If you suffer from this disorder, you will have occasional headaches, usually accompanied with other symptoms such as nausea and disturbed vision, which will practically put you “out of the machine” until it subsides. Despite intensive medical research, we do not know why only some people are susceptible to such attacks or what activates them. However, some factors are determined; in many cases, at least. For example, susceptibility to migraine headaches can be inherited. In some cases it is found that, for example, cheese, chocolate or red wine can cause a seizure. There is often a link between frequent headache and menstruation, stress or even the expected relaxation after the stress. However, your case does not have to have anything to do with this or any other obvious factors.
The onset of migraine most likely occurs because the arteries, that go to the brain, in a certain way respond to activating factors, whatever they may be. For reasons unknown, arteries first narrow and then swell, and thereby disturb the flow of blood to the brain.
Basically, migraine is a severe headache accompanied by previous and concurrent other symptoms. Type of attacks varies from person to person, although migraine is usually preceded by a period of “warnings” in which a person feels abnormally tired and generally bad; symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea will soon follow. Many can not tolerate bright light (this condition is called photophobia). Problems with vision are possible (they are usually worse on one side), for example, blur, meander images or flashing lights. These initial symptoms can last for several hours to several days.
When a headache starts, warning symptoms usually disappear. Usually, you will have to “deal with” intense pain at first, which starts on one side of the forehead but gradually spread, although this pain is usually limited to one side of the head. During migraine eyes sometimes really bloodshot. You will be pale and, obviously, you will look bad. In some cases, the pain is centered between the nose and eyes, so the nose and eyes are often “leaking”.
The duration of individual attacks, as well as the duration of the periods between attacks, is not the same in all people. In most cases, seizures occur in groups: every few days or weeks, followed by a period of “peace” that can take months, even years. Times of seizures can not be predicted, although anyone can generally predict the type and duration of each attack. In less frequent symptoms, that occur in some cases, we include numbness or tingling in the hand or on one side of the body, dizziness, tinnitus and temporary mental confusion.
Migraine is a common problem. According to estimates, about 10% of people in the UK suffer from it.
Difficult cases that require hospitalization are relatively rare. Migraine headaches are rare before adolescence, although, in some children, unexplained frequent pains in the abdominal cavity could be a sign that these children will have migraine attacks when they get older. The first attack rarely occurs after the age of 40. In fact, in some people, these attacks stop in middle age. Migraines usually affect people in whose families this problem is already occurring, and women (three quarters of the cases).
Although it causes considerable difficulties, migraine is not a dangerous disease. In some cases, numbness, weakness or visual disturbances may become permanent, but these are really very rare cases.
What to do?
If you are struggling with frequent headaches that you can not suppress with painkillers such as aspirin or paracetamol, you must contact your doctor. There are no reliable diagnostic tests that could determine which headaches are the real migraines; doctor’s diagnosis will, most likely, be based on your description of symptoms.
Self-help: try to objectively reflect on their condition. Especially consider, after each attack, about everything that you were doing, thinking, feeling, eating and drinking before the onset of symptoms. You may find that you were enjoying too much in some of favorite dishes – cheese, chocolate or something else – before the attacks. In this case, if you are lucky, you will be able to prevent future attacks by removing these “danger” from the menu. You may also find that often you get seizures immediately after a period of particularly hard work or stress. In this case, try to avoid the upset and exhausting work program, and allow yourself a time to rest. It appears that contraceptive pills may cause migraines in some women. If you have started getting migraine attacks after you have switched to pills, talk to your doctor. You might be changing the type of pill or contraceptive methods to solve problems.
Once you know the initial, warning signs of seizures, you might be able to get rid of them. As soon as you suspect that you could get a migraine attack, spray your face with cold water, take two tablets of analgesics (aspirin or paracetamol), lie down in a dark room, stay in it for two or three hours, and try not to get upset by thinking about migraine. Just relax, listen to your favorite record (do not read) or think.
In some countries (e.g. UK) there are community organizations for mutual aid and self-help for people who suffer from migraines.
Professional help: although migraine can not be cured, the condition can alleviate with modern drugs. There are two basic ways of treatment. After talking to you about your case, your doctor will decide what kind of treatment could help you the most. If your migraines are only medium-heavy and not unbearably common, the first method will probably be: the most appropriate solution. It consists of taking medication for pain relief after the attack began. The doctor will prescribe a pill, suppository or injection of drug (or drugs), for example, vasoconstrictors, which constrict blood vessels, possibly in combination with antihistamines. Your doctor will perhaps advise you to take some anti-emetic, a medicine to suppress vomiting. Do not forget that you need to take these medications only when needed and to strictly follow instruction from your doctors. Excessive doses can cause a number of unpleasant side effects – and among them are the headaches, that can be worse than migraine itself.
Another type of treatment is of a preventive character. It is intended for people whose migraines are so severe and frequent that significantly interfere with daily life, and consists of taking medication regularly to prevent seizures. Treatment includes regular small doses of a hypertonic (drug for hypertension) with (optionally) a diuretic (drugs that promote urination), mild sedative or antidepressant agent. There are a number of alternative preparation, and the doctor will probably need a certain trial period to determine which drugs will be most effective in your case.
Today, some hospitals explores the natural method for relief or even prevent migraines. The method is based on the decline in body temperature that is reflected in the majority of people during a migraine attack. Groups of volunteers – who are using backlink methods to record a body temperature – exercise temperature control by relaxing. Even though only a small number of people are suited for this kind of “courses”, the results are promising. Migraines can still occur, but the patient can suppress them after about 30 minutes using the specific method of relaxation. Acupuncture also proved to be successful in the treatment of migraine.