Migraine Headache Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Types of Migraine

Is your headache actually a migraine? A migraine is more than those dull, throbbing pains that mysteriously appear refusing to let you work or do your thing and then harmlessly disappears without bothering you too much. Migraine is a health condition that deserves your care and attention. Migraine pains affect you in more ways than one. 

The throbbing pain gets from bad to worse and gets worse if you decide not to rest-it-out and indulge in your regular chores. Bright lights and loud decibels can invariably make the throbbing pain go worse. Did you know that there are not one but several types of migraines?  They occur because of certain changes in the brain and blood vessels. It differs from regular tension or cluster headaches as migraines have additional symptoms such as follows, 

Top Symptoms of Migraines – Keep a Tab on the Common Symptoms

Find out some of the common symptoms that separate one migraine-type from another, 

  • Irritability
  • Visual changes “aura”
  • Light sensitivity
  • Feeling of nausea
  • Urge to vomit
  • Headaches occurring on one side of the head. 
  • Pain in an eye or ear

We know the symptoms of migraine but do you know what can trigger off a migraine pain? 

People suffering from certain health conditions can make you more vulnerable to migraines. These are what you can call migraine triggers and they are the following,

  • Hormonal changes like menopause
  • Contraceptives usage
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Specific foods and medications
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Traveling

Different Types of Migraines

Not all migraines are the same and hence they need different types of treatment.  If you are suffering from frequent bouts of migraine pains, here is a list you should know about. According to the symptoms, migraines can be acute, vestibular, optical, complex, menstrual, hormonal migraines, migraines without headaches and so on. Phew! That’s a huge list to be wary of. 

They include:

  • Abdominal migraine: This is the type of migraine that assails children in general.  Symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting, and bouts of nausea. 
  • Chronic migraine: The name says it all, it goes from acute to chronic as the migraines stretch to more than 15 days. 
  • Basilar-Type migraine: It involves neurological symptoms, such as visual problems such as spots, flashes of light and so on. 
  • Hemiplegic migraine: This type of migraines is characterized by symptoms such as aura, fever, and paralysis on one side of the body. The symptoms can last for days or weeks. This is a more rare type of migraine. 
  • Ice pick headache: This type of migraine is characterized by sharp shooting pain. It is pretty distressful, the only solace is, and it lasts for a shorter time period and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. 
  • Migraine with aura: This is one of the more severe migraines and comes with neurologic disturbances such as visual disturbances, speech issues, or sensory changes that affect you under the middle of a migraine attack or before an attack. 
  • Ocular migraine: The ocular migraine or retinal migraine type of migraine is characterized by sudden attacks of visual disturbances before the headache attack starts. The other symptoms include reduced vision or lost vision, light flashes, temporary blindness. 

More Health Treatments: Health Doctoring

Best Treatment for Migraines 

Yes, there are over the counter-the-drugs to treat migraine pain. But we urge you to try a drug-free way to treat migraine symptoms. These are easy to concoct and can help minimize the severity of the symptoms.  Of course, severe symptoms may need more than home remedies. It is important to talk to your doctor to chalk out a treatment course to combat migraines. 

When it comes to managing migraines lifestyle changes should be your first line of treatment. Preventing migraines can help manage the severity and the frequency of migraines. Incorporating the following lifestyle changes can take off the bite of the pain.  These are some of the recommended practices to take care of your headache hygiene.

  1. Sleep is essential so do not skip regular sleep patterns. Try and maintain a regular sleep regime to keep migraines at bay.
  2. Exercise at least 30 minutes thrice a week. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which act as the body’s natural painkillers and they sometimes work better than over the counter medicines as it does not have side effects. 
  3. Do not skip meals.  Don’t skip eating breakfast. Eating regular meals will keep your blood sugar levels steady and stop them from dipping and triggering off migraines. 
  4. Practice stress reduction techniques. We cannot say obliterate stress from your life as it is not a feasible solution, however, what you can do is try and incorporate techniques such as deep breathing and yoga to court calm Zen-like feelings.

While incorporating certain dietary and lifestyle changes holds paramount importance, you must stay away from certain triggers such as alcohol, aged cheese, caffeine the usual suspects that can cause a headache or migraine.  This will help reduce your chances of getting a migraine attack. Try other home hacks that most migraine sufferers swear by,

  • Acupressure – This involves putting pressure on certain points of your body to release endorphins, acting as pain blockers. Acupressure point LI4 point is an effective to point and helps in migraine-induced pain. 
  • Essential oils –Essential oils such as lavender oils are extremely effective in reducing migraine pain. This helps minimize stress and anxiety, the primary migraine triggers.
  • Ginger – Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is as potent as sumatriptan, a migraine drug. Ginger is a natural solution without any side-effects. 
  • Massage – Massaging is a great way to bust the stress. Massage your neck and shoulders to alleviate migraine pain. If you can’t get a masseuse to do it for you, you can try it on yourself with a tennis ball, a simple and effective method that always works. 
  • Supplement with magnesium- Supplementing with magnesium can help reduce frequent episodes of migraine attacks. Consult with your doctor to find out whether magnesium can be a suitable supplement for you. 

Maintain a migraine journal to identify the migraine triggers and what works for you and what does not. Remember medicine can ease migraines for a certain period of time but to get lasting relief, you must try other alternative treatments and lifestyle changes. 

Leave a Comment