In today’s world, we are living a fast-paced life. We do not have minutes to spend with our loved ones or for even ourselves. In this rat race of chasing our dreams and earning more and more money, we are losing ourselves in terms of health and paying a huge cost for this lifestyle. We are taking our health for granted and making friends with a lot of lifestyle diseases. By doing so we are inviting serious diseases and deficiencies to our bodies.
Migraine is a strong headache which can last for hours to days. It usually comes with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine can affect up to 12% of the population of women being more affected than men. Yes, migraines are pains above the neck, so they are headaches, but suffering from a migraine attack is much more than just having a headache. So, migraine is a problem of brain dysfunction.
The hypothalamus is the principle autonomic centre of the brain. It takes care of certain parts of the nervous system and also gets involved in regulating and releasing hormones this is probably why women are a little bit more affected with migraines than men. Hypothalamus gets involved in regulating certain behaviours. This shows the relationship between the symptoms of migraine and hormonal changes in women.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MIGRAINE?
Pain which starts from one side of the head and migrates to the other side of the head or face that pain is very frequently when it is migraine. The continuous throbbing or squeezing sensation, this pressure is unbearable sometimes. This is quite common with traditional migraines.
As we talked about sensitivity of light some people the migraine augments worse and worse as it starts with exposure to light and sound, be it sunlight or artificial lights in our houses. Many people say they can not go outside as it becomes severe in light. They feel a piercing pain in the head and in the eyes, honking of cars and sound from the outside world elevates the pain to the next level.
A lot of people have problems with sensitivity to sound and light, the typical chronic migraine patients want to get into a dark room. They want to put ice on their eyes, close eyes, get away from sounds that are quite common in the migraine.
IN GENERAL, THERE ARE FOUR STAGES TO A MIGRAINE ATTACK
- The Prodrome
- The Aura
- The Headache itself
- The Postdrome
About 60% of people experience the prodrome (hours or days before) although many of them do not realize it prodromal symptoms include such things as
- Hyperactivity decreased ability to sleep.
- In some People sluggishness or yawning
- Some people notice they become crabby they urinate more frequently.
- Craving for foods or lack appetite.
- People often start to have a heightened awareness of their senses, so lights seem brighter sounds seems stronger.
- Start complaining that their families are too loud or the workplace is too loud.
- They feel severe thirst, bloating, constipation and even diarrhoea.
- They experience mood swings.
These symptoms root from nerve cells and also affects vision. These symptoms start gradually from 5-20 minutes and last for less than an hour.
Interestingly many doctors and many patients also think you need to have an aura to have migraine headache but in fact, an aura is rare only about 20% of migraine sufferers experience the aura. The aura is a transient or a short-lived disturbance in some function in the neurologic ability.
- Usually, it is a visual disturbance so people will see sparkling lights or shooting stars or zigzag lines that blot out their vision.
- Some people may notice they become numb on their face or their hand on the side or the opposite side of their headache.
- Other people may notice they have trouble speaking.
- Some feel heaviness in their arms and legs
- Sometimes ringing in ears.
- Even some people notice changes in smell, taste, or touch.
The last phase of migraine is called the Postdrome.
- It is this vague sensation almost like a hangover where your body aches.
- A limited ability to think, to eat, to act normally.
- Still, just not yourself took in total.
- The entire complex of migraine can last as short as four hours which is pretty long too as long as three or four days.
I just want to say here is if you suffer from migraine you are not alone. Migraine affects about 12% of the country or more than 168 million Indians. You are one of those migraine sufferers. You should call your doctor and if necessary be referred to a neurologist or other headaches special.
WHAT TRIGGERS MIGRAINE?
Well, Migraine is a lifestyle disease and It can be cured by making small or big changes in our lifestyle. Firstly, Stress is a major cause. Stress is common among people. Stress is nothing but overloading the brain. So, try to not be stressed. Secondly, our habits, be it a food habit.
Some common migraine triggers include:
- Hormone changes – Many ladies notice that they need headaches around their period, while they are pregnant, or when they’re ovulating. Symptoms can also be tied to menopause, contraception that uses hormones or hormone replacement therapy.
- Stress – When you are stressed, your brain releases chemicals that will cause vessel changes, and can cause a migraine.
- Foods – Some foods and drinks, like aged cheese, alcohol, and food additives like nitrates (in pepperoni, hot dogs, and lunchmeats) and MSG (MSG), could also be responsible for some people.
- Skipping meals – Skipping a meal can also be the reason for migraine.
- Caffeine – Getting an excessive amount or not getting the amount you are used to can cause headaches. Caffeine itself is often a treatment for acute migraine attacks.
- Changes in weather – Storm fronts, changes in atmospheric pressure, strong winds, or changes in altitude can all trigger a migraine.
- Senses – Loud noises, bright lights, and powerful smells can depart a migraine.
- Medications – Vasodilators, which widen your blood vessels, can trigger them.
- Physical activity – This includes exercise and sex.
- Changes to your sleep – You would possibly get headaches once you sleep an excessive amount or not enough.