Finding Relief and Comfort From Migraine

woman with a headache

In migraine, severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation on one side of the brain is characteristic. People who experience it frequently report having the following: Nausea, vomiting, and extreme light and sound sensitivity. The pain from a migraine may last for hours or days, and those who get migraines might find that the discomfort interferes with daily activities.

The four phases of migraine are the preliminary prodrome, aura, intense attack, and dwindling postdrome. In some instances, some migraine sufferers may move from one step to the next without experiencing the other stages.

Some migraine medications may help prevent and alleviate the discomfort of some headaches. The appropriate medications, in conjunction with self-help cures and lifestyle modifications, may be beneficial.

Symptoms

About 80% of all people with migraines report experiencing a headache. Some people experience pain as a “hammering” or “throbbing” feeling. Progression to higher intensity levels may begin with a dull aching and develop to a pulsing mild, moderate, or severe pain. If your headache pain remains untreated, it will evolve from moderate to severe.

If pain migrates from one side of your head to the other, impacts the front of your head, or affects your entire head, it may be from a different kind of pain, or you may be experiencing two types of pain simultaneously. The region around their eye or temple, sinuses, jaw, or neck may cause discomfort for certain people.

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Causes

  • Emotional tension. One of the most frequent migraine headaches causes is emotional stress. Certain chemicals in the brain are produced during stressful situations to counteract the circumstance (known as the “flight or fight” response). The release of these substances may cause a migraine. Anxiety, concern, and excitement may all cause muscular tension and dilation of blood vessels. This may aggravate your migraine.
  • Delaying a meal may potentially worsen your migraine headache.
  • Certain foods and drinks, such as aged cheese, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, and food additives such as nitrates (found in pepperoni, hot dogs, and luncheon meats) and fermented or pickled foods, may cause up to 30% of migraines.
  • Caffeine overdose or withdrawal may induce headaches when the caffeine level decreases suddenly. Caffeine seems to sensitize your blood vessels, and if you don’t receive it, you may develop a headache. Doctors occasionally suggest caffeine to treat acute migraine episodes, but it should not be taken regularly.
  • If you use headache pain relievers too often, you may get a rebound headache.

Migraines are more frequent in women throughout their menstrual cycles. Menstruation is triggered by a sudden decrease in estrogen, which may also cause migraines.

Treatment

Medications used to treat migraine pain are most effective when given at the earliest indication of an impending migraine — as soon as the signs and symptoms of migraine appear. The good thing about it is that research and reliable paid research or studies are ongoing to find better treatment, if not cure, for this condition. Among the medications that may be used to treat it include:

  • Anti-inflammatories. Pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen are examples of over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain (Advil, Motrin I.B., others). They may cause drug overuse, headaches, ulcers, and bleeding in the gastrointestinal system if used for a long time.
  • Medications for migraine therapy, such as caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen (Excedrin Migraine), may be helpful, but only for those experiencing significant migraine pain.
  • Triptans. Sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra) and rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT) are two prescription medications used to treat migraines. Both drugs work by blocking pain pathways in the brain. They may effectively alleviate a variety of migraine symptoms, whether given orally, intravenously, or via nasal sprays. Those in danger of having a stroke or a heart attack may find that they are ineligible.
  • Among the many types of dihydroergotamine is dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal). For headaches that last more than 24 hours, this drug, which comes in the form of a nasal spray or an injection, is most helpful when used as soon as possible following the start of migraine symptoms. As a side effect, migraine-related vomiting and nausea may become more severe. Dihydroergotamine should be avoided by those with coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, or any other medical condition.

Migraine pain relievers exist in several forms, including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories, and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare practitioner will discuss which drug, a combination of medications, and formulations will work best for your particular headache discomfort. If necessary, nausea-relieving medications are given.

All medicines should be administered under the supervision of a headache specialist or a healthcare practitioner who is experienced with migraine treatment. As with any drug, it is essential to follow the label instructions carefully and the advice of your healthcare professional.

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