Migraine

Description

A migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from two to 72 hours. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, sound or smell.

Symptoms of Migraine:

Symptoms of migraine can start a while before the headache, immediately before the headache, during the headache and after the headache.

  • moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head but capable of occurring on either side of the head.
  • severe, throbbing, or pulsing pain.
  • increasing pain during physical activity or when straining.
  • inability to perform regular activities due to pain.
  • feeling sick and physically vomiting.
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound, relieved by lying quietly in a darkened room.

Causes of Migraine:

Emotional Triggers:

Stress, depression, anxiety, excitement and shock can trigger a migraine.

Physical causes: 

Tiredness and insufficient sleep, shoulder or neck tension, poor posture, and physical overexertion have all been linked to migraines. Low blood sugar and jet lag can also act as triggers

Triggers in the diet: 

Alcohol and caffeine can contribute to triggering migraines. Some specific foods can also have this effect, including chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits and foods containing the additive tyramine. Irregular mealtimes and dehydration have also been named as potential triggers.

Medications: 

Some sleeping pills, Harmone Replacement Theraphy (HRT) medications, and the combined contraceptive pill have all been named as possible triggers.

Triggers in the environment: 

Flickering screens, strong smells, second-hand smoke, and loud noises can set off a migraine. Stuffy rooms, temperature changes and bright lights are also possible triggers.

Treatment:

  • getting enough sleep.
  • reducing stress.
  • drinking plenty of water.
  • avoiding certain foods.
  • regular physical exercise.

Some people also find that special diets can help, such as gluten-free.

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