Migraine - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Migraine is a neurological condition that shows up as a throbbing, severe, and debilitating headache. Migraines may show various symptoms. But the most common of them are headache, nausea, and vomiting. It affects all ages and mostly runs in families.


Its diagnosis is confirmed after taking a proper history and clinical symptoms. It can be classified into two types.


Migraine with aura- known as classic migraine

Migraine without aura- known as common migraine


Women are more likely to have migraine as compared to men. However, it may affect all age groups and genders. Genetic tendency plays a role in it. 


Representation of migraine pain 


People having migraines may complain of it as, throbbing, pulsating, perforating, pounding, and a debilitating headache. Sometimes it can be dull and steady. 


Symptoms 


The symptoms of migraine may vary from person to person. Some people may have certain complaints while others have different. The symptoms of migraine may start one to two days before its onset- the stage called the prodrome stage. At this stage, you may have the following signs and symptoms;


  • frequent yawning

  • hyperactivity

  • irritability

  • food cravings

  • depression

  • fatigue or low energy

  • neck stiffness


In migraine with aura, the aura appears after the initial prodrome stage. In it, you may have vision problems, difficulty speaking, problems in movement and sensation. 


The signs and symptoms of this stage are;


  • seeing shapes, light flashes, or bright spots

  • difficulty speaking clearly

  • feeling a prickling or tingling sensation in your face, arms, or legs

  • temporarily losing your vision


Then, it is followed by the attack phase- the most severe one, in which throbbing headache occurs. It can occur with the aura phase or without it. The symptoms of the attack phase can remain anywhere between some hours to even days and may vary from person to person. It could represent as;


  • pain on one side of your head, either on the left side, right side, front, or back, or in your temples

  • pulsing and throbbing head pain

  • increased sensitivity to light and sound

  • nausea

  • dizziness or feeling faint

  • vomiting



After the attack phase ends, it is followed by the postdrome phase. In it, a mild headache persists. The person may have mood swings, euphoria, apathy, or fatigue. 


Causes 


According to experts, there is no certain causative agent for migraine. But it can be triggered from certain triggers. These triggers may also vary from person to person. You must keep an eye on all those triggers that cause you a migraine attack. To make it easy for yourself, maintain a diary in which you write about everything you did one or two days before the occurrence of a migraine attack. Some of those triggers can be;


  • A decrease in the neurotransmitter in the brain known as serotonin 

  • Skipping meals and following a different kind of diet like keto or intermittent fasting, especially, cutting down carbohydrates from your diet.

  • Having a change in your sleeping pattern. If you are a patient of migraines, make sure you follow a particular sleeping pattern. 

  • Using certain medications, such as oral contraceptives or nitroglycerin.

  • Exposure to unusual smells and strong ones like that of paint, thinner, or polish. 

  • Exposure to bright lights like that on a dance floor. 

  • Exposure to severe heat, or severe cold. In summer, try to keep yourself indoors, and while in winter, try to cover yourself when you go out. 

  • Not drinking enough water, which leads to dehydration.

  • Having a change in barometric pressure.

  • Eating certain foods like something sour. 

  • Smoke- either that of a cigarette or pollution. 

  • Consuming alcohol

  • Traveling, especially to hilly areas when you have motion sickness.  

  • Hormone changes in women, such as estrogen and progesterone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause

  • Excessive stress

  • Exposure to loud sounds.

  • Doing intense physical activity.


Conclusion 


Migraine is a neurological condition that shows up as a throbbing, severe, and debilitating headache. Mostly, it occurs on one side of the head. Your doctor may prescribe medications like beta-blockers as prophylaxis to treat it. Make sure you try to know about its triggers. And once you figure them out, try to avoid them. When the attack starts, go into a dark, silent, isolated room so that it gets better.


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