which then triggers another migraine.

6. Yoga or stretching – Yoga is thought to help improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension, which can help relieve symptoms for people who get migraines.

7. Biofeedback therapy – Biofeedback is a therapy that people use to trigger the release and relaxation of tight muscles.

8. Massage – Massaging the muscles in the neck and shoulders can help to relieve tension and alleviate migraine pain. Massage may also reduce stress.

9. Herbal supplements -Butterbur and feverfew are two herbal supplements that may be helpful in reducing migraine pain and frequency.

10. Magnesium – Deficiency of magnesium, which is an essential mineral, may trigger migraine aura or a menstrual-migraine headache.

11. B-complex vitamins – The B vitamins may have an impact on reducing migraine frequency and severity. B vitamins play a role in regulating neurotransmitters in the brain.

12. Stay hydrated – Not drinking enough water is a well-known migraine and headache trigger, and it only takes minor dehydration to bring on a headache.

13. Rest – Lack of sleep and too much sleep can be triggers for migraine headaches.

Getting 7–9 hours of restful sleep each night can help to reduce stress and prevent migraines.

14. Compresses – Some people find placing a cold or warm compress on their head can be soothing and help to reduce migraine pain.

15. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A specialist can teach you how actions and thoughts affect how you sense pain.

16. Supplements. Research has found that some vitamins, minerals, and herbs can prevent or treat migraines. These include riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and melatonin. Butterbur may head off migraines, but it can also affect your liver enzymes.

Migraine Prevention

Try these steps to prevent symptoms:

  • Identify and avoid triggers. Keep track of your symptom patterns in a diary so you can figure out what’s causing them.
  • Manage stress. Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing can help.
  • Eat on a regular schedule.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Get regular moderate exercise.
  • Ask your doctor about preventive medicines if you get migraines around your period or if lifestyle changes don’t help.

Bottom line
Migraine headaches can be severe, debilitating, and uncomfortable. Many treatment options are available, so be patient finding the one or combination that’s best for you. Keep track of your headaches and symptoms in order to identify migraine triggers. Knowing how to prevent migraines can often be the first step in managing them.