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Interesting Facts About Migraines You Should Know

Migraine is a neurological condition that can cause multiple symptoms which are characterized by intense, strong headaches. Migraine can begin at childhood or may not occur until early adulthood. Women are more prone to migraine headaches than men. There are many interesting facts about migraines that will tell you all about migraines in this article.

Migraine can occur if you have a family history, which is one of the most common risk factors. However, migraines are different from other headaches.

Migraine Versus A Regular Headache

The pain of the migraine headache and tension headache is similar and it tends to be moderate or severe in nature. The difference in migraine and headache lies in the fact that migraine pain has a throbbing quality and people have reported that even a slight physical exertion like walking up the stairs may worsen the pain.

On the other hand, the pain associated with tension type headaches tends to be more chronic and steady.

Migraine is totally different from other headaches due to its symptoms like nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, worsening of the headache with low physical exertion, etc.

Doctors are of the belief that the causes of migraines are related to the changes in the blood flow in certain areas of the brain.

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine Headaches?

The symptoms of migraine may begin one to two days before the headache itself. This is known as the prodrome stage and the symptoms during this stage are food cravings, depression, fatigue or low energy, hyperactivity, frequent yawning, irritability and neck stiffness.

After the prodrome stage, you may have problems with your vision, movement, speech and sensation. These could be difficulty in speaking clearly, feeling a prickling or tingling sensation in your face, arms or legs, light flashes or bright spots, and temporarily losing your vision.

The migraine pain can be pulsating, throbbing, perforating, pounding and debilitating in nature. The pain mostly affects the forehead area and it's usually on one side of the head, but it may occur on both sides and shift.

Most migraines might last up to 4 hours and if they are not treated, they can last for as long as 72 hours to a week.

These Interesting Facts About Migraine Will Help You Treat It

1. Exercise helps in preventing migraine pain. Doing regular workouts like walking or running will work, along with daily medication or relaxation exercises. These will help in warding off migraine. In a study, doctors found sweat sessions may reduce stress hormones that trigger head pain.

2. Migraines are tied to menstruation. The hormones that control menstrual cycle also contribute to migraines. Many women begin experiencing migraines either when they have their first period or when they become pregnant. The hormones that work during a menstruation often change the severity and frequency of migraines.

3. Migraine medicine can cause headaches if you take them more than three times per week. Each time you swallow a pill, you might experience a shorter period of relief. But, eventually, your migraine will become chronic that will take weeks to go away.

4. Antidepressants can help in treating the migraine pain. How? The active ingredient in some antidepressants alter the level of chemicals in your brain. This reduces the risk of getting a migraine, even if you are not depressed.

5. Migraine can also occur without a headache. If you have no throbbing pain, this may still be a migraine. Other symptoms like vomiting, nausea and constipation can also happen. Some experts believe that fever, dizziness, or pain can also be the other signs of headache-free migraines.

4. Certain foods can cause migraine headaches. For example, foods which contain nitrates, including hot dogs, sandwich meats, bacon, salami or sausages, foods that contain tyramine are strong cheese like cheddar and blue cheese, smoked fish and soy products are also to be blamed. And not to forget, the deadly monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavour enhancer in soups, broths and fast foods also trigger migraine.

Migraine Treatment

Migraines can't be cured but, your doctor can manage the condition and reduce its effects. Your treatment plan depends on your age, how often you have migraines, the type of migraine you have, how severe it is, whether it includes nausea or vomiting, etc.

Your doctor might suggest you these treatments which include self-care migraine remedies, lifestyle adjustments, migraine medications, prescription medications to help with nausea or vomiting, hormone therapy and counselling.

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Story first published: Friday, April 20, 2018, 16:00 [IST]
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