Migraine refers to a severe chronic headache that occurs with symptoms in some individuals. Migraine is a type of primary headache. This can result from underlying organic disease or structural disease in the body. This headache can be very painful in some individuals and it may be accompanied by sensory signs. In some people, this headache can leave pain that may last for many hours and in some cases days. There are times when a patient suffering from this headache is unable to do anything and they have to be helped in doing their usual daily chores at home. Migraine affects a large number of people. However, some people do not know what may cause migraine and how it can be treated. Currently over 28 million people in America suffer from this headache. Studies also revels that females are likely to suffer migraine than males. There are several factors that can be attributed to migraine.
Causes of Migraines
In some people, the cause of migraine can be identified. However, identifying factors resulting to this headache in some is not possible. Basically, migraine can be attributed to the enlargement of blood vessel and the release of nerve fiber chemicals from the nerves coiling around blood vessels. One or more arteries may enlarge while an individual is suffering from this headache. This artery is usually located outside the skull beneath the skin. This results to chemical release which eventually causes inflammation and pain. It also accelerates more artery enlargement. This process can be triggered by a number of factors.
- Allergies or allergic reactions,
- Loud noise, bright lights, perfumes or some odors,
- Emotional or physical stress,
- Smoke exposure or smoking,
- Exposure to very high or low temperatures can also cause migraine.
- There are also cases of migraine that can be associated with a family where one comes from. Some people who suffer from migraines hail from families where their parents or members of their families suffer the same condition.
- Exposure to an environment different from the one an individual is used to can also cause migraine. Medical practitioners say that such headache is as a result of the body trying to adapt to the different environment.
- Irregular sleep or a change in the sleeping pattern that one is used to.
- Fasting or skipping meals,
- Tension headache,
- Pills taken for birth control, fluctuation of the menstrual cycle and even hormonal changes at the onset of menopause,
- Consumption of foods with tyramine. These include aged cheese, red wine, chicken livers, smoked fish, some beans and figs.
- Nitrates such as hot dogs, bacon and salami can also cause migraine,
- Monosodium glutamate can also cause migraine.
- Products such as nuts, chocolate, avocado, citrus, peanut butter, dairy products and banana can cause migraine in some people. Even pickled or fermented foods can cause migraine in some individuals.
Although one may be able to identify triggers of migraine, it does not always imply that avoiding them will lead to complete prevention of migraine from occurring.
Symptoms of Migraines
Migraine is basically a chronic medical condition that keeps recurring. In most cases, migraine is associated with headache. Nevertheless, there are signs that can be used to identify migraine. They include the following;
- An individual with migraines experiences a pounding or throbbing pain in their head. This headache is usually very intense involving the temple of an individual. There are cases where pain is experienced around back and forehead. It can also spread to the region around the eyes.
- Some patients experience a unilateral pain. This implies that pain is experienced on one side only. However, pain is bilateral in most cases. The largest number of individuals is the ones who experience pain in both sides of their heads.
- People with unilateral headache experiences typical pain changes. Thus, some time pain is on one side then moves to the other side. In can an individual has migraine in which pain attracts only one side of their head; it is advisable to see a doctor. This s because it could be as a result of a more sinister cause such as a tumor in the brain.
- Headache in which pain increases when performing daily activities. For instance, pain could increase while one is walking up the stairs.
- In severe cases, headache is accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, cold hands, facial pallor, cold feet and even being sensitive to sound and light. Due to this sensitivity to sound and light, many people prefer staying in dark and quiet room whenever they have this attack. In most cases a typical attack may last between four and seventy two hours.
- There are symptoms that are considered as premonitory that may precede migraine. These include feeling sleepy, being fatigued, craving for salty or sweet foods, euphoria or depression and irritability.
If you observe these symptoms or any of your loved ones has these symptoms, it is advisable to look for the best remedy for their condition. Identifying them is very easy especially when one is used to migraine attacks.
Migraine Home Remedies
There are remedies for migraines that have been tried at home and proven to work. These have been of great importance especially to people with known causes of migraine. The largest percentage of people with migraine attacks are basically women. Their migraine is caused by hormonal changes during their monthly periods. Home remedies play a very important to such women during this period of the month. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself!
