Essential points you need to know about migraine
November 19, 2006 1:33am CST
Migraine is one of the most common excuse people use when they can’t attend a meeting or miss a class for students. In fact, it is an overused excuse next to insomniac. But this kind of headache is not a joke. It is necessary to find out the essential information about migraine so that when the time comes that the excuse becomes true you will not freak out of what you are feeling. What it is and what it has… Migraine is the kind of headache that occurs repeatedly. There is an estimated 11 individuals who get migraines in 100 people. A person with migraine experiences excruciating pain on one portion or side of the person’s head. Migraine is classified according to the occurrence of aura and otherwise. Aura is a range of neurological disturbances such as visual irregularity. This serves as a sign that migraine is yet to occur. A person may experience vertigo, numbness which last approximately 20 minutes or less. This type is also called classic migraine that includes symptoms such as weakness of leg or arm, itching hands or face, confusion, A common type of migraine does not occur with an aura. Some individuals only experience preceding symptoms such as mental confusion, mood swings, fatigue, and others. This type lasts to a maximum of 4 days. Speaking of visual irregularity, one type of migraine is the ocular migraine which may result to vision loss or difficulty. But do not worry because its symptoms only lasts a while and doesn’t pose harm to the eye only that it affects your daily lifestyle. Migraine signs include the following: severe headache, one-sided and frontal headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, light and sound sensitivity, throbbing headache, eye pain, etc. Triggering factors Migraine can be triggered by many factors but all of these do not yet have scientific explanations. It includes allergic reactions, perfume odors, stress, irregular sleep patterns, meal skipping, alcohol, caffeine, pills intake, headaches due to tension, foods with tyramine, chocolate, peanut butter, banana, dairy products, and many more. There are also drugs that can trigger migraine. These include nitrates, theophylline, reserpine, nifedipine, indomethicin, and cimetidine. So watch out for these if you know that you have the tendency to have migraine. Other types of migraine The other types of migraine are abdominal, basilar, complicated, hemiplegic, nocturnal, and cyclic migraine syndrome. Abdominal migraine is also known as periodic syndrome which is common among children. It typically occurs to those have it in their heredity and this type may lead to a classic migraine. Symptoms of this type include periodic attacks of pain in the abdomen in approximately two hours. Basilar migraine, also called Bickerstaff's syndrome, typically affects adolescent women. This occurs when migraine obstructs the circulation the back part of the neck or brain. Its symptoms are dizziness, loss of balance, and even fainting. Another type is the complicated migraine that usually occurs with extended aura that may last for a number of hours or could reach to few days. This type poses a risk of the disorder leading to changes in the neurological area of the brain which is associated with MRI scan changes, those that are present in stroke. Hemiplegic migraine is the rarest among all types but one of the most severe. Its symptoms include temporary paralysis of the motor function and obstructions in the sensory system on a certain side of the body. As soon as the headache occurs, these symptoms may be gone. When migraine attacks early morning, it is the nocturnal type. Studies show that this type of migraine is associated with adrenalin changes. Cyclic migraine syndrome is the most disturbing when it comes to dealing with a person’s daily activities. It occurs ten times or more every month. Treatment Doctors recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications namely: • Ibuprofen – Motrin, Advil • Naproxen – Alleve • Aspirin - Excedrin Migraine • Triptans o Sumatriptan – Imitrex o Zolmitriptan – Zomig o Naratriptan – Amerge Triptans are a new class of migraine medications that aids in managing the source of pain. What it does is that it reduces the tendency of the blood vessels to swell in the brain and lessens inflammation; all these contribute to reducing the pain caused by migraine. For natural treatment, just rest in a dark area, drink more water, and place a cloth soaked from cold water on your forehead. Do not be terrified, it wouldn’t help at all; just relax.