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Migraine

Definition:

Migraine is a complex periodic headache which is usually one sided. It can be moderate to severe in nature and is often associated with nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to noise and light.

 

The word migraine is derived from a Greek word “hemikrania” where hemi means “half” and krania means “skull”.

 

Migraine is more than just a headache. The headaches can sometimes be disabling too. These types of headaches most likely occur due to problems in the nerves and blood vessels in the head.

 

Incidence: Globally about 15% of population is affected by migraine. It mostly starts during puberty (maturation age where one is capable of reproduction) and worsens during the middle age. Females are most commonly affected by this disorder than men. About two third of the cases run in families.

 

Also Read: Migraine the MISERY IN THE HEAD

Causes:

 

Migraine is caused by  a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The exact underlying cause and mechanism is not known, however it is believed that it is caused due to the dilatation of the blood vessels of the skull.

 

Predisposing factors:

 

Weather changes, alcohol intake, inadequate sleep, stress, strong odors, certain foods, irregular meals, hormonal imbalance, few birth control pills and some genetic factors.  

 

  1. Hormonal imbalance: Women commonly experience this headache before, during or after menses due to certain hormonal changes that occur in the body during the menstrual period. This is called as menstrual migraine.

 

  1. Heredity: Migraine also runs in families, which shows that genetics has a role to play in the development of migraine in next generation.

 

  1. Heat exposure: Excess of sun exposure or working in excess of heat for hours can also trigger migraine headaches since the dehydration may lead to constriction of the blood vessels of the skull thereby causing migraine.

 

  1. Physical factors: Some headaches are also triggered due excess of light and noise. Hence patients prefer to lie down in a dark quiet room to get relief from headache.

 

  1. Irregular meals: This is quite common in an office setting, corporate industries. Delaying or skipping the meals increases the Ph level and lowers the blood sugar level of the body thereby triggering migraine. It is also commonly called as the gastric headache.

 

  1. Lifestyle errors: In a busy world like today, working prolong hours and stretching it overnight leading to inadequate sleep, starts affecting the health at some point of time and may become a reason to trigger migraine.

 

Ask your questions to Dr. Shah's team directly & get an expert opinion on your ailment!

 

Types:

 

 1) Migraine with aura

 2Migraine without aura

 

1) Migraine with aura: This particular type of headache is associated with aura. Aura is nothing but a sensation of discomfort which the patient might feel 10-30 minutes before the headache starts. The patient may experience visual disturbances, hallucinations or even one might have temporary blindness. Some patients describe seeing zigzag lines and waves in front of the eyes. Auras are experienced due to constriction of blood vessels in the skull before the migraine headache is fully developed. One may also experience dizziness, tingling numbness anywhere in the body, sensation of pins and needles on one side of the body, difficulty in speech, weakness etc.

 

2) Migraine without aura: This is a common type of migraine where the patient does not have any neurological symptoms (dizziness, numbness, and visual disturbances) before the onset of headache. But nausea and vomiting are frequently accompanied. General fatigue, irritability and lethargy may be experienced by patient before headache starts.

 

Symptoms:

 

Severe throbbing and pulsating pain; usually felt on one side of the head. The pain is aggravated by any physical exertion and mental exertion. Migraine headaches usually begin gradually on one part of the head. It builds up in intensity over a period of time (for example it may start increasing in a few minutes to hours) and spreads across the head. The pain may attain its peak at the end of 1-2 hours. The pain may become so severe that the normal routine is disrupted and the patient may find difficulty in falling asleep.

The pain usually subsides in few hours in most of the cases, but may last for days in some severe cases.

 

Other symptoms which accompany a headache are nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and noise, and irritability.

 

Warning signs when you should be worried about headaches:

 

  1. Headaches that occur frequently
  2. A major change in the pattern of headache
  3. When you experience a “worst” headache ever
  4. Headaches that get worse gradually

Also Read: Top 5 Homeopathic Remedies For Migraine

 

Diagnosis:

 

Migraine is usually diagnosed by taking a detailed clinical history and thorough neurological examination. However similar kind of conditions need to be ruled out which may need some investigations like CT scan, MRI, assessment of the brain fluid which is called the cerebrospinal fluid and EEG to assess the electrical activity of the brain.

 

Treatment:

Conventional treatment

Certain pain killers like paracetamol, anti- inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), anti-hypertensives and ergot preparations in patients who are not responding to pain killers are administered.

 

Homeopathic treatment

The homeopathic treatment for migraine is based on the individual case study of the patient's disease, its causative factors, the genetic pattern, mental state, dependency on other medicines etc. The treatment plans to correct the disturbed psychosomatic pathways and genetic disposition of the patient. One should definitely think of homeopathy as the first line of treatment for migraine as it offers long-lasting pain relief instead of temporary relief. It helps in reducing the frequency, duration and intensity of headache episodes in the initial six to ten weeks of treatment. Homeopathy also reduces the dependency on pain killers and treats the root cause of the disease thereby improving the quality of life of the patient. However, one might require taking pain killers during the acute migraine episode. Homeopathic medicines are essentially safe and non-toxic. They can be safely taken for a long time even in parallel to the conventional treatment.  

 

Diet and lifestyle tips for migraineurs:

 

  1. Adequate hydration: Drink coconut water when you start experiencing the headache. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and is known as a natural pain reliever. It aids dehydration which is a common triggering factor for migraine. Moreover, aim at drinking 2-3 liters of liquids per day.
  2. Adequate sleep: Sleep for minimum 7-8 hours in a day. Avoid sleeping immediately after having food.
  3. Avoid heat: Avoid sun exposure between 12 pm to 4 pm. Avoid working in a heated atmosphere for prolonged hours.
  4. Eat on time: Make sure that you do not starve and keep your stomach empty for a long time. Keep a fixed food routine and make sure you have small meals at regular intervals. Avoid fried and spicy food.

 

Ask your questions to Dr. Shah's team directly & get an expert opinion on your ailment!

 

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*Please note that results and duration of treatment may vary depending on the constitution of your body.