What is a migraine?
A migraine headache is severe, throbbing pain in one part of the head. The pain may accompany nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound, and an aversion to odors. The headaches typically affect only half of the head. However, some people may feel it on both sides. Consult with your doctor for effective migraine treatment if you have symptoms.
What are the symptoms of these throbbing headaches?
Migraines cause pulsating aches on one or both sides of the head. However, the severity and the location of a headache may vary from person to person. Some people experience symptoms before a migraine starts, such as digestive problems or mood changes. On the other hand, most people do not have warning signs. Sometimes there is an aura. It appears as flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots. However, some people have other symptoms associated with migraines. They include nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light or sound.
What causes migraines?
The exact cause of migraines is unknown. It appears that they are hereditary. However, other factors can also contribute to them. Some people who suffer from migraines report stress or tension triggers their symptoms. On the other hand, some people may have diverse triggers. Your doctor may try to rule out the possible cause responsible for your condition. Consequently, he or she may begin with your migraine treatment.
What triggers a throbbing headache?
Migraine is an inherited neurological disease. Several factors can prompt its symptoms. However, frequent ones are as follows-
- Common factors such as sleep disturbance, stress, and hormonal changes
- Foods containing vasoactive amines (for example, tyramine in cheese or histamine in wine, smoked fish, or chicken liver)
- Food additives (for example, nitrates, monosodium glutamate, or aspartame)
- Physical factors such as weather changes and high altitude
- Specific individual’s foods such as chocolate
What is a migraine attack?
A migraine attack is also known as a headache or cephalalgia. It is often preceded by an aura (visual disturbance). Moreover, these attacks usually involve severe head pain that can last anywhere between 4 and 72 hours. Symptoms vary from one person to another. However, the frequent ones include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Taking migraine treatment can relieve your symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a migraine attack?
- Headache, which stays for more than 4 hours and even for 72 hours
- Unilateral location (one side of the head)
- Pulsating quality
- Moderate or severe pain intensity
- Nausea or vomiting, in some cases without a headache
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
- Phonophobia (sensitivity to noise)
- Sensitivity to odors
- Mental confusion or decreased level of consciousness
Most people experience at least one symptom during an episode. However, others may have up to 14 symptoms. These symptoms can take place suddenly. Therefore, keep using your preventive migraine treatment to put off the risk.
When do people get a migraine attack?
Migraine attacks are usually preceded by an aura. These auras are sensory disturbances that typically appear as flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots in the visual field. Moreover, they can also be tingling sensations on the face or arms, speech problems, or vertigo. Auras occur in about 20 to 30 percent of migraine sufferers.
When the aura is over, people experience headaches with or without nausea and vomiting. Moreover, migraine usually lasts between 4 and 72 hours. You should use your medication immediately if you happen to have an attack. Nevertheless, if your condition does not get better, talk to your doctor.
What can trigger a migraine attack?
The exact cause of migraine is not known. However, there are several things, which could trigger an attack. These may include-
- Changes in the environment around you (e.g., bright or flickering lights)
- Stress, tiredness, or anxiety
- Skipping breakfast
- Poor sleep quality
- Physical exertion
- Caffeine (e.g., coffee, cola, black teas) and other foods containing caffeine, such as chocolate
- Certain odors (e.g., perfume, paint fumes)
- Medication, including hormonal contraception
In addition, other possible triggers include changes in weather and some activities like driving or flying.
What are the effective medications for migraine treatment?
There are four medications, which are effective for migraines. They are-
- Ergot-derived drugs
The fourth group of medications is quite popular among people who are newly diagnosed with the disease. They are called the CGRP inhibitors.
Triptans can help with your treatment. They include-
- Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
- Zomig (zolmitriptan)
- Maxalt (rizatriptan)
- Amerge (naratriptan)
- Axert (almotriptan)
These medications work as agonists (or stimulators) at the 5-HT1B and 1D receptors. Moreover, they also work as vasoconstrictors. It is the reason why doctors prescribe them for migraine attacks.
The ergotamines include Cafergot. They contain caffeine and a combination of a triptan drug and ergotamine. Moreover, there are also combination drugs like Ergomar. They contain ergots with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These medications work at the dopamine receptors of the trigeminal nerve. In addition, they also have some action as serotonin agonists.
The main opiate receptor is kappa. There has been a fair amount of success using opioids for migraine treatment. Moreover, there have been some interesting studies looking at the efficacy of codeine and other non-opioids. They demonstrate that these medications can reduce pain as effectively as serotonin agonists can. In addition, they do not have as many adverse effects.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
The main anti-inflammatory agents used for migraine include aspirin and ibuprofen. Moreover, there is also Excedrin Migraine. It contains caffeine, acetaminophen, and aspirin. This medication is a popular OTC drug.
One of the prescription NSAIDs is Treximet. It contains Sumatriptan and the anti-inflammatory drug naproxen. In addition, there is some evidence in the literature, which suggests naproxen can slow down the development of serotonin receptors in the brain and lessen insomnia.
