A migraine headache is a primary headache disorder that effects approximately 12% of the population. It is a headache that tends to recur in an individual and is moderate to severe if left untreated. It can be one sided, throbbing and aggravated by routine physical activity. It can be associated with light and sound and even smell sensitivity and many patients will become nauseated with it.. In a minority of patients there can be visual or sensory changes before, during or after the headache, known as auras.
The exact causes of migraines are unknown, although they are related to changes in the brain as well as to genetic causes. People with migraines may inherit the tendency to be affected by certain migraine triggers, such as fatigue, bright lights, weather changes and others.
For many years, scientists believed that migraines were linked to the expanding (dilation) and constriction (narrowing) of blood vessels on the brain’s surface. However, it is now believed that migraine is caused by inherited abnormalities in certain areas of the brain.
There is a migraine "pain center" or generator in the mid-brain area. A migraine begins when hyperactive nerve cells send out impulses to the blood vessels leading to the dilation of these vessels and the release of prostaglandins, serotonin and other inflammatory substances that cause the pulsation to be painful.
Certain brain cells that use serotonin as a messenger are involved in controlling mood, attention, sleep, and pain. Therefore, chronic changes in serotonin can lead to anxiety, panic disorder, and depression.
Many migraines seem to be triggered by external factors. Migraine sufferers can help the physician identify these triggers. Possible triggers include:
Emotional stress is one of the most common triggers of migraine headache. Migraine sufferers generally are highly affected by stressful events. During stressful events, certain chemicals in the brain are released to combat the situation . The release of these chemicals can provoke migraine. Repressed emotions surrounding stress, such as anxiety, worry, excitement and fatigue can increase muscle tension and dilated blood vessels can intensify the severity of migraine.
Sensitivity to specific chemicals and preservatives in foods. Certain foods and beverages, such as aged cheese, alcoholic beverages, and food additives such as nitrates and monosodium glutamate may be responsible for triggering up to 30% of migraines.
Caffeine. Excessive caffeine consumption or withdrawal from caffeine can cause headaches when the caffeine level abruptly drops. The blood vessels seem to become sensitized to caffeine, and when caffeine is not ingested, a headache may occur. Caffeine itself is often helpful in treating acute migraine attacks.
Changing weather conditions such as storm fronts, barometric pressure changes, strong winds or changes in altitude
Changes in normal sleep pattern
Are migraines hereditary?
Yes, migraines have a tendency to run in families. Four out of 5 migraine sufferers have a family history of migraines. If one parent has a history of migraines, the child has a 50% chance of developing migraines, and if both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%.
What are the symptoms of migraines?
The symptoms of migraine headaches can occur in various combinations and include:
Type of pain
The pain of a migraine can be described as a pounding or throbbing. The headache often begins as a dull ache and develops into throbbing pain. The pain is usually aggravated by physical activity.
Severity/intensity of pain
The pain of a migraine can be described as mild, moderate, or severe. Untreated the headache will become moderate to severe Location of pain
The pain can shift from one side of the head to the other, or it can affect the front of the head or feel like it’s affecting the whole head.
Duration of pain
Most migraines last about 4 hours, although severe ones can last up to a week.
Frequency of headaches
The frequency of migraines varies widely among individuals. It is common for a migraine sufferer to get 2-4 headaches per month. Some people, however, may get headaches every few days, while others only get a migraine once or twice a year.
Sensitivity to light, noise and odors
Nausea and vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain
Loss of appetite
Sensations of being very warm or cold
Migraine without aura "Aura" is a physiological warning sign that a migraine is about to begin
What are the symptoms of migraines with aura?
Migraines with auras occur in about 15-20% of migraine sufferers. An aura can occur before, during, or after the pain occurs and last from 15 to 60 minutes. The symptoms always last less than one hour. Visual auras include:
Bright flashing dots or lights
Temporary vision loss
Wavy or jagged lines
Retinal migraine: temporary, partial or complete loss of vision in one eye, along with a dull ache behind the eye that may spread to the rest of the head.
Basilar artery migraine: dizziness, confusion or loss of balance can precede the headache. The headache pain may affect the back of the head. These symptoms usually occur suddenly and can be associated with the inability to speak properly, ringing in the ears, and vomiting. This type of migraine is strongly related to hormonal changes and primarily affects young adult women.
Status migrainosus: a rare and severe type of migraine that can last 72 hours or longer. The pain and nausea are so intense that people who have this type of headache often need to be hospitalized. Certain medications, or medication withdrawal, can cause this type migraine syndrome.
Ophthalmoplegic migraine: pain around the eye, including paralysis in the muscles surrounding the eye. This is an emergency medical condition, as the symptoms can also be caused by pressure on the nerves behind the eye or an aneurysm. Other symptoms of ophthalmoplegic migraines include droopy eyelid, double vision, or other vision changes.
What are the symptoms of migraines without aura
Migraines without auras are more common, occurring in 80 to 85 percent of migraine sufferers. Several hours before the onset of the headache, the person can experience vague symptoms, including:
Fatigue or tiredness
How are migraines treated?
Many medications are available to treat migraines.
Homeopathy has always cured so many cases of migraine I have my personal experience in curing migraine so nicely with homeopathy In other systems they called it incurable but in homeopathy its curable.Migraine is one of the diseases for which homeopathy can positively do something. Here there is another special significance. In Allopathic medicine there is no remedy for this disease. So it is common to find patients coming for homeopathy treatment after suffering for 10 to 15 years, despite allopathic treatment. And Homeopathy does wonders for the migraine, where patient has no other option.
For chronic & acute conditions patient needs constitutional treatment to reduce the recurrence of attacks and pain here few therapeutic index i had taken from Nash which really helped me lot in acute condition,but remember its constitutional which works well .
Nux vomica- Headache with Gastric & Hepatic origin and haemorrhoidal affections. Modalities is more important than pain < mental Exertion, anger, open air.
Bryonia-Bursting Headache ‘’feel Head would split open < stooping coughing, ironing; opening eye. < Hot weather.
Ant. crud.- Headache after River Bathing < cold food < alcohol drinks, lat fruits < Heat at son.
Calc. phoc- Useful Remedy in Headache at Anemic school Girl ( Nat- Mur) < when thinking at them.
Silicea- Headache- start Nape- forward- over Head to the eye ( silicea)
Belladona- Congestive Headache, Neuralgic Headache Throbbing, < stooping, forward, Bending downward, < lying down, Anything that makes perpendicular.
Lachesis- IMP for Headache. SUN Headache- chronic whenever exposed to SUN- Headache ( Nat-carb). IMP- pressure on vertex patient just want to go sleep Headache.
Kali Bichrom- Headache- pain are peculiar- & pain appeared in small spot- covered with finger- pain comes Go pain flu from one place to another.(kali