Fighting Migraine

I have migraine, and I just have to share this few knowledge with you I have learned from my readings.

A migraine headache is a throbbing or pulsating headache that is often one sided (unilateral) and associated with nausea; vomiting; sensitivity to light, sound, and smells; sleep disruption; and depression. Attacks are often recurrent and tend to become less severe as the migraine sufferer ages.

Some women experience migraine headaches just prior to or during menstruation. These headaches, which are called menstrual migraines, may be related to hormonal changes and often do not occur or lessen during pregnancy. Other women develop migraines for the first time during pregnancy or after menopause.

Types of Migraine

Migraine with aura is characterized by a neurological phenomenon (aura) that is experienced 10 to 30 minutes before the headache. Most auras are visual and are described as bright shimmering lights around objects or at the edges of the field of vision (called scintillating scotomas) or zigzag lines, castles (teichopsia), wavy images, or hallucinations. Others experience temporary vision loss. Nonvisual auras include motor weakness, speech or language abnormalities, dizziness, vertigo, and tingling or numbness (parasthesia) of the face, tongue, or extremities.

Migraine without aura is the most prevalent type and may occur on one or both sides (bilateral) of the head. Tiredness or mood changes may be experienced the day before the headache. Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light (photophobia) often accompany migraine without aura.

Abdominal migraine is most common in children with a family history of migraine. Symptoms include abdominal pain without a gastrointestinal cause (may last up to 72 hours), nausea, vomiting, and flushing or paleness (pallor). Children who have abdominal migraine often develop typical migraine as they age.
Basilar artery migraine involves a disturbance of the basilar artery in the brainstem. Symptoms include severe headache, vertigo, double vision, slurred speech, and poor muscle coordination. This type occurs primarily in young people.

Carotidynia, also called lower-half headache or facial migraine, produces deep, dull, aching, and sometimes piercing pain in the jaw or neck. There is usually tenderness and swelling over the carotid artery in the neck. Episodes can occur several times weekly and last a few minutes to hours. This type occurs more commonly in older people. Doppler ultrasound studies of the carotid arteries are normal.

Headache-free migraine is characterized by the presence of aura without headache. This occurs in patients with a history of migraine with aura.

Ophthalmoplegic migraine begins with a headache felt in the eye and is accompanied by vomiting. As the headache progresses, the eyelid droops (ptosis) and nerves responsible for eye movement become paralyzed. Ptosis may persist for days or weeks.

Status migraine is a rare type involving intense pain that usually lasts longer than 72 hours. The patient may require hospitalization.

Incidence and Prevalence

Migraines afflict about 30 million people in the United States. They may occur at any age, but usually begin between the ages of 10 and 40 and diminish after age 50. Some people experience several migraines a month, while others have only a few migraines throughout their lifetime. Approximately 75% of migraine sufferers are women.

Migraine prevention - General lifestyle

This is the one nobody really wants to hear. We would all love to get rid of migraine without making other changes to our daily lives. Still, this is one of the most powerful migraine preventatives that there is, and so we can't ignore it. What would this include? Probably a lot of the things your Mom told you about...

* Getting proper exercise.
* Eating a well balanced, low fat diet, low in processed foods and high on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
* Good posture, and avoiding a lot of repetitive motion or standing/sitting for long periods of time.
* Avoiding some of those habits you're always warned about, like smoking (a big problem with migraineurs) and too much alcohol (which can be a migraine trigger).

More here...


kg said…
last week lang i experienced a bothersome migraine, and tanks to your post, I now know what it is called: migraine with aura!
Amanda said…
Nice to see a post on migraines that doesn't aggressively push over the counter painkillers. Those usually don't work and they have really annoying symptoms like rebound headaches. Some people also develop high blood pressure and other type problems.
Eds said…
ahhh...ang hirap ng may migraine. madalas kong maranasan yan kapag medyo nalilipasan ako ng gutom or sobrang init ng panahon.

thanks for sharing this post sheng. dami palang type ng migraine.
TPS said…
Hi Sheng. I used to have migraines dati and the following help me a lot:
1. Sleep, preferably somewhere dark. Light exacerbates the pain, don't you think? If I need to go out, I wear shades---even when I'm inside but am still exposed to light.
3. I try to throw up. I think it lessens the pressure sa brain.
4. Coffee. I know others say that this is a no-no sa migraine. Pero it really helps sa akin.
5. Paracetamol helps.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 till migraine is gone. Hehehehe.

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