Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing pain in a particular area of the head. The pain mostly remains within one area and can last for anywhere between two to seventy-two hours. Currently, it is the 6th commonest medical condition in the world. Indians are more prone to get migrainethan the rest of the world, as stated by a top neurologist in India.
Know your migraine
Migraine consists of five stages, but everyone might not experience all the stages:
- Pre-headache or ‘Prodromal’ Stage – Many people experience symptoms such as mood swings, changes in appetite and energy levels, and changes in behavior. They can also experience aches and pains several hours or days before the attack.
- Aura – Some people go through a sensation prior to an attack. Many people experience difficulty focusing, seeing flashes or blind spots, or looking through a broken mirror.
- Headache Stage – This stage includes experiencing pulsating pain at one particular area of the head. People in this stage become sensitive to loud noise and bright lights. Some might go through nausea or vomiting. During this stage, many have a strong will to lie down in a darkened room alone.
- Resolution Stage – Many people feel the pain subside gradually. For some, the pain stops abruptly once they have vomited. Sleeping provides huge relief to most people.
- Recovery or ‘Postdromal’ Stage – Once the attack stops, a person might experience a sense of exhaustion and weakness.
Know what causes migraine
There is no known cause of migraine yet, but many psychological, hormonal, environmental, and genetic factors can trigger the cause of a migraine attack.
Psychological factors include:
Hormonal factors include:
- Change in the menstrual cycle like menarche (onset) and menopause (offset)
- Usage of oral contraceptives
Environmental factors include:
- Crowded places
- Too much bright light
- Exposure to loud noises
- Prolonged usage of smartphones, computers, or televisions
Trying a few home remedies might help
- Applying cold or warm compress – Application of warm or cold compress on the forehead and back of your neck can significantly reduce migraine pain. Most migraine patients prefer a cold compress over warm as it has a numbing effect on the pain, as stated by a top neurologist in India. You can indulge in a warm bath or shower to relax your muscles and ease the pain.
- A quiet and darkroom help – Migraine attack can be triggered by loud sounds, crowded places, and/or bright lights. Resting or sleeping in a peaceful ambiance can decrease the pain.
- Essential oil might help – Smelling essential oils like lavender has been effective at times and for some migraine patients. Sometimes strong smells can trigger migraine
pain and can be very unpleasant, so it is advised to be used cautiously. Essential oils have proven to be effective in stress and anxiety management, both of which increase the risk of a migraine attack.
- Proper hydration is needed – According to American Migraine Foundation, one out of three migraine patients say that dehydration is a major cause behind their migraine pain. Keeping the body hydrated can be helpful, as it might shorten the duration of the attack and reduce the pain.
- Change in diet – Some food items can be harmful to migraine patients as they might induce migraine attacks like red wine or other alcohols, aged cheeses, and even chocolate. Stay away from excessive fatty food items and outside food as much as possible. But certain foods also help to prevent future attacks:
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||Salmon, Tuna, Walnuts, Flaxseeds & Eggs|
|Vitamin B2/Riboflavin||Milk, Chicken, Banana, Chia seeds, Cashew|
|Vitamin B12||Liver, Salmon, Milk, Yogurt|
|Magnesium||Nuts, Dark Leafy Vegetables, Whole Grains|
- Head massages can be effective – For some slight massaging of the temples can be effective in managing migraine pain. Many migraine patients prefer light massages on their head as it relaxes the surrounding muscles.
- Try to stay physically fit – Any sort of physical activity during a migraine attack can increase the pain in patients. But exercising regularly can significantly reduce the chances of a future attack. Regular exercise can help you to manage stress and sleep better, according to the top neurologist in India.
- Lack of sleep and stress both are major trigger factors for migraine attacks in people.
Migraine has no permanent cure, but it can be reduced or even omitted from your life if managed well. Practicing a healthy lifestyle, having a balanced diet, managing stress and anxiety with the proper medication can significantly be effective for migraine management.