This category of medication is quite popular now for people just starting to get into treatment or newly diagnosed with migraine disease. They are called the CGRP inhibitors. There are only two medications in this group currently on the market, Aimovig (erenumab) and Ajovy (fremanezumab). Moreover, the other drugs in this class are in clinical development and will be coming out over the next couple of years.
What are the home remedies for migraine treatment?
The major cause of migraines is stress. However, the headache can sometimes be hereditary. People are sensitive to certain foods, odors, or light while having a headache episode. Nevertheless, several home remedies can alleviate the symptoms and bring effective results in your treatment.
- Chamomile Tea
People who have frequent headache attacks can drink chamomile tea. It reduces stress that triggers throbbing head pain.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it three to four times a day. It may reduce the frequency of migraines attacks.
- Basil Leaves
Add two to three basil leaves in a cup of hot boiling water and leave it for ten minutes. Have this tea three to four times in the daytime. Basil leaves have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in reducing the pain caused by headache.
You can add peppermint oil to warm water and inhale for several minutes. It may trim down the pain in no time. Moreover, peppermint has menthol contents, which help ease the numbness of the area affected by pain.
You can boil ginger and drink it as herbal tea. It will reduce the symptoms very fast.
Garlic has natural analgesic properties. It can relieve your symptoms and help with your migraine treatment. Moreover, people who frequently suffer from migraine should take a clove of garlic and chew it slowly. It may help in relieving the pain fast.
- Vitamin B2
Intake of vitamin B2 can prevent migraines. Therefore, people who often get these headaches should add green vegetables to their daily diet.
- Vitamin B
Intake of vitamin B6 supplements helps in decreasing the frequency of migraine attacks. You can have 50-100 mg of Vitamin B per day if you have frequent headache episodes.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E supplements are beneficial in preventing migraine attacks. Therefore, you can have them regularly.
- Onion Juice
You can apply onion juice to the forehead to alleviate your migraine symptoms. It may provide relief from pain.
- Ice Pack
Placing an ice pack at the back of the neck help ease a headache caused by a migraine attack. Moreover, it also provides relief from pain and discomfort.
- Salt Water
To get quick relief from a migraine attack, a person can rinse their mouth with saltwater. It helps reduce the pain and help with your migraine treatment.
- Peppermint Oil
Applying peppermint oil to the back of the neck can relieve pain caused due to migraine. People should use it for several days until they get relief from their headaches.
- Lavender Oil
A person can apply lavender oil on the forehead and temples before going to bed. It has soothing effects on the mind, which relieves headaches.
- Fennel Seeds
A person can chew fennel seeds after eating food and drink water afterward. It may help them in reducing their headache pain. In addition, fennel seeds can also provide relief from stomach aches caused by the condition.
How can you prevent migraines?
You cannot prevent this condition completely. However, some regular steps can help reduce the intensity and frequency of headache episodes. These measures are as follows-
Identify your triggers
Triggers for migraines vary from person to person. However, one of the most vital aspects of your prevention is to discover your triggers. There are some common precipitating factors for migraines, such as the following-
- Hormonal changes
- Bright lights
- Weather change
However, each person is susceptible to different factors, which can induce a headache episode. Identifying the precise trigger is extremely important for your migraine treatment.
Eliminate triggers if possible
If you have identified a particular factor being responsible for triggering your symptoms, it is best to eliminate it from your life. However, if you can eradicate it, try to minimize its effect on you. It can reduce the frequency of attacks. Moreover, doing so can help bring effective results in your treatment.
Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals is very important in migraine prevention. Moreover, it may also ensure that you do not trigger a migraine attack by inducing hunger pangs. Try to avoid junk food and other unhealthy items as much as possible.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration can often induce throbbing headaches. Therefore, it is necessary to drink sufficient amounts of water daily. You should swallow at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day.
Regular exercise can put off the risk of migraines by reducing your stress and inducing a calming effect. Moreover, it may also help you stay fit and lead a healthy life. You can try yoga, aerobics, or any other form of physical activity for your migraine treatment.
Check the weather
In some cases, changing barometric pressure can trigger a headache episode. Therefore, monitor the weather and take special precautions if you notice sudden changes in the weather. It may diminish the occurrence of migraine attacks. Moreover, it will ensure that you lead a healthy life without too much trouble from this disorder.
Stress is one of the most powerful triggers for pulsating headaches. The best way to prevent migraines is to relax and unwind when you are not busy with your daily chores. It may help manage stress effectively. Moreover, doing so can also decrease the commonness of migraine attacks. Practice deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to induce a relaxing effect on the body.
Get early treatment
If you have already had a migraine attack, it is best to see your doctor immediately and get medical treatment as soon as possible. It will help prevent further attacks by reducing the intensity of migraines. Moreover, try to maintain a migraine journal to track the frequency of attacks.
These are some effective measures to put off the risk of pulsating headaches. However, if none of them brings effective results in your migraine treatment, talk with your doctor.