Migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by moderate to serious recurrent headaches. The headaches typically affect half of the head, pulsating in nature and last between a few hours, a day or days. The pain is usually aggravated by physical activity. Up to one-third of individuals have an aura: typically a brief period of visual disturbance that indicates that the headache is going to happen shortly.
Some common symptoms of migraine are nausea and/or vomiting, severe and pounding pain, usually on one side of the head, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, eye pain and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
There are certain risk factors that make a person prone to have a migraine which are mentioned below:
a) Family History: If one has any family member having migraine especially maternal or paternal side, then they have strong chances of developing it too.
b) Gender: Women are three times more prone to have migraine than men.
c) Age: Migraine can start at any age but the first often occurs during adolescence. They tend to peak during a person’s 30s and slowly become less severe and then less frequent in the following years.
d) Hormonal changes: For women who suffer from migraine, it might begin just before or soon after the onset of menstruation. Sometimes they change during pregnancy and menopause also. Though it generally improve after menopause.
The exact causes of Migraine are yet unknown, genetics and environmental factors play an important role:
Some foods like red wine, old cheeses and chocolate may cause migraine pain.
Food products and additives like MSG (monosodium glutamate), nitrates and nitrites (used in hot dogs and other processed meats) as well as artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits along with irregular meal times and dehydration are potential migraine triggers.
Stress, anxiety, depression, excitement, shock and other issues with emotion. Some individuals get migraines when levels of stress change, like when they begin a holiday or complete a stressful project at work.
Environmental factors like perfumes, strong lights and temperature changes, second-hand smoke, stuffy rooms and loud noises can trigger a migraine.
Medications: People taking sleeping pills, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and contraceptive pills are possible migraine triggers.
To prevent migraine one must avoid its triggering factors. The primary goal of any preventive therapy should be to reduce the frequency, duration, pain level and increase the effectiveness of therapies.
How To Manage Migraine
1. Some relaxation techniques to manage migraine are deep breathing, meditation, aromatherapy and massages.
2. Drinking ginger tea enables to cope with migraine symptoms.
3. Inhale essential oils like rosemary, lavender and jasmine as it could be an excellent home remedy to inhale essential oils. Rosemary oil helps to treat hormonal imbalances that are one of the women’s main causes of migraine. In warm water, add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil and take profound breaths to inhale the steam.
4. Yoga can assist to calm the mind and relax the vessels of the blood. The Honey Bee Pose is one of the finest headache treatment exercises. It is mainly a breathing technique that tends to soothe the nerves around the brain and forehead with the humming sound vibrations.
5. People who get migraine notice that certain foods tend to trigger it which includes alcohol, chocolate, red wine, processed foods and caffeinated beverages.
6. Researches have found that supplementation of Magnesium proves very useful in reducing the frequency of migraine in some people. Always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
People who have migraine should consult a doctor or migraine specialist to find a course of treatment even when trying natural remedies or the ones mentioned above. Keeping a migraine journal proves to be useful in identifying triggering factors and their effective remedies.