Among the most commonly used home remedies for migraine include;
- Drinking sufficient water: Water helps in flushing toxins out of the body. It also helps in keeping the body hydrated. Dehydration can be one major cause of migraines and it can be avoided by drinking sufficient amount of water. People with regular migraine attacks have used water to relief the rate at which they recur.
- Drinking coffee: Caffeine in coffee e is very important in hindering and helping someone with a headache. This is because caffeine is capable of restricting blood vessels. It also helps in reducing pain resulting from migraine. Majority of over the counter medicines used for relieving headache have caffeine as their component. However, there are cases where it may trigger headache.
- Wearing a headband around your head: This is a home remedy that has been used for many years since ancient times. Although there is no documented information on how this remedy helps in treating migraine, it has been proven to work.
- Fish oil: Some enthusiasts say that fish oil helps in reducing inflammation. It restrict blood vessels inside the temple. This is very important in reducing pain that result from the migraine.
- Ginger: Ginger reduces pain and nausea in the person having migraine. It has been used by many people and proven to work.
- Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2 acts both as a preventative product and also as a remedy. Individuals who are used to having migraine attacks should always have them around. When taken after signs of migraine have been noticed this remedy can help in preventing the attacks. It can also be used in relieving pain that results from migraines.
- Hot or cold compress: This is home remedy that many patients have tried and proven that it works.
- Hot tea: There are patients who drink tea whenever they have migraine attacks and it work for them.
- Getting adequate sleep: Some cases of migraine results from having inadequate sleep. Such migraine can be remedied by having adequate and regular sleep.
- Feverfew: Tantacetum parthenium, whose common name is Feverfew, is one of the most effective herbs in the treatment of migraines. Migraines usually result from inflammatory reactions within the head that expand blood vessels by aggravating nerve endings, a process this herb usually interrupts. If you are keen on getting rid of your migraine attacks in just about 4 to 6 weeks, taking this herb daily is a good place to start.
- Omega-3: During migraine attacks, tissues around the brain become inflamed. This is perhaps why many herbalists recommend the intake of omega-3 fatty acids to lessen the inflammation. Ensure you take 4,000-6,000 mg fish oil every single day in your meals for more effective absorption. It will take anything from 8 to 12 weeks for your migraines to stabilize.
- Chasteberry: If you have been suffering from migraine attacks induced by menstrual periods, Chasteberry could provide the necessary remedy. Low progesterone levels compared to estrogen will at times trigger the dilation of blood vessels supplying the brain. Chasteberry, when used in concentrated herbal capsules of as a tea can actually boost your progesterone levels.
- Butterbur root: Butterbur root has also proven to be worthy as a migraine remedy. It can decrease the frequency of migraine attacks by as much as 48%. Start by crushing a tablespoon of butterbur root extract and add it to some water or tea in the morning. If you stick to this extract for several days, your migraines will soon be gone.
- Magnesium: One of the most important minerals to the human body can also be very important in the treatment of migraines. It is readily available in seeds, nuts as well as the leafy, green vegetables. It regulates blood sugar levels that are essential in maintaining proper muscle and nerve function, helping to control migraine attacks.
Diet for Migraines
Migraine attacks can be reduced by adopting a healthy diet. However, there are not connections that link diet with migraines. Basically, what one need to do is to avoid foods that trigger migraines. Basically, there are foods which have chemicals such as phenylethylamine, tyramine and histamine which may trigger migraines. These foods are called amines and when avoided it is possible to reduce migraine attacks. Such foods include;
- cocoa and chocolate
- Red wine
- Beef and pork
These are just some of the foods that can cause excessive migraine attacks. Avoiding them can help in lessening migraine pain.
Prevention of Migraines
Migraine can be prevented through the following;
- Avoiding factors that cause its attack such as high or cold temperatures.
- If you know a food or drink that causes migraine you can avoid them
- Drinking sufficient amount of water to keep the body hydrated
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle.
- Avoiding stress
Just like with other illness, some migraine can be prevented if one adopts a healthy lifestyle.